“(RE)FOCUS: Black America 2018” revisits and reexamines the content, archival material and public reception of “FOCUS: Black America,” a yearlong program of screenings, lectures and courses that Indiana University administrators, faculty and students organized in 1968. Representatives from Indiana University’s Archives, Moving Image Archive and the Neal-Marshall Black Cultural Center Library will showcase materials related to the original event in an open-door archive.
Following interactive sessions with these materials, the Black Film Center/Archive will host a screening of the short educational film Heritage of the Negro (1965), which was part of a film series from the original 1968 FOCUS program.
Narrated by actor, activist and director Ossie Davis, Heritage opens with scholars, writers and artists who parse and dismiss the term “Negro” for its many limitations as a meaningful and (even then) current way to encapsulate the history and culture of African American people in the late 1960s. Pioneering historian John Henrik Clarke addresses the importance of learning about the deep interconnected histories and cultures of western Africa and of black Americans in United States. Meanwhile, a range of participants reflect upon the educational experiences they received in the 1950s and 1960s. Heritage is an educational film about education from the perspective of African Americans.
Fast forward to IU in the early 1990s, with a screening of the documentary Facing the Facade (1994), which was directed by IU alumnus Jerald Harkness. The film is comprised of interviews with African American students discussing their experiences of life on the IU Bloomington campus. Harkness will be present for a post-screening discussion.
6:00 p.m.—Open-Door Archive (interactive informal session with the archival materials)
6:45 p.m.—Screening, Heritage of the Negro (1965)
7:15 p.m.—Screening, Facing the Facade (1994)
8:20 p.m.—Intergenerational and Multidisciplinary Roundtable Discussion
All events will take place in the Indiana University Libraries Moving Image Archive Screening Room, Herman B Wells Library, Room 048.
For more information, contact Terri Francis, firstname.lastname@example.org, 812.856.9940.
This program received funding from a Humanities Initiative Grant