Save The Date: Festival Kickoff Event–July 12

Want a taste of the kinds of discussion you’ll experience at the Festival in October? Then join us on Tuesday, July 12 for the first official event of the Festival of the New Black Imagination. Also, we’re really thrilled that we’re an official Soul of Brooklyn event.

The event’s designed to do two things: First, I want to talk a bit about the vision behind the creation of the Festival. Second, I want to spread the word about our fundraising drive that will be starting. As Rakim famously said, “Wit’ out no money, it’s still a wish. . .” You feel me, right?

After that, we’ll get into a panel discussion. Here’s the idea behind it:


What is more powerful than an aesthetic moment where art or music meet politics? Think of Jimi Hendrix’s rendition of the national anthem, one which echoed the distortion and confusion around American identity; or the raised Black Power fist (from the Olympics to Elizabeth Catlett’s sculpture); or the gender/race analysis within the visual art or music of some of our forward-thinking artists.

Words are tricksters. “Revolutionary” here is meant more in the sense of a turn of history’s wheel, and a new understanding of our circumstances, than as an

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overthrow. Life — art, politics, fashion — is often cyclical, and we go through both radical and conservative phases as a society. Aesthetics are an engine that turn that wheel, and combine the visual, the political, and the social. We speak to three thought-leaders about what the next revolutionary aesthetic will be; who is creating it; and how blackness shapes and relates to it.

Moderated by award-winning journalist Farai Chideya (above, left), the panel will also include the perspectives of (l to r) celebrated photographer Renee Cox, marketer Malcolm Gillian and singer-songwriter Tamar-Kali.

The event will take at

80 Hanson Place
Brooklyn, NY 11205
Suggested $10 Donation

Also, more info on the Soul of Brooklyn calendar here.



Why Brooklyn?

The better question: Why not?

The creativity that’s coming out of

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Brooklyn drives everything that’s hip and cool about global black culture.

This isn’t to say that there aren’t vibrant creative communities all around the country and, in fact, the world. Of course, there are.

But there’s something special about Brooklyn. The borough either gives birth to, or attracts, folks who write their names large upon the canvas of our collective cultural consciousness.

Let’s just take a look: Spike Lee. TV On The Radio. Mos Def. Lynn Nottage. Glenn Ligon. Passing Strange’s Stew. Reggie Watts. Wangechi Mutu. Tamar-Kali. Game Rebellion. Victor LaValle. Colson Whitehead. Taylor McFerrin. Jean Grae.

And that’s not mentioning the hundreds, if not thousands, following behind them.

Yeah, Brooklyn’s a great place to have a conversation about the new black imagination.

It’s Time

It’s time.

And it’s been time for some time now.

Time to change the conversation. It’s time to look to the future. internet dating sites australia Time to figure out where blackness is heading and what it means in the 21st century. One thing’s for sure: If there are any limiting bahamas webcams “boxes” still remaining—any vestiges of “we don’t do that” thinking—it’s time to tear those walls down. Completely.

As it turns out, there are a lot who can step up to this mic. Look at just about any area–Music, film, literature, theater, fine art and design, social innovation–and you’ll see members of online fucking sex games the African diaspora changing the culture game like never before.

Join us and get inspired by the swirl of conversation

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and provocation coming out of the new black imagination. And we’ll promise you this: You’ll know some of our speakers. Others you won’t, but you’ll be glad you met them. So, stay tuned. The lineup and the topics are developing.

The Whys and Wherefores

This is my big project for this year. It’s something I’ve webcams of europe been thinking about for a while and, even now, it’s only slightly past half-baked. See, the goal key west fantasy fest web cams of this festival is to bring together much of what I’m interested in: art, culture and society, all filtered through a progressive black perspective.

It’s funny. When I started this blog, the idea was to help tear down the walls that limited our community’s imagination. Because I am passionate about music, that’s where I thought I could do the most good. However, in my travels, I discovered that it’s all one big creative community. More importantly, the issues us music folks are dealing with—representation, access, etc.—are the same ones that facing our friends in literature, theater, film, and visual arts.

So, this event is an attempt to move the conversation forward, to change the frame of reference. Rather than looking backwards and airing old, tired grievances, I want us to see all of the great things that are coming out of the black creative mind and use it as a jumping off point to understand where we are now, and what some possible futures will be. More importantly, I want people to leave with not only inspiration, but also with some concrete ideas as to how they can help create the kind of future that benefits us all, one that’s inclusive, progressive, and based on across-the-board justice.

But shaping thatkind of future will not be easy. Therefore, it’s imperative that we look to the arts for inspiration, and for reminders of truth, honesty and fearless exploration. And back to something I said during the BoldasLIVE series in 2007: It’s okay to have a conversation about black cultural excellence. Expect plenty of examples of that at the Festival.

So here’s what I can tell you right now: The day will be made up of two parts.

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  • The daytime portion will be spent on conversation and discussion. It’ll be mix of panels, one-on-one conversations and solo presentations.
  • At night, yes, there will be music. We’re putting together a great show of sounds from the new black imagination, so stay tuned for lineup announcements.

Just save the date: Saturday, October 15. Brooklyn. More info coming soon. Really.

I want to thank the folks who’ve been acting as sounding boards behind the scenes. My informal brain trust, if you will. I will definitely be giving them proper shouts very soon.

In the meantime, you can stay connected to the Festival via the following links: