[Blackstudies-l] Blacks to the Future.Africans in Space. WW2

Maria Lima lima at geneseo.edu
Tue Oct 28 06:44:09 EDT 2014

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     * Blacks to the Future. Africans in Space. WW2* :: If you only see one
film this year make sure it's Concerning Violence

* BHW presents The Black History of Comedy ! Non stop laughs plus hours of
fantastic African history (some adult language and humour) as we review
conscious black comedians. Correct date is Wednesday  October 29, 6.30pm,
Abbey Conference Centre, London South Bank University. Free entry First
Come, First served  *

*  To add yourself to our mail list click HERE
Black History Walks, Talks & Films
13 Years of Education Through

 Black History is longer than a month..

28 October 2014

  Afro Futurism

 [image: An Oversimplification of Her Beauty ? Teaser]
Oversimplification of Her Beauty, trailer. African Odysseys at BFI
Southbank on November 29, 2.00pm

African Odysseys is hosting no less than 9 Science Fiction films featuring
African people (who don't die half way through)  at our regular venue, BFI
Southbank. The films, talks and Q&A's kick off with our X Men Black History
break down on Friday 14th November but the main events are from 28th
November to 20th  December and two of the events are already sold out so we
are telling you now *don't delay booking* your seats. Click here to BOOK
for Afrofuturism

Black History Walks, Talks and Films all year long

* The beguiling term 'Afrofuturism' was coined by cultural critic Mark Dery
in his 1994 essay 'Black to the Future.' Dery was specifically addressing
the work of African-American authors - including the trailblazing likes of
Samuel R Delany and Octavia Butler - whose science fiction prose explored
black themes within the context of developing 20th century technology. Over
the years, however, the term has come to refer more generally to works
(both new and historic) which engage with ideas around imagined black
futures across a variety of media and disciplines. Key reference points
include magical realism, Afrocentricity and non-Western cosmologies and
theology. As well as seeking to entertain, Afrofuturistic works look to
critique both the present-day dilemmas of black people and to interrogate
and re-examine significant, often traumatic, events of the past (slavery,
for example, is a recurring theme in Afrofuturistic texts). Afrofuturism,
then, is a broad canvas, but notable examples include the visual art of
Wangechi Mutu, Jean-Michel Basquiat and graffitist Rammellzee; the
performance art of Chicago-based Nick Cave; the music and cosmic imagery of
Sun Ra, Parliament-Funkadelic and OutKast; and the pioneering techno of
Juan Atkins and Derrick May. The most prominent current proponent of
Afrofuturist aesthetics is the Archandroid herself, Janelle Monáe, whose
hyper-stylised music videos have explored the realms of bondage and freedom
through fashion and robotics. Using this diverse body of ideas as a
launchpad, Inside Afrofuturism spotlights some key cinematic works that
have engaged with, inspired or been inspired by this ever-evolving
stylistic and intellectual cornucopia. On the 40th anniversary of its
release - and the 100th anniversary of the birth of its star - we present
the legendary Sun Ra in Space Is the Place: a stunning swirl of cosmology,
comedy and social consciousness which remains the ultimate filmic
expression of Afrofuturistic ideas. Also included are forays into
black-themed science fiction, documentaries which shine a spotlight on
Afrofuturistic pioneers, and genre-bending global cinema which vividly
conjures alternate black pasts and futures. To take a trip inside
Afrofuturism is to have your horizons broadened forever. Ashley Clarke
Films include:   - Sankofa - Brother from Another Planet -
Oversimplification of her Beauty plus Q&A with Director - Space is the
Place - Ornette Made in America - Exploring Afrofuturism: The Last Angel
plus panel discussion - Born In Flames plus Q&A - Afrika Bambata meets Don
Letts   Full programme listed HERE
  Kenyan science fiction movie, Pumzi  directed by Wanuri Kahiu (right)  *

*Following a sold out run at the Young Vic, the critically acclaimed The
Scottsboro Boys transfers to the Garrick Theatre for a strictly limited
season. Step right up and jump on board for this sensational musical which
brings to life the extraordinary true story of nine young men, in a case
that is linked to US Civil Rights and the Rosa Parks story. Nominated for 6
Olivier Awards, including Best New Musical, and winner of the Critics'
Circle Best Musical Award 2013 this is also the final collaboration of
legendary composing duo Kander and Ebb (Chicago, Cabaret) and is directed
and choreographed by five-time TONY Award-winner Susan Stroman (The
Producers). Click for the official website. Runs for 20 weeks at The
Garrick theatre
The Scottsboro Boys]
Scottsboro Boys, trailer  *

 Tell a friend and share the info. Each one, teach one[image: Gray]
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 If you only see one African Odysseys film this year make sure it is this
one. Those who saw Black Power Mixtape will know what excellence to expect

* Concerning Violence  Sat November 29th to December 9th  *
 Based on Martinique-born philosopher *Frantz Fanon's* book about
decolonisation, The Wretched of the Earth, and narrated by ex-Fugee *
Lauryn Hill*, Concerning Violence explores Fanon's view that breaking free
of colonial rule inevitably involves violent upheava. This archive-rich,
illuminating (and at times graphically shocking) film essay from the maker
of The Black Power Mixtape considers the conflicting forces that resulted
in the African liberation movements of the 60s and 70s. Rare footage
captures the views of the colonists and the revolutionaries - including *Thomas
Sankara* and *Amilcar Cabral*. The result is an outstanding cinematic
exploration of colonialism, an historic document and a tool to better
understand our increasingly violent world .Click here to book

Don't forget to check out *www.blackhistorywalks.co.uk
  for up and coming lectures, films and walks

* [image: New Film Honors All-Black Squadron in World War II]
Tails film honours All African American Squadron in World War II. One of
only two films about Black pilots in WW2 ever made. Red Tails was turned
down by every major Hollywood studio. George Lucas (who made Star wars) had
to use his own money to get the film made and distributed. See clip below
for why he was refused  Colonies and Colonials   and World War Two by
Marika Sherwood (extract) *


Britain's colonies in West Africa, Gambia, Sierra Leone, the Gold Coast
(now Ghana) and Nigeria also served as staging posts and military bases
during World War Two. Aircraft destined for the 'Middle East' and the North
African front had to fly via West Africa ,and were serviced there.

Ships bound for India and the east, unable to use the Suez Canal, had to
sail via the Cape, and were serviced and victualled at West African ports.
This, of course, necessitated the employment of vast numbers in war work,
for example, in building and maintaining airfields and naval bases.

For example, the US military in Accra employed 6,000 men in construction
and other war work. By December 1944 some 5,000 were enlisted in the West
African Air Corps as groundcrew. A very small number served as aircrew with
the RAF. The war also meant increased demands for raw materials, which were
sometimes produced by forced labour.

Palm oil, nuts, rubber, tin, bauxite, sisal and food stuffs were among the
ever-increasing exports. Usually produced by mainly British-owned
companies, these exports provided the firms with vastly increased profits,
at the expense of badly housed and underfed African labour. Recruitment in
both East and West Africa had begun early in the war. One East and one West
African brigade participated in the re-taking of Abyssinia and one man from
each was awarded the Military Medal.

In the US, black pilots and doctors who had offered to volunteer were
refused  ...

 When the French colonies in West Africa were freed from Vichy domination,
British West African troops, no longer needed in such numbers for Home
Guard duties, were moved to Burma, together with some East African
brigades. In all, some 166,500 Africans were involved in helping to defeat
the Japanese. They, and most Indian troops, had to serve under British
officers, as colonials were not thought to be 'officer material'.

Although the colour bar in the British services had been lifted for the
duration of the war, in fact very few black men - or women - served in the
British army, and none in the Royal Navy. With only two exceptions, even
qualified black medical practitioners were refused.

Although Churchill lifted the colour bar, he sent telegrams to every
Embassy and High Commission, telling them to find 'adminstrative means' to
reject black volunteers. In the US, black pilots and doctors who had
offered to volunteer were refused, as a result of this instruction.

Among the specialist units provided by West Africa were four Medical Units,
comprising orderlies trained by the West African Army Medical Corps. They
were attached to British hospitals in Sicily and Italy. South Africans were
also drawn into the war. The Native Military Corps were formed in 1940.
They and the 'coloureds' in the South African Army were not trained in the
use of firearms.

Generally, it was not thought appropriate for Africans or people of African
descent to kill whites but this view didn't apply to Indians. Troops from
Bechuanaland, for example, were at first used as pioneer (labour) corps and
for guard duty in North Africa and Syria. However, in 1943, six Bechuana
companies were re-trained as anti-aircraft crew and stationed in North
Africa and then in Sicily.

Some, re-trained for smoke-making, supported the Indian and Maori assault
troops at Monte Cassino. Bechuana pioneers moved northwards through Italy
with the Allied troops. Of these 10,000 Bechuana troops, 17 were killed and
42 were 'mentioned in despatches' for their bravery. One was awarded the
MBE and another the British Empire Medal

*The Caribbean*

The British colonies in the West Indies were under direct threat by German
submarines, who were hunting for oil tankers and bauxite carriers making
their way from the Caribbean to the USA and the UK.

On the islands, the available manpower was taken up guarding the ports and
POW camps, as well as providing the labour for the increased production of
primary produce necessitated by the war.

Rather bizarrely, 800 forestry workers were brought from tropical British
Honduras to work in the freezing highlands of Scotland.

 Protests by West Indians at the lack of recruitment for service abroad,
however, and the need for labour in Britain and for RAF personnel, resulted
in the enlistment of men for RAF ground-duty training in 1941. West Indians
were also recruited to fill certain skill shortages to aid the war effort.
Rather bizarrely, 800 forestry workers were brought from tropical British
Honduras to work in the freezing highlands of Scotland.

On their arrival, some discovered that they had to build their own barracks
- and they all discovered that they were to be paid less than they had been
promised. The period of their service was reduced, and some were
repatriated before their contracts had expired. However, some remained in
the UK after they had fulfilled their contracts, and found other war work.

Some 520 men came from the Caribbean colonies to work, mainly in munitions
factories in the north-west. About 80 West Indian women, at first only if
they were white, were recruited for the ATS.

It was probably only the lack of sufficient men with appropriate
qualifications that forced the RAF to accept black colonials as aircrew.
Some 300 or so West Indians served as aircrew, and some 90 men received
decorations. This included seven Distinguished Service Orders, and 64 DFC's.

Probably the most decorated was Squadron Leader Ulric Cross, who was
awarded both the DSO and the DFC. The citation for the latter notes his
'exceptional navigational ability' and the 'very large number of sorties'
he had flown 'against heavily defended targets' in Germany.

The Caribbean Regiment wasn't recruited until 1944, when it was posted to
Egypt to guard PoWs. There they were in fights with white South African
troops, billeted nearby, who objected to the regiment being allowed to
carry arms.

Buy the  whole book by *Marika Sherwood* click here
[image: George Lucas: OWN (Oprah Winfrey Network) Interview - RED TAILS]
Lucas: on Oprah Winfrey Network Interview - RED TAILS

*Part of African Odysseys at BFI Southbank December 20th *

*Coming Soon from Black History Walks:  *

*The African  Woman as God*

*A Female History of the world *

*Four the Hard Way*

*When We Ruled, The Genius of Robin Walker   *

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