Africans in America: The New Beat of Afropolitans

September 9-10, 2011
This symposium marks the rise of a new cultural influence, brought to America and the
world by a wave of fascinating young and creative cosmopolitan African immigrants,
so-called ‘Afropolitans’. The symposium features a fascinating group of young African
Americans, including artist Wangechi Mutu; actor, musician and social entrepreneur
Derrick Ashong; author Taiye Selasi, who popularized the term “Afropolitans;” writer
Teju Cole; filmmaker Odera Ozoka and arts maven Meme Omogbai. They will be joined
by George Washington University professor Nemata Blyden.
This symposium will be covered by Africa.com and Africa Channel.

HMAAC-Bombay Sapphire/Russell Simmons Artisan Series Exhibition

November 3-28, 2011
HMAAC partners for the second year with the Bombay Sapphire/Russell Simmons
Artisan Series to open our exhibition season with local and regional artists. Original
works by well -known and emerging artists from the area (and around the country at
other venues) are on display during November. Artists in the exhibit include Yvonne
Poo, Ava Cosey, Rhonda Radford Adams, Skeez181 (David Flores), Regina Agu, Jennifer
Mathews, Gregory Michael Carter, KG da Artist (Kendra Gilbert), Craig Carter, Charles
Washington, Kaneem Smith, Ann Johnson, Al Salulso, Rachel Stevens, Magdalena
Abrego Sanchez, Phillip Pyle II, and Dick Craig. All of the work will be on view during
the month, except for the two pieces selected by a panel, including Marc Ecko, Rush
Philanthropic Vice Chairman, Co-Founder and artist Danny Simmons, along with
curatorial staff from the Foundation, and HMAAC Curator Danielle Burns, which will
compete in the finale event during Art Basel Miami, where one photographer and one
artist will be selected as the winners. They will then have their works installed at Rush
Arts Gallery and Resource Center in New York City.

The Ballad of Emmett Till

January 28 – February 26, 2012
By Ifa Bayeza. Directed by Elizabeth Van Dyke
Winner of the 2009 Edgar Award, presented by Mystery Writers of America, The Ballad
of Emmett Till is told through contemporary prose with the infusion of jazz. A month
after his fourteenth birthday, this confident youth from Chicago, a boy on the threshold
of manhood, embarks on a summer trip to Mississippi. His pursuit of happiness and
liberty are pierced with the poignancy of life. The 1955 lynching of Emmett Till fell on
the cusp of a saga that changed the course of the nation.
In collaboration with The Ensemble Theater.


February 2012
Organized by Danielle Burns, curator of the Houston Museum of African American
Culture and the African American Library at the Gregory School, Fort HMAAC will
feature the art of Otabenga Jones & Associates, an organization founded in 2002 by
Otabenga Jones and whose other members include artists Dawolu Jabari Anderson,
Jamal Cyrus, Kenya Evans, and Robert A. Pruitt. The group is named after Ota Benga,
the African Pygmy from the Belgian Congo brought to the United States for the 1904
World’s Fair and later exhibited in a cage at the Bronx Zoo. The group has realized
important exhibitions at The Menil Collection and The Station, Houston, and at The
Whitney Museum of American Art, New York. Their pedagogical mission, realized in
the form of actions, writings, and installations, is to highlight the complexities of
representation across the African diaspora; to establish a cross-generational aesthetic
continuum stemming from the transatlantic experience. Their works deal with serious
African American social and historical issues that are critical to the entire population.
Their approaches range from specific art and video installations to powerful teach-ins as
well as to hip hop music. According to reviews of their installation at the Menil “they’re
also managing to teach people who aren’t young and aren’t black.”

“All Things Bert”

March, 2012
All Things Bert features artwork, lectures, panels and a film about Rome Prize winner
Bert L. Long, Jr. Working in a variety of mediums, Long Jr., has gained national and
international recognition throughout his career for his thought provoking art.
Throughout his career, Long Jr. has received multiple commendations for his
contribution to the art world. He was awarded the Rome Prize Fellowship, was
recognized as Texas Artist of the Year, and has been named Artist of the Year by Texas
Accountants and Lawyers for the Arts. Long Jr. has advanced his work by completing an
installation of a 30 foot painting commissioned for THE LOSCAN Library, as well as
signing a contract for a book by renowned writer Thomas McEvilly, and participating as
the subject of a documentary film by award winning Just Right Films. His work can be
seen in over 100 private and public collections worldwide, including Metropolitan
Museum of Art, NYC; Dallas Museum of Art; Museum of Fine Art, Houston; Arkansas
Art Center, Little Rock; Bell Telephone, Houston, TX; Highland Distributing Co.,
Houston; Contemporary Museum, Honolulu, Hawaii; Chicago Library; Groupo Larios,
Spain; Instituto de Bachillerato, "Mario Roso de Luna", Logrosan, Spain; Office of the
Mayor, Berzocana, Spain; Fabric Workshop Museum, Philadelphia; Museum of
Southeast Texas, Beaumont; Dallas Morning News; Gallerie Dario, Boccara, Paris,
France; SBC Collection of 2000 Century Art, San Antonio, TX; Jack S. Blanton Museum,
Austin Museum, Austin, TX; and San Angelo Museum of Fine Arts.

Ellis Cose: author of “The End of Anger”
April 6, 2012
Spring Literary Luncheon Guest
Readings at the Houston Public Library
Ellis Cose is one of America’s most renowned journalists and author of several
important books of national and international concern. A longtime columnist and
contributing editor for Newsweek magazine and former chairman of the editorial board
and editorial page editor of the New York Daily News, he began his journalism career as
a weekly columnist for the Chicago Sun-Times—becoming, at the age of 19, the youngest
editorial page columnist ever employed by a major Chicago daily. Cose, who is also an
independent radio producer, is a popular campus lecturer and public speaker. In
addition to serving as a columnist, editor and national correspondent for the Chicago
Sun-Times, Cose has been a contributor and press critic for Time magazine, president
and chief executive officer of the Institute for Journalism Education, chief writer on
management and workplace issues for USA Today and a member of the editorial board
of the Detroit Free Press. He has also been a fellow at the Gannett Center for Media
Studies at Columbia University, at the National Research Council/National Academy of
Sciences, a senior fellow and director of energy policy studies at the Washington-based
Joint Center for Political Studies, and a consultant to the Ford and Rockefeller
Foundations. Cose has appeared on The Today Show, Nightline, Dateline, ABC Evening
News, Good Morning America, the PBS “Time to Choose” election special, Charlie Rose,
CNN’s Talk Back Live, and a variety of other nationally televised and local and
international programs.