“Once Lost, Painfully Present: Maya Angelou’s Blacks, Blues, Black! (1968)”

Maya Angelou’s Blacks, Blues, Black! was a triumph of Civil Rights-era public affairs television, produced and aired amid nationwide uprisings in the immediate wake of Martin Luther King Jr.’s assassination in 1968. Blacks, Blues, Black! promoted Black unity, education, liberation and culture. However, after it aired, the show’s tapes were lost for decades and only rediscovered by chance in 2009. With its rediscovery, the program reveals similarities between state-sanctioned violence against Black people in 1968 and today while introducing a new generation of viewers to Angelou’s enduring insights and strategic sensibility.

Case Western Reserve University School of Law will host Adrien Sebro, assistant professor of media studies at the University of Texas at Austin, for a talk titled “Once Lost, Painfully Present: Maya Angelou’s Blacks, Blues, Black! (1968)” Thursday, April 4, from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m. in the Moot Courtroom (A59).

Sebro’s talk will set forth a rewriting of media history about lost archives, Black visibility, creative autonomy, publicly funded media and popular education television. He also will analyze the specific lessons arising from the educational content of Blacks, Blues, Black!, the African origins of Black cultural forms/practices, and Black unity, offering strategic insight into combating temporal state violence against Black bodies.

Register to attend this event.