Archive for the ‘Black Power’ Category

Exhibit highlights current relevance of 60s black power art – GO! and Express

The Sixties was the heroic age of African-American politics, producing movements and concepts whose implications have reverberated through the world ever since: Civil rights, black power, the Black Panthers.

The current Black Lives Matter campaign refers directly back to the triumphs and tragedies of that time. This suggests the Tates new blockbuster exhibition on Art in the Age of Black Power wont be just another show of quirky Sixties stuff, but a massing of images and ideas that are still powerfully relevant today.

Where an earlier generation of African-American artists were marginalised by an art world that was, the show argues, systemically racist, the new generation were determined to fight their way in by all means necessary, to paraphrase Malcolm X.

The initial impression of the show is of a bewildering array of groups and movements with often wildly divergent ideas about what a black aesthetic should be, or if there should even be one; whether art should be about change, such as the mural projects of the Chicago-based Organisation of Black American Culture, or if it should embody actual change, as seen in the abstract murals of Harlems Smokehouse Associates.

While the show includes sections on Black Panther posters and powerful street photography with images of marches and riots, the fact that artists have chosen, by and large, not to focus on politics perhaps reflects a common cause, with artist Barkley Hendrickss assertion: I wasnt interested in speaking for all black folks (but in trying) to be as good a painter as I could be. The Daily Telegraph

The show is on at The Tate, London until October. Visittate.org.uk

This article was originally published in The Times.

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Exhibit highlights current relevance of 60s black power art – GO! and Express

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‘Black Panther,’ ‘Luke Cage,’ and the Rise of Black Superheroes on Screen – Variety

Diversity is on the uptick in comics-inspired TV and film.

This story first appeared in the July 19, 2017 issue of Variety. Subscribe today.See more.

When Luke Cage exec producer Cheo Hodari Coker declared at his shows San Diego Comic-Con panel last year, The world is ready for a bulletproof black man, the crowd erupted in cheers. So did the internet.

Right before I said it, I knew what I was feeling, Coker later told Variety. I had said variations of it during the day. It was coming from an emotional place, but I didnt think it was going to reverberate the way that it did. But Im glad that it did.

The Luke Cage panel came in July on the heels of widespread protests sparked by the killings of unarmed black men by white police officers in Louisiana and Minnesota. When the show premiered in September, it became the first live-action series about a black superhero since 1994s MANTIS.

Now its getting some company. Next season the CW will premiere Black Lightning, based on the DC Comics superhero. And next year Marvel will debut Black Panther, the studios first feature with a black hero in the lead. Social, political and business trends have converged to put black superheroes at the centers of burgeoning television and film franchises after years of being relegated to supporting status.

Dan Evans, VP of creative affairs at DC Entertainment, cites the emergence of black superheroes on-screen as part of a larger trend in television and film.

Theres so many examples now, from 24 to The Fast and the Furious to Creed, says Evans, whose office door features an oversize image of Cyborg, the black teen hero who will play a key role in the upcoming Justice League movie. Weve seen again and again that if you tell a good story with these characters, people will come.

In superhero comics, the first appeals to underserved minority audiences came with the debuts of Black Panther (1966), Luke Cage (1972), Black Lightning (1977) and others.

These black superheroes emerge parallel to the changes in American race relations in the late 1960s with the emergence of the Black Power movement, says Adilifu Nama, author of Super Black: American Pop Culture and Black Superheroes. The movements push for equality and representation rippled through popular culture. It wouldnt be very sensible to think that these demands for diversity would only be in the realm of lunch counters and bus transportation.

Those demands sometimes yielded awkward responses in comics, a field populated in the 60s and 70s almost exclusively by white men. Cages speech, informed by blaxploitation movies, was chock-full of nonsense expressions such as Sweet Christmas! A draft version of Black Lightning, called the Black Bomber, was a racist white man who transformed into a black superhero when stressed out. Black Panther co-creator Jack Kirby wanted to name the character Coal Tiger.

From awkward beginnings, black superheroes became modern and more authentic. MacArthur Fellow Ta-Nehisi Coates, for instance, is writing Black Panther for Marvel Comics.

Now, a decade and a half after Sam Raimis Spider-Man, black heroes are migrating to the screen.

I think what we always have to put in context is that were just maybe one generation up out of Jim Crow, says Salim Akil, exec producer of Black Lightning. What youre beginning to see is the growth of America, and part of that growth has always been and always will be the African-American experience. As we grow as a people, youre going to see more and more stories about African-Americans.

He adds, If theres any community that needs a superhero, its our community.

Akil points to the box office success of director Patty Jenkins Wonder Woman as an example of how an authentic approach to a character can resonate with and beyond an underserved audience. Theres a difference between when a woman makes a superhero movie about a woman and a man makes a superhero movie about a woman, he says.

At a time when Empire is the highest-rated show on broadcast TV in the 18-49 demo, it is easy to see why studios and networks would aspire to Wonder Woman-style success with black superheroes.

Were representing the audience now, Evans says. When you see the Latino audience is the biggest audience to come out on opening day for a movie, when you see networks launch shows with large black audiences, you see that things have changed. Its not just white guys watching TV anymore. In order to bring those audiences, you have to give them something that they recognize.

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‘Black Panther,’ ‘Luke Cage,’ and the Rise of Black Superheroes on Screen – Variety

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July 20, 2017   Posted in: Black Power  Comments Closed

Black Power members arrested for serious assaults in Dunedin – The Press

Last updated20:02, July 19 2017

DAVID HALLETT/STUFF

Six Black Power affiliates have been arrested after a man was kicked in the head and a patu was swung at another man in separate incidents.

Police havearrested five Black Power members and one associate for serious assaults in Dunedin.

The menwere arrestedon Wednesdayafter two serious assaults in late June involving the Mangu Kaha Black Power gang.

The first assault,a fight between two groups of men,occurred in the early hours of June 25 on High St, near the Dunedin Casino.

A 25-year-old man was taken to hospital with moderate injuries after being kicked in the head.

READ MORE: *Man injured in brawl outside Dunedin Casino *Car ramming sparks gang fight with patu-wielding man in Dunedin

The second occurred around 9.30am on June 28on Stafford St, where up to six members of the gang attacked two men on the street.

Witnesses said a heavily-tattooed gang member swung a patu at another man.

A victim of the assault required medical attention.

Police charged the six men with serious offences, including wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm, assault with intent to injureand assault with a weapon.

Five of the men have been remanded in custody to re-appear in the Dunedin District Court at later dates.

“Police do not tolerate any violence being committed in the community and will put every resource available into investigating these incidents in order to hold those responsible to account,” Detective Sergeant Nik Leigh said.

“We received a huge amount of support from members of the community during this investigation, which is great and indicates to me that they will not accept such violence.”

-Stuff

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July 19, 2017   Posted in: Black Power  Comments Closed

Soul of a Nation review the extraordinary art of the black power era – The Guardian

Icon for My Man Superman (Superman Never Saved any Black People Bobby Seale), 1969 by Barkley Hendricks. Photograph: Barkley L Hendricks; courtesy of the artist and Jack Shainman Gallery, New York

A man with shades and a perfectly picked afro stands against a flat silver background. He is dressed in a Superman T-shirt. His muscular arms are folded in a painting as sharply defined as a medieval icon, yet as modern as his aviator shades. The canvas, from 1969, is highly stylised and irreducibly cool.

This is the self-portrait of Barkley L Hendricks, who died in April at the age of 72. Its visual double take black man in white mans costume, and in his painterly tradition is multiplied by the mordant title. Icon for My Man Superman (Superman Never Saved Any Black People Bobby Seale) quotes a famous remark of the founder of the Black Panthers. But Hendricks has no need of Superman. He saves himself hero of his own fiercely intelligent painting.

This show is angry, zestful, ebullient, sardonic, wildly energetic, powerfully direct, occasionally sorrowful

If Hendricks is a new name at Tate Modern, he is by no means alone. Nine-tenths of the cast list may well be unfamiliar. Soul of a Nation: Art in the Age of Black Power covers 20 years of black art, beginning with the 1963 March on Washington and the inauguration of the Spiral group in New York. This artists collective formed specifically to ask what black art could, or should, be. These two questions which are by no means the same get different answers all through this fantastically dynamic show.

Spiral decided to work only in black and white, allowing for all the politics of contrast. Some believed in unadulterated rhetoric clashes and protests, news images of violence enlarged or adapted. Reginald Gammons Freedom Now simply shows black figures marching straight towards you, placards barely cropped by the frame: a head-on confrontation in itself.

But directly opposite, and strategically placed, is a tremendous painting by Norman Lewis. Lewis was an abstract expressionist, and at first sight his black-and-white canvas appears entirely abstract arrays of geometric white shapes flickering against sepulchral darkness. It is only after your eyes adjust to the visual dissonance that the true subject of the painting emerges: these are the triangular hoods of Klansmen gathering by night with their torches and flaming crosses. This is the terrifying sight of whiteness.

It is perhaps no surprise that Spiral mounted only one joint exhibition. Black artists could not agree on what they should exhibit. Alvin Loving, the first African American artist to have a solo survey at the Whitney Museum, showed hard-edge geometric abstractions there in 1969. The critics loved them, but Lovings fellow black artists scourged him for bowing to the white art scene. He returned to the studio, cut up his canvases and made a completely new kind of art from the fragments, somewhere between collage and political banner.

The spirit of protest keeps exact pace with the times. Melvin Edwardss devastating Lynch Fragments, dark and knotted sculptures formed out of hooks and manacles, speak directly to Klan murders in the early 60s. Noah Purifoys bristling totems, conjuring nameless violence, are fashioned out of garbage from the LA streets following the 1965 Watts riots. Dana Chandlers lime green door, riddled with bullet holes, commemorates the gunning down of a young Black Panther activist named Fred Hampton in his Chicago apartment in 1969.

Prints of Chandlers door were distributed as a reminder of police brutality through the Black Panther newspaper. Back copies at Tate Modern show the art of Emory Douglas in all its graphic zip and register. Revolutionaries preach international solidarity, workers rights and black freedom. In the spectacles of a poor black kid the free breakfasts of the future are reflected. An armed Panther wearing a Self-Defence badge appears in printers Benday dots, a neat (and early) pastiche of Roy Lichtenstein; putting some politics into pop.

Some of the art here doesnt really care too much about appearances. This is especially the case with the evolving pantheon of black heroes, including some pretty crude portraits of James Baldwin and Malcolm X in eye-popping DayGlo. The Wall of Respect in Chicago, a high-profile mural on an abandoned South Side building, seems to have set the tone. This influential project was established in 1967 by the Organisation of Black American Culture to celebrate its stars (and the arguments about who should be included are well documented in a section of this show). But you cant easily recognise Aretha, Smokey and Ornette in the wilfully awkward portraits the way you can immediately hear their music in your head.

If this show had a soundtrack, it would feature all of these musicians and many others depicted here, from John Coltrane to Elaine Brown and Marvin Gaye. Barkley Hendrickss painting Whats Going On an immaculately suave painting of four black men in white suits against a white background, throwing intense focus on their pensive faces pays tribute to Gayes song. And it somehow gets directly into that moment where black protest songs turned into hip commodities. Whats Going On was written in response to police brutality during anti-war protests in Berkeley, but it soon lost that grim association. The song was the fastest-selling Motown single of the time.

Barkley, ever the ironist, also offers easily the most startling painting in this show of himself, naked but for his socks and hat, one hand directing attention to his resplendent genitals. It is a painted retort to a review in 1976 by the imperious New York Times art critic Hilton Kramer, who had described him unconsciously dealing in racial stereotypes as far too slick if brilliantly endowed.

This is a riveting show angry, zestful, ebullient, sardonic, wildly energetic, powerfully direct, occasionally sorrowful and tentative. Even its failures and there are plenty of mediocre works that strive for nothing except blatant public address, from the dreadlock tapestry to the op-art Malcolm X have their historic resonance. But the question irresistibly presents itself, in the end: is the impact more political or aesthetic? Does the choice of form or medium feel secondary?

Some of this art has nothing to do with black rights at all. It is marvellous to see an abstract painting by Alma Thomas, for instance, a gorgeous lattice of red against voluminous blue entitled Mars Dust (the artist had been following Nasas failed 1971 mission to Mars). And some of it wants to be free of race issues altogether.

Martin Puryears Self is a tragic hump of a sculpture. A strange new form, somewhere between mountain, lump and thumb, the height of the artist but inscrutable and stately, it is an unforgettable masterpiece. Made of carved and polished wood, but hollow when you knock it, this is a singular metaphor a mysterious self-portrait, all its secrets held within, as the outer form so beautifully implies. On the other hand, it is painted black.

Puryear, who has a show at Londons Parasol Unit in September, is one of the giants of this show. So is the conceptual artist David Hammons, whose coruscating body prints a black figure with various props on a black ground include the punningly titled Three Spades. But still there are artists here whose work is all but invisible in Britain, as if the discrimination never ends.

Perhaps the biggest revelation is the nonagenarian artist Betye Saar. She hits the nail every time. Her most unforgettable work is a metronome (a nod to Man Ray) with a tiny blackened corpse attached to the needle. Glued to the open lid of the instrument is a newspaper cutting about a black man lynched for refusing to dance to a whites man tune. The object both embodies and expresses the full horror: the corpse will have to keep time for ever, yet the metronome also acts as a reliquary, a tiny coffin commemorating the dead man. Its epigrammatic title is Ive Got Rhythm.

Soul of a Nation: Art in the Age of Black Power is at Tate Modern, London, until 22 October

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July 17, 2017   Posted in: Black Power  Comments Closed

Black Power art show opens in London – euronews

A new exhibition of the art that came out of the American Civil Rights movement as well as the politics of black identity has opened at Londons iconic Tate modern museum.

Called Soul of a Nation: the art of Black Power, it examines the triumphs and tragedies of the civil right movement in the US from the 1960s to the 1980s.

What are the limits or expansiveness of a question or a subject area like Black Art, is that theres not one answer to the question we use this exhibition and were led by the artists, and used each artist and let them tell their version of the answer to that question, or allowed them to reject the question, Zoe Whitley, the co-curator of the exhibition said.

Black Power was a rallying cry for African American pride, autonomy and solidarity, drawing inspiration from newly independent African nations.

Some of the works presented featured some key black figures, who used their platform to speak out against injustices faced by black people at the height of the civil rights movement.

The show runs until October the twenty second.

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A new exhibition is exploring art in the age of Black Power – Konbini – Konbini US

Soul of a Nation: Art in the Age of Black Power is a ground-breaking exhibition at the Tate Modernin London, UK, which aimsto shine a spotlight on the work of black artists active inAmerica in the two decades after 1963.

Benny Anders, ‘Did the Bear Sit Under a Tree?’, (1969), Emmanuel Collection, Estate of Benny Andrews/DACS, London/VAGA, NY2017 (Photo: Tate Modern)

Spanning across12 rooms, the exhibition takes visitors from Chicago to Los Angeles, in a showcase ofthe work of artists using avariety of mediums to question what it means to be black in America. The show draws attention to the dilemmas facing Black artists at the time, said curators Zoe Whitely and Mark Godfrey:

“How should an artist respond to political and cultural changes? Was there a Black art or a Black aesthetic? Should an artist create legible images or make abstract work? []

The exhibition looks at responses to such questions with each room devoted to groups of artists in cities nationwide, or to different kinds of art. While showing strong communities and robust artistic dialogues, it also reveals necessary disagreements about what it meant to be a Black artist at this time.”

Frances Morris, the director of the Tate Modern, called the exhibition a “turning point” for the gallery. It comes as part of a wider effort to expand their collection and focus on artwork from areas of the world and movements that had previously been overlooked.

Emma Amos, ‘Eva the Babysitter’, (1973), Emma Amos. Courtesy of the artist and Ryan Lee Gallery, New York. Licensed by VAGA, New York (Photo: Tate Modern)

The artwork is thrilling in its breadth, and visually stunning: colorful murals, magazines, photographs, collages,paintings and sculptures by both lesser and well-known artists make up the collection.

Soul of a Nationis an embodiment ofthe spirit of the age, emerging from themidst of the Civil Rights era, the thrilling militancy of the Black Power movement, growing interactions with the black diaspora and streams of thoughtcoming out of newly independent African nations. Iconic Black figuressuch as Angela Davis, John Coltrane, Malcolm X and Martin Luther King feature prominently.

A number of events will be taking place alongsidewith the exhibition.Some of the best include a sold-out talk with director Spike Lee on July 12 about the art that influenced his career, an evening of art, debate and music co-hosted by AFROPUNK on July 20 and a discussion with award-winning poet Claudia Rankine on October 12.

Faith Ringgold, ‘American People Series #20: Die’ (1967), The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Purchase; and gift of the Modern Women’s Fund, Faith Ringgold (Photo: Tate Modern)

Betye Saar, ‘Rainbow Mojo’, (1972), Paul-Michael diMeglio, New York, Betye Saar. Courtesy of the Artist and Rober & Tilton, Los Angeles, California (Photo: Tate Modern)

Barkley L. Hendricks, ‘Icon for My Man Superman (Superman Never Saved any Black People – Bobby Seale)’ (1969), Collection of Liz and Eric Lefkofsky, Barkley L. Hendricks. Courtesy of the artist and Jack Shainman Gallery, New York (Photo: Tate Modern)

A playlist of songs about black empowerment was curated in response to the exhibition by Darcus Beese, the president of Island Records. Beese is the son of the British Black Panther activists Barbara Beese and Darcus Howe. Listen to the selected tracks below:

Soul of a Nation: Art in the Age of Black Power is at Tate Modern in London from July 12 to October 22, 2017. The exhibition will move to the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, Arkansas, February 3 to April 23, 2018 and then toBrooklyn Museum, on September 7 till February 3, 2019

Read More ->Marvel’s ‘Black Panther’ Cast Look Flawless In These New Photos

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Soul of a Nation: Art in the Age of Black Power, review – The Telegraph – Telegraph.co.uk

The Encounter at the National Portrait Gallery-review

The most powerful work in this section, Melvin Edwardss Curtain (for William and Peter), a screen of dangling barbed-wire with a fringe of chains is rather thrown away by being hung out of sight of the shows main drag and too close to the wall. If Edwardss claim that he used the wire simply as a linear material with kinks, rather than as a metaphor for, say, social incarceration, isnt quite believable, theres a sense in this section of artists with very diverse agendas that the show can only begin to start exploring who have had a socio-political role forced upon them by the need to band together as black artists simply to get their work seen.

A section on Black Heroes, meanwhile, has been included, you might cynically conclude, to bring in works by white artists Andy Warhol, with a late portrait of Muhammad Ali, and the voguish, but over-rated Alice Neel, with an image of painter Faith Ringgold. If were to have Warhol at all, why not his notorious Race Riot images of the early Sixties?

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Black Power founder Reitu Harris dies | Radio New Zealand News – Radio New Zealand

The founding president of the Black Power gang, Reitu Harris, has died.

Reitu Harris Photo: Supplied

In the 1970s, Mr Harris established the gang to help other Mori boys who had been in state care and were disconnected from their marae and iwi.

In the 1980s, he formed a political relationship with Rob Muldoon and Matiu Rata and was able to establish employment for people living in the city.

The Wellington chapter of Black Power took his body to the steps of Parliament yesterday and performed a haka to acknowledge Mr Harris’ relationships with politicians.

Reitu Harris’s body is carried to the steps of Parliament for a haka. Photo: Supplied

Black Power life member and friend Denis O’Reilly said, even though they were young and rebellious and committed offences, they were not criminals.

“He tried to give young people a notion of recovering their sense of Moridom.

“To an extent, his life’s work has been done. In the ’70s a lot of those young people didn’t know their marae or their hap or their iwi and if you ask this generation now, they do.”

Eugene Ryder of Black Power Wellington said Mr Harris was a hard worker and loved his children and mokopuna.

“He created a safe environment for us to live in and demonstrate that regardless of stature you could actually make a difference and he helped demonstrate leadership among people who struggled to find or receive leadership.”

Jarrod Gilbert, author of the book Patched: The History of New Zealand Gangs said Mr Harris had a great social conscience and fundamentally moulded the Black Power’s pro-society stance.

He said Mr Harris would not let Black Power members use they swastika symbol like the Mongrel Mob, because of what it symbolised.

“There are some incredibly positive elements to Rei Harris but he was still a gangster. He had to fight for his territory and he had to fight for his leadership position and he made no bones about it that dealing marijuana was a key component of the gang scene.

“He wasn’t a saint but within his realm he was a very significant figure and on balance, relative within the gang scene, he was an immensely positive force.”

Mr Harris was born in 1951. He passed away on Sunday and his funeral is expected to be held tomorrow at Rakeiao Marae in Rotoiti.

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Black Power founder Reitu Harris dies | Radio New Zealand News – Radio New Zealand

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Black Power founding president Reitu Harris dies – Stuff.co.nz

Last updated21:02, July 12 2017

ROSS SETFORD

Reitu Harris’ body was taken to Parliament’s steps on Tuesday to mark his relationship with politicians.

The man who established the Black Power gang in the 1970s, Reitu Harris, has died.

As the founding president Harris created the gang to help Mori boys who had been in state care, and were disconnected from their marae and iwi, RNZ reported.

In the 1980s he established political connections with Robert Muldoon and Matiu Rata, and helped create employment for people living in the city.

SUPPLIED/FACEBOOK

The founding president of the gang died on Sunday, July 9.

Black Power life member and friend DenisO’Reillytold RNZ, even though they were young and rebellious and committed offences, they were not criminals.

READ MORE: *Wedding picture with Black Power gang leaves couple with special memory *Get the gang round for a movie: Black Power holds a film festival in Wellington *Mongrel Mob members run out of petrol, unwittingly knock on door of rival gang for help

“He tried to give young people a notion of recovering their sense ofMoridom.

“To an extent, his life’s work has been done. In the ’70s a lot of those young people didn’t know their marae or theirhapor their iwi and if you ask this generation now, they do.”

Harris worked hard and loved his whanau, Eugene Ryder, a Black Power member in Wellington said.

“He created a safe environment for us to live in and demonstrate that regardless of stature you could actually make a difference and he helped demonstrate leadership among people who struggled to find or receive leadership.”

The Wellington chapter of Black Power took his body to the steps of Parliament on Tuesday and performed a haka to acknowledge Harris’ relationships with politicians.

Harris’ died on Sunday and his funeral is expected to be held on Thursday at Rakeiao Marae in Rotoiti.

-Stuff

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Exhibit highlights current relevance of 60s black power art – GO! and Express

The Sixties was the heroic age of African-American politics, producing movements and concepts whose implications have reverberated through the world ever since: Civil rights, black power, the Black Panthers. The current Black Lives Matter campaign refers directly back to the triumphs and tragedies of that time. This suggests the Tates new blockbuster exhibition on Art in the Age of Black Power wont be just another show of quirky Sixties stuff, but a massing of images and ideas that are still powerfully relevant today. Where an earlier generation of African-American artists were marginalised by an art world that was, the show argues, systemically racist, the new generation were determined to fight their way in by all means necessary, to paraphrase Malcolm X. The initial impression of the show is of a bewildering array of groups and movements with often wildly divergent ideas about what a black aesthetic should be, or if there should even be one; whether art should be about change, such as the mural projects of the Chicago-based Organisation of Black American Culture, or if it should embody actual change, as seen in the abstract murals of Harlems Smokehouse Associates. While the show includes sections on Black Panther posters and powerful street photography with images of marches and riots, the fact that artists have chosen, by and large, not to focus on politics perhaps reflects a common cause, with artist Barkley Hendrickss assertion: I wasnt interested in speaking for all black folks (but in trying) to be as good a painter as I could be. The Daily Telegraph The show is on at The Tate, London until October. Visittate.org.uk This article was originally published in The Times.

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‘Black Panther,’ ‘Luke Cage,’ and the Rise of Black Superheroes on Screen – Variety

Diversity is on the uptick in comics-inspired TV and film. This story first appeared in the July 19, 2017 issue of Variety. Subscribe today.See more. When Luke Cage exec producer Cheo Hodari Coker declared at his shows San Diego Comic-Con panel last year, The world is ready for a bulletproof black man, the crowd erupted in cheers. So did the internet. Right before I said it, I knew what I was feeling, Coker later told Variety. I had said variations of it during the day. It was coming from an emotional place, but I didnt think it was going to reverberate the way that it did. But Im glad that it did. The Luke Cage panel came in July on the heels of widespread protests sparked by the killings of unarmed black men by white police officers in Louisiana and Minnesota. When the show premiered in September, it became the first live-action series about a black superhero since 1994s MANTIS. Now its getting some company. Next season the CW will premiere Black Lightning, based on the DC Comics superhero. And next year Marvel will debut Black Panther, the studios first feature with a black hero in the lead. Social, political and business trends have converged to put black superheroes at the centers of burgeoning television and film franchises after years of being relegated to supporting status. Dan Evans, VP of creative affairs at DC Entertainment, cites the emergence of black superheroes on-screen as part of a larger trend in television and film. Theres so many examples now, from 24 to The Fast and the Furious to Creed, says Evans, whose office door features an oversize image of Cyborg, the black teen hero who will play a key role in the upcoming Justice League movie. Weve seen again and again that if you tell a good story with these characters, people will come. In superhero comics, the first appeals to underserved minority audiences came with the debuts of Black Panther (1966), Luke Cage (1972), Black Lightning (1977) and others. These black superheroes emerge parallel to the changes in American race relations in the late 1960s with the emergence of the Black Power movement, says Adilifu Nama, author of Super Black: American Pop Culture and Black Superheroes. The movements push for equality and representation rippled through popular culture. It wouldnt be very sensible to think that these demands for diversity would only be in the realm of lunch counters and bus transportation. Those demands sometimes yielded awkward responses in comics, a field populated in the 60s and 70s almost exclusively by white men. Cages speech, informed by blaxploitation movies, was chock-full of nonsense expressions such as Sweet Christmas! A draft version of Black Lightning, called the Black Bomber, was a racist white man who transformed into a black superhero when stressed out. Black Panther co-creator Jack Kirby wanted to name the character Coal Tiger. From awkward beginnings, black superheroes became modern and more authentic. MacArthur Fellow Ta-Nehisi Coates, for instance, is writing Black Panther for Marvel Comics. Now, a decade and a half after Sam Raimis Spider-Man, black heroes are migrating to the screen. I think what we always have to put in context is that were just maybe one generation up out of Jim Crow, says Salim Akil, exec producer of Black Lightning. What youre beginning to see is the growth of America, and part of that growth has always been and always will be the African-American experience. As we grow as a people, youre going to see more and more stories about African-Americans. He adds, If theres any community that needs a superhero, its our community. Akil points to the box office success of director Patty Jenkins Wonder Woman as an example of how an authentic approach to a character can resonate with and beyond an underserved audience. Theres a difference between when a woman makes a superhero movie about a woman and a man makes a superhero movie about a woman, he says. At a time when Empire is the highest-rated show on broadcast TV in the 18-49 demo, it is easy to see why studios and networks would aspire to Wonder Woman-style success with black superheroes. Were representing the audience now, Evans says. When you see the Latino audience is the biggest audience to come out on opening day for a movie, when you see networks launch shows with large black audiences, you see that things have changed. Its not just white guys watching TV anymore. In order to bring those audiences, you have to give them something that they recognize.

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July 20, 2017   Posted in: Black Power  Comments Closed

Black Power members arrested for serious assaults in Dunedin – The Press

Last updated20:02, July 19 2017 DAVID HALLETT/STUFF Six Black Power affiliates have been arrested after a man was kicked in the head and a patu was swung at another man in separate incidents. Police havearrested five Black Power members and one associate for serious assaults in Dunedin. The menwere arrestedon Wednesdayafter two serious assaults in late June involving the Mangu Kaha Black Power gang. The first assault,a fight between two groups of men,occurred in the early hours of June 25 on High St, near the Dunedin Casino. A 25-year-old man was taken to hospital with moderate injuries after being kicked in the head. READ MORE: *Man injured in brawl outside Dunedin Casino *Car ramming sparks gang fight with patu-wielding man in Dunedin The second occurred around 9.30am on June 28on Stafford St, where up to six members of the gang attacked two men on the street. Witnesses said a heavily-tattooed gang member swung a patu at another man. A victim of the assault required medical attention. Police charged the six men with serious offences, including wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm, assault with intent to injureand assault with a weapon. Five of the men have been remanded in custody to re-appear in the Dunedin District Court at later dates. “Police do not tolerate any violence being committed in the community and will put every resource available into investigating these incidents in order to hold those responsible to account,” Detective Sergeant Nik Leigh said. “We received a huge amount of support from members of the community during this investigation, which is great and indicates to me that they will not accept such violence.” -Stuff

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July 19, 2017   Posted in: Black Power  Comments Closed

Soul of a Nation review the extraordinary art of the black power era – The Guardian

Icon for My Man Superman (Superman Never Saved any Black People Bobby Seale), 1969 by Barkley Hendricks. Photograph: Barkley L Hendricks; courtesy of the artist and Jack Shainman Gallery, New York A man with shades and a perfectly picked afro stands against a flat silver background. He is dressed in a Superman T-shirt. His muscular arms are folded in a painting as sharply defined as a medieval icon, yet as modern as his aviator shades. The canvas, from 1969, is highly stylised and irreducibly cool. This is the self-portrait of Barkley L Hendricks, who died in April at the age of 72. Its visual double take black man in white mans costume, and in his painterly tradition is multiplied by the mordant title. Icon for My Man Superman (Superman Never Saved Any Black People Bobby Seale) quotes a famous remark of the founder of the Black Panthers. But Hendricks has no need of Superman. He saves himself hero of his own fiercely intelligent painting. This show is angry, zestful, ebullient, sardonic, wildly energetic, powerfully direct, occasionally sorrowful If Hendricks is a new name at Tate Modern, he is by no means alone. Nine-tenths of the cast list may well be unfamiliar. Soul of a Nation: Art in the Age of Black Power covers 20 years of black art, beginning with the 1963 March on Washington and the inauguration of the Spiral group in New York. This artists collective formed specifically to ask what black art could, or should, be. These two questions which are by no means the same get different answers all through this fantastically dynamic show. Spiral decided to work only in black and white, allowing for all the politics of contrast. Some believed in unadulterated rhetoric clashes and protests, news images of violence enlarged or adapted. Reginald Gammons Freedom Now simply shows black figures marching straight towards you, placards barely cropped by the frame: a head-on confrontation in itself. But directly opposite, and strategically placed, is a tremendous painting by Norman Lewis. Lewis was an abstract expressionist, and at first sight his black-and-white canvas appears entirely abstract arrays of geometric white shapes flickering against sepulchral darkness. It is only after your eyes adjust to the visual dissonance that the true subject of the painting emerges: these are the triangular hoods of Klansmen gathering by night with their torches and flaming crosses. This is the terrifying sight of whiteness. It is perhaps no surprise that Spiral mounted only one joint exhibition. Black artists could not agree on what they should exhibit. Alvin Loving, the first African American artist to have a solo survey at the Whitney Museum, showed hard-edge geometric abstractions there in 1969. The critics loved them, but Lovings fellow black artists scourged him for bowing to the white art scene. He returned to the studio, cut up his canvases and made a completely new kind of art from the fragments, somewhere between collage and political banner. The spirit of protest keeps exact pace with the times. Melvin Edwardss devastating Lynch Fragments, dark and knotted sculptures formed out of hooks and manacles, speak directly to Klan murders in the early 60s. Noah Purifoys bristling totems, conjuring nameless violence, are fashioned out of garbage from the LA streets following the 1965 Watts riots. Dana Chandlers lime green door, riddled with bullet holes, commemorates the gunning down of a young Black Panther activist named Fred Hampton in his Chicago apartment in 1969. Prints of Chandlers door were distributed as a reminder of police brutality through the Black Panther newspaper. Back copies at Tate Modern show the art of Emory Douglas in all its graphic zip and register. Revolutionaries preach international solidarity, workers rights and black freedom. In the spectacles of a poor black kid the free breakfasts of the future are reflected. An armed Panther wearing a Self-Defence badge appears in printers Benday dots, a neat (and early) pastiche of Roy Lichtenstein; putting some politics into pop. Some of the art here doesnt really care too much about appearances. This is especially the case with the evolving pantheon of black heroes, including some pretty crude portraits of James Baldwin and Malcolm X in eye-popping DayGlo. The Wall of Respect in Chicago, a high-profile mural on an abandoned South Side building, seems to have set the tone. This influential project was established in 1967 by the Organisation of Black American Culture to celebrate its stars (and the arguments about who should be included are well documented in a section of this show). But you cant easily recognise Aretha, Smokey and Ornette in the wilfully awkward portraits the way you can immediately hear their music in your head. If this show had a soundtrack, it would feature all of these musicians and many others depicted here, from John Coltrane to Elaine Brown and Marvin Gaye. Barkley Hendrickss painting Whats Going On an immaculately suave painting of four black men in white suits against a white background, throwing intense focus on their pensive faces pays tribute to Gayes song. And it somehow gets directly into that moment where black protest songs turned into hip commodities. Whats Going On was written in response to police brutality during anti-war protests in Berkeley, but it soon lost that grim association. The song was the fastest-selling Motown single of the time. Barkley, ever the ironist, also offers easily the most startling painting in this show of himself, naked but for his socks and hat, one hand directing attention to his resplendent genitals. It is a painted retort to a review in 1976 by the imperious New York Times art critic Hilton Kramer, who had described him unconsciously dealing in racial stereotypes as far too slick if brilliantly endowed. This is a riveting show angry, zestful, ebullient, sardonic, wildly energetic, powerfully direct, occasionally sorrowful and tentative. Even its failures and there are plenty of mediocre works that strive for nothing except blatant public address, from the dreadlock tapestry to the op-art Malcolm X have their historic resonance. But the question irresistibly presents itself, in the end: is the impact more political or aesthetic? Does the choice of form or medium feel secondary? Some of this art has nothing to do with black rights at all. It is marvellous to see an abstract painting by Alma Thomas, for instance, a gorgeous lattice of red against voluminous blue entitled Mars Dust (the artist had been following Nasas failed 1971 mission to Mars). And some of it wants to be free of race issues altogether. Martin Puryears Self is a tragic hump of a sculpture. A strange new form, somewhere between mountain, lump and thumb, the height of the artist but inscrutable and stately, it is an unforgettable masterpiece. Made of carved and polished wood, but hollow when you knock it, this is a singular metaphor a mysterious self-portrait, all its secrets held within, as the outer form so beautifully implies. On the other hand, it is painted black. Puryear, who has a show at Londons Parasol Unit in September, is one of the giants of this show. So is the conceptual artist David Hammons, whose coruscating body prints a black figure with various props on a black ground include the punningly titled Three Spades. But still there are artists here whose work is all but invisible in Britain, as if the discrimination never ends. Perhaps the biggest revelation is the nonagenarian artist Betye Saar. She hits the nail every time. Her most unforgettable work is a metronome (a nod to Man Ray) with a tiny blackened corpse attached to the needle. Glued to the open lid of the instrument is a newspaper cutting about a black man lynched for refusing to dance to a whites man tune. The object both embodies and expresses the full horror: the corpse will have to keep time for ever, yet the metronome also acts as a reliquary, a tiny coffin commemorating the dead man. Its epigrammatic title is Ive Got Rhythm. Soul of a Nation: Art in the Age of Black Power is at Tate Modern, London, until 22 October

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July 17, 2017   Posted in: Black Power  Comments Closed

Black Power art show opens in London – euronews

A new exhibition of the art that came out of the American Civil Rights movement as well as the politics of black identity has opened at Londons iconic Tate modern museum. Called Soul of a Nation: the art of Black Power, it examines the triumphs and tragedies of the civil right movement in the US from the 1960s to the 1980s. What are the limits or expansiveness of a question or a subject area like Black Art, is that theres not one answer to the question we use this exhibition and were led by the artists, and used each artist and let them tell their version of the answer to that question, or allowed them to reject the question, Zoe Whitley, the co-curator of the exhibition said. Black Power was a rallying cry for African American pride, autonomy and solidarity, drawing inspiration from newly independent African nations. Some of the works presented featured some key black figures, who used their platform to speak out against injustices faced by black people at the height of the civil rights movement. The show runs until October the twenty second.

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July 14, 2017   Posted in: Black Power  Comments Closed

A new exhibition is exploring art in the age of Black Power – Konbini – Konbini US

Soul of a Nation: Art in the Age of Black Power is a ground-breaking exhibition at the Tate Modernin London, UK, which aimsto shine a spotlight on the work of black artists active inAmerica in the two decades after 1963. Benny Anders, ‘Did the Bear Sit Under a Tree?’, (1969), Emmanuel Collection, Estate of Benny Andrews/DACS, London/VAGA, NY2017 (Photo: Tate Modern) Spanning across12 rooms, the exhibition takes visitors from Chicago to Los Angeles, in a showcase ofthe work of artists using avariety of mediums to question what it means to be black in America. The show draws attention to the dilemmas facing Black artists at the time, said curators Zoe Whitely and Mark Godfrey: “How should an artist respond to political and cultural changes? Was there a Black art or a Black aesthetic? Should an artist create legible images or make abstract work? [] The exhibition looks at responses to such questions with each room devoted to groups of artists in cities nationwide, or to different kinds of art. While showing strong communities and robust artistic dialogues, it also reveals necessary disagreements about what it meant to be a Black artist at this time.” Frances Morris, the director of the Tate Modern, called the exhibition a “turning point” for the gallery. It comes as part of a wider effort to expand their collection and focus on artwork from areas of the world and movements that had previously been overlooked. Emma Amos, ‘Eva the Babysitter’, (1973), Emma Amos. Courtesy of the artist and Ryan Lee Gallery, New York. Licensed by VAGA, New York (Photo: Tate Modern) The artwork is thrilling in its breadth, and visually stunning: colorful murals, magazines, photographs, collages,paintings and sculptures by both lesser and well-known artists make up the collection. Soul of a Nationis an embodiment ofthe spirit of the age, emerging from themidst of the Civil Rights era, the thrilling militancy of the Black Power movement, growing interactions with the black diaspora and streams of thoughtcoming out of newly independent African nations. Iconic Black figuressuch as Angela Davis, John Coltrane, Malcolm X and Martin Luther King feature prominently. A number of events will be taking place alongsidewith the exhibition.Some of the best include a sold-out talk with director Spike Lee on July 12 about the art that influenced his career, an evening of art, debate and music co-hosted by AFROPUNK on July 20 and a discussion with award-winning poet Claudia Rankine on October 12. Faith Ringgold, ‘American People Series #20: Die’ (1967), The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Purchase; and gift of the Modern Women’s Fund, Faith Ringgold (Photo: Tate Modern) Betye Saar, ‘Rainbow Mojo’, (1972), Paul-Michael diMeglio, New York, Betye Saar. Courtesy of the Artist and Rober & Tilton, Los Angeles, California (Photo: Tate Modern) Barkley L. Hendricks, ‘Icon for My Man Superman (Superman Never Saved any Black People – Bobby Seale)’ (1969), Collection of Liz and Eric Lefkofsky, Barkley L. Hendricks. Courtesy of the artist and Jack Shainman Gallery, New York (Photo: Tate Modern) A playlist of songs about black empowerment was curated in response to the exhibition by Darcus Beese, the president of Island Records. Beese is the son of the British Black Panther activists Barbara Beese and Darcus Howe. Listen to the selected tracks below: Soul of a Nation: Art in the Age of Black Power is at Tate Modern in London from July 12 to October 22, 2017. The exhibition will move to the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, Arkansas, February 3 to April 23, 2018 and then toBrooklyn Museum, on September 7 till February 3, 2019 Read More -> Marvel’s ‘Black Panther’ Cast Look Flawless In These New Photos

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July 13, 2017   Posted in: Black Power  Comments Closed

Soul of a Nation: Art in the Age of Black Power, review – The Telegraph – Telegraph.co.uk

The Encounter at the National Portrait Gallery-review The most powerful work in this section, Melvin Edwardss Curtain (for William and Peter), a screen of dangling barbed-wire with a fringe of chains is rather thrown away by being hung out of sight of the shows main drag and too close to the wall. If Edwardss claim that he used the wire simply as a linear material with kinks, rather than as a metaphor for, say, social incarceration, isnt quite believable, theres a sense in this section of artists with very diverse agendas that the show can only begin to start exploring who have had a socio-political role forced upon them by the need to band together as black artists simply to get their work seen. A section on Black Heroes, meanwhile, has been included, you might cynically conclude, to bring in works by white artists Andy Warhol, with a late portrait of Muhammad Ali, and the voguish, but over-rated Alice Neel, with an image of painter Faith Ringgold. If were to have Warhol at all, why not his notorious Race Riot images of the early Sixties?

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July 12, 2017   Posted in: Black Power  Comments Closed

Black Power founder Reitu Harris dies | Radio New Zealand News – Radio New Zealand

The founding president of the Black Power gang, Reitu Harris, has died. Reitu Harris Photo: Supplied In the 1970s, Mr Harris established the gang to help other Mori boys who had been in state care and were disconnected from their marae and iwi. In the 1980s, he formed a political relationship with Rob Muldoon and Matiu Rata and was able to establish employment for people living in the city. The Wellington chapter of Black Power took his body to the steps of Parliament yesterday and performed a haka to acknowledge Mr Harris’ relationships with politicians. Reitu Harris’s body is carried to the steps of Parliament for a haka. Photo: Supplied Black Power life member and friend Denis O’Reilly said, even though they were young and rebellious and committed offences, they were not criminals. “He tried to give young people a notion of recovering their sense of Moridom. “To an extent, his life’s work has been done. In the ’70s a lot of those young people didn’t know their marae or their hap or their iwi and if you ask this generation now, they do.” Eugene Ryder of Black Power Wellington said Mr Harris was a hard worker and loved his children and mokopuna. “He created a safe environment for us to live in and demonstrate that regardless of stature you could actually make a difference and he helped demonstrate leadership among people who struggled to find or receive leadership.” Jarrod Gilbert, author of the book Patched: The History of New Zealand Gangs said Mr Harris had a great social conscience and fundamentally moulded the Black Power’s pro-society stance. He said Mr Harris would not let Black Power members use they swastika symbol like the Mongrel Mob, because of what it symbolised. “There are some incredibly positive elements to Rei Harris but he was still a gangster. He had to fight for his territory and he had to fight for his leadership position and he made no bones about it that dealing marijuana was a key component of the gang scene. “He wasn’t a saint but within his realm he was a very significant figure and on balance, relative within the gang scene, he was an immensely positive force.” Mr Harris was born in 1951. He passed away on Sunday and his funeral is expected to be held tomorrow at Rakeiao Marae in Rotoiti.

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July 12, 2017   Posted in: Black Power  Comments Closed

Black Power founding president Reitu Harris dies – Stuff.co.nz

Last updated21:02, July 12 2017 ROSS SETFORD Reitu Harris’ body was taken to Parliament’s steps on Tuesday to mark his relationship with politicians. The man who established the Black Power gang in the 1970s, Reitu Harris, has died. As the founding president Harris created the gang to help Mori boys who had been in state care, and were disconnected from their marae and iwi, RNZ reported. In the 1980s he established political connections with Robert Muldoon and Matiu Rata, and helped create employment for people living in the city. SUPPLIED/FACEBOOK The founding president of the gang died on Sunday, July 9. Black Power life member and friend DenisO’Reillytold RNZ, even though they were young and rebellious and committed offences, they were not criminals. READ MORE: *Wedding picture with Black Power gang leaves couple with special memory *Get the gang round for a movie: Black Power holds a film festival in Wellington *Mongrel Mob members run out of petrol, unwittingly knock on door of rival gang for help “He tried to give young people a notion of recovering their sense ofMoridom. “To an extent, his life’s work has been done. In the ’70s a lot of those young people didn’t know their marae or theirhapor their iwi and if you ask this generation now, they do.” Harris worked hard and loved his whanau, Eugene Ryder, a Black Power member in Wellington said. “He created a safe environment for us to live in and demonstrate that regardless of stature you could actually make a difference and he helped demonstrate leadership among people who struggled to find or receive leadership.” The Wellington chapter of Black Power took his body to the steps of Parliament on Tuesday and performed a haka to acknowledge Harris’ relationships with politicians. Harris’ died on Sunday and his funeral is expected to be held on Thursday at Rakeiao Marae in Rotoiti. -Stuff

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July 12, 2017   Posted in: Black Power  Comments Closed


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