Tag: Joe Louis

The Obsidian Collection, an African-American Newspaper Archive, to Put Its Records Online For Free

Source: Screenshot, Google Arts and Culture
Source: Screenshot, Google Arts and Culture

by Adrienne Samuels Gibbs via chicagomag.com

Digitizing legacy. That’s the job of the curators behind The Obsidian Collection – archivists for The Chicago Defender, Baltimore Afro American and other historically black newspapers in the United States. Their task is massive: digitize every image and article from newspapers that played a central role in the Great Migration, Civil Rights and Jim Crow eras. But they won’t have to do it all alone. Google Arts & Culture is working with the Obsidian group on creating digital exhibits that can be free and searchable by anyone around the world.

That’s just the first step, and it’s huge.

“More than just digitizing it for researchers, I’m passionate about the next generation seeing how awesome we are and in changing the narrative permeating the American conversation right now about African Americans,” says Angela Ford, who is helming the project and is excited about how it will add a more accurate variety of African American image metadata to the Google brain trust.

chicago defender harold washington
Harold Washington and Charles Hayes with a young Carol Moseley Braun cropped from the original published image, 1983 PHOTO: COURTESY OF THE CHICAGO DEFENDER—OBSIDIAN COLLECTION

“What happens is a lot of these archive collections speak in an echo chamber of libraries and archives where it just doesn’t get out to the laypeople.  What I love about Google Arts and Culture is you could be standing in line at the grocery store and viewing our archives. We’ll  keep rotating them in and out and keep pushing them through social media. We want everyone to see us.”

Eight exhibits are live on Google, giving people access to a wide range of images, from famed boxer Joe Louis at home in Chicago to coverage of a 1959 housewares show that illustrates how middle class black families lived at the time.

Obsidian already has an image of Harold Washington sitting with a young Carol Moseley Braun, except she was cropped out the image. There’s a water splattered image of children running through the spray of an open fire hydrant on 44th and Champlain, circa 1987. Even the mundane is fascinating, says Ford.

“The Defender had a housewares show in October 1959 and it was a big deal,” says Ford. “It cost a quarter to get in and we have pictures of all the black people promoting their products and Whirlpool was there with their miracle kitchen. We were separate from mainstream America and a lot of things went on in our community that shows a black middle class home.”

Ford is also working with her board—which includes people who have worked with the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture—on the larger issues that include the creation of virtual reality online exhibits.

“Google Culture Institute in Paris has invented the capacity to create virtual 3D spaces from a photograph,” says Ford, discussing the possibilities involved in using old picture to create virtual realities. “The question is, are we altering the art?”

chicago defender joe louis
Joe Louis and young fans, c. 1945 PHOTO: COURTESY OF THE CHICAGO DEFENDER—OBSIDIAN COLLECTION

A lot of this work is already on microfilm, but moving it to an online space will make it easier to access via smartphone, which is the end goal. Obsidian will slog through uploading everything to their own website and meanwhile, visitors will soon be able to head to Google Arts & Culture for a taste of what’s to come.

“Google’s arts and culture strategy is that everybody in the world can access everybody in the world and that will create a new world,” says Ford. “We want to make sure we are part of that conversation.”

Source: http://www.chicagomag.com/city-life/June-2018/How-the-Obsidian-Collection-Is-Bringing-Black-Newspapers-to-Google/

Joe Louis Movie Biopic in Development with Bill Duke to Direct and Produce

Joe Louis Movie Biopic in Development
Joe Louis (UNDERWOOD ARCHIVES / UIG/REX SHUTTERSTOCK)

Producers Bill Duke, Gil Adler and Joel Eisenberg are developing a biopic on boxer Joe Louis with Duke directing.  The trio has signed a deal with rights holders Fran Kirmser and Tony Ponturo of Kirmser Ponturo Group. The untitled project will focus on Louis’ historic two fights with German boxer Max Schmeling.

Joe Louis Barrow II, the son of the fighter, signed his father’s life rights to Kirmser Ponturo Group in 2013 and will also produce.  Originally intended as a stage play, Eisenberg approached Kirmser and inquired as to the project’s present status, then pitched the idea of a film and brought in Duke and Adler as his partners, and the deal was made.

Joe Louis became a symbolic figure in boxing during early global tensions leading to World War II, becoming among the first U.S. black cultural heroes. Schmeling was exploited as Hitler’s German superman but had no love for the Nazi regime.

Their two fights took place in Yankee Stadium. Schmeling handed Louis his first loss in their first fight in 1936; Louis knocked out Schmeling in the first round of their rematch in 1938.  “This project has been a passion project of mine for 25 years,” said Eisenberg. “It remains to me the greatest true-life story never filmed to its potential.”

Adler’s credits as a producer include “Valkyrie” and “Superman Returns.” Duke directed the 2011 documentary “Dark Girls,” as well as “Sister Act 2” and “The Cemetery Club.”

article by Dave McNary via Variety.com

Mike Tyson to Present Evander Holyfield with Boxing Hall of Fame Trophy

Mike Tyson and Evander Holyfield

Former heavyweight champions Mike Tyson and Evander Holyfield have come a long way since 1997, when Tyson bit off a piece of Holyfield’s ear in the third round and was disqualified in their infamous championship rematch.  Over the years, they have put their ill feelings for each other to bed and even appeared in a recent television commercial spoofing the biting incident.

Tyson, who will hand Holyfield his Hall of Fame trophy, called the opportunity to present Holyfield a “privilege and high honor.”

Holyfield is also looking forward to it.  “That’s great,” he said of Tyson’s participation.

Rich Marotta, a longtime boxing broadcaster and president of the Nevada Boxing Hall of Fame, said: “This is the kind of thing we showed is possible in boxing last year at our inaugural induction ceremony — former and even current rivals coming together under the same roof to celebrate boxing. Everyone checks those rivalries at the door. Tyson presenting Holyfield is sheer magic.”

Holyfield is being enshrined in the non-Nevada-resident category, along with George Foreman and Roberto Duran, as voted on by a 35-member panel.

Tyson was inducted in the Nevada resident category in the inaugural ceremony in 2013. Holyfield and Tyson both fought many of their biggest fights in Las Vegas.

The rest of the 18-man class of 2014, which was announced in February, includes Sonny Liston and Cornelius Boza Edwards (Nevada-resident boxers category), Jack Dempsey and Archie Moore (pioneers), Joe Louis (adoptive Nevada resident), trainer Miguel Diaz (non-boxers), Richard Steele and Kenny Bayless (officials), Col. Bob Sheridan and Kevin Iole (media), Bruce Trampler (promotions), Chuck Minker and Luther Mack (executives), and Clifford Perlman and Steve Wynn (special contributors).

article by Dan Rafael via espn.com

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