A screening of Amiri Baraka’s Black Springorganized by Harmony Holiday
Poet, playwright, and revolutionary Black thinker Amiri Baraka understood that there will be no liberation without the commitment of Black artists. He also understood the importance of unapologetic militancy in the pursuit of creative freedom, and he understood the value of the moving image, how film penetrates the subconscious and how important it is that the images of Black people being ourselves and loving it, captured by Black people, proliferate and save us from being programmed by the ideals coming out of Hollywood. Black Spring is a short, formerly missing document of Amiri’s time in the Bay Area working with the Black Panthers and San Francisco State University’s Black Student Union. The film oozes Black revolutionary love and commitment. We are in urgent need of our own Black Spring, of poets and artists fearless enough to gather without instructions or institutions and sing and shout and dance and resist together. Hopefully this film reminds us that part of our work is creating a way of life so fulfilling we forget to politicize our involvement in revolutionary communities and focus on one another as human beings who come together out of a love for beauty and truth. The screening of Black Spring will be held on the date of Baraka’s 86th birthday.
Following the screening, Holiday will lead a virtual discussion of Baraka’s life and work featuring Ashley James, Associate Curator of Contemporary Art at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, and Yasmina Price, PhD candidate at Yale University in the department of African-American Studies and Film/Media studies.
About the artist:
Harmony Holiday is a writer, dancer, archivist, and the author of five collections of poetry including the forthcoming Maafa(2020) . She also curates an archive of griot poetics and a related performance series at MOCA. She has received the Motherwell Prize from Fence Books, a Ruth Lilly Fellowship, a NYFA fellowship, a Schomburg Fellowship, a California Book Award, and a research fellowship from Harvad’s Woodberry Poetry Room. She’s currently working on a film commissioned for the 2020 Hammer Museum biennial Made in L.A., and a collection of essays entitled Love is War for Miles, in addition to other writing, film, and curatorial projects.