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The 11th annual Langston Hughes African-American Film Festival in Seattle, WA has accepted my mixed-media documentary short “Steamfunk & Rococoa: A Black Victorian Fantasy.” The festival upholds a “tradition of presenting positive, provocative and penetrating independent films created by emerging and established filmmakers” and will take place from April 26th through May 4th. Check out the link to the festival and information about prior years here: http://www.langstoninstitute.org/film-festival/

Are you tired of witnessing people hash out important conversations about race, popular culture, or recent politics online instead of in person? Are certain people missing from critical conversations because they’re not online? Has Black History Month been reduced to a ritual of iconic photographs and McDonald’s commercials? Check out Black After February. It’s a movement for YEAR-LONG recognition and dialogue.

Game shows invite audiences and viewers to partake in a wonderland of trivia and competition with the promise of rewards that an average Joe (or Joanne) can truly appreciate. But what are the effects of a talk show that incorporates similar sensationalizing elements for capturing its audience’s attention? What ethical standards are at stake when the objects of ooh’s and aah’s evolve from vacuum cleaners or vacations to human beings who compose a social sideshow?

LET’S GIVE THEM SOMETHING TO TALK ABOUT: GAME SHOW APPROACHES TO DAYTIME TALK IN THE MAURY SHOW 

http://www.thesagelens.com/#!featureprojects/c1vdn

"Don’t call it a comeback, because it may not be one after all.  An article has been circulating through social media about how Dave Chappelle’s long-anticipated return to stand-up went left during his show in Connecticut, when Dave refused to continue his performance in front of a rowdy, uncooperative, practically degrading audience.  But the larger theme that this article addresses and that Chappelle’s experience represents is the relationship between the Black performer and the white audience.”

Check out the article I’m referring to AND my 2010 essay “From Tragedy to Comedy…or Somewhere in Between: the (Un)Changing Roles of Black Comedians in Mainstream Television” at this link 

http://www.thesagelens.com/#!stand-up-vs-standing-up-dave-chappelle/cre9

 

New Animated Documentary “Mill Dues” in Pre-Production Now!

Mill Dues: A Strop City Story is a mixed-media documentary about a small town in northern Louisiana and its long history with labor intensive industries.  Told from the lens of the filmmaker’s family oral histories and aided by a magic realist aesthetic, the film will take an extended glance at a little-known town in the South to unearth a greater story about deindustrialization and underdevelopment in the U.S. and the ways it impacts communities’ culture, class, and health.  Keep an eye on the progress of this personal and important project at millduesproject.wordpress.com 

"Ballads Behind Bars: The Music of Lyfe Jennings as Art, Critique, and Healing Remedy" has been published and distributed in Callaloo: Journal of African Diaspora! The essay analyzes the music of R&B/Soul crooner Lyfe Jennings to illustrate it’s contribution to the tradition of African-American literature and validate the importance of creative expression for incarcerated men of color.

Image Credit: http://www.2dopeboyz.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/04/20090430-lyfe.jpg

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