New York Times: H.B.C.U. Homecomings Are Canceled, but Students and Alumni Will Feast Anyway. “This year, many homecoming festivities have been canceled because of the Covid-19 pandemic. But the energy of game day never dissipates. Memories of tailgating sustain many graduates of H.B.C.U.s, and brunch, which has become the new cornerstone of homecoming celebrations, will be a virtual affair for 2020.”
Hyperallergic: Now Is the Perfect Time to Learn About William Greaves. “An active filmmaker for nearly 50 years before his death in 2014, William Greaves was continually at the forefront of Black independent directors in the US. He was a vital contributor to the long-running public affairs show Black Journal (episodes of which are archived online), and directed numerous short and feature documentaries about the Civil Rights Movement and Black American life….Recently, under the supervision of Greaves’s widow Louise and avant-garde filmmaker Su Friedrich, a new website dedicated to his work has launched.”
BuzzFeed News: Trump And The Coronavirus Are Dividing Black And White Churches In Georgia. “In Georgia, where [Trump spiritual advisor Paula] White recently rallied Trump supporters ahead of the presidential election, the divide between the white and Black church is increasingly bitter and transparent. Part of it is just Trump, who has polarized religious communities along racial lines, and who faces a real risk of losing Georgia in November. But the divide has become even more explicit in the day-to-day during the coronavirus pandemic, which has killed more than 200,000 Americans, and resulted in the hospitalization of the president himself.”
Harper’s Bazaar: Antoine Gregory’s Black Fashion Fair Creates Space for Long Overlooked Black Designers. “After years of being one of the only Black people in a room or on a set, Gregory was inspired to create and produce Black Fashion Fair—an immersive online platform where Black fashion designers are championed, celebrated, and centered. Its website serves as an online database where Black designers are listed A-Z, and a virtual marketplace with a stellar curation of fashion’s most exciting Black designers.”
University of Illinois at Chicago: Alkebuluan Merriweather (BA, 2019) launches Black Matriarch Archive . “Alumna Alkebuluan Merriweather (BA, 2019) has launched a digital platform titled Black Matriarch Archive. Black Matriarch Archive is a digital platform and archive that seeks to encourage members of the African diaspora to submit images and video documentation of black elders, whether they may be grandmothers, great-aunts, godmothers, or caregivers.” This is a project that uses Instagram as its platform. It’s early days.
Digital Trends: KweliTV is a streaming service that puts Black stories first. “The streaming service is home to over 400 indie films and television shows, with over 35,000 registered users and growing. But it’s more than just a ‘Black Netflix.’ Rather than try to compete with larger services that boast millions in revenue and funding, KweliTV wants to thrive in the gap, by being deliberate about the content it hosts. Spencer considers KweliTV’s list carefully curated, and maintains that the service is purposeful about only hosting movies that don’t just feature Black characters, but also feature Black directors, writers, and producers.” I don’t often cover pay services, but this site a) has a free tier, b) has a day pass for $2.99, and c) even at full price is all of $5.99 a month. If you’re a college student you can get the service for $3.99 a month.
Brown University: Introducing theKEEPER: A Digital Archive of Womxn in Hip Hop. “Brown University Postdoctoral Fellow Enongo Lumumba-Kasongo (aka SAMMUS) has been working on theKEEPER: A Digital Archive of Womxn in Hip Hop this summer as part of a team of artists, scholars, and activists led by Akua Naru, a performing artist who was also an artist-in-residence through Brown University’s Center for the Study of Race and Enthinicty in America in Fall 2019.”
Crack Magazine: This collection of articles, books and podcasts traces the Black origins of music. “Organised chronologically, The Black Music History Library is an in-depth collection of reading material, documentaries, series, podcasts and more. The library traces the Black origins of music from the 18th century up until the present day, and makes note of key historians, musicologists and journalists too.”
Seattle Times: Seattle Black Film Festival 2020 celebrates its 17th year and goes online with screenings and events. “Taking place July 10-12… with assistance from the Seattle-based livestream film and music events platform Couch-a-thon, the SBFF will feature more than 30 films from Black filmmakers across the diaspora, including Nigeria, Brazil and the United Kingdom. Five are from local filmmakers: ‘Black Champagne’ by Jeremiah Williams, ‘RESPEK’ by Kamari Bright, ‘Headless Into Night’ by Nifemi Madarikan, ‘Retch’ by Tifa Tomb and Nicole Pouchet, and ‘Our Troll’ by D.J. Walker.”
Forbes: The American Black Film Festival Goes Online This Year. “The American Black Film Festival will be taking place online only this year. The festival, overseen by ABFF Ventures LLC, has been running in person for the last 24 years. The annual fest usually draws 7,000 to 10,000 people to Miami Beach, but this year due to social distancing concerns and the coronavirus, the festival will take place on August 21-30, 2020… While it will be online only, the schedule will still boast studio premieres, conversation, panels, business of entertainment seminars and virtual networking events. ”
The Next Web: The Criterion Channel removes paywall on classic black cinema in support of Black Lives Matter . “The Criterion Channel, one of the lesser-known streaming services, this week removed the paywall on several important movies from black filmmakers, allowing anyone to watch them for free. It also expressed its support of the Black Lives Matter and its commitment to financial support of civil rights organizations.”
Philadelphia Tribune: Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Black churches aid free testing. “It was early last Friday morning when Andrea Lawful-Sanders, an on-air personality at WURD Radio, witnessed dozens of cars waiting to get into the parking lot of the Mt. Airy Church of God in Christ. People were waiting at the 6401 Ogontz Ave. church for COVID-19 tests administered by the Black Doctors COVID19 Consortium, which had organized yet another one of its free-of-charge community testing events. Lawful-Sanders was there to drop off face masks.”
Getty Blog: Consortium Forms Advisory Council, Announces Plans to Preserve Historic Ebony and Jet Photographic Archive. “The nonprofit consortium that acquired the archive of Johnson Publishing Company, publisher of Ebony, Jet and other iconic publications, today announced an Advisory Council that will inform the preservation and future use of the historic photographic collection to ensure the archive is made available for broad public use. The archive includes 3.35 million negatives and slides, 983,000 photographs, 166,000 contact sheets, and 9,000 audio and visual recordings, comprising the most significant collection illustrating African American life in the 20th century.”
Library of Congress: Photography Archive of Shawn Walker and a Collection of Harlem Photography Workshop Acquired by Library of Congress. “The Shawn Walker archive contains nearly 100,000 photographs, negatives and transparencies depicting life in Harlem — a pivotal crossroad of African diaspora culture — between 1963 and the present. The Kamoinge collection — generously donated by Walker — consists of nearly 2,500 items, including prints by Kamoinge members such as Barboza, Draper, Smith and others.”
KNX1070: LA Controller Releases Online Map Identifying Historic African American Sites. “The map, titled ‘African American Heritage Across Los Angeles,’ showcases 28 places, monuments and institutions that are recognized as culturally or historically significant to the development of the city’s black community, [Ron] Galperin said.”