News & Announcements

KUUMBA ARTS FESTIVAL - Saturday, December 1, 2012

The CSU Black Studies Howard A. Mims African American Cultural Center presents:

Saturday, December 1, 2012
6:00 PM, Main Classroom Auditorium

(Corner of East 22nd and Chester Avenue, Main Plaza Level)

This year's Kuumba Arts Festival will highlight African American films that were first produced as novels, following last year's successful tribute to films that featured the African American experience in the U.S. Military.

Novels that will be showcased with reenactments and music from the films include The Homesteader, Their Eyes Were Watching God, The Color Purple, A Native Son, Waiting to Exhale, and Push (made into the movie Precious).

Each celebrated film will be introduced by a distinguished member of the Cleveland State University faculty and administration, including Dr. Charleyse Pratt, Director of Learning Communities, Programs, and Partnerships and President of the Black Faculty and Staff Organization; Dr. Ronnie Dunn and Dr. Mittie Chandler Jones of the College of Urban Affairs; the College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences' Dr. Adrienne Gosselin and Instructor Linda Price from the English Department; and Dr. Regennia Williams from the History Department.

Music by Quincy Jones and songs by artists like Whitney Houston and Jill Scott will be celebrated with CSU student and community actors and vocalists, while favorite scenes from the select movies will correspond and contrast with readings of excerpts from the novels by Lisa Langford. Although Halley Berry, Oprah Winfrey, Whoopi Goldberg, Whitney Houston, Angela Basset, and Danny Glover will not be there to greet the audience, professional actors such as Vern Morrison, Sandra E. Scott, Christina Collier, Christina Dennis, Brandon McSwaine, Joseph Glover, and Jeannine Gaskin will be the stars who are accessible for autographs and photos on the red carpet.

A scene from Their Eyes Were Watching God will allow the Spiritual Gifts Choir a chance to reflect on Zora Neal Hurtson's work and connect folk traditions from the African American community into an institution of higher learning. Nina Kidd will play a memorable classic by Chopin during a portrayal from a silent film by Oscar Micheaux, while vocalists Robert and Andrea Coleman will join Bertha Lee Pickett and Edward Blair in bringing songs to mind that were as popular as the films themselves. A student instrumental trio will feature music with Devin Simmons on saxophone, Clarence Tate on piano, and Isaiah Johnson on drums in one scene while another scene will showcase Jake Streeter, the first student to acquire a major in Black Studies from CSU, on folk guitar.

The Kuumba Arts Festival will also appreciate the efforts of CSU alumni who advanced and enhanced their careers by writing books. Several books by Dr. Regennia Williams will be available for purchase, and attention will focus on Emeka Iwenofu and the prospects of his book Jackie's Miracle developing as a film project with Cleveland-area talent. Other authors will be present to meet and greet the audience at the opening reception