Tag: Harlem Renaissance

Tessa Thompson and Ruth Negga to Star in Adaptation of Nella Larsen’s Harlem Renaissance Era Novel ‘Passing’

The Hollywood Reporter recently reported that Ruth Negga (“Loving”) and Tessa Thompson(“Sorry to Bother You”) will star in a film adaptation of Nella Larsen’s novel “Passing.”

Larsen’s novel explores the practice of passing as a race different from one’s own. “Passing” focuses on childhood friends, Irene Redfield and Clare Kendry, who reconnect in adulthood. Kendry passes as White, but longs for connection with Redfield and her life in Harlem’s Black community. The friends’ obsession with one another pushes their lives together in ways that prove risky for both women.

The critical acclaim that “Passing” earned after its 1929 publication cemented Larson’s legacy among the most celebrated authors of the Harlem Renaissance.

Thompson, who is of Afro-Panamanian and Mexican descent, and Negga, the daughter of an Ethiopian man and Irish woman, will portray the pair at the center of the story. Rebecca Hall, a British actress of partial Black ancestry, will direct.

Source: https://www.colorlines.com/articles/tessa-thompson-ruth-negga-star-passing-adaptation

Writers Rally to Save Langston Hughes Home in Harlem via Crowdfunding

Langston Hughes (photo via theroot.com)

article by Angela Bronner Helms via theroot.com

The home occupied by one of the great leaders of the Harlem Renaissance, Langston Hughes, still stands on 127th Street in Harlem today.  Hughes used the top floor of the home as his workroom from 1947 to his death in 1967; it was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1982.

The current owner, who remains anonymous, listed the unoccupied dwelling for $1 million (which still has his typerwriter on a shelf) a few years ago, but it did not sell.  CNN Money reports that in a rapidly gentrifying New York, the home is now worth over $3 million.

Now that it’s on the market, writer Renee Watson has started an Indiegogo campaign to raise $150,000 to rent the home and turn it into a cultural center.

Over 250 people, many of them black writers, have given money in support and so far, the initiative to save Hughes’ house has raised almost $34,000.  “Hughes is deeply influential and important not only to me, but many writers of color,” says author Jacqueline Woodson, winner of the National Book Award for Brown Girl Dreaming, which opens with a Hughes poem.

Watson says she has spoken to the owner, who says she would definitely sell it, but “like me, she doesn’t want it to become condos or a coffee shop.”

To donate to the fund, please go to the I, Too, Arts Collective Indigogo page.

To read full article, go to: Black Writers Rally To Save Langston Hughes Home

The New Yorker’s Tribute to the Schomburg Center for Research In Black Culture Is Everything

Newyorker

article via clutchmagonline.com

The New Yorker recently unveiled its latest illustrated cover, and it’s gorgeous.

Featuring Kadir Nelson’s stunning “Harlem On My Mind” painting, the Feb. 16 issue pays homage to the Schomburg Center for Research In Black Culture.

Nelson said he wanted his painting to be “a stylistic montage” that honors “the great Harlem Renaissance painters: Aaron Douglas, William H. Johnson, Norman Lewis, Jacob Lawrence, Elizabeth Catlett, Archibald Motley, and Palmer Hayden.”

Also included in the beautiful illustration are Black cultural giants Zora Neale Hurston, Malcolm X, James Baldwin, Billie Holiday, Duke Ellington, and the Nicholas Brothers.

Lee Daniels Directing Apollo Theater Documentary “The Apollo Theater Project”

Lee Daniels Directing Apollo Theater Documentary
(REX/SHUTTERSTOCK)

article by Dave McNary via Variety.com

Lee Daniels (“Precious”, “The Butler”, “Empire”) will direct the documentary feature film “The Apollo Theater Film Project,” an authorized history of New York’s famed venue.

“I am honored to be entrusted with the story of this incredible American iconic institution and work with this team,” Daniels said. “I used to go to the Apollo Theater as a kid and never in a million years would I have imagined I would be back to be doing this – it is very special for me.”

Lee Daniels (photo via slate.com)
Director Lee Daniels (photo via slate.com)

The Apollo began operating in 1934 during the Harlem Renaissance and became the most prized venue on the “Chitlin’ Circuit” during the time of racial segregation in the United States. The Apollo was a key launch venue for Ella Fitzgerald, Jimi Hendrix and the Jackson Five. Performers have included Aretha Franklin, Nat King Cole, Gladys Knight, Sammy Davis Jr. and Billie Holiday.

White Horse Pictures’ Nigel Sinclair and Jeanne Elfant Festa are producing the project. Daniels and Jonelle Procope, the president and CEO of the Apollo Theater, are asking members of the public, audience-goers and fans for film footage, home movies, photographs or other memorabilia.

“We are asking members of the community who have been to the Apollo, who may have parents or grandparents or other family members or friends who have done so, to help us find any material — audience footage, photographs or other memories that we can use in our documentary film,” Daniels and Procope said.

The project has established a website (www.apollotheaterdocumentary.com) for anyone who wants to submit. “We will, of course, respect everybody’s ownership of their property,” Daniels and Procope said.

To read more, go to: http://variety.com/2016/film/news/lee-daniels-director-apollo-theater-documentary-1201691098/

Walter Mosley and Countee Cullen to Be Inducted Into the NY State Writers Hall of Fame

Countee Cullen
Countee Cullen
Walter Mosley
Walter Mosley

On June 4, the New York State Writers Hall of Fame will induct eight outstanding authors – Walter Mosley, Countee Cullen, Maurice Sendak, Alice McDermott, Miguel Pinero, James Fenimore Cooper, Calvin Trillin and  Marilyn Hacker.   Mosley is best known for his Easy Rawlins novels Devil in a Blue Dress and Always Outnumbered, Always Outgunned, while Cullen came to prominence as a poet during the Harlem Renaissance, publishing classics such as Color and Copper Sun.

Each honoree is inducted personally with a few words by a friend or representative, and the 2013 ceremony will be held at New York’s Princeton Club.

article by Lori Lakin Hutcherson

Born On This Day in 1891: Noted Author Zora Neale Hurston

Zora Neale Hurston birthday

Writer, folklorist, and anthropologist Zora Neale Hurston (pictured) was one of the most-outstanding authors that emerged from the Harlem Renaissance. Over the course of four novels, an autobiography, and dozens of published writings, Hurston has been an inspiration for distinguished writers, such as Toni MorrisonAlice WalkerRalph Ellison, and countless others.

Hurston was the fifth of eight children born to her parents, John and Lucy Ann, in the small town of Notasulga in Alabama. The family uprooted when she was just a toddler, making their new home in Eatonville, Fla. Her father, a preacher, would become mayor of the town, which was one of the first all-black incorporated cities in the United States. After the death of her school teacher mother in 1904, her father remarried and she was sent to boarding school in nearby Jacksonville. Hurston was later expelled after her father stopped paying the tuition.

Continue reading “Born On This Day in 1891: Noted Author Zora Neale Hurston”

Harlem Renaissance Novel By Claude McKay Is Found

Author Claude McKay in the 1920s.

A Columbia graduate student and his adviser have authenticated the student’s discovery of an unknown manuscript of a 1941 novel by Claude McKay, a leading Harlem Renaissance writer and author of the first novel by a black American to become a best seller.  The manuscript, “Amiable With Big Teeth: A Novel of the Love Affair Between the Communists and the Poor Black Sheep of Harlem,” was discovered in a previously untouched university archive and offers an unusual window on the ideas and events (like Mussolini’s invasion of Ethiopia) that animated Harlem on the cusp of World War II. The two scholars have received permission from the McKay estate to publish the novel, a satire set in 1936, with an introduction about how it was found and its provenance verified. Continue reading “Harlem Renaissance Novel By Claude McKay Is Found”

The Good Things Black People Do, Give and Receive All Over The World
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