Arts Festival Celebrates W.E.B. Du Bois and the Diaspora

By Stovall, TaRessa | The Crisis, September/October 2003 | Go to article overview

Arts Festival Celebrates W.E.B. Du Bois and the Diaspora


Stovall, TaRessa, The Crisis


art

In a rousing tribute to the life, work and spirit of NAACP founder and renaissance man W.E.B. Du Bois, Atlanta's ninth National Black Arts Festival united a diverse crowd for 10 days of nonstop art, entertainment and scholarly discourse that thrilled the senses, wanned the heart and stirred the mind.

The July festival honored the 100th anniversary of Du Bois' The Souls of Black Folk, while celebrating the African Diaspora. A rich menu of more than 200 family and educational programs featuring music, dance, theater, literature, visual arts, film and spoken word, forged bonds across genres, generations and geographic boundaries.

Founding artistic director Stephanie S. Hughley says the focus of the 2003 festival was to encourage dialogue among generations, "to discover how the work of W.E.B. Du Bois influenced our past and how it will inspire our future."

Du Bois tributes included: a staged reading of excerpts from Souls by a quartet of actors; a documentary film biography of Du Bois by Louis Massiah; an examination of Souls by author/critic Stanley Crouch, co-author of the recently published Reconsidering the Souls of Black Folk; a dialogue between author Thulani Davis and historian Manning Marable on the relevance and lasting impact of Souls; and a dynamic poetic opera, The Songs of Black Folk: A Soul Meditation, performed by talented hiphop poets and spoken-word artists.

Robert Rhodes, a professor of African American Studies at Ohio University in Athens, says the jazz composition, "Souls Within the Veil," by trombonist Craig Harris, captured the essence of Du Bois. "[It was] one of the greatest performances I've seen - a marriage of music, history, politics and culture that dealt with the Talented Tenth and the double consciousness that Du Bois wrote about," Rhodes says.

The Souls of Black Folk theme held special significance for Tamara Nash, an executive at Georgia-Pacific, an Atlanta-based paper and building products company, who says her maternal great-grandmother was a first cousin of Du Bois. "I learned more about him during this year's festival than I ever knew," she says.

"Connect. Inspire. Transform."

Marking the inaugural of an annual event, the theme of the 2003 festival was to "connect, inspire and transform" humanity through art. The festival had been biannual since its inception in 1988, welcoming more than 5 million guests over the years to experience the works of more than 25,000 artists from around the world. Hughley estimates that with some 800,000 people attending (up about 300,000 from last year), "the 2003 festival was perhaps one of the most solid, with a provocative program that encouraged audiences to take a look at where we have been and where we are going as a diverse community."

The array of exhibits, events and symposia explored the influence of African Americans on American art. The Gathering of Colors gala dinner - featuring Black, Latino and Chinese poets, rappers, dancers and musicians - demonstrated global multiculturalism in full bloom.

The Pan-African Film Festival featured scintillating African American, African, South American and Caribbean dramas and documentaries. It included a preview of the upcoming Hollywood drama, Civil Brand, featuring Michael Beach and produced and directed by Eriq LaSalle. In attendance at the film festival were such stars as N'Bushe Wright, Mos Def, Cedric the Entertainer, Danny Glover, Jasmine Guy and Sinbad.

Visual arts exhibits included African sculptures, South African prints, African American memorabilia and an exhibit of dolls called "Divas, Drama and Doll Babies." Sistagraphy, a collective of Black female lensmasters from around the country - included Susan J. Ross, Edith Biggers and Sheila Tuner. Images by Parisian photographers Phillippe Salaun and Gilles Perrin showed the resemblance of people in Mali and Peru.

Many enjoyed the works of artists Radcliff Bailey, Charles Nelson and Lillian Blades at "gallery crawls. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Arts Festival Celebrates W.E.B. Du Bois and the Diaspora
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.