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News Release

For immediate use:

Jan. 7, 2008

Note: For details on a media briefing, see end of story

Stone Center programs to feature art, films, more

A play that explores racial stereotypes and an exhibit featuring the work of four emerging artists will be among the spring programs at the Sonja Haynes Stone Center for Black Culture and History. 

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill center also will present critical discussions that examine challenges facing incarcerated women and the image of the black athlete.

Filmmaker Haile Gerima will visit the center for a weeklong residency that will include a three-part master filmmaking class and a discussion of his latest film projects.

Gerima’s visit will be a part of the center’s Diaspora Festival of Black and Independent Film, whose theme for the spring semester is “A Luta Continua: Cinemas of Resistance.” The films will highlight struggles for liberation and self-determination across the African diaspora and focus on contemporary and historical roots of resistance.
The Stone Center, founded in 1988, is dedicated to broadening the range of intellectual discourse about African diaspora cultures. The following programs will be free and open to the public in the center unless otherwise noted. For more information, call (919) 962-9001.

Jan. 15, 7 p.m.
“Incarcerated Women: Challenges to the Criminal Justice System,” a forum examining the challenges facing incarcerated women and the effects the criminal justice system has on women inmates. Panelists will include N.C. Rep. Ellie Kinnaird (D-Orange); Meg Scott Phipps, the former N.C. Agriculture Commissioner who spent more than three years in prison for perjury, obstruction of justice and other offenses; and Melissa Radcliff, executive director of Our Children’s Place, an initiative to allow young children to live with their mothers while the women serve sentences for nonviolent offenses. Natalie Bullock Brown, host of UNC-TV’s “Black Issues Forum,” will moderate the discussion.

Jan. 21, 7 p.m. “He Was a Poem: A Gathering in the Tradition,” presented by the center and the University Library. The program will honor the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. through music and poetry, with performances by Kim Arrington, a Durham-based singer and spoken word artist; Ron Baxter, a local jazz musician; Donovan Livingston, a UNC junior and spoken-word artist; Michael and Lita Simanga, Atlanta-based poets and authors; and Bradley Simmons, director of the Duke University Djembe Ensemble.

Jan. 30, 3:30 p.m. “No Easy Victories: African Liberation and American Activists over a Half Century, 1950-2000,”a book party with editors Charles Cobb Jr., Gail Hovey and Bill Minter to celebrate  the release of “No Easy Victories.” The book includes a foreword by Nelson Mandela and a collection of essays and personal stories about the link between African liberation movements and American activists.

Jan. 30, 7 p.m.  “Have You Heard from Johannesburg?: Apartheid and the Club of the West” (2007), part of the Diaspora Festival of Black and Independent Film. Connie Field Oscar-nominated director and producer will discuss her six-part documentary series, “Have You Heard from Johannesburg?” The fourth film, subtitled “Apartheid and the Club of the West,” will be screened as part of the program. It traces the complex story of the anti-apartheid movement in the United States.

Feb. 5, 7 p.m.
“El Cimarrón” (2006), part of the Diaspora Festival of Black and Independent Film. From Puerto Rican director Ivan Ortiz, the film is about a young enslaved African couple on a Caribbean island at the turn of the 19th century. 

Feb. 13, 7 p.m.
The Image of the Black Athlete: Icons, Scandal and the Business of Sport,”
a roundtable of black athletes and sports professionals. Addressing sociopolitical challenges and issues facing black athletes today will be Walt Bellamy, an NBA Hall of Fame inductee and community youth activist in Atlanta; Pam Leake, a former UNC basketball All-American; and UNC alumnus and attorney Rhonda Patterson, managing partner of an Atlanta-based sports management firm. Hanif Omar, host of WNCU radio’s weekly sports show “Fast Break,” will moderate the panel discussion.

Feb. 21, 7 p.m.“We Shall Not be Moved: A History of the Tillery Resettlement” (2007), part of the Diaspora Festival of Black and Independent Film. The film chronicles a New Deal Resettlement Community in Tillery from slavery to present through archival film and video footage, historical photographs and narratives by Tillery’s elders. Presented by the center and Wilson Library’s Southern Historical Collection. 

Feb. 22-May 16 “PepperPot: Multi Media Installation, Meaning, and the Medium in Contemporary Diasporic Art,”a contemporary art exhibit featuring work by four outstanding young artists who place materials – their media – at the center of meaning in their work. The exhibit will feature multimedia work ranging from painting and photography to installation, experimental animation and sculpture. A free opening reception will be at 7 p.m. Feb. 22 in the center’s Robert and Sallie Brown Gallery and Museum. The gallery will be open to the public from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. weekdays (closed University holidays).

Feb. 25-Feb. 29 Visiting Artist Haile Gerima, a one-week residency by the filmmaker and scholar. Gerima, a film professor at Howard University, will conduct a three-part master workshop in filmmaking and present his latest film projects during a lecture and discussion.  Please contact the Stone Center at (919) 962-9001 to register for the workshop.

Feb. 28, 7 p.m. “An Evening with Haile Gerima: Mortgaged Imaginations,” a presentation of audiovisual excerpts of Gerima’s past and upcoming films, including his latest film, “Teza.

March 1, 2 p.m. “Platanos and Collard Greens,” an off-Broadway play that addresses stereotypes, prejudices and urban myths that exist between African-Americans and Latinos. Based on producer David Lamb’s novel “Do Platanos Go Wit’ Collard Greens?,” the play humorously dispels these misconceptions within the context of hip-hop, humor and satire. The Blue Ribbon Mentor-Advocate Program in Chapel Hill, a support program for students in the Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools, will co-sponsor the production. Free tickets are needed for admission; they are available – limited to four per person – at the Stone Center front desk, open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays (closed University holidays).

March 4, noonAngels Can’t Help But Laugh,” a film screened in celebration of Women’s History Month. This thought-provoking and candid commentary examines the struggles and complexities faced by African-American actresses in Hollywood. Co-sponsors of the program include the curriculum in women’s studies, the Kappa Omicron Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc. and the Omega Iota Chapter of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority Inc.

March 19, 7 p.m.  The A Luta Continua: Cinemas of Resistance” theme concludes with the screening of two short films:

March 28, 4 p.m. “Human Rights: Lessons Learned from Africa over the Last 20 Years,” this year’s African Diaspora Lecture, by Salih Booker, executive director of Global Rights: Partners for Justice. The human rights advocacy group collaborates with activists around the world to challenge injustice. Booker’s lecture, focusing on global human rights issues and violations, will be in the FedEx Global Education Center, located at the corner of McCauley and Pittsboro streets. Limited parking is available under the building off McCauley.

April 24, 6 p.m. Communiversity End-of-Year Program, a reflection on successes during 2007-2008, with students, counselors and parents from the Stone Center’s longest-running program. The program places UNC student volunteers who teach and mentor elementary and middle school students from the Chapel-Hill/Carrboro City Schools. The center will recognize outstanding students and program counselors during the program.

Media preview: Media representatives may preview the “PepperPot: Multi Media Installation, Meaning, and the Medium in Contemporary Diasporic Art” exhibit on Feb. 21 at the Stone Center, 150 South Road. Contact Olympia Friday at (919) 962-7265.

Stone Center contact: Olympia Friday, (919) 962-7265 or ofriday@email.unc.edu
News Services contact: L.J. Toler, (919) 962-8589