Pop Up Exhibit by the Black Arts Committee
D.C. Black Power Chronology and Narratives
Committee Chair: K. Brisbane
Members: Sylvia Hill, Nkechi Taifa, Koko Barnes, Niani Kilkenny, Freddie Green Biddle, Jennifer Lawson, Vera Hope, Tim Jenkins
Research Assistants: Carmen Crusoe, Donnelle Booze
This all-volunteer committee worked over the entire four years to research and create a comprehensive listing of significant historical programs, institutions, campaigns, and events that defined the Black Power era in D.C. (1966–1990). Next, they prepared first-person narratives about those actions that they helped build. Finally, they obtained narratives from others who were instrumental in building historical actions.
Altogether, they collected 30 narratives and accompanying images, videos, memorabilia, and other documentation that helped the narratives come alive. Click on the “D.C. Black Power Chronology” section of this website to find this chronology and the corresponding narratives and visual documentation.
D.C. Chronology Committee
D. C. Black Power Oral History Series
Committee Co-Chairs: Faye Coleman, Joshua Myers
Lead Interviewer: Kwame Holman
Scheduling: Lori Wallace
Video Editing: Sekou Coleman
Members: Juliette Bethea, Jennifer Bryant, Rhone Fraser, Sekou Getouw, Gaynelle Henderson, Jawara Hunter, Phillipa Thompson Jackson, Darrell Johnson, Malaika Johnson, Joyce A. Ladner, Aiyze Sabitir, Denae Sampson, Baba El Senzengakulu Zulu
During the summer of 2017, the Black Power Chronicles Oral History Committee, working in collaboration with other Black Power Chronicles committees, videotaped interviews of 29 significant Washington, D.C. activists, artists, political leaders from the Barry administration, and scholars who helped develop the significant institutions that defined the Black Power era in Washington, D.C. The oral history interviews were conducted at the University of the District of Columbia (UDC) cable television station thanks to the collaboration arranged by Ed Jones, UDC-TV director and Cheryl Hawkins, associate director of UDC-TV. Click on the Oral Histories section of this website to watch these interviews.
Co-Chairs: Faye Coleman
Co-Chairs: Joshua Myers
The Black Arts Committee
Committee Chairs: Valerie Chisholm
Members: Ibe Crawley, E.J. Montgomery, Caesar Jackson, Glen Vaux, Jarvis Williams
The Black Arts Committee was one of the most active committees within the BPC structure. Under the leadership of Valerie Chisholm and Claude Elliott, they accomplished a variety of quality works. Their work included presenting live oral history interviews of Black Arts Movement veterans Nelson Stevens and James Phillips; producing a children’s festival commemorating the 50th anniversary of The New Thing Art and Architecture Center, which was founded during the Black Power era; designing a five-panel pop-up exhibit capturing the artistic expression of the Black Arts Movement in Washington, D.C.; and holding a seminar featuring a conversation with distinguished African-American writer and poet E. Ethelbert Miller.
Committee Chair: Valerie Chisholm
The Marion Barry Committee
Committee Chair: Courtland Cox
Members: Thomas Blanton, Tony Harrison, Lucille Knowles
This committee worked in collaboration with the Oral History Committee and was instrumental in scheduling the oral history video series, “The Barry Years” that is presented in the Oral History section of the website. Committee members also arranged for social justice activists to interview several public officials in the “Barry Years” videos.
Committee Chairs: Courtland Cox
Co-Chair: Thomas Blanton
The Public Programs Committee
Committee Chair: Karen Spellman
Members: Barbara Marshall Bailey, K. Brisbane, Raquel “Rocky” Douglas, Dianne Green, Juadine Henderson, Jocelyn Imani, Joshua Myers, Luci Murphy, Jalila Simmons
During the four-year period of the Black Power Chronicles project, the Public Programs Committee worked in collaboration with the other committees to produce the following 12 forums:
- Generations of Student Activism at Howard University: NAG and the Social Justice Activists
- Black Power in Washington, D.C.: The WPFW Live Broadcast and Panel Discussion with Jared Ball, host
- “We Are Africans!” Solidarity with International Struggles of Liberation
- 50th Anniversary Salute to The New Thing Art and Architecture Center, a youth program founded by Topper Carew
- A Birthday Tribute to Ron Clark, Founder of RAP, Inc. the Afrocentric Drug Treatment Program”
- BPC Christmas Party and Cultural Evening
- WPFW Open House and Radio Program marking Black Power’s 51st Anniversary and Archival Exhibit
- Salute to SNCC’s Executive Secretary, James Forman
- An Evening Conversation with E. Ethelbert Miller
- “ArtSpeaks: It’s a Youth Thing” Children’s Arts Festival
- An Evening with Roach Brown: Washington’s First Criminal Justice Activist
- BPC Awards Program and Dinner
Over 500 community members, including Black Power veterans, social justice activists, students, educators, and media reps attended these events, each of which included a presentation and Black Power Movement-themed cultural activity. Held at the African-American Civil War Museum (founded by Dr. Frank Smith, a SNCC veteran and former D.C. City Council member), the public programs were a main source for recruiting participation from the community. They provided a space where committees, collaborators, and newcomers could learn about the Black Power Movement in Washington, D.C., discuss ideas and programs, share stories, and join the BPC effort.
Chair: Karen Spellman
Members: Barbara Marshall Bailey, Maurice Carney, Patrik Douša, Deidre Gantt
The Website Committee has worked throughout the duration of the Black Power Chronicles project to translate the many narratives, oral history recordings, and visual documentation into a user-friendly web experience that you are now reading. Bringing this wealth of information to the web is important because it preserves free access to this unique collection of materials for current and future students, scholars, and activists.