Arthur Briggs is the most important name in jazz history you’ve probably never heard. Known as “The Louis Armstrong of France,” Briggs was among the most important musicians to bring jazz to Europe. Indeed, he had an uncanny ability to be where history was happening: from Harlem during the renaissance, to Paris during the Jazz Age, to a Nazi prison camp during WWII. He interacted with, and influenced, everyone from Django Reinhardt to the Prince of Wales. But Briggs’s life was about so much more than just music. His unbending sense of dignity led him to heroic acts during his imprisonment in the Nazi stalag at St. Denis, and his lifelong pursuit of racial justice make him a beacon for our age. In Better Days Will Come Again, this incredible story is told for the first time. Join author Travis Atria, along with Briggs’s daughter Barbara and great-nephew James Briggs Murray, to discuss the man, the book, and the lessons we can learn from them.
This event is part of our year-long exploration on the theme of “Home, What does it look like now?” How can we reconsider home in the 21st century as we cross states and borders seeking comfort, safety and identity? Against the backdrop of a global pandemic, state sanctioned violence against black bodies coupled with enhancing diverse and inclusive curricula, the Center for Black Visual Culture (CBVC) will explore the significant ways black visual narratives respond to the cultural, dynamic political, social, economic as well intimate changes that force us to (re)interrogate previous conceptions of home.