Over the last half-dozen years, Kevin Jerome Everson and Claudrena N. Harold have collaborated with their students on a series of films that examine the history of African American students and faculty at Charlottesville’s University of Virginia (UVA), an institution that had an entanglement with white supremacy long before the far-right rally of August 2017 turned international attention onto the school and the city. Everson and Harold’s Black Fire films foreground the role of higher education in creating a community of strength and change, focusing both on Black empowerment — e.g., the anti–Vietnam War protests led by the first African American student-body president James R. Roebuck, or the community-building efforts of Vivian Gordon, director of the Black Studies program in the 1970s — and celebrations of everyday life, such as the daily routines of student athletes in competitive sports programs.
Six films from the Black Fire UVA series will be screened in this programme, including a sneak preview of a new collaboration. They will be preceded by 40th & State, a film about the aftermath of the 1955 murder of Emmett Till and subsequent mourning within his Pentecostal Church, made by recent UVA graduate and Black Fire participant Micah Ariel Watson.
Co-presented with Vertical Features.
40th & State (dir. Micah Ariel Watson \ USA 2018 \ 14 min. \ Digital)
How Can I Ever Be Late (dirs. Kevin Jerome Everson & Claudrena N. Harold \ USA 2017 \ 5 min. \ 16mm on Digital)
Fastest Man in the State (dirs. Kevin Jerome Everson & Claudrena N. Harold \ USA 2017 \ 10 min. \ 16mm on Digital)
70kg (dirs. Kevin Jerome Everson & Claudrena N. Harold \ USA 2017 \ 3 min. \ 16mm on Digital)
We Demand (dirs. Kevin Jerome Everson & Claudrena N. Harold \ USA 2016 \ 10 min. \ 16mm on Digital)
Sugarcoated Arsenic (dirs. Kevin Jerome Everson & Claudrena N. Harold \ USA 2013 \ 21 min. \ 16mm on Digital)