Tag Archives: African-American History

Puzzling and amazing pieces that fit in Dance Theatre of Harlem exhibition

A centerpiece of our exhibition, Arthur Mitchell: Harlem’s Trailblazer, is a dazzling, eight foot long puzzle.

Handcrafted and painted from wood, the puzzle details the DTH’s history, Mitchell’s influence, luminaries who’ve supported the company, landmark performances and homages to ballet casts.

As puzzle maker Frank Bara notes in a video tour of the puzzle, shot a number of years ago, the puzzle celebrates the Dance Theatre of Harlem’s 20th anniversary. He completed it in 1989.

Dance Theatre of Harlem puzzle.

Visitors to RBML discuss the Dance Theatre of Harlem finds in this puzzle.

Dance Theatre of Harlem puzzle

Close up with Frank Bara’s Dance Theatre of Harlem puzzle.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In this short video clip, Bara also explains the many “easter eggs” contained in the puzzle, if you’re lucky enough to get up close and personal with it.

There’s still time to see the puzzle in the Wallach Gallery at the Lenfest Arts Center. The exhibition runs through March 11th. After that the puzzle goes back into careful storage at the RBML. Don’t miss your chance to see this artistry up close.

Civil rights leader Bayard Rustin on the class conscious roots of SNCC

Since the 1990s, with social historians looking back on how we’ve told the history of the Civil Rights Movement, Bayard Rustin has come to the fore as a central leader in the movement. Specifically, for decades, he was the unsung hero behind the conceptualization of the 1963 March on Washington. But more than that, this civil rights strategist’s life was intersectional before intersectional identities were theorized in academia’s scholarship.

Bayard Rustin gif telling about his civil rights activism.

A Black History Month salute to Bayard Rustin through oral history. Gif credit: Sundance DocNow/@FOXADHD via Giphy

In this wide-ranging oral history from our collection, Rustin sat down with an interviewer in 1987 and shared his reflections on everything from trade unionism to the seeds of Black politics in Garveyism to the struggles of the day, such as bringing down the apartheid regime in South Africa.

Here’s a clip of Rustin’s thinking on how the emergence of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) reflected shifts in African-Americans’ class consciousness.

 

You can hear more from Rustin and others on the civil rights by searching our Oral History Portal or stopping in to the Columbia Center for Oral History Archives at Columbia University.

“Live from the Columbia Archives” Discussion with Eric Foner Now Online

For anyone unable to attend Jan. 29th’s event, the inaugural “Live from the Columbia Archives” talk is now available for online viewing. Click below to watch Professor Eric Foner discuss his new book, Gateway to Freedom, and the remarkable archival document that helped him to rediscover the Hidden History of the Underground Railroad.

Sept. 8th, 6pm — A Panel Discussion with Former Gov. David Paterson and Leading Scholars and Community Organizers

political-memories-v4A conversation on libraries, government, and activism, with:

  • Former-Governor David Paterson.
  • Jim Neal, Columbia University Librarian.
  • Dr. Khalil Muhammad, Director, Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture.
  • Ester Fuchs, Professor of International and Public Affairs and Political Science, SIPA.
  • Peggy Shepard, founder director of West Harlem Environmental Action.

    Monday, Sept. 8, 2014, 6pm.
    The Kellogg Center
    1501 International Affairs Building

 

 

ONLINE EXHIBIT– “The Unwritten History”: Alexander Gumby’s African America

Alexander Gumby

This online exhibit explores the efforts of Alexander Gumby to create a documentary history of African-American achievement in the nineteenth and early-twentieth centuries.  An influential figure during the Harlem Renaissance, Gumby compiled a scrapbook collection of approximately 300 volumes in support of his project, filled with news clippings, photographs, pamphlets, handbills, original artwork, manuscripts, and ephemera, pages from which are on display here.