Melanin is one of my favorite Bay Area painters because of how he melds history, culture and politics into a futuristic vision. I met Melanin years ago, when he was a member of the legendary Black Diamonds Shining Art Collective. I was an instant fan of most of the crew’s work.
At a recent event that I attended at the African American Art and Culture Complex, I had my first experience with virtual reality. Virtual reality technician Shawn Alston has set up a virtual reality lab, where the participant gets a chance, in the 10-minute presentation, to grow from a seed to a tree.
The San Francisco Black Film Festival is celebrating its 20-year milestone this year with a myriad of magnificent and majestic films from all over the Black world. Kali O’Ray, the SF Black Film Festival director and son of festival founder Ave Montague sat with me as he does every year to explain the happenings and expected high points of this year’s festivities. For the 20th anniversary, we’re applying the theme 20/20, which is 20 years forward and 20 years back.
We are pleased to announce an event on Aug. 16, 2016, to celebrate the union of Marcus Books and the African American Arts and Culture Complex (AAACC) in the Fillmore District of San Francisco. Over the past few months, Marcus Books and the AAACC have been collaborating on the details of their new partnership which will manifest as a bookstore within the first floor lobby of the complex. The event, to be held Tuesday, Aug. 16, 6-9 p.m., on the first floor of the AAACC, is meant to share the exciting plans with the community.
San Francisco will come alive with 15 Kwanzaa celebrations in seven days Dec. 26 through Jan. 1, presented by the Village Project and many community partners. Striving to unite and strengthen our family, community and nation, each of the seven principles – the Nguzo Saba – will be highlighted with the lighting of a candle, followed by a feast and a myriad of artistic performances. On New Year's Day, the final day of Kwanzaa, join the celebration at 6 p.m. at St. Cyprian’s Episcopal Church, 2097 Turk St., with Bernard Anderson and The Smooth Blues Band. The last candle of the kinara will be lit, and Dr. Dorothy Tsuruta, chair of the Department of Africana Studies, SF State University, will MC.
On July 11, from 6-9 p.m., the San Francisco Appreciation Society (SFAS) will honor artist Eugene E. White for 50 years of painting and community service with an exhibit, artist talk and reception at the African American Arts and Culture Complex (AAACC). Mr. White’s work is part of the AAACC’s Elders Project 2013, celebrating the creativity, strength, perseverance and beauty of older African Americans.
“The Black Woman Is God” exhibit examines and questions the idea of seeing the Black woman as a God figure. Artists use materials, forms and iconography that challenge the belief that the image of God is white and male. The exhibit can be seen at the African American Art and Culture Complex at 762 Fulton St. in San Francisco until May 30, Tuesdays through Saturdays from noon to 5 p.m.
Sobonfu Somé, West African healer, says that when people die and become ancestors, they get smarter and often try to repair any damage they may have made while in this physical form. Ancestors want to be busy making our lives better. She said we can call on them to intercede on our behalf when we are troubled.