Black Fire in Toronto on Tuesday, May 21

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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)



#Charlottesville: Perspectives on August 2017

On Wednesday, March 21, co-editors Louis Nelson and Claudrena Harold discussed their collection of essays, Charlottesville 2017 before a packed room at the Central JMRL Library.  They were joined by journalist Hawes Spencer, author of Summer of Hate.  The discussion was moderated by Frank Dukes.

The conversation was lively as the authors discussed the legacy of racism and economic inequality in Charlottesville, the legal, political, and cultural questions raised by August 11th and 12th, the role of the media and the academy in moments of great moral and political crisis, and the lessons to be learned from Charlottesville.