Black Fire UVA: Films by Kevin Jerome Everson and Claudrena N. Harold
Free Screening! Kevin Jerome Everson and Claudrena N. Harold in person
Over the last half dozen years, Kevin Jerome Everson and Claudrena N Harold have collaborated with their students on a series of films that examine the history of African American students and faculty at Charlottesville’s University of Virginia (UVA). Founded by Thomas Jefferson in 1825, but not admitting African American students until 125 years later, UVA has had an on-going entanglement with white supremacy long before the events of August 2017 turned international attention onto the school and the city.
These films do not directly address this white supremacy, rather they centre instead on the initiatives of African Americans at the school. Re-enacting historical moments as if they were recently unearthed documents of the times, Everson and Harold focus both on black empowerment and celebrations of daily life. From the Anti-Vietnam War protests led by the first African American Student President James R. Roebuck; through the community building of Vivian Gordon, director of the Black Studies program in the 1970s; to the daily routines of student athletes in competitive sports programs, these films foreground the role of higher education in creating a community of strength and change, momentarily apart from but primed for engagement with the outside world. Six films from the series will be shown, including a sneak preview of a new collaboration.
Co-presented with Vertical Features.