Black history

Photography, the Image, and Social Protests

with Deborah Willis
Monday, December 7, 2020 • Monday, December 14, 2020
5 p.m. – 6:15 p.m.
Applications and nominations are closed.

We will survey historic and contemporary images, mostly photographic, which document the influential leaders and events of the civil rights movement of the 20th century to social protests of the 21st century. These images were intended to promote racial justice, end segregation, establish voting rights, and call attention to injustices within Black communities in the United States and South Africa.

This is a two-session master class. In the first session, teachers learn from the master. In the second, participants have a rare and valuable opportunity to exchange ideas with other brilliant teachers. Participants are assigned a small amount of homework to prepare for each session.

Deborah Willis is professor and chair of the Department of Photography & Imaging at the Tisch School of the Arts at New York University, where she teaches photography & imaging, iconicity, and cultural histories. The recipient of a MacArthur and a Guggenheim Fellowship, Willis is the author of Posing Beauty: African American Images from the 1890s to the Present, and co-author of The Black Female Body A Photographic History; Envisioning Emancipation: Black Americans and the End of Slavery; and Michelle Obama: The First Lady in Photographs. She has appeared in and consulted on media projects including the documentary Through A Lens Darkly and Question Bridge: Black Males, which received the ICP Infinity Award 2015, and American Photography, a PBS documentary. 

Black Joy & Black Excellence: Transformative Black Communities

with Rosalie Uyola
Monday, October 12, 2020
3 p.m. – 4:15 p.m.
Live closed captioning will be provided.

This presentation explores two histories that complicate and enrich our understanding of the Black experience in America. Our case studies include Martha’s Vinyard’s Oak Bluffs, a cultural center of the Black Arts Movement, and Tulsa’s Black Wall Street, which was in the early 19th century a thriving and sophisticated African American community with some of the best public schools in the country.

Academy for Teachers Fellow Rosie Jayde Uyola is a K-12 teacher, independent scholar with a PhD in American Studies from Rutgers University, documentary filmmaker, and a researcher of memory, commemoration, and Black Life and Culture. They also develop open-access digital humanities projects for K-12 education in NYC. Rosie’s publications include “Memory and the Long Civil Rights Movement” in The Seedtime, the Work, and the Harvest: New Perspectives on the Black Freedom Struggle in America, “The Digital City: Memory, History, and Public Commemoration” in Ácoma International Journal of North-American Studies, Italia, “Home Sweet Home – Race, Housing, and the Foreclosure Crisis” in The War on Poverty: A Retrospective, “Race, Empire, and the Rise of the Mortgage Industrial Complex,” The Newark Experience Digital Archive, and “Women in the Black Freedom Movement” in School Series Production of Harriet Tubman, New Jersey Performing Arts Center. They were an NEH Fellow at the W.E.B. Du Bois Institute.

Soundtrack of Black Lives Matter: Activist Music in the Classroom

with Maria De Valle, Nicholas Ryan Gant, Janelle Lawrence, Alice Tsui & Martin Urbach
Thursday, August 6, 2020
10 a.m. – 11:15 a.m.

In this hands- and voice-on session for teachers who use (or want to use) music in their classroom, participants will engage in anti-racist, abolitionist, liberatory, community music-making. We will talk about the ways music has been central to liberation movements throughout history, and then work together to make music that responds to the current moment.

Maria De Valle is the CEO of Shine on Kids Arts Initiative. A music teacher with eight years of experience, she has founded music programs in elementary schools throughout the city. Shine on Kids NYC gives families the opportunity to bond, learn, and grow together through musical experiences.

Nicholas Ryan Gant is a New York-based singer/songwriter. A graduate of Howard University, Nicholas works as a vocal coach in the New York area, sings support vocals for the likes of Mariah Carey, Ledisi, Run the Jewels, Sy Smith, Miri Ben-Ari, and Michael McDonald. His latest project, Maze EP, is a collaboration with producer Kriswontwo from Copenhagen, Denmark.

Janelle Lawrence is a writer, composer, performer, and the Artistic Director of Broad Views on Broadway, a non-profit Theatre Company dedicated to equal opportunity and representation of new theatre pieces. Their work has been seen at Club Cumming, Teatro La Tea, Joe’s Pub, and Dixon Place, and they are co-moderator of Musical Theatre Factory’s Women/Trans/Gender Non-Conforming Roundtable and a 2020 Sokoloff Arts Creative Fellow.

Alice Tsui is an Asian American/Chinese American pianist, music educator, scholar, activist, and lifelong Brooklynite. She holds degrees in Piano Performance and Music Education and is completing a doctorate at Boston University. She is the founding music teacher at P.S. 532 New Bridges Elementary, in Crown Heights, and is on the piano faculty at the Manhattan School of Music’s summer program. Alice facilitates freestyle rap, hip-hop, improv, and comedy musical experiences with youth and adults across the U.S. with Freestyle Love Supreme.

Academy Fellow Martin Urbach is a Latinx immigrant, educator, activist, and composer. At school, he creates “liberated spaces” where kids fall in love with music and use music to promote social justice. He is a doctoral candidate in music education at Columbia University, holds a BA in jazz performance from the University of New Orleans, an MA in jazz arts from the Manhattan School of Music, and an Advanced Certificate in Music Education from Brooklyn College. He teaches music at Harvest Collegiate High School in New York City.

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