Passing: A Film Discussion with Director/Writer Rebecca Hall and Actresses Tessa Thompson and Ruth Negga

Posted in Interviews, Live Events, Media Archive, Passing, United States, Videos, Women on 2022-01-19 03:07Z by Steven

Passing: A Film Discussion with Director/Writer Rebecca Hall and Actresses Tessa Thompson and Ruth Negga

National Museum of African American History and Culture
Thursday, 2022-01-13 19:00-19:40 EST (Local Time); (Friday, 2022-01-14, 00:00-00:40Z)

Join us in the New Year for a virtual discussion with Netflix film Passing screenwriter and director Rebecca Hall, alongside actresses Tessa Thompson and Ruth Negga. Based on Nella Larsen’s novel of the same name, Hall’s directorial debut explores not just racial identity but gender, class, the responsibilities of motherhood and the performance of femininity from the perspective of two Black women who choose to live on opposite sides of the color line in 1929 New York. For Rebecca Hall, creating Passing was a deeply personal journey, stemming from the discovery of her own family history. NMAAHC Curator Aaron Bryant will moderate the discussion. This program will be pre-recorded, and there will be no live Q & A. Passing is available now on Netflix.

Watch the discussion here.

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Rebecca Hall’s Brief But Spectacular take on ‘Passing’ and racial identity

Posted in Articles, Arts, Autobiography, Biography, Interviews, Media Archive, Passing, United Kingdom, United States, Videos on 2022-01-13 14:53Z by Steven

Rebecca Hall’s Brief But Spectacular take on ‘Passing’ and racial identity

PBS Newshour
2022-01-12

Melissa Williams

Rebecca Hall has been on-screen since age 10, but in her new film “Passing” she steps into the director role for the first time. It is based on a novel that was written in 1929 by Nella Lawson Larsen at the height of the Harlem Renaissance. Hall shares her Brief But Spectacular take on “Passing” and on her own racial identity as part of our arts and culture series, CANVAS.

Read the full transcript here.

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Hannah Lowe

Posted in Articles, Audio, Biography, Caribbean/Latin America, Interviews, Literary/Artistic Criticism, Media Archive, United Kingdom on 2022-01-12 01:34Z by Steven

Hannah Lowe

Writers Mosaic
August 2020

Hannah Lowe was born in Essex in 1976 to a white English mother and Afro-Chinese Jamaican father. She studied American Literature at the University of Sussex, followed by an MA in Refugee Studies. She undertook her PhD in Creative Writing at Newcastle University in 2012.

Broadly, Lowe’s work is concerned with migration histories, multicultural London and the complex legacies of the British Empire. Her first poetry collection, Chick (Bloodaxe, 2013), blended these political concerns with a deeply personal and elegiac commemoration of her father, a member of the Windrush generation, who earnt a living in London through playing cards and dice. Her second collection, Chan (Bloodaxe, 2016), expanded these explorations of family in writing about the life and untimely death of her father’s cousin, the jazz saxophonist, Joe Harriott. In this book, Lowe developed a new poetic form – the ‘borderliner’ – which uses typography and double narration to explore ideas about multi-heritage experiences. Lowe’s work is often concerned with historical omissions, and in Ormonde, (Hercules Editions, 2014), she excavates the story of the SS Ormonde, on which her father migrated, and which arrived in Britain before the better known Empire Windrush. Most recently she has published the chapbook, The Neighbourhood, (Outspoken Press, 2019), which explores how communities respond to the pressures of austerity, gentrification and deportation. Her third full-length collection, The Kids, inspired by her work as an inner-city sixth form teacher, won the 2021 Costa Poetry Award…

Read the entire article here.

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Oral history interview with Lawrence Dennis, 1967

Posted in Audio, Autobiography, Caribbean/Latin America, Europe, History, Interviews, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, United States on 2021-12-23 20:08Z by Steven

Oral history interview with Lawrence Dennis, 1967

Columbia University Libraries Digital Collections
Columbia Center for Oral History
Columbia University, New York, New York
Digitized 2010 (Originally recorded in 1967)
DOI: 10.7916/d8-cpb1-1692

Lawrence Dennis (1893-1977) interviewed by William R. Keylor (1944-).

Listen to the interview here.

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Brit Bennett’s novel ‘The Vanishing Half’ combines fiction, history in examining passing

Posted in Articles, Interviews, Media Archive, Passing, United States, Women on 2021-12-08 20:49Z by Steven

Brit Bennett’s novel ‘The Vanishing Half’ combines fiction, history in examining passing

The Columbus Dispatch
Columbus, Ohio
2021-12-05

Nancy Gilson, Special to The Columbus Dispatch


Brit Bennett Miranda Barnes

In Brit Bennett’s novel “The Vanishing Half,” light-skinned African American twin sisters are separated when one of them decides to pass as white, leaving her family behind.

The novel, which delves deeply into the concept of identity, was a New York Times best-seller and designated as one of the newspaper’s best books of 2020.

Bennett, 31, who grew up in southern California, attended Stanford University and the University of Michigan and now lives in New York. She published her debut novel, “The Mothers,” in 2016. She has written numerous essays, including “I Don’t Know What to Do With Good White People” and “Addy Walker, An American Girl,” about the Pleasant Company’s first Black doll.

These days, Bennett is working on her third novel and occasionally appears in public events, mostly virtual, such as her event Sunday presented by the Columbus Metropolitan Library. She spoke recently by telephone with The Dispatch…

Read the entire interview here.

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A Conversation with Jewell Parker Rhodes and Kelly McWilliams

Posted in Interviews, Literary/Artistic Criticism, Media Archive, United States, Videos on 2021-12-08 02:10Z by Steven

A Conversation with Jewell Parker Rhodes and Kelly McWilliams

PEN America
2021-10-18

Award-winning novelist and educator Jewell Parker Rhodes and her daughter, young adult author Kelly McWilliams, came together in conversation to discuss book bans and young adult literature. As individuals, it is our duty to provide the next generation of writers, teachers, journalists, activists, and readers with an education that includes all facets of life, an education that is free from unreasonable censorious threats. This discussion addressed the vital role that children’s and young adult literature plays in the process of education, and how we can work to protect our youth from the threats to free expression.

This discussion was presented in partnership with the Miami Book Fair.

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Rebecca Hall Says ‘Passing’ Liberated Her Family – Contenders New York

Posted in Articles, Arts, Autobiography, Biography, Interviews, Media Archive, Passing, United States, Videos, Women on 2021-12-06 00:57Z by Steven

Rebecca Hall Says ‘Passing’ Liberated Her Family – Contenders New York

Deadline Hollywood
2021-12-04

Fred Topel

(L-R) André Holland, Ruth Negga, Rebecca Hall and moderator Dominic Patten talk “Passing
Michael Loccisano/For Deadline

Rebecca Hall said Saturday that her mother [Maria Ewing] told her Hall’s directorial debut, Passing, liberated her family, as Hall’s grandfather was a Black man who decided to pass for White in Detroit.

Hall and stars Ruth Negga and André Holland spoke during the panel for the Netflix drama at Deadline’s Contenders Film: New York awards-season showcase.

“She called me up in tears when she first saw it and she just said, ‘You’ve liberated us,’” Hall said. “I grew up observing my mother and thinking about the psychological impact of being brought up in an environment where you weren’t allowed to talk about something. To me, she always looked like a Black woman. I was saying to her, ‘Tell me about this. What are we? Tell me the story.’ She didn’t know. It’s not that she wouldn’t. She couldn’t. She was respecting her father’s wishes.”…

Read the entire article and watch the video discussion here.

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‘Passing’ filmmaker Rebecca Hall shares the personal story behind her movie

Posted in Articles, Audio, Autobiography, Biography, Interviews, Media Archive, Passing, United Kingdom, United States, Women on 2021-12-03 02:32Z by Steven

‘Passing’ filmmaker Rebecca Hall shares the personal story behind her movie

Fresh Air
National Public Radio
2021-11-30

Terri Gross, Host

Rebecca Hall (right) works on the set of Passing with actors Ruth Negga (left) and Tessa Thompson.
Netflix

Actor/filmmaker Rebecca Hall had what she describes as a “real gasp” moment when she first read Nella Larsen’s 1929 novel Passing.

The book centers on two light-skinned African American women who run into each other after not having seen each other for many years. One of the women is an active member of Harlem’s Black community. The other is married to a white man and is passing as white.

Reading the story of these fictional women, Hall realized that her maternal grandfather had also passed as white.

“Suddenly, aspects of my family life that were tinged with so much mystery and obfuscation, there was a reason for that,” Hall says.

Hall’s mother, acclaimed opera singer Maria Ewing, also passed as white, though not necessarily by her own volition. Instead, Hall says, Ewing tended to “be whatever people chose to see” — which sometimes meant being described as “exotic” by members of the opera community.

Hall was so moved by Larsen’s novel that she drafted a script for a film adaptation — and then she put it away until she felt ready to do something with it. Now, 13 years later, her adaptation of Passing is available on Netflix

Read the entire interview here.

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The ways Afro-Indigenous people are asked to navigate their communities

Posted in Articles, History, Interviews, Media Archive, Native Americans/First Nation, Slavery, United States on 2021-11-27 22:19Z by Steven

The ways Afro-Indigenous people are asked to navigate their communities

High Country News
2021-10-28

Alaina E. Roberts

Two leading scholars discuss the complex relationship between Black and Native people.

African American history and Native American history have long been considered kindred by those who see the original sin of the United States as twofold, a dual theft by European settlers: the taking of Indigenous lives and land, and the seizure of Black bodies and labor. Both groups suffered the loss of language, culture and freedom.

There are many ways the two peoples’ histories have overlapped since they first came into contact over 500 years ago. In African American popular culture, those early interactions often take the form of romanticized tales: Native people working with Black people to battle the colonial system, or a Native ancestor who sheltered runaway slaves and bequeathed her long straight Black hair to her descendants. But there are others who seek to center Black lives by overlooking the shared historical experiences of the two groups and ignoring the modern-day Native encounter with issues of poverty, racism and police violence. Meanwhile, in many Native American communities, African Americans are viewed through a prejudicial lens similar to the kind that many white Americans use: as a people who may have been hurt by racism through enslavement, at one point, but who refuse to pull themselves up by their bootstraps, as it were.

The real history between African Americans and Native Americans is complex and requires acknowledging both the times and places in which they joined together to resist oppression as well as the times they participated in that oppression. It’s these deep complexities that shape the ideas Black and Native people have of one another today…

Read the entire interview here.

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New Film “Whole” Looks at Daily Struggles of Mixed-Race Japanese

Posted in Articles, Asian Diaspora, Book/Video Reviews, Interviews, Media Archive on 2021-11-26 20:38Z by Steven

New Film “Whole” Looks at Daily Struggles of Mixed-Race Japanese

Nippon.com: Your Doorway to Japan
2021-11-25

Matsumoto Takuya

As the population of mixed-race Japanese—popularly called hāfu—grows, entertainers and athletes with bicultural backgrounds are increasingly prominent. However, most of those considered hāfu in Japan live normal, private lives, struggling daily with curiosity, prejudice, and their own identity conflicts. Whole, a new short film, takes up the issues facing just such people through the story of two young men. We spoke with the director, writer, and leading actor about the film…

Read the entire interview here.

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