Congratulations Sonia Sanchez
Poet/activist/educator Sonia Sanchez will receive the very prestigious Edward MacDowell Medal. Writer and MacDowell Fellow Walter Mosely will present the award to Sanchez at a ceremony on the MacDowell grounds in New Hampshire on July 10, 2022. Sanchez joins an august group of other recipients such as Robert Frost, Georgia O’Keefe, Leonard Bernstein, Louise Bourgeois, I.M. Pei, Sonny Rollins, Stephen Sondheim, Toni Morrison, Art Spiegelman, Charles Gaines and Rosanne Cash.
Sonia Sanchez is the subject of the award-winning documentary and California Newsreel release BaddDDD Sonia Sanchez
Thank you to Tracy Heather Strain, director of LORRAINE HANSBERRY: SIGHTED EYES/FEELING HEART for posting this clip of Sidney Poitier's participation in the documentary.
Archbishop Desmond Tutu (1931-2021)
California Newsreel mourns the passing of Archbishop Desmond Mpilo Tutu. The venerable theologian was a steadfast supporter of human rights and peace, best known for his activism against South African apartheid for which he was awarded the 1984 Nobel Peace Prize. He was a living example of the Southern African notion of Ubuntu “I am, because you are”. Archbishop Tutu was courageously consistent in his views, protesting against racism, war and militarism, opposing the death penalty, supporting LGBT rights, taking issue with governmental corruption and championing accountability, advocating for people with AIDS, being in solidarity with the Palestinian people by acting against Israeli apartheid (backing the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions campaign) and standing with young climate justice activists. We miss your optimism and joyful laugh. Rest in peace Archbishop Tutu.
Over the years, California Newsreel has distributed films in which he participated. We offer this brief clip from the award-winning documentary Long Night’s Journey into Day on South Africa’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission in which he discusses the concept of restorative justice.
bell hooks (1952-2021)
Pioneering Black feminist activist, theorist and professor bell hooks (Gloria Watkins) died on December 15. In her very insightful and intimate writing and speeches she insisted upon making the connections between gender, race and class - embodying the term "intersectionality" - and broadening the appeal of her ideas much beyond the academy with a particular appeal to Black women. She was the prolific author of 40 books on many subjects (film, cultural criticism, teaching, feminist theory, anti-racism, spiritual practice) and in a variety of genres (essay, memoir, self-recovery, poetry and children’s books).
She participated in the final documentary by Marlon Riggs, BLACK IS...BLACK AIN'T. In this clip, her words in the film’s final moments brilliantly communicate the film’s urgent message. Thank you bell hooks, Rest in Power.
Theater pioneer and filmmaker Woodie King is receiving richly reserved acknowledgement. He made the essential documentary BLACK THEATER: THE MAKING OF A MOVEMENT (http://newsreel.org/video/BLACK-THEATER)
released by California Newsreel.
Thank you to the Zinn Education Project for posting this about North Dakota banning teaching about structural racism. It would mean that schools could not show this excerpt from RACE - THE POWER OF AN ILLUSION we've entitled "How the Racial Wealth Gap Was Created" (https://vimeo.com/133506632)