"What happens when you bring together an Afrocentric cultural nationalist, a radical Black feminist academic, a grassroots community organizer and a moderate-to-liberal grounded in Christian faith? The Intersection: Woke Black Folk. Fagbamila’s groundbreaking one-woman show featuring four different perspectives taking us into the complexities of Black political identity." (Co-presented with OPAL and South House for Black Legacy Month 2022.) Retrieved from Dartmouth's website 2022 @hopkinscenter.
The Intersection: Woke Black Folk is an award-winning, internationally-touring stage play on the complexities of Black political identity, and a story about how humans navigate difference. It premiered at the Pan African Film and Arts Festival in Los Angeles as the featured theatrical production in March 2018 and has since toured internationally -- staging in venues and universities across the U.S., England, the Netherlands, France and Brazil. This one-woman show calls into question the partisanship, groupthink and absence of nuance that often inform modern political debate. As an astute observer puts it, "How does Fagbamila's staging, claiming, theorizing, and embodying of contradictory perspectives create room in an otherwise claustrophobic political landscape?” View a brief look into the four characters here and the original Woke Black Folk poem here.
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Pan African Film Festival
Skirball Cultural Center
UC Santa Barbara
In the ethnographic tradition of Du Bois’ Philadelphia Negro and inspired by the choreopoem genre birthed from Ntozake Shange’s For Colored Girls, Funmilola's work emerges from a long history of transgressive Black Arts. Trained as a sociologist specializing in ethnographic methods, her original inspiration for The Intersection was a study of Black Los Angeles social justice environments. This research was made possible by her grassroots involvement.
On July 13, 2013, when a jury in Florida acquitted George Zimmerman, activists in Los Angeles organized the first Black Lives Matter protest. The group of 26, including Fagbamila, formed #Justice4TravyonMartinLA -- which would soon become the first ever Black Lives Matter chapter. This set the stage for what would become a decade long creative inquiry into the heterogeneity of the Black experience and Black resistance.
The Intersection deconstructs Black political identity, foregrounding the forms of ideological conflict and difference that exist within the Black community and within Black mobilization. Informed by the social climate in the wake of the 2013 acquittal of George Zimmerman, four Black activists are tasked with leading their respective communities in the movement toward greater freedom and justice. And while these community leaders are expected to work together, they soon find that their definitions of freedom and justice are not completely aligned.