Black Media Arts and the Long Ark|Arc of Peace
Webcast Archive Content
What can histories of modern Black media arts teach us about human expressive cultures and the importance of peaceful coexistence? How has art and media served as an instrument of response to the calamities of conflict and as means to articulate strategies of resolution, reconciliation, and solidarity? This presentation explores this topic by examining how Dr. Maya Angelou's philosophical insights about peace and love, and scholar Saidiyah Hartman’s critical interventions within legal studies and archival studies, have been taken up in the work of Black media-makers and artists.
Robeson Taj Frazier is an associate professor of communication in the Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism at the University of Southern California. He is the director of doctoral studies and director of IDEA (the Institute for Diversity and Empowerment at Annenberg). He is the author of two books, a multimedia/film producer, and has published articles and essays about U.S. Black social movements and political ideologies, globalization, fine arts, popular culture and U.S.-China relations and cultural contact.
His most recent book, KAOS Theory: The Afrokosmic Ark of Ben Caldwell (Angel City Press, 2023), explores the creative contributions and philosophical insights of Los Angeles filmmaker and multimedia artist Ben Caldwell and the community arts organization he founded, KAOS Network. Frazier's first book, The East is Black: Cold War China in the Black Radical Imagination (Duke University Press, 2014), analyzes the political and cultural ties cultivated between China and U.S. Black political movements during the Cold War, and the role that travel, media and representation played in this process. His second project, It’s Yours: A Story About Hip Hop and the Internet (2019), is a documentary film that examines how hip-hop artists’ and the broader global hip-hop community’s use of the Internet and digital technologies has revolutionized the music industry and global youth culture.