In honor of Toni Morrison’s 89th birthday on February 18, the Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM) will launch “Happy Birthday, Toni! A Celebration of Black Women,” a week of screenings, conversations, and performances. The events are curated by Black women artists, activists, scholars, and cultural leaders who are inspired by the late author.
Morrison, the Nobel Prize laureate in literature who gained worldwide fame for pathbreaking works like Beloved (1987), Song of Solomon (1977), Sula (1973), and The Bluest Eye (1970), died in August of 2019 at age 88.
The series will open with The Pursuit of Vulnerability, a program curated by filmmaker and performance artist Ayanna Dozier. The program will pay tribute to Morrison and Audre Lorde (who was also born on February 18) with the documentary A Litany for Survival: The Life and Work of Audre Lorde (Ada Gay Griffin and Michelle Parkerson, 1995) and the short film All That is Left Unsaid (Michele Pearson Clarke, 2014). The screenings will be followed by a conversation with Dozier and director Michele Pearson Clarke.
Other programs throughout the week include Ava Duvernay’s film I Will Follow (2010), with an introduction by Racquel Gates; Care Cinema, a selection of experimental and archival shorts curated by Melissa Lyde and followed by a conversation with Lyde and Zahra Patterson; and Lilac Dust: Traces of Toni, an “evening of remembrance and reflection” through performance, dance, poetry, and speeches, presented by actor and playwright Eisa Davis, and followed by a dance party with DJ Reborn.
The series will continue with a Tribute to Toni Morrison: Archival Tour, a closer look at the Black Book, an encyclopedic survey of the Black experience in America edited by Morrison, in the BAM Hamm Archives, led by archivist Zakiya Collier; Toni, Adapted, a screening of Beloved (1998), starring Oprah Winfrey and Thandie Newton, with a pre-screening discussion about adaptations between Gaylene Gould and artist Ja’tovia Gary; and the short film program And She Was Loved: A Suite of Sounds and Images for Toni Morrison, a discussion of the themes of Morrison’s work, concluded with screenings of short performances by Nina Simone and Jessye Norman, programmed by Jessica Lynne and Tayler Montague.
When: February 18-25
Where: Various locations at the Brooklyn Academy of Music
Visit BAM’s website for more information.
Black American Portraits features over two centuries of artworks centering Black artists and subjects.
A love of Black art and history was the bedrock of the friendship between Dell Marie Hamilton and Susan Denker, who had markedly different racial, economic, and generational subject positions.
With what he says is his final museum bow, Fitzpatrick shines a light on the colorful diversity that composes his city.
The question of race — however hidden, however camouflaged by the shouts of the crowds — is a constant theme and an unanswered challenge.
Weisman Museum of Art Presents Highlights From the Kinsey African American Art and History Collection
An exhibition at Pepperdine University in Malibu chronicles the achievements and contributions of African Americans over the last five centuries.
Brink is not a fun book, and it shouldn’t be.
Those who want to visit the museum muse have a surgical, KN95, N95, or KF94 face mask.
The residency program awards 17 visual artists a year of rent-free studio space in New York City. Applications are due by February 15.
This week, another Benin bronze is returned to Nigeria, looking at the Black Arts Movement in the US South, Senegal’s vibrant new architecture, why films are more gray, and much more.
It is precisely Moon’s openness to using any source that makes her work flamboyant, captivating, odd, funny, smart, uncanny, comically monstrous, and unsettling. And, most of all, over the top.
Tensions between resistance to Surrealism as cultural imperialism and the embrace of it as a universalist vision of freedom unfettered run through the show.