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Wakanda Forever: Remembering the Life and Work of Chadwick Boseman

September 27, 2020 @ 3:00 pm - 5:00 pm

The Baton Foundation will host a community discussion to celebrate Chadwick Boseman’s life and extraordinary work. This program is free. Registration is required.

About the Program

The world seemed to stop, if only briefly, when Chadwick Aaron Boseman died on August 28, 2020. His short life was exceptional and steeped in history. Over the course of five years (2013-2018), Boseman played four characters central to the history of the United States and to the Black community, in particular: Jackie Robinson, James Brown, Thurgood Marshall, and T’Challa. Later this year, the world will see Boseman in his final role as Levee, a trumpeter in the film Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom—adapted from the August Wilson play of the same name.

Many believe Boseman’s life was “touched by the ancestors” — that he was a messenger sent to remind us not only of the tragedies we have faced, but also to put before us examples of the resilience within each individual and our community’s determination to never be deterred.

During this program, panelists will help us place Boseman’s work and life within the context of U.S. history and help us think about the role of film with regards to Black representation. Integral to this program will be the thoughts and voices of our community—those in attendance.

About the Panelist

Yema Thomas is a blossoming art historian and visual/performing artist. In her current role as Coordinator of Public Programs at the High Museum of Art Atlanta, she works to educate and develop programs to showcase the presence of dynamic cultural activities within her community. Before devoting her full-time work to the High Museum of Art, Yema established a Diasporic dance program called AfroHeat with the City of Atlanta’s Office of Parks and Recreation which furthered her commitment to fostering arts and culture-based programming for the City’s youth, seniors and adults.

Yema’s professional and personal affiliations speak to her determination to serve as a lifetime cultural liaison and to celebrate the interconnectedness of places and peoples throughout the African diaspora. Her current research explores connections in African diasporic music and movement with a focus on a distinctly relevant “circle of influence,” beginning with African retentions in the United States and the Caribbean and how those cultural products (i.e. Jazz, Salsa, and Konpa) have been reintroduced to Africa, contemporarily, in the form of Kizomba and Afro-Zouk.

Yema is interested in explorations of Identity. She firmly believes that no matter how far an individual has travelled from “home,” there will always be aspects of physical, spiritual and intellectual ties to reconnect them to their ancestral roots. Yema was thrilled to work as an extra in the film Black Panther.

Kevin Sipp is a visual artist, writer, graphic novelist, curator and arts administrator living in Metro Atlanta. The main focus of his expressive production is to create aesthetic altars to the transcendent consciousness of Africa and the African Diaspora past, present, and future. His art often makes references to African and world mythologies, Afro-futurism, cultural identity, colonial history, past and contemporary music forms, and comic book culture.

Kevin has lectured at venues such as Brandeis University, Emory University’s Michael C. Carlos Museum, The High Museum of Art, University of Cape Town South Africa, various arts festivals and comic book conventions. As a featured poet, he has shared the stage with such luminaries as Amiri Baraka, Sonia Sanchez, Saul Williams and the poets of the Nuyorican Poets Cafe.

Kevin Sipp currently works as the Project Supervisor for Gallery 72, a municipal art space for the City of Atlanta Mayor’s Office of Cultural Affairs. Gallery 72 is dedicated to presenting stimulating and thought-provoking contemporary art and programs that focus on advancing Atlanta’s art offerings. Gallery 72 seeks to promote cutting-edge contemporary art, while extending opportunities for artists and art organizations to explore creative expression and compelling idea.

Eric Bomba-Ire is a filmmaker/writer, and co-founder of cinemATL.com an online platform for southeastern filmmakers. Originally from Ghana, Eric has resided in Atlanta for the past 22 years.

Register for Zoom Discussion Here

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