PAMM cel­e­brates June­teenth

PAMM cel­e­brates June­teenth

South Florida Times - - FRONT PAGE - Staff Re­port

MI­AMI - The cel­e­bra­tion of "June­teenth" orig­i­nated on June 19, 1865, when the en­slaved peo­ple of Texas fi­nally learned about their free­dom—two years and six months af­ter Pres­i­dent Lin­coln's "Eman­ci­pa­tion Procla­ma­tion." To cel­e­brate, the Perez Art Mu­seum of Mi­ami (PAMM) is col­lab­o­rat­ing with the Na­tional Mu­seum of African Amer­i­can His­tory and Cul­ture (NMAAHC) to host a screen­ing of the films, "Papa Ma­chete," and "H-2 Worker."

A con­ver­sa­tion be­tween doc­u­men­tary film­maker Stephanie Black; writer, mu­si­cian, and film­maker Ja­son Fitzroy Jef­fers; Rhea L. Combs, su­per­vi­sory cu­ra­tor of photography and film and the di­rec­tor of the Earl W. and Amanda Stafford Cen­ter for African Amer­i­can Me­dia Arts (CAAMA) at NMAAHC; and Joanne Hyp­po­lite, Ph.D., Mu­seum Cu­ra­tor at NMAAHC will fol­low the screen­ings, touch­ing upon ques­tions of iden­tity, col­orism, la­bor, and ge­og­ra­phy’s im­pact upon peo­ple across the African Di­as­pora.

“Across the Di­as­pora, ques­tions of iden­tity, col­orism, la­bor, and ge­og­ra­phy con­tinue to im­pact peo­ple of African de­scent. This pro­gram of­fers a lens, from both an his­tor­i­cal as well as a con­tem­po­rary per­spec­tive, through which we can view how re­sis­tance, per­sis­tence, and self-de­ter­mi­na­tion have been the key to sur­vival for peo­ple of African de­scent, and the ba­sis for their achieve­ments above and be­yond ge­o­graph­i­cal bor­ders and ex­ter­nal ex­pec­ta­tions,” said Michelle Materre, guest cu­ra­tor, Cre­atively Speak­ing Film Se­ries on be­half of NMAACH.

“Papa Ma­chete,” pro­duced in 2014 and di­rected by Jonathan David Kane

Two hun­dred years ago, the slaves of Haiti de­feated Napoleon's armies in the his­toric rev­o­lu­tion of 1791-1804. One of their weapons was the very tool they used to work the land: the ma­chete. Papa Ma­chete ex­plores the es­o­teric mar­tial art through the prac­tice and life of a farmer named Al­fred Avril.The short film doc­u­ments his proud de­vo­tion to his her­itage in the face of in­creased glob­al­iza­tion, and his ef­forts to keep this mys­te­ri­ous art alive.

“H-2 Worker,” made in 1990, di­rected by Stephanie Black

A con­tro­ver­sial ex­pose of the trav­esty of jus­tice that takes place around the shores of Florida's Lake Okee­chobee. There, for six months a year, over 10,000 Caribbean men are brought to hand-har­vest sug­ar­cane for Amer­i­can cor­po­ra­tions un­der a tem­po­rary "H-2" guest worker visa.

Stephanie Black is a doc­u­men­tary film­maker whose cred­its in­clude the award-win­ning fea­ture doc­u­men­taries: LIFE AND DEBT (2001) on the im­pact in­ter­na­tional or­ga­ni­za­tions such as the IMF, the World Bank, and cur­rent glob­al­iza­tion poli­cies have on the economies of de­vel­op­ing na­tions such as Ja­maica, W.I.; and H-2 WORKER (1990) about the ten thou­sand Caribbean men brought to Florida each year to har­vest sug­ar­cane for Amer­i­can cor­po­ra­tions un­der a tem­po­rary "H-2" guest worker visa.

Ja­son Fitzroy Jef­fers is a writer, mu­si­cian, and film­maker from Bar­ba­dos who is based in Mi­ami. Since 2001, Fitzroy Jef­fers has writ­ten about ev­ery­thing from crime and pol­i­tics to arts and en­ter­tain­ment for many of South Florida's ma­jor pub­li­ca­tions in­clud­ing The Mi­ami Her­ald and Ocean Drive. In 2013, he as­sem­bled a crew of film­mak­ers to travel to Haiti to doc­u­ment one of the few re­main­ing prac­ti­tion­ers of the es­o­teric rev­o­lu­tion­ary mar­tial art of Haitian ma­chete fenc­ing.

Michelle Materre, guest cu­ra­tor for NMAAHC, is the founder, host, and pro­ducer of the crit­i­cally-ac­claimed Cre­atively Speak­ing Film Se­ries. Cre­atively Speak­ing has been a premiere fo­rum for pre­sent­ing works by and about women and peo­ple of color for twenty-two years. Materre's pro­fes­sional back­ground spans more than thirty years' ex­pe­ri­ence as film pro­ducer, writer, arts ad­min­is­tra­tor, dis­tri­bu­tion/mar­ket­ing spe­cial­ist, film pro­gram­mer, and college pro­fes­sor.

Rhea L. Combs holds a PhD in Amer­i­can Stud­ies with a con­cen­tra­tion in Film His­tory and African Amer­i­can Stud­ies from Emory Uni­ver­sity; an MA from Cor­nell Uni­ver­sity; and a BA from Howard Uni­ver­sity and is su­per­vi­sory cu­ra­tor of photography and film and the di­rec­tor of the Earl W. and Amanda Stafford Cen­ter for African Amer­i­can Me­dia Arts (CAAMA) at the Smith­so­nian’s Na­tional Mu­seum of African Amer­i­can His­tory and Cul­ture (NMAAHC). Combs’ ex­hi­bi­tions and projects at NMAAHC in­clude, Watch­ing Oprah: The Oprah Win­frey Show and Amer­i­can Cul­ture; Rep­re­sent: Hip Hop Photography, Ev­ery­day Beauty: Images from the per­ma­nent Photography and Film Col­lec­tion; Through the African Amer­i­can Lens: Selections from the Per­ma­nent Col­lec­tion of NMAAHC and Ris­ing Up: Hale Woodruff’s Mu­rals at Tal­ladega College.

Joanne Hyp­po­lite, Ph.D. is a Mu­seum Cu­ra­tor at the Na­tional Mu­seum of African Amer­i­can His­tory and Cul­ture (NMAAHC) with in­ter­ests and ex­per­tise in African Amer­i­can and Afro-Caribbean di­as­pora ma­te­rial and ex­pres­sive cul­ture and black im­mi­grant Amer­i­can com­mu­ni­ties. She is the cu­ra­tor of the Cul­tural Ex­pres­sions in­au­gu­ral ex­hi­bi­tion and co-cu­ra­tor of A Cen­tury in the Mak­ing: Build­ing the Na­tional Mu­seum of African Amer­i­can His­tory and Cul­ture in­au­gu­ral ex­hibit for the NMAAHC.

PAMM is lo­cated at 1103 Bis­cayne Blvd., Mi­ami. Ad­mis­sion is $16 for adults, $12 for stu­dents/se­niors. PAMM mem­bers free. For more in­for­ma­tion, visit pamm.org.

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