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MUSEUM – Talks – 6/1 – Exploring the Black Dandy – BKLYN MUSEUM *bklyn

Dandy Lion (Aperture, 2017)

Fashion Night: Modern Black Dandies

June 1, 2017

6:30–9:30 p.m. 

Throughout the Museum

The Brooklyn Museum and Aperture Foundation invite you to celebrate black men’s style as a form of personal politics with a night of fashion, film, and music, organized in honor of author Shantrelle P. Lewis’s new book, Dandy Lion: The Black Dandy and Street Style. With programs activating both our performance spaces and the Georgia O’Keeffe: Living Modern exhibition galleries, this evening celebrates the art and style of black dandies, men of African descent who use fashion to define and inhabit a proud, radically independent public persona. Discussion moderated by Rashid Shabazz, VP of Communications, Campaign for Black Male Achievement.


  • Shantrelle P. Lewis, author and curator
  • Darnell Moore, Editor-at-Large, Interactive One
  • Ignacio Quiles, Haberdasher, QP & Monty
  • Abiola Oke, CEO, Okayafrica.

Supported by the Campaign for Black Male Achievement.

Tickets are $16 ($14 for Members). Tickets with a copy of Lewis’s book are $50 ($45 for Members). To receive the Member discount code, email us at with your full name and Membership ID.


May 18, 2017 Posted by | ART, avant-garde, CULTURE, ENTREPRENEURS, LIFESTYLES, Uncategorized | , , , , , | Leave a comment


We applaud the selection and wish the filmmakers the heartiest CONGRATULATIONS! If this photo by Brian Douglas is any indication, this film will be the standout for years to come. GORGEOUS.

Photo by Brian Douglas







Don Cheadle’s directorial debut Miles Ahead will make its World Premiere as the Closing Night selection of the upcoming 53rd New York Film Festival (September 25 – October 11).

Cheadle, who co-wrote the script, stars as the legendary musician opposite Emayatzy Corinealdi and Ewan McGregor.

New York Film Festival Director and Selection Committee Chair Kent Jones said: “I admire Don’s film because of all the intelligent decisions he’s made about how to deal with Miles, but I was moved—deeply moved—by Miles Ahead for other reasons. Don knows, as an actor, a writer, a director, and a lover of Miles’ music, that intelligent decisions and well-planned strategies only get you so far, that finally it’s your own commitment and attention to every moment and every detail that brings a movie to life. ‘There is no longer much else but ourselves, in the place given us,’ wrote the poet Robert Creeley. ‘To make that present, and actual … is not an embarrassment, but love.’ That’s the core of art. Miles Davis knew it, and Don Cheadle knows it.”

Don Cheadle added: “I am happy that the selection committee saw fit to invite us to the dance. It’s very gratifying that all the hard work that went into the making of this film, from every person on the team, has brought us here. Miles’ music is all-encompassing, forward-leaning, and expansive. He changed the game time after time, and New York is really where it all took off for him. Alice Tully Hall, Lincoln Center… feels very ‘right place, right time.’ Very exciting.”

Miles Davis was one of the greatest artists of the 20th century. And how do you make a movie about him? You get to know the man inside and out and then you reveal him in full, which is exactly what Don Cheadle does as a director, a writer, and an actor with this remarkable portrait of Davis, refracted through his crazy days in the late-70s. Holed up in his Manhattan apartment, wracked with pain from a variety of ailments and fiending for the next check from his record company, dodging sycophants and industry executives, he is haunted by memories of old glories and humiliations and of his years with his great love Frances Taylor (Emayatzy Corinealdi). Every second of Cheadle’s cinematic mosaic is passionately engaged with its subject: this is, truly, one of the finest films ever made about the life of an artist. With Ewan McGregor as Dave Brill, the “reporter” who cons his way into Miles’ apartment. The film was produced by Don Cheadle, Pamela Hirsch, Lenore Zerma, along with Daniel Wagner, Robert Barnum, Vince Willburn and Daryl Porter.

The 17-day New York Film Festival highlights the best in world cinema, featuring top films from celebrated filmmakers as well as fresh new talent. The selection committee, chaired by Jones, also includes Dennis Lim, FSLC Director of Programming; Marian Masone, FSLC Senior Programming Advisor; Gavin Smith, Editor-in-Chief, Film Comment; and Amy Taubin, Contributing Editor, Film Comment and Sight & Sound.

NYFF previously announced Robert Zemeckis’s The Walk as the Opening Night selection and Luminous Intimacy: The Cinema of Nathaniel Dorsky and Jerome Hiler, the first-ever complete dual retrospective of the experimental filmmakers.

And, lest we forget, Don Cheadle ran a successful campaign on #Kickstarter for this film. Good work, Everybody!

July 25, 2015 Posted by | ART, CULTURE, ENTREPRENEURS, FILM, LIFESTYLES, opportunity, We Recommend | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

DANCE — BLACK GIRL: Linguistic Play — Camille A. Brown & Dancers –9/22-27/15, JOYCE THEATER, *nyc

After one full year of research and workshops, this Fabulous, Award-Winning ARTIST unveils her newest choreographic exploration of our humanity. The amazing Scott Patterson collaborates again with music, joined here by the thoughtful Tracy Wormworth. HIGHLY Recommended.

Date(s)September 22-27 Schedule Tuesday 7:30pm
Wednesday 7:30pm
Thursday 8pm
Friday 8pm
Saturday 8pm
Sunday 2pm

Ticket PriceTickets start at $10!

(Call JoyceCharge at 212-242-0800 for $10 tickets. All other tickets can be purchased online.)

Camille A. Brown & Dancers

BLACK GIRL: Linguistic Play
Bessie Award and Doris Duke Artist Award-winning choreographer Camille A. Brown and the women of Camille A. Brown & Dancers present the world premiere of BLACK GIRL: Linguistic Play, a work revealing the complexity of carving out a self-defined identity as a black female in urban America. Live music with collaborators Tracy Wormworth and Scott Patterson encompass the rhythmic play of African-American rooted steppin’, Double Dutch, and Juba. The company will also perform New Second Line, which celebrates the spirit of New Orleans. Each performance culminates with a third-act dialogue, allowing audiences to engage with the artists on stage.
Performances are subject to change.



May 27, 2015 Posted by | ART, CULTURE, ENTREPRENEURS, LIFESTYLES, We Recommend | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Paris — Literature — Evenings with an Author: Ta-Nehisi Coates, discussing his book-in-progress 04 February 2015, 19:30

Evenings with an Author: Ta-Nehisi Coates, discussing his book-in-progress

Add to your calendar: Download as iCal file

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Wednesday 04 February 2015, 19:30

 The American Library in Paris
Category  Adults


Visiting Fellow Ta-Nehisi Coates, reads from and discusses his new book which will be released next October. It is his attempt to talk to his teenage son about the killings of Trayvon Martin, Jordan Davis, Eric Garner, Tamir Rice and Michael Brown.

For this event the Library is suggesting a donation of 10€ (5€ for students) to help fund evening programs.


About the speaker

tncTa-Nehisi Coates is a national correspondent at The Atlantic, where he writes about culture, politics, and social issues. He is the author of the memoir The Beautiful Struggle: A Father, Two Sons, and an Unlikely Road to Manhood. He is the Library’s Visiting Fellow for most of January and part of early February. He lives in Harlem.



The American Library in Paris was established in 1920 under the auspices of the American Library Association with a core collection of books and periodicals donated by American libraries to United States armed forces personnel serving their allies in World War I.

February 4, 2015 Posted by | ART, CULTURE, LIFESTYLES, opportunity, Uncategorized, We Recommend | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Spring 2015 Conversations —- Freedom Studies — Schomburg — nyc

The Schomburg is delighted to present a fresh line up of exciting dialogue and invite you to join the conversation. Don’t wait and reserve your seat. RSVP here!

Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture


The Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, a research unit of The New York Public Library, is one of the world’s leading research facilities devoted to the preservation of materials on the global African and African diasporan experiences. A focal point of Harlem’s cultural life, the Center sponsors programs and events that illuminate and illustrate the richness of black history and culture.

For more information about the speakers and videos from past events,
Inline image 3

Spring 2015 Season: 

February 5 — 50th anniversary of the assassination of Malcolm X: Malcolm X and Black Radical Women 
with Rosemari Mealy, Komozi Woodard and Gloria Richardson

“Malcolm X was assassinated 50 years ago in February 1965. Women such as Betty Shabazz, Queen Mother Moore, Vicki Garvin, Yuri Kochiyama, Mae Mallory, Abbey Lincoln, Maya Angelou and Gloria Richardson were among the first and foremost to establish February as a month to remember Malcolm X’s sacrifices for Black Liberation and had been key to Malcolm X’s developing political vision before he was killed. However, in those fifty years, scholars have habitually neglected the role that such women played in drafting blueprints for the Black Power Generation.


Please join Gloria Richardson, Rosemary Mealy and Komozi Woodard in an important discussion of that central yet neglected dimension that women played in the radicalization of Malcolm X. At the helm of the Cambridge Movement, Gloria Richardson was the model for Grassroots leadership that Malcolm X outlined in Message to the Grassroots. Professor Rosemari Mealy is the author of several books, including Fidel and Malcolm X.

Conversations in Black Freedom Studies - 50th...

And, Professor Komozi Woodard is the author of an article Rethinking Malcolm X: Women in the Making of Malcolm X and A Nation within a Nation: Amiri Baraka and Black Power Politics.”  

                                                                     – Jeanne Theoharris and Komozi Woodard


March 5 — Race and the Criminal Justice System: Political Prisoners, Resistance, and Mass Incarceration Part I 
with Bryan Stevenson, New York University; Dan Berger, University of Washington; and Victoria Law, Activist/Writer. 

Conversations in Black Freedom Studies - Race and the...

“From Ferguson to Staten Island, the #blacklivesmatter campaign has put the  treatment of Black people in the criminal justice system front and center in public conversation.  Police brutality and the unequal treatment of Black people in the criminal justice system have a long history in the United States; as do campaigns to challenge it.  Join us for an exciting two-month conversation where we explore this bigger history of mass incarceration; the racial inequalities of policing, prosecution and sentencing; the long history of political prisoners; and the campaigns of resistance built by black communities and prisoners themselves from the civil rights era to today.

We are joined by six authors of important books that are must-reads for people interested in the long history of racial inequality and Black resistance in the criminal justice system: Bryan Stevenson (Just Mercy); Dan Berger (Captive Nation: Black Prison Organizing in the Civil Rights Era), Vikki Law (Resistance Behind Bars: The Struggles of Incarcerated Women) in March; Ruth Wilson Gilmore (Golden Gulag: Prisons, Surplus, Crisis, and Opposition in Globalizing California ); Laura Whitehorn (The War Before: The True Life Story of Becoming a Black Panther, Keeping the Faith in Prison, and Fighting for Those Left Behind) and Arun Kundnani (The Muslims Are Coming: Islamophobia, Extremism, and the Domestic War on Terror).”

— Jeanne Theoharris and Komozi Woodard


April 2 — Race and the Criminal Justice System: Political Prisoners, Resistance, and Mass Incarceration Part II 

with Laura Whitehorn, Activist; Ruth Gilmore, The Graduate Center, CUNY; and Arun Kundnani, New York University. 

May 7 — Black and Brown Coalitions 
with Sonia Lee, Alejandra Marchevsky and Johanna Fernandez  at 6 p.m.

with Sonia Song-Ha Lee, Washington University in St. Louis; Alejandra Marchevsky, California State University, Los Angeles; and Johanna Fernandez, Baruch College, CUNY.


Books for the Conversations in Black Freedom Studies Series are available for purchase in the Schomburg Shop! Visit us and read up in advance!

Like Schomburg Education on Facebook , follow our Twitter @SchomburgEd & check out our new website

See you all soon!

Phone: (212) 491-2234
The Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture
The New York Public Library
515 Malcolm X Boulevard
New York, NY 10037
Schomburg Education presents this dynamic adult education series with a full line up of provocative scholars and community members committed to engaging dialogue about black freedom studies.  The Spring 2015 semester is curated by professors Jeanne Theoharis (Brooklyn College/CUNY) and Komozi Woodard (Sarah Lawrence College).

January 19, 2015 Posted by | CULTURE, ENTREPRENEURS, LIFESTYLES, We Recommend | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Dance – Camille A. Brown & Dancers — BLACK GIRL SPECTRUM



Camille A. Brown has launched a new, yearlong, community engagement initiative: Black Girl Spectrum. While exploring the spectrum of identities among African American females, Camille aims to create a dialogue that will continue to push the boundaries of art and activism.

Over the next year, Camille A. Brown and her company will host multiple community workshops and events across the country and internationally.

Camille A. Brown & Dancers (CAB&D), recognized for its visceral movement and unflinching approach to comedic and controversial themes, announces Black Girl Spectrum, a multi-faceted community engagement initiative. The new yearlong initiative, lead by Bessie-nominated choreographer Camille A. Brown, uses dance as a means to address civic, educational, and economic struggle through cultural and creative empowerment. Aimed to explore the spectrum of identities among African American females, the initiative will also serve as participatory research to mold and inform Brown’s new work-in-progress, Black Girl (working title), which is slated to premiere in September 2015.

“I am inspired to continue pushing the boundaries of arts and activism. I constantly ask myself what more can be done? How can I activate my work in a way that moves beyond performance and impacts my community? Dance can be a seen as a community’s embodied visioning, storytelling, and resistance practice. My hope is to create a dialogue that sparks larger shifts,” says Camille A. Brown. “CAB&D acknowledges the inherent brilliance held within communities of African American girls and women and we are launching Black Girl Spectrum to amplify that brilliance and share the joys and triumphs of these communities. The end result of a creative process is no longer a dance work, it is a movement.”

The foundation of Black Girl Spectrum is rooted in community research and participation. This will be explored through five core areas: public forums and intentional dialogues; community engagement events; strategic partnerships; youth mentorship; and community performances and showings with Camille A. Brown & Dancers.

In conjunction with CAB&D 2014-2015 tour, the company will be holding Black Girl Spectrum community workshops within the company’s residences in almost every city. Already this year, CAB&D has held pilot workshops with City Center and Dance Cleveland which allowed Brown the opportunity to clearly define the objectives and vision of the initiative based on identity, struggles and triumphs seen across all four of these pilots.

Along with official Black Girl Spectrum events, CAB&D will sponsor teenage black girls to join the company on tour. Already the company sponsored two young women in July on tours to Wesleyan University and Bates Dance Festival. Ms. Brown’s vision in bringing young Black female students on the road is designed to encourage and inspire them to be leaders in their communities and desired careers. It is Ms. Brown’s hope that being both accessible and vulnerable will empower them to go after their dreams without abandon.

In order to further the conversation and reach as many communities as possible, The Black Girl Spectrum will be partnering with local organizations. To partner or host an event with The Black Girl Spectrum, please send an email to:

Learn more about Camille A. Brown’s ongoing research on the company’s website And stay tuned to Facebook (, Twitter (, and Instagram ( for 12 months of videos, photos, and stories capturing the process and development of Black Girl Spectrum. All can join the conversation by using the #BlackGirlSpectrum hashtag.

Black Girl Spectrum Events (more events TBC)

The Yard

Martha’s Vineyard, Chilmark, MA

August 3-18, 2014


Grace Street Theater (Virginia Commonwealth University)

Richmond, VA

September 4-7, 2014


Belfast Festival at Queen’s

Belfast, Ireland

October 21-26, 2014


62′ Center for Theater and Dance (Williams College)

Williamstown, PA

November 2-5, 2014


The Association of Dance of the African Diaspora

Re:generations (Pavilion Dance South West)

Bournemouth, UK

November 7-8, 2014

August 5, 2014 Posted by | ART, BUSINESS, CULTURE, LIFESTYLES, opportunity, We Recommend | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

We Recommend Crowdfunding THE BLACK PORTLANDERS book –*Indiegogo

We Recommend crowdfunding projects we perceive to be of high value.


The Black Portlanders

Photographing Black Portlanders. Illuminating a city. A photographic journey across Portland ..and beyond.

The Black Portlanders

3/13/14 UPDATE: IndieGogo kicked us back LIVE. Several people who missed the first deadline asked about how to contribute. There’s still time to contribute. Thank you all so much!

Thank you!
UPDATE: Stretch Goal: Full-scale Black Portlanders Summer Photo Exhibit

UPDATE: Read our “Open Letter to Portland & The World From ‘The Black Portlanders

Listen in, world!
I’m going to tell you about The Black Portlanders!

My name is Intisar Abioto.  I’m a writer, photographer, dancer, and explorer.  I’m the face behind the lens and blog, The Black Portlanders. I’ve always believed in the magic of storytelling, art, and exploration. I’ve known since I was 19 that I was an explorer destined to connect the stories of people of African descent – around the world – through photography.  Since then,  I’ve traveled to photograph in Senegal, San Francisco, Mississippi, Morocco,  DC, Djibouti, Jamaica, and beyond … seeking the authentic story of the travels and migrations of Black people around the world.



Originally from Memphis TN, I moved to Portland in 2010.  But, after having lived in Portland for almost 3 years, I felt isolated, ghost-like and a shadow of my former artistic self. Where or how could I connect to the Black cultures here? One day last February,  I saw this Black woman in a wheelchair –  high-speeding like a BMX biker- down the sidewalk of Martin Luther King Blvd with her trusted dog beside her.. gunnin’ down the street. It was amazing! She was vibrant, alive, and most importantly, herself.  I became curious. I had to know her story.  I had to say hello. So, I said hello and I photographed her. This was the beginning of The Black Portlanders. It reminded me of my true self and my true work. This was the spirit of fun and adventure, the vibrancy, fabulousness, and boldness of life I’d been missing.


I began approaching Black people I saw around Portland, talking with them, and taking their portraits. I began to once again do what I loved – photography, arts, and adventure. I felt alive again and I began to “ get in the mix” of Portland’s Black cultures.  It was an awakening – an opening – a coming out. Black people were in Portland and they were Portland.


When Oregon was established in 1859, it was illegal for Black people to live, make contracts, or hold real estate in Oregon. This exclusionary law was in Oregon’s constitution until 1926.  Despite this law, there have been communities of Black people making a life in Oregon since its establishment. Black Oregonians have been here and we are here today.  Currently Portland, OR has a Black population of 6% or about 35,000  and in the State of Oregon about 2%.  Regardless of the percentage of Black people in Portand or the State of Oregon – we are here and we have been trail-blazing since the beginning.






I soon published these first portraits of Black Portlanders on a tumblr blog entitled The Black Portlanders. I invited friends. I emailed the people I’d photographed. It didn’t take long for something to begin to happen.  Person by person, portrait by portrait, word of The Black Portlanders spread.. quickly.  People across Portland, of all identities began to share The Black Portlanders blog and the images via “likes”, shares, rebloggings and retweets. The photographs, the portraits, the blog began to connect people.


Through art, people were connecting people… Black Portlanders to other Black Portlanders – Portlanders to Portlanders – Portland natives to transplants –  to ex-Portlanders in Seattle, Chicago, Hawaii, and New York … and onwards even .. to people outside of Portland – in New York, Atlanta, DC, Florida, San Francisco ..  – people who had never been to Portland, but wanted to connect to this sense of cultural renaissance and awakening.


When I approached people on the street, they already knew about The Black Portlanders and I wasn’t so anonymous. Local and national news outlets wrote about The Black Portlanders. Something was happening..  Some people call/ed it a movement. Some people called it photography. Some called it transmedia. Some didn’t know what to call it. But something was happening .. and something is happening … now.



Shhh! I’ll tell you a secret that is not a secret.  The power of The Black Portlanders comes very simply from believing in the importance of people without any reason, with nothing to prove, nothing to show.  The Black Portlanders is about celebrating Black people with no reason. No explanation! I won’t give you one. We are. That’s it. Nothing to explain.



Over the course of a year, I have photographed over 500 Black Portlanders and met amazing people all over Portland.. of all identities.  The beauty of this project is that by highlighting the presence of an “ unseen people”  you show the truth – a fuller expression of who we all are.






The Black Portlanders is the face of a growing arts and culture renaissance in Portland OR. The Black Portlanders is about celebrating, exploring, and affirming the presence of Black people and people of the African Diaspora in Portland, Oregon through arts, innovation, and exploration.





The Next Stage of  The Black Portlanders:

I started The Black Portlanders with what I had available to me: a Canon 20D, an old Dell laptop, and my love for arts and adventure.  Now, a year later, I need funds to continue and to develop The Black Portlanders work. I’m seeking $15,000 in funding to secure equipment needed to expand the media formats of the work, the retrieval of original Black Portlanders photo files from a damaged hard drive, and travel fees to document the perspectives of Black Portlanders outside of Portland. We are expanding The Black Portlanders in 2014! Along with continuation of The Black Portlanders photo blog, we are embarking on..


  •  The Black Portlanders radio segment on Portland’s newly kickstarted 
  • The integration of filmed interviews and vignettes of Black Portlanders 
  • Portraits and interviews with Black Portlanders outside of Portland proper
  • The Black Portlanders art parties, events, and pop ups! 
  •  A HUGE surprise development of The Black Portlanders.. to be debuted in June


Over the spring and summer, I’ll be doing a series of interviews and portraits of Black Portlanders outside of Portland. The current conversation around Portland is about natives and transplants, however I’m also interested in the stories of Portlanders who have left through the years. How might their perspectives on life and the world have shifted – or not shifted – by different physical and cultural environs?  What did they find? Who are Black Portlanders within the world, not just within the geographic region of Portland.. Opening up the geographic frame.

I need your support to make these things happen!
I need $ 15,000 to get this show kicking and on the road..
Here’s where it all goes!


  • Data recovery to save The Black Portlanders photographs already taken. In the fall a hard drive that held the body of The Black Portlanders images taken up to that time failed.  These are irreplaceable original photo files of the first 10 months of The Black Portlanders, of which about 200 have never been published. Thankfully, the data on the hard drive can be retrieved, but I’m in need of the funds retrieve them.
  • Computer to process, edit, and publish The Black Portlanders.  In the fall, my computer died halting the publishing of the The Black Portlanders photographs. Many of you wondered where we went during the fall and winter. This is why. I am writing this on a Google Chromebook, which is not capable of processing or editing images or media.  I’m in need of a computer to keep producing and publishing The Black Portlanders. True story!
  • The purchase of a film-capable SLR camera to integrate filmed interviews and vignettes of Black Portlanders into The Black Portlanders.
  • Audio equipment – recorder, wireless mic – for Black Portlanders audio segments and interviews
  • Hard drives for data storage
  • Travel expenses to interview and photograph the perspectives and experiences of Black Portlanders outside of Portland proper




  • The creation of an accumulative and accessible portrait of Portland Oregon’s current Black population – a photographic primary document – for both current and future Oregon generations to be enriched by
  • To connect Black Portland’s diverse communities through a photo-based meta-community using current and developing social media platforms
  • The creation of a body of portraits to be later published in a photo book and shown in larger exhibits
  • To celebrate and educate around the presence of people of African descent in Portland, Oregon through exploratory and experimental media arts 


We have some sweet perks and rewards for contributors.

  • Thank you on The Black Portlanders blog
  • Electronic copy of The Intisar’s Illustrated Guide to Adventure.
    Written by Intisar Abioto and illustrated by Intisar Abioto’s sister Aisha Abioto, The Intisar’s Illustrated Guide to Adventure is Intisar’s personal guide to finding adventure, exploration, travel, and surprise in destinations near or far – wherever you are.
  • Tickets to the post-campaign party and artist Q&A in March
  • Signed 5-card Black Portlanders postcard sets
  • The Black Portlanders t-shirts
  • The Black Portlanders hoodies
  • Signed 8 x 12 and 11 x 14 limited-edition prints from The Black Portlanders
  • “Black Portland Made” Pack – A curated selection of items by Black Portland artists and creatives.. includes Black Portlanders Hoodie, T-shirt, Button
  • Personal photo workshops, Art of Adventure Workshops, and photo walkabouts with Intisar Abioto
  • Photo shoot with The Black Portlanders photographer Intisar Abioto
  • Private dinner party for you and 5 friends .. by The Abiotos / The Green Lady
  • 3 Limited edition, custom made Black Portlanders books. The very first Black Portlanders books printed ever.




Intisar Abioto is a writer, dancer, photographer, and explorer. Originally from Memphis TN, Intisar has traveled nationally and internationally photographing and documenting people throughout the African diaspora. She is the co-founder of The People Could Fly Project – where she turned Virginia Hamilton’s award-winning children’s book, “The People Could Fly“, into an international 200,000-mile arts expedition – and founder of Flier Arts and The Black Portlanders. With her family she is the co-founder of The Holy Mojo, Green Lady Foods, and Midnight Seed Mylks. She studied Dance and English at Wesleyan University in CT and Spelman College in GA.



Portland Mercury: Intisar Abioto Crowdsources “The Blackest Night”
Oregon Public Broadcasting: Photographer Intisar Abioto Approaches ‘The Black Portlanders’ By The Numbers
Al Jazeera America: Being Black In Portland
Portland Observer: Black Portlanders
The Oregonian: Black Portlanders blog shines light on African-American presence, joy
Street Roots: “This is Black Portland”
Portland Mercury:  “The Black Portlanders: Profiling Photographer Intisar Abioto” 
Portland Skanner: “The Black Portlanders Seeks to Build Community Through Art”



Other Ways You Can Help


Share The Black Portlanders on Facebook.
Blog  The Black Portlanders.
Tweet  The Black Portlanders.
Share with your friends and networks directly asking them to contribute.

Know a journalist or news outlet?  We need local, national, and international media to write about The Black Portlanders. The unique history and present of Black Portlanders and Oregonians is largely unknown even as Portland, Oregon abounds in the national and international eye.

Every bit helps!

Thank you!
Intisar Abioto of The Black Portlanders



Special Thanks:

Many many thanks to all of the people I’ve photographed over the past year and everyone who has supported the work in one way or another.

Credits:Video by Kalimah Abioto and Kai Tillman
Photos of Intisar Abioto by Ifanyi Bell at Oregon Public Broadcasting
& Martin C. Evans


Further Background on The History of Black People in Oregon:



Created By:

  • 20140117123945-intiopb
    Intisar Abioto


March 26, 2014 Posted by | ART, BUSINESS, CULTURE, ENTREPRENEURS, LIFESTYLES, opportunity, We Recommend | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Women’s Jazz Festival: Meshell Ndegeocello nyc 3/24 Schomburg Center Library

Women’s Jazz Festival: Meshell Ndegeocello
Mon. Mar 24, 2014 7:00pm – 8:30pm EDT
$20.00 – $25.00
All ages

Canonized, marginalized or just scrutinized, MESHELL NDEGEOCELLO has given up trying to explain herself. After 20 years in an industry that has called her everything from avant garde to a dying breed, what unquestionably remains is the fearsome bassist, prolific songwriter, and the creativity and curiosity of an authentic musical force. With that, she has earned critical acclaim, the unfailing respect of
fellow players, songwriters and composers, and the dedication of her diverse, unclassifiable fans.

A bass player above all else, Meshell brings her signature warmth and groove to everything she does and has appeared alongside the Rolling Stones, Madonna, Alanis Morrisette, James Blood Ulmer, The Blind Boys of Alabama, Tony Allen, John Medeski, Billy Preston, and Chaka Khan. As for her own bass-playing influences, she credits Sting, Jaco Pastorius, Family Man Barrett, and Stevie Wonder. Meshell was the first woman to be featured on the cover of Bass Player magazine and remains one of few women who write the music and lead the band.

Mem Nahadr – (also known as simply “M”. The name NAHADR meaning “Divine LIght’) – is an internationally acclaimed performance artist and film composer, best known for the performance of the ballad “Butterfly”, for the soundtrack to the major motion picture “Cowboy Bebop -The Movie” -SONY CLASSICS and “I Found God In Myself” from the soundtrack to the motion picture “For Colored Girls” – LIONSGATE. She is widely known for her Off-Broadway performance art piece entitled: “Madwoman: A Contemporary Opera”. Ms Nahadr is also an author, composer, independent filmmaker and social activist for Albinism worldwide. (

Toshi Reagon, singer/composer/producer/activist returns for the third year as Curator of three concerts of the Schomburg Center’s 21st Women’s Jazz Festival.

Tickets for Women’s Jazz Festival: Meshell Ndegeocello in Harlem from ShowClix

February 27, 2014 Posted by | ART, CULTURE, opportunity, We Recommend | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

12 Years a Slave vs. Django Unchained : Why It Matters

12 Years a Slave vs. Django Unchained : Why It Matters


The existence of the motion picture 12 YEARS A SLAVE has drawn rapturous approval from young audiences, but
several critics have seemed eager to compare it to last year’s DJANGO UNCHAINED. Several lauded DJANGO UNCHAINED and seemed less than willing to praise 12 YEARS A SLAVE as the necessary corrective it represents to many. Steve McQueen’s 12 Years a Slave, which had its New York premiere at the 51st New York Film Festival, stars Chiwetel Ejiofor in the true story about Solomon Northup, a free black man who is abducted and sold into slavery in the American South.

I had two conversations with critics whose comments bear repeating.

One female critic despaired of the ending, in which Solomon is “rescued” by his old contacts from upstate NewYork, 12 years later.

She objected to the intervention of a white man saving the black man. (She herself is a progressive academic female critic of European/American extraction).

A male critic whom we have known for years objected to what he termed the exploitation factor of the whippings of the female slave Patsy. This same critic referred to DJANGO UNCHAINED as a “masterpiece” and said he and his wife give DJANGO repeated viewings, filled with laughter. (He is a non academic individual also of the majority race.) Our conversation ended with him asking me to stop kicking his chair.

Why the disparity in viewer reactions? Why does the difference in the film’s perception matter?

First, I must disclose that I found the opening forty minutes of 12 YEARS A SLAVE a brilliant masterpiece of image and sound, the finest of the year. I am not a fan of DJANGO UNCHAINED.


Not because I think it’s an evil movie, but mostly because, when I look at 12 YEARS A SLAVE, I understand the emotions of the characters and the story of the man’s hardship and determination a one based in reality. I look at DJANGO UNCHAINED and I miss the movie it COULD have been.

Sadly, DJANGO UNCHAINED has more in common with the Will Smith film version of THE WILD WILD WEST than with any narrative about slavery.

But the clearest answer lies in the persistent perception of the American Dream as a reality available to all, with the concomitant belief in individual agency.  Call it the Booker T. Washington “pull yourself up by your own bootstraps” philosophy so adored by the GOP stalwarts, if you like; it is insidious enough a fiction that it is ingrained in some Americans as much as the image of the steam locomotive pushing across the Western frontier. It is a belief that DJANGO UNCHAINED subscribes to and that 12 YEARS A SLAVE exposes as a fiction. There are malignant strains of it coursing through the American mindset that calls itself to attention whenever “entitlements” programs become an issue for debate.

It is a lie for the lives of many African Americans. It is a lie for many non-African Americans as well, but that fundamental truth is never exposed as part of the story of America and, importantly, the issues of class that slumber underneath this lie remain undisturbed.

Americans find it hard to believe that American slaves could not just simply rescue themselves and pull themselves and their families and friends and everyone they just met out of slavery, as if by a whim. But the reality of American history is plain: A third party was necessary because the issue of individual agency was removed from the grasp of the enslaved. Slaves did not have the ability to walk or act freely, period. Exterior forces beyond their control governed the ability to do Anything. It is the Conspiracy Theory writ large, but it is the true story of the slave experience. There was a MOVEMENT to abolish slavery, there were individual heroes and heroines, Harriet Tubman and the many who aided and participated in the Underground Railroad among them. There were White and Black supporters of the movement against slavery. But there were just as many thugs and killers and miscreants who took advantage of slavery and thought it just. And many individuals died who stood up against slavery. Many lives were destroyed. That is the reality of the slavery experience. It was not a revenge fantasy writ large. It wasn’t one man against the system.


There is a reason that South Africans modeled Apartheid on the American system.

But I will answer the question posed at the outset: several film critics prefer DJANGO UNCHAINED because, thematically, DJANGO UNCHAINED goes down in their minds as a film trope of a western, a revenge fantasy with a hero. 12 YEARS A SLAVE appears to some, frightfully as a documentary, not a fantasy and the reality is that, thematically, it most resembles a film noir. Not stylistically, of course: no shadows and gritty mis-en-scene, no “dutch angles” (off- center camera angles that probably would be more accurately described as “Deutsche” angles, harkening to their use in German expressionism) no world weary protagonists, no era of cynicism.

But, Mid-20th century America, the film noir story was a crucial turning point in the history of our country. Prior to the film noir movement, the myth in America /Hollywood was that, if you work hard, you will get what you deserve and you’ll achieve the American dream. Film Noir was well, you know, it doesn’t work that way for everybody.

And Film Noir had the femme-fatale: Women, wicked and multiple-layered, who led the protagonist astray.

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But the nature of Film Noir is of the ordinary individual, a god-fearing well-meaning innocent who, through no action or fault of their own, gets caught and punished for no reason by persons unknown to them.

And this is why the perceptions of the films matter: real life. In America today, there are in the year 2013, true newspaper headlines like this one: Another Tragic Murder of a Black Man Near Jasper, Texas

Alfred Wright, a 28-year-old young man, husband and father of three from Jasper, Texas went missing in Sabine County on November 7, 2013. His body was found three weeks later by a family-organized search party, just 25 yards from where he was last seen. Over the last several weeks of January, 2014, the Wright family has grown increasingly concerned with the method by which the Sabine County Sheriff and Texas Rangers have dealt with Alfred’s case.

The Wright family’s desire to take action is compounded by the fact that this area of southeast Texas is notorious for harboring deep-rooted racial hatred. These tensions manifest periodically into violent, racially motivated crimes, such as the murder of James Byrd Jr., who was dragged to his death in Alfred’s hometown of Jasper.

Kevin Powell is now working closely with Alfred Wright’s family on this case:

“I and BK Nation are deeply concerned about the circumstances that led to the disappearance and subsequent finding of Alfred Wright’s body. We are demanding a full, thorough and independent investigation as to why the family had to hire a private investigator to locate his body, and also why they had to get a second autopsy report. It has been two months that this family has had to suffer not only through the lost of their loved one, but also a very careless and irresponsible investigation. As we approach the national holiday celebrating the life and work of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. we are saying we want justice in all forms, and we want it immediately. That means we want the Department of Justice and its national arm of the FBI to deal with this.”

Anderson Cooper 360 will air a segment on the case of Alfred Wright Monday January 13th at 8 p.m. Eastern Standard Time.

A Bernsen Law Firm press release states that Texas Rangers’ autopsy report fails to explain apparent signs of severe trauma found on Alfred’s body, revealed by an independent second autopsy. One of the firm’s many concerns include the actions of a local member of law enforcement who began communicating toxicological findings with the general public even though that same person told members of the Wright family that no toxicology report was in existence.

“It is deeply troubling and hard to imagine why law enforcement is all of a sudden choosing to engage in investigatory efforts – interviewing family members and performing basic property searches – all of which should have occurred on day one.” -Bernsen Law Firm

Finally, the Wright family is requesting that the United States Department of Justice and its Civil Rights and FBI units take over the case and investigate Sabine County Sheriff Tom Maddox and Texas Ranger Danny Young.

This is why it matters. The dilemma of racial injustice is not merely an entertainment, it is not a cartoon.The misperceptions of race and power and race and revenge and race and class still consume everyday life – not like the imagined buffoonery of DJANGO UNCHAINED, but just like the arbitrary but real violence and savagery of 12 YEARS A SLAVE. These are still current affairs issues. Real slavery still exists in the modern world. Arbitrary injustice and violence still exist in the modern world. Racial disparity still exists in the modern world. Economic injustice still exists in the modern world. Our severest problems are man-made. We must not despair or look for revenge, but we must be the solution. The leadership is us. It is within this context that the discussion of DJANGO UNCHAINED vs. 12 YEARS A SLAVE arises.

January 16, 2014 Posted by | CULTURE, FILM, We Recommend | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Engrossing Film on the Black Merchant Marines SALTY DOG BLUES 1/9/14 Baltimore

Salty Dog Blues

Salty Dog Blues

Event Type: screenings, African American, Latino, documentary

Thu Jan 9 7:30pm

$12, $7 mbrs. General Public tickets › Members tickets ›


Salty Dog Blues

Director: Al Santana and Denise Belén Santiago
USA, 2013, 60 mins.

Salty Dog Blues is the story about Merchant Marines of color and their relationship to the National Maritime Union, a once progressive union that was forced, in 2001, to merge with the Seafarers International Union. In the process, many of the retired mariners lost benefits they worked their entire lives to secure. Examining their development as a multi-racial/international labor force, the film chronicles the lives of these men and women and describes how they navigated issues of racism, disparities in the workplace, as well as gender and familial conflicts. It is an intimate look at the potentially devastating consequences of stagnant pension plans, the eradication of medical benefits, and how the elder mariners are organizing to fight back against these injustices. 7:30pm $12, $7 mbrs.

Official Selection – Vancouver International Film Festival

Watch the trailer:

– See more at:

Creative Alliance at The Patterson | 3134 Eastern Ave., Baltimore MD 21224 | | 410/276-1651

January 7, 2014 Posted by | ART, FILM, HOLIDAY GUIDES, opportunity, Uncategorized, We Recommend | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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