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Comics and Graphic Narratives; A Global Cultural Commons

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Celebrate the 25th Anniversary of Spike Lee's Iconic Film Do The Right Thing

*Philadelphia
Free Screening of Spike Lee's Do the Right Thing at the Church of the Advocate
Saturday, June 28, 6:00 pm, Do the Right Thing: Through the Lens of the Black Aesthetic, Church of the Advocate, 1801 W Diamond St, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19121


Following the viewing of the film there will be a panel discussion. The panel will reflect different perspectives such as hip-hop, activism, film and more. The overall theme of the discussion will be black aesthetics. Q&A will take place after the panel discussion.
Panelists: Leah Keturah Caesar - filmmaker and dancer, John Morrison - DJ and founder of Liberation Movie Night, Dr. Rhone Fraser - adjunct faculty teaching English and African American History at Delaware County Community College, Kashara White - student activist and undergraduate student in the African American Studies Department at Temple University, MJ Harris - teaching artist, actor, poet, hip-hop artist, and member of Sela, Moderator, Patrice K. Armstead, activist, cofounder of Building People’s Power
Sponsored by: Building People’s Power and Liberation Movie Night

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Political Philosopher Danielle Allen Tomorrow at the National Constitution Center

*Philadelphia 
Join Political Philosopher Danielle Allen tomorrow, June 27th at 12 noon, at the Constitution Center for an afternoon of thought provoking conversation about the Declaration of Independence.
"Political philosopher Danielle Allen will join Chris Phillips, Senior Education Fellow at the National Constitution Center, to take a fresh look at the Declaration of Independence—a document that changed the course of the modern world in 1,337 words—with an eye to its promise of equality.
Allen, a professor of social science at the Princeton Institute for Advanced Study and the newly appointed chair of the Pulitzer Prize Board—the first African-American woman to hold that position—is widely known for her work on justice and citizenship in both ancient Athens and modern America.
In her conversation with Phillips, Allen will draw heavily on her new book, Our Declaration: A Reading of the Declaration of Independence in Defense of Equality, to tackle the contradictions between ideals and reality in a document that perpetuated slavery.
Her discussion is presented in conjunction with the Constitution Center’s feature exhibition, Slavery at Jefferson’s Monticello—a powerful, revealing and deeply personal look at six slave families who lived and worked at Jefferson’s plantation in Virginia.
In the prologue to Our Declaration, Allen explains the rationale behind her latest project.
“The Declaration of Independence matters because it helps us see that we cannot have freedom without equality,” she writes. “It is out of an egalitarian commitment that a people grows—a people that is capable of protecting us all collectively, and each of us individually, from domination.”
“If the Declaration can stake a claim to freedom,” she adds, “it is only because it is so clear-eyed about the fact that the people’s strength resides in its equality.”
Allen also laments popular notions of the relationship between liberty and equality—a misunderstanding she seeks to confront.
Political philosophers have generated the view that equality and freedom are necessarily in tension with each other,” she says. “As a public, we have swallowed this argument whole. We think we are required to choose between freedom and equality. Our choice in recent years has tipped toward freedom. Under the general influence of libertarianism, both parties have abandoned our Declaration; they have scorned our patrimony.”
“Such a choice is dangerous,” she goes on. “If we abandon equality, we lose the single bond that makes us a community, that makes us a people with the capacity to be free collectively and individually in the first place.”
“I for one cannot bear to see the ideal of equality pass away before it has reached its full maturity,” Allen concludes. “I hope I am not alone.”
This program will be followed by a book sale and signing. Admission is free; groups are welcome. However, reservations are recommended—call 215.409.6700 or order online. Event attendees will also receive $5 admission to see Slavery at Jefferson’s Monticello."
* Source: The National Constitution Center Blog 

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Discover the Beauty and History of Philadelphia's Laurel Hill Cemetery



This summer I am committed to exploring sites in and around Philadelphia that are off the beaten track. I had a blast of real history this afternoon while visiting Laurel Hill Cemetery right off of Ridge Avenue with my daughter, niece and nephews.

My family on a visit to Laurel Hill Cemetery .
It rests on 78 acres of art and Philadelphia history. The landscaping is spectacular and the tombstones, mausoleums and various statues are just breathtaking. Part of the cemetery overlooks the Schuylkill River and is quite scenic. 

Laurel Hill Cemetery
tel. 215-228-8200
fax. 215-228-7940
3822 Ridge Avenue 
Philadelphia, PA 19132





Two Manhattan Galleries Featured the Work of Jean-Michel Basquiat



By Jean-Michel Basquiat


Octavia enjoying the galleries of New York.
I was in New York two weeks ago celebrating with Sojourner and the other National Student Poets and the hundreds of wonderful young artists whose phenomenal talents were acknowledged with Scholastic Arts and Writing Awards. I will share more about this later.

Of course being in New York I hit the galleries. I am a hardcore Jean-Michel Basquiat fan and two galleries in Manhattan were featuring his work. Both spaces are intimate and inviting. I went with Mona R. Washington and at both galleries it was just us and a lone gallery staff member. Like always, Mona likes to engage the security guards who are the true caretakers, too, of arts of work and she always walks away with some unexpected insights.
By Jean-Michel Basquiat 


1. Acquavella Galleries : http://www.acquavellagalleries.com/
2. Nahmad Contemporary: http://www.nahmadcontemporary.com/

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Sojourner Ahebee Featured on the Academy of American Poets' Poem-A-Day Site

Artwork by Annie Kevans 
Oh, my gosh!!! Sojourner is featured on the Academy of American Poets' Poem-A-Day site. for June 19th. Check out her homage to Sally Hemings:
http://www.poets.org/poetsorg/poem-day