EXCLUSIVE VIDEO: Campaign for Black Male Achievement Explores Intersection of Art, Activism

By Kenrya Rankin Oct 10, 2016

In a time when every week seems to bring a story of another Black boy or man who died at the hands of the state, the Campaign for Black Male Achievement is hosting an event that seeks to celebrate the lives of the ones who are still here.

The Campaign for Black Male Achievement and the Perception Institute partnered for Black Male Re-Imagined III: Ascension, a free program scheduled for tomorrow (October 11) at The Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. The third installment of the series, which launched in 2010, will feature discussions, art, film shorts and performances that explore topics including Black masculinity, how media covers police violence, the importance of intersectionality in advocating for all Black people and how art can drive social change.

Participants will include filmmaker and professor Haile Gerima; poet, essayist and publisher Haki R. Madhubuti; Mic.com senior news correspondent Darnell Moore; writer Mychal Denzel Smith; LGBTQ advocate and writer Tiq Milan, and pianist and composer Samora Abayomi Pinderhughes.

Watch #BlackMenSpeak, an exclusive video from the Campaign for Black Male Achievement that features artists—including Pharrell Williams, Laolu, Knowledge* Bennett, Bayete Ross Smith and Ron Draper—talking about how their work intersects with activism. As artist Adrian Franks says in the video, “The work that I produce, I feel like it either needs to do one of two things. It needs to kinda remind people of what’s going on, because it’s too easy to forget, especially in this day and age of social media. Or it needs to kind of like tell a story about what could be the possibility of things going forward.”

Black Male Re-Imagined III: Ascension starts tomorrow at 2 p.m. ET. Click here to learn more about the free program.


*Piece has been updated since publication to correct artist Knowledge Bennett’s name.