Category: Youth Written by Roz Edward, National Content Director
(Real Times News Service)--The Bronner Sisters, identical twins Kirstie and Kristie Bronner, have been named co-valedictorians for the Spelman College Class of 2013. With a 4.0 GPA, the Bronners are the first twins to receive the designation in the history of Spelman.
Last Updated on Tuesday, 07 May 2013 11:23
Category: Youth Written by CNN
Students danced for hours to music provided by Pete's Mobile DJ Service from Houston DJ Pete Armendariz read about the integrated prom on CNN.com and offered up his services at no cost. (CNN Photo/Brandon Ancil)
by Jamie Gumbrecht
WILCOX COUNTY, Georgia (CNN) -- It's a springtime tradition in this stretch of the magnolia midlands for crowds to gather at high school students' proms. They'll cheer for teens in tuxedos and gowns while an announcer reads what the students will do once they leave this pecan grove skyline.
Last Updated on Monday, 06 May 2013 16:00
Category: Youth Written by Rebecca Nuttall - Courier Staff Writer
NO WLS 4 AACAS—Students commit to end Wylie Lynch behavior. (Photo by J.L. Martello)
Last year, the Website Twitter gave birth to a new social networking feud: “#teamlightskinned” vs. “#teamdarkskinned.” The hashtags are meant to represent the superiority of one kind of African-American skin tone over another, but the feud is nothing new.
At the African American Centers for Advanced Studies Council 17th Annual Symposium April 26, members of the AACAS illustrated how the behavior on Twitter is a continuation of the Willie Lynch Syndrome. This syndrome is derived from a speech allegedly given in 1712 by British slave owner Willie Lynch about the best methods for controlling slaves.
“In my bag here, I have a fool proof method for controlling Black Slaves. I guarantee everyone of you that if installed correctly, it will control the slaves for at least 300 years. My method is simple and members of your family and any Overseer can use it,” says a document of the speech, although some question its authenticity. “I have outlined a number of difference(s) among the slaves; and I take these differences and make them bigger. I use fear, distrust, and envy for control purposes.”
Under the theme “United We Stand, Divided We Fall,” AACAS students proposed examples of how WLS pervades present day society by creating a divide in the African-American community. The students also said WLS is responsible for Black-on-Black violence because it creates rivalries between different neighborhoods.
“This is a direct result of the WLS when it states, ‘whether the slaves live in a valley, on a hill, east, west, north, or south.’ Where is the logic in this? First, we were being killed off by other races, now we’ve taken it into our own hands with gun violence,” said student Sovren Gray, who led the AACAS’s presentation on WLS. “What does this say about us as people? Are we so far gone?”
Gray also talked about the “good hair” vs. “bad hair” debate, depicted in comedian Chris Rock’s movie “Good Hair.” In the WLS this is defined as coarse hair vs. fine hair.
“So we need to ask ourselves, are we still Willie Lynching? What is good hair? Who’s to say our hair is bad,” Gray said. “Are we going along with the WLS every time we refer to our hair as nappy or not good?”
Other examples of present day WLS included rivalries between men and women and different age groups. In conclusion, Gray asked his peers to write down their own WLS behavior and to tear up the piece of paper as a symbol that they will not continue to perpetuate this behavior.
“In the words of Bob Marley, ‘It is time we emancipate ourselves from mental slavery, none but ourselves can free our minds,’” Gray said. “Now let’s stand together with your papers and say three times, no WLS for AACAS.” Gray continued, “And then tear up our past endorsements of the WLS. Again, united we stand, divided we fall.”
The AACAS Council was established to support and encourage African-American CAS students. The council works to provide inspiration, learning, exposure, support and advocacy.
Last Updated on Sunday, 05 May 2013 15:48
Category: Youth Written by Associated Press
President Barack Obama speaks at Ohio State University's spring commencement ceremony May 5, in Columbus, Ohio. (AP Photo/Mark Duncan)
by Josh Lederman
Associated Press Writer
COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — A year to the day after kicking off his victorious re-election campaign on this college campus, President Barack Obama returned to Ohio State University and told graduates that only through vigorous participation in their democracy can they right an ill-functioning government and break through relentless cynicism about the nation's future.
Last Updated on Sunday, 05 May 2013 16:34
Category: Youth Written by Courier Newsroom
2012-2013 Fellows--The August Wilson Center is proud to include Nathan James, Bridgette Perdue, Marlana Vassar, Josh Wilder and Nikki Young in the 2012-13 Fellowship program. This week, learn about their current projects as they prepare for their First Voice Festival debut May 17 – 25.
"Wake Up And Dream"
May 17 | 8 pm | $10
Wake Up And Dream
If there’s one thing I’ve learned it’s that everyone dreams – and not just the sleepy story kind. I’m talking about the “idea-I-can’t-get-out-of-my-mind” type dream.
That persistent thought, that either makes you smile every time you think it, or grimace in frustration of the long journey ahead to accomplish it. That one thing that drives your days and keeps you up at night.
It’s time to Wake Up And Dream.
“Wake Up And Dream”, my project for the AWC First Voice Festival, is a world premier music concert. This high-energy show will have music, backup dancers, a full band, visual art, flame-throwing— okay, maybe not flame throwing, but it’s gonna be pretty exciting!
I created this dynamic show for one purpose: Inspiration. I wanted to produce something that inspires others to no longer sleep on their potential or allow circumstances to stop them from pursuing what they really want out of life.
In the beginning we set out with so much hope and courage, but then… life happens. Sometimes, if you’re like me, you get so caught up in the day-to-day, that you forget about your deepest passion. It’s time to remember. It’s time to wake up.
It has been my dream to sing and dance to my own music. It has been my dream to do a performance with a baby grand piano. It has been my dream to do what I love for a living. The August Wilson Center Fellows Program has been a dream come true. And it is my desire that after Wake Up And Dream on Friday May 17, you feel inspired to make your own dreams reality.
P.S. For inspiration and to stay updated on the Wake Up And Dream concert, find #WUAD2013 on Twitter. You can also visit my website at www.BridgettePerdue.com.
"Still" and "Township Safari"
May 18 | 8 pm | $10
Another black man is about to be born. In the safe warm crevice that is his womb, he is able to move freely, as he corresponds with his creator. The world which he once knew dries up before him as he is thrust out into the throngs of a different, colder world. Here, he will learn to fight against the raging winds of prejudice and misfortune before he ultimately learns that in order to find peace, he must be still. Using the body as the primary medium of storytelling, as well as personal narrative of director and performer, this performance examines issues of perception identity in contemporary society.
Luthando, a poor South African boy, signs up to be part of an international cultural awareness program called Township Safari. In order to provide for his sick mother and his education, he opens up his home and his life for the world to explore.
MARLANA ADELE VASSAR
May 17 | 7 pm | Free and open to the public
May 23 | 7 pm | Free and open to the public
My body of work was developed from observing various performances within the Cultural Trust. Using performance art as my source, I felt inspired to create visual narratives that focused on movement. During the process I concentrated on using all of the elements within the paintings to express movement not only through the figures, but also through color, shapes and design.
The one consistent element vibrating throughout the images and theme was that of call and response, I felt that a body of work deeply rooted in the African diaspora should, therefore, express that same dynamic within it.
Exhibition will be on display through August.
"Things Not Seen" staged reading and theatrical trailer premiere
May 24 | 8 pm | Free and open to the public
Nikki Young is writing a screenplay for a feature film called "Things Not Seen". She will present a staged reading of the script along with a preview trailer.
"Things Not Seen” will be a suspenseful drama that revolves around one woman’s discovery of devastating secrets, intertwined with a larger exploration of societal issues facing the African American community.
The film will explore a number of issues such as: cycle of poverty and violence, systematic racism and lack of access, disproportionate incarceration rates and struggling inner city school systems. The goal is to develop a suspenseful storyline that explores these social issues by weaving them throughout a compelling character driven narrative.
Learn more about Nikkiyo Films online:
Watch Nikkiyo Films: vimeo.com/nikkiyofilms
May 25 | 8 pm | $10
As a kid growing up in Pittsburgh in the 1990’s, Nathan often found himself living in two completely different worlds. On one end, he grew up in a neighborhood heavily induced with poverty, drug activity, and gang violence. On the other end, he was fortunate enough to have parents who scraped together what little money they had to involve him in acting classes and conservatories to distract him from the allure of street life (in which most of his childhood friends fell into). This gave him a unique opportunity to gain a social education by becoming an observer of the two different ways of life (especially since he’s never been able to completely fit in to either environment because of his affiliation with the other). He wasn’t “Hood” enough” to be completely “Hood” because of his interest in the arts, yet he was too much of a product of his upbringing to be completely accepted among the “Privileged” in his acting classes. The reclusion from both worlds transitioned from childhood resentment to a sociological advantage in his artistic endeavors.
Through spoken word poetry, monologues, movement and multi-media imagery; Nathan James’ one-man show, Growing Pains, illuminates the voice of the true authentic culture of the Hip Hop generation. It takes a first-hand look at the births of the mentalities of urban African-American males, as opposed to the constant highlighting of stereotypical behaviors found in music videos, social media, and nightly news.
Growing Pains explores how we end up where we are in life based on our personal experiences. It examines the influence of media and upbringing over the way we view politics, beauty, each other, and most importantly ourselves. It taps into the part of the human spirit that enables us to empathize with one another as individuals, even if we can’t always relate to each other’s life experiences.
Originally published April 15, 2012
The August Wilson Center for African American Culture has announced its 2012-2013 August Wilson Center Fellows. Established in 2009, the annual cash awards support the needs of African-American artists and artists of African descent living and working in Southwestern Pennsylvania.
This year’s August Wilson Center Fellows are: Nikki Young, Media Arts; Joshua Wilder, Theatre; Bridgette Perdue, Music and Interdisciplinary Performance; Nathan James, Theatre; and Marlana Vassar, Visual Arts.
Through the fellowships, local artists will have new venues to create and present their own works of art, pursue individualized career advancement, participate in collaborative creative and marketing projects, strengthen community connections, acquire financial services and collect a regular stipend.
“The mission of the AWC is to preserve and present experiences of African-American culture, articulated through the media of theater, dance, music and visual arts. The primary audience of our presentations is the African-American community of Western Pa. But within this large population, our most important constituency is African-American youth. Our Fellows program serves as a two-way portal of information from the AWC to this youth population and for cultural information from this population, back to the AWC. The Fellows program helps us to fulfill our mission as it also provides us with cultural raw material from which to create additional cultural artifacts” explains co-executive director of the Center Sala Udin.
The fellowships are awarded for approximately one year. The stipends provide artists with an economic freedom to focus on their individual practices over the year exploring, experimenting and developing their work more fully.
The selections were made through a two-phase peer review process involving preliminary and final selection panels comprised of regional arts professionals and August Wilson Center Artistic Directors. Fellowships may be awarded at any stage of the artist’s career—from early to mature.
Eligible artists may work in any of the following disciplines: music, dance, theatre, visual arts, literary arts and interdisciplinary mediums. An average of five fellowships are awarded annually.
Last Updated on Monday, 29 April 2013 18:54
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