Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Roundtable conversation moderated
by Pamela Newkirk, with Paula Giddings, Shola Lynch,
Louise Greaves, sculptor Richard Hunt, and Michelle Duster,
great granddaughter of Ida B. Wells

Though virtually forgotten today, Ida B. Wells-Barnett was a household name in Black America during much of her lifetime (1863-1931) and was considered the equal of her well-known African American contemporaries such as Booker T. Washington and W.E.B. Du Bois. Ida B. Wells: A Passion for Justice (1989, 55 min) by filmmaker William Greaves retells the dramatic life and turbulent times of the pioneering African American journalist, activist, suffragist and anti-lynching crusader of the post-Reconstruction period. Wells’ great-granddaughter Michelle Duster is working with the Ida B. Wells Commemorative Art Committee to memorialize Wells in bronze. The monumental artwork will be located at 37th and Langley in Bronzeville, the Chicago neighborhood where she once lived, worked, and raised her family. The central sculpture will be created by sculptor Richard Hunt.

Time: 6:00 pm
Kimmel Center-NYU, 60 Washington Square South, Room 914, 9th Floor

Please RSVP: nyuiaaa-cbvc-events@nyu.edu  or (212) 998-IAAA (4222)
Please make sure to state the event name and date in your email.

Clockwise from top left: Pamela Newkirk, PhD; Author and Professor Paula Giddings; Filmmaker Shola Lynch; Filmmaker Louise Greaves; Sculptor Richard Hunt in his studio, photo by Thomas McComick; Michelle Duster, great granddaughter of Ida B. Wells, photo by Charles Rex Arbogast.

Pamela Newkirk, PhD, is an award-winning journalist and multifaceted scholar whose work addresses how prevailing depictions of African descendants in scholarship and popular culture inform popular perceptions and policies. Her latest book Spectacle: The Astonishing Life of Ota Benga, (HarperCollins) examines how prevalent and pernicious racial attitudes contributed to the 1906 exhibition of a young Congolese man in the Bronx Zoo monkey house. Spectacle was listed among the Best Books of 2015 by NPR, The San Francisco ChronicleThe Boston Globe, The Huffington Post Black Voices and The Root, and won the NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Non-Fiction Literature and the Zora Neale Hurston/Richard Wright Foundation Legacy Award. Newkirk is the editor of Letters from Black America and A Love No Less: More Than Two Centuries of African American Love Letters; and is the author of Within the Veil: Black Journalists, White Media, which won the National Press Club Award for Media Criticism. Newkirk is professor of journalism at NYU’s Arthur Carter Journalism Institute where she served as director of undergraduate studies. She previously worked at four successive news organizations, including New York Newsday where she was part of a Pulitzer Prize-winning team. Her articles on media, race and African American art and culture have appeared in umerous publications including The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Guardian, The Nation, The Chronicle of Higher Education and Artnews.

Paula J. Giddings is Elizabeth A. Woodson Professor of Africana Studies and Editor of Meridians. She is the author When and Where I Enter: The Impact on Black Women on Race and Sex in America; In Search of Sisterhood: Delta Sigma Theta and the Challenge of the Black Sorority Movement; and, the biography of anti-lynching activist Ida B. Wells, Ida: A Sword Among Lions, which won The Los Angeles Times Book Prize for Biography and was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle award. Ida was deemed one of the best books of 2008 by the Washington Post and the Chicago Tribune, and earned the first inaugural John Hope Franklin Research Center Book Award presented by the Duke University Libraries. The book also won the Letitia Woods Brown Book Award from the Association of Black Women Historians, and the Outstanding Book Award from the Gustavas Myers Center for the Study of Bigotry and Human Rights.

Shola Lynch is an award-winning and acclaimed filmmaker. She holds a Master’s in American History and Public History Management from the University of California, Riverside as well as a graduate degree in journalism from Columbia University. She makes films about audacious women - and in particular black women. She is best known for her documentaries Chisholm ‘72 - Unbought & Unbossed and Free Angela & All Political Prisoners. Chisholm ’72 – Unbought & Unbossed, follows Congresswoman Shirley Chisholm’s historic run for president in 1972 and premiered at the Sundance Film Festival and aired on PBS’s POV series. The film won two Independent Spirit Award nominations and a prestigious Peabody for excellence. Free Angela & All Political Prisoners received critical acclaim and premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival and won the 2014 NAACP Image Award for Excellence for Best Documentary. She has produced and scripted stories that have aired on BET, CNN, ESPN, HBO Sports, TV One, and PBS. In 2013, The Sundance Institute selected Shola as one of five women who show great promise to be mentored in their prestigious Women’s Filmmaker Initiative. Shola was also recently awarded a prestigious Creative Capital Award for her next film, a narrative on the great liberator Harriet Tubman. In 2016, she was selected to the Documentary Jury of the Sundance Film Festival. She is also the Curator for the Moving Image & Recorded Sound Division archive at the New York Public Library’s Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture. Through the work of  rediscovering this large collection, she hopes to inspire an army of storytellers from students and scholars to artists of all kinds. Lynch is working on her first scripted film - and the lead character is, of course, a black woman. She believes in the value of preserving history and its power in storytelling.

Louise Archambault Greaves is a producer, curator and researcher. She worked with her late husband, William Greaves, in both the production and the distribution of many of his award-winning documentaries. She continues to promote and distribute his work and is pleased to be able to announce that his films as well as his papers are in the process of being archived and will become  available for research and study in the near future. Her next project involves the creation of a William Greaves award to encourage and support artists who are involved in the production of socially conscious documentary films and other audiovisual media.

Born in Chicago, Richard Hunt developed an interest in art from an early age. From seventh grade on he attended the Junior School of the Art Institute of Chicago. He went on to study there at the college level, receiving a B.A.E. in 1957. A traveling fellowship from the School of the Art Institute took him to England, France, Spain and Italy the following year. While still a student at SAIC, he began exhibiting his sculpture nationwide and during his Junior year one of his pieces, “Arachne,” was purchased by the Museum of Modern Art in New York. In 1962, he was the youngest artist to exhibit at Seattle’s World Fair. In 1967, Hunt’s career in sculpture began to take him outside the studio with his first large scale public sculpture commission, “Play” (the first sculpture commissioned by the State of Illinois’ Public Art Program).  He has created over one hundred and fifty commissioned works. Many of them are in the Chicago area. Hunt has received accolades and recognition throughout his career. His work can be found in numerous museums as well as both public and private collections, including the Art institute of Chicago, the National Gallery and National Museum of American Art in Washington, DC, the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Museum of Modern Art in New York. In 1968 he was appointed by President Lyndon Johnson as one of the first artists to serve on the National Council on the Arts, the governing board of the National Endowment for the Arts. He has received many fellowships, prizes and awards and holds fifteen honorary degrees from universities all over the country. In 2009, Hunt was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award by the International Sculpture Center.

Michelle Duster is an author, speaker, and educator. She believes it is essential that the contributions women and African Americans made to the United States be told in a more complete way and accurate way. She is active with various local and national projects, committees, and organizations that create, document and promote the many “untold” stories. For the past ten years she has worked on the creation of a monument to honor her great-grandmother, Ida B. Wells. Since 2008, Michelle’s writing has been included in nine books. She co-edited Shifts: An Anthology of Women’s Growth Through Change, co-wrote the popular children’s history book, Tate and His Historic Dream, plus wrote and edited two books that include the writings of her greatgrandmother, Ida B. Wells - Ida In Her Own Words and Ida From Abroad. Her most recent book that she co-edited is an anthology of writings by African American women about the work and portrayal of First Lady Michelle Obama. She was born and raised on the Southside of Chicago. She earned her B.A. in Psychology from Dartmouth College in Hanover, NH and her M.A. in Media Studies from The New School in New York City. She currently teaches writing at Columbia College Chicago.

Co-sponsored by the Tisch School of the Arts Department of Photography & Imaging, and the Department of Social and Cultural Analysis