Express Newark’s Community Media Center, in partnership with The Newark Museum of Art, presents Black Fire, a series of short films about African American student life and activism at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, VA, by Claudrena N. Harold and Kevin Jerome Everson.

The screening will be followed by a conversation between the filmmakers and Farrah Rahaman, the 2022-2023 curator-in-residence at Express Newark.

These unclassifiable, poetic short films explore how Black students have transformed the university politically, socially, culturally, and intellectually since the 1960s. Creatively employing reenactment, interviews, music, and performance, Everson and Harold pay tribute to the unsung trailblazers who paved the way for greater equality on the UVA campus while bringing the university’s history of racial and social struggle into dialogue with the present.

Black Fire 

A Short Film Series by Kevin Jerome Everson and Claudrena N. Harold (duration: 80 Minutes)

Short Films include:

  • Accidental Athlete 
  • Gospel Hill
  • Hampton
  • Black Bus Stop
  • Fastest Man in the State
  • How Can I Ever Be Late 
  • We Demand
  • Sugarcoated Arsenic 

This program is also presented as part of Express Newark’s year-long programming for its annual theme, “Aliveness,” and its film exhibition Things We Do in the Dark: Cinematic Experiments in Kinship, curated by Express Newark Curator-in-Residence, Farrah Rahaman. The exhibition, which is open from February 2 to July 31, 2023, features over twenty video-based works from Black and Indigenous artists who engage in experimental, collaborative, and political approaches to contemporary filmmaking. The works explore critical themes in racial solidarity, Black radical protest, and communal healing, and were created in what Rahaman describes as “cinematic ensembles” by community-oriented artists, collectives, and groups that foreground practices of collective care and kinship.

Location: Billy Johnson Auditorium

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