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The conference theme focuses on how style — whether expressed through art, music, literature, performance, speech, or bodily adornment — operates as a visible and tangible marker of identity and group affiliation. In exploring the traditions, artistry, and social histories that have shaped different forms of African American style, this conference will highlight the historical and present impact of artistic expression on the development of African American identities and cultural production.
The Black Heritage Trail of New Hampshire (BHTNH) and the University of New Hampshire will host the 12th Annual Black New England Conference (BNEC), a two-day event on October 19 and 20, 2018. The theme of this year’s conference is Express Yourself: Identity, Style and Adornment.
The conference begins on Friday with an intriguing and enlightening Black History walking tour along the Portsmouth Black Heritage Trail, exploring the compelling true story of Ona Marie Judge, who was enslavement to the President and Martha Washington.
Tour guests will visit the historical sites where her courageous story unfolds. Guests will learn how Ona runs away from and eludes the Washingtons’ efforts to recapture her and meet some of Portsmouth’s most famous families, the Langdon’s and the Whipples along with members of the local Black community who all defy the most powerful man in the country to help Ona stay free.
At noon on Friday, there will be an artist reception at the UNH Museum of Art, featuring the exhibit DO or DIE: Affect, Ritual & Resistance by internationally known artist Famou Picou’s. The exhibit serves as one artist’s action in opposition to the overwhelming threats of death and violence which plague Black existence. Through performance, painting, drawing and video, Pecou reframes our view of Black mortality and shapes a story that seeks to affirm life via an understanding of the balance between life and death.
On Friday afternoon and continuing into Saturday, the conference panels includes dialogues on:
- The Social Brain and the Creation of Black Identities
- African American Representation & Aesthetics in The Movie, Black Panther
- African American Cool: Commodification, Erasure & Appropriation
- Strange Fruit: Exploring the Style & Art of Black Protest
- Heads Up: It’s All About the Hair •
- The Souls of Black Folks: Stepping Forward,
Redrawing Boundaries In addition to the panels, Dr. Lucius Turner Outlaw Jr., professor of philosophy and of African American and Diaspora Studies at Vanderbilt University, and Karen Chambers, Vice President of IMAN Cosmetics, will present engaging keynote address at Friday’s Awards Dinner and at Saturday’s Lunchtime Address respectively. Continuing the theme of style, the BNEC will conclude with an Afrofuturism theme fashion show, aptly entitled “Back to the Future”.
The fashion show will feature clothing from international designer and trendsetter Francis Hendy whose client list includes Missy Elliot, Wyclef Jean, Samuel L Jackson, Britney Spears, Beyoncé, Usher, and Snoop Dogg. Fashions by Emelyne Adios from Manchester , NH and various other New England based designers will also be featured. JerriAnne Boggis, Executive Director of the BHTNH commented on the event.
“I am excited to be participating in what is sure to be a fun conference as we explore the significance of style in the creation of one’s identity.” “Black stylistic expressions represent a creative journey through a history of marginalization, struggle, individuality and empowerment,” continued Boggis. “People of Color have long been judged by Eurocentric ideals of beauty and made to feel inferior by those standards. However, today we are once again seeing a resurgence in afro centric style that is reclaiming our voice and selfhood.” This public event is sponsored by the Black Heritage Trail of New Hampshire, the University of New Hampshire, TD Bank, Eastern Bank, Eversource, Northeast Delta Dental, Kennebunk Savings, & the Episcopal Diocese of New Hampshire.
For more information or to register for the conference please visit: http://blackheritagetrailnh.org/2018-black-new-england-conference/ _______________________________________
About the Black Heritage Trail of NH The Black Heritage Trail of New Hampshire works to open hearts and minds for a deeper understanding of who we are as a collective and to recognize that we share a uniquely American heritage. Building on the success of the Portsmouth Black Heritage Trail that started more than two decades ago, the new statewide Black Heritage Trail connects the stories of New Hampshire’s African heritage by documenting and marking visible many of the historic sites that testify to this rich history. Guided tours and public programs, along with educational materials and teacher workshops, will continue to be developed by the Black Heritage Trail to promote awareness of African-American culture and to honor all the people of African descent whose names may not have been included in previous town histories. The Black Heritage Trail of New Hampshire provides a variety of learning experiences for adults and children. Offerings include school programs, guided tours, traveling programs, lectures, and workshops. The Black Heritage Trail of New Hampshire is an independent, nonprofit organization. The organization is a registered 501c 3 nonprofit; Taxpayer Identification Number 81-3921917.
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