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September 22, 1970 - Image 2

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1970-09-22

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Page Two

THE MICHIGAN DAILY

arts festival

A message in artistic

form

By JUANITA ANDERSON
"It's cool! It's so together and so,
relevant. I could dig what was going on
the moment I walked in the door."
Rodney Ford, '71 accurately described
the mood of the artists and merchants at
Saturday's Black Arts Festival. The fes-
tival featured 36 black artists from the
midwest who presented their works and
views on black expression.
Ann Arbor artist Jon Lockard explained
the purpose of black art. "We try to ex-
press the feelings of black people and
expose them to the general public. We are
trying to tell a message in our own way."
George Norman's Black Odyssey exhibit
definitely expressed a message in artistic
historical form-the black man's history
from slavery to now. In a segment of the
exhibit dealing with the moon landing
Norman says, "Instead of seeking heaven
on earth, man settled for the moon. The
black man sitting alone amidst decay,
debris . . . is wiser, by far, than all the
men who commanded Apollo 11. He knows
what frontiers really scream to be ex-
plored."
Education was an important theme
among the artists. Yaounde of Osun Gal-
lery in Chicago felt that this type. of
festive should involve more colleges and
universities across the nation. "People are
usually apathetic toward art. They think
art is inaccessable to them, but it isn't.
Besides the variety of prints and jewelry
available, black art is an education to the
people." She noted that the kind of edu-
cation depends on what the artist is trying
to say. Yaounde feels that her paintings
represent a political message. One of her
examples presents the idea of abortion as
being a gamble. It depicts a pregnant black
woman separated by bars from a woman
giving advice. A fetus, enclosed in a die
looms above. Abortion is the pregnant
woman's decision alone.
One of the most crowd-drawing exhibits
was from the Shrine of the Black Madonna
'Cultural Center. The center, in Detroit,

features hand crafted jewelry, an afro-mod
boutique, an art gallery, as well as a book
and gift shop. Barbara Martin, manager
of the center, described it as a "showcase
for the creativity of black people to en-
colirage and educate. We as black people
know so little of the magnificent history
of our people. Our children mirror the in-
significant role into which our people are
usually cast. We hope to help bring alive
a sense of accomplishment, purpose, ful-
fillment, unity and worth."
' And there were children at the festival.
Angle Simpson, 6, and Beth Mays, 9,
identified most with displays relating to
black children. They were greatly attracted
to Murray DePillars' painting, "Suzanne."
The work, picturing a woman holding two
children was inspired by Nina Simone's
song, 'Suzanne." The story of "Suzanne"
relates to the protection of ones own. De-
Pillars says that his green acrylic back-/,
ground is suggestive of Suzanne trying to
part the waters. In his painting DePillars
tries to show black peoples' struggle and
endurance all over the world.
The children were also impressed by the
many books for black children presented
by Vaughn's Bookstore of Detroit. They
especially enjoyed the new black coloring
books which taught them of blackpeople.
Angie also said that she liked books on
Africa and wanted to learn more about
her African heritage. Vaughn's Bookstore
also features an extensive line of all phases
of African and Afro-American history, art,
and literature.
An extremely creative exhibit was that
of Ben Bay and Hazel Perisee from Chi-
cago's Tazama Uhuru Studio. The display
included original paintings, lithographs,
and black note cards. Bay and Miss Perisee
are self-taught artists who deal with their
experiences in the black community
through their work. Miss Perisee was dis-
appointed that more less known artists
were not present at the festival and that
more people did not take advantage of
this opportunity to view black art.

The black people who did view the fes-
tival had comments to make. "It's good to
see these black artists here doing their
black thing. From the quality of their
work, they can accomplish anything they
set out to do," said-EMU senior Carl Hollis.
And Debbie Harris, '72 commented, "The
festival made me aware of a lot of art
work done in the midwest area. It presents
a new facet of creative art not often ex-
posed in this society. White society always
shows our so-called destructive and mili-
tant phase, but rarely shows our creative
side."
Several white people present had com-
ments to make, though they tended to be
rather vague and insensitive to the art.
"It's really very good-a well-behaved
group," and "If I like art, I like art. We
heard about it at the football game, so we
came. We usually go to art shows." How-
ever, University alumnus John Dewayne
was specific about his sentiments. "I was
extremely impressed with the pride of the
black people which was displayed in their
wok." He added that he was attracted
by a picture depicting a man whose face
was characterized by black and white lines.
The man also had a hole in his throat and
a deformed peace symbol around his neck.
Ron Thompson, director of the festival
from the Black Action Movement, said,
"It's beautiful! The only shame is that the
entire community did not see it."
Mary Mays,,co-owner of Ebonnaire Cards
in Ann Arbor, felt the festival should be
taken into the black community and should
-be better publicized.
George Norman summed it up. "This
festival is the best I've ever had the pleas-
ure to work with. There was such a variety
of black art and so much potential for
letting people know about us.
"I only regret it was not a larger affair,"
Norman added. "One day does not do it
justice. Bring in children. It is important
to reach children's minds. Hopefully we
will 'soon have something to include the
whole community."

DAILY OFFICIAL
BULLETIN
The Daily Official Bulletin is an
official publication of the Univer-
sity of Michigan. Notices should be
sent in TYPEWRITTEN f or m to
Room 3528 L. S. A. Bldg., before
2 p.m., of the day preceding pub-
lication and by 2 p.m. Friday for
Saturday and Sunday. Items ap-
pear once only. Student organiza-
tion notices are not accepted for
publication. For more information,
phone 764-9270.
TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 22
Day Calendar
Physics Seminar: M. Noga, Purdue,
"Algebraic Structure of Weinberg Sup-
erconvergence Relations," P&A Colloq.
General Notices
President's State of the University
Address. Prsident Fle~ming will give the
annual address to the faculty and
staff on Monday, -Sept. 28, at 8:00 p.m.
in Rackham Lecture Hall, The meet-,
ing will be open to all members of the
University community. The five Dis-
tinguished Faculty Achievement Award,
the six. Distinguished Service Awards
for Instructors, Assistant Professors and
Junior Associate Professors, and the
University Press Book Award for 1970
will be presented at this meet'ing. A
reception will be held in the Michigan
League Ballroom )nmediately after
the conclusion of the meeting,
Regent's Meeting: Oct. 15, 16. Com-
munications for cpnsideration at this
meeting must be in the President's
hands no later than Oct. 1.
Any Student intending to e l e c t
Secondary Directed Teaching next term
(Winter '71) must go to Directed Teach-I
ing Office (2292 NBJ) no later than
Sept. 28, to pick up important informa-
tion and materials related to procedures
of assignment. j
Placement Service
General Division
3200 S.A.B.
Engineering Placement Meeting No.
4: "Success on the Job." Common dif-
ficulties of transition from sc h o o l
to work and how to avoid them. Fourth
of four meetings. Professor J. G. Young
Sept. 22. 4 p.m. and 7:30 p.m., Rin. 311,1
W. Engin .Bldg. (Afternoon and eve-
ning meetings the same.)

SUMMARY OF ACTION TAKEN BY
STUDENT GOVERNMENT COUNCIL
AT ITS MEETING SEPTEMBER 16. '70
Approved:
WHEREAS: The County Welfare
Rights Organization (WRO) and the
Black Economic Developnent League
(BEDL) are of the poor in Washtenaw
County, and are trying to establish
viable economic alternatives for them-
selves;
WHEREAS: Churches of many de-
nominations hav been negligent in
their responsibility of providing funds
to the county's poor;
MOVE: That SGC support the de-
mands of WRO and the BEDL f o r
churches to immediately provide funds
for school clothing for children whose
parents are on welfare and eventually
to give funds to help provide the
county poor with clothes, housing day
care centers, food cooperatives, a medi-
cal and dental center, training pro-
grams and adrug treatment center;
FURTHER MOVE: That SGC sup-
port the principle of self-determination
for the county poor and urge students
to. get involved in aiding the BEDL,
and WRO;
FURTHER MORE: That SGC allo-
cate up to $100 to an educational
campaign for the purpose of inereas-
ing the awareness of the student body
on the issues raised by the BED, and
WRO and to gain support for those
groups;
FURTHER MOVE: That SGC allo-
cate $150 directly to the- WRO and
BEDL.
Approved:
MOVE: That any student who is ap-
pointed by the Office of S t u d e n t
Services Policy Ebard must agree to the
following:
1) That they are directly responsible
to SOC and must put in writing that
they will withdraw or resign from the
policy board whenever SOC calls for
them to do so; and
2 That they are committed to the
principle that the policy board make
the decisions in the 085.;
FURTHER: That they will bewilling
to call for the resignation of the vice-
president (and make the situation pub-
lic) if they deem it necessary and es-
sential.
Approved:
That SOC allocate $100 to Chicanos
at Michigan to provide financial assist-
ance to the organization's activities.
That Henry Clay be appointed SOC
liaison to Chicanos at Michigan to
determine further action of SGC In
aiding their organization.
Approved :
That th following organizations be
recognized by SOC:
Hairstyling
To Please
NOW 4 SHOPS

Women's Liberation; American Nu-
clear Society, Student Branch; Union
for Radical Political Economics; Popu-
list Party; Radical Lesbians; Kids for
the Invesatigtion of Tropospherical En-
tities (K.I.T.E.); Open it Up for Wo-
men; Poetry Inter Arts Club; Kempo;
Friends of Arm; American Indians Un-
limited.
Approved:
That Cynthia Stevens and H e n r y
Clay work out an arrangement to
oversee the progress of the University
in carrying out its commitments with
th~e Black . ction Movement.
Approved:
WHEREAS: The University has yet
to lift its interim rules and disciplinary
procedures;
WHEREAS: The LS&A Administrative
Board and the Rackham Board of.
Inquiry are proceeding in their plans to
illegally try Marc' Van Der Hout and
Peter Denton;
BE IT RESOLVED: That SGC urges
students to refuse to serve on those
illegally constituted tribunals and calls
upon the LS&A Ad. Board and Rack-1
ham Board of Inquiry to end their pro-
ceedings in these cases;
FURTHER RESOLVED: That SGC
members prepare a leaflet on the is-
sues involved in these disciplinary pro-
cedures and develop a speaker program
to reach the students:
SOC will debate and vote on the
following atnitsunext meeting, Sept.
(Continued on Page 6)

Tuesday, September 22, 1970
603 E. Liberty
DIAL 5-6290
Doors Open 12:45

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Daily Classifieds

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By CAROL BROWN
Supporters of B.A.M. spent
an intense four hours digging
black artistry and igamination
at the organization's benfit con-
cert Saturday night. Featuring
an unlikely conglomeration of
rock, jazz, comedy and poetry,
the program's varied line-up
may have disappointed listeners
with singular tastes. But any-
one looking for the method to
this mad assortment could eas-
ily find the evening's theme.
The contrasts began to take
shape during Edwin Starr's per-
formance. As Starr belted forth
his dynamic "War" ("What is
it good for? Absolutely noth-
ing !!), one became distracted,
almost humorously, from any
political impact his impassion-
ed lyric pleading might have
had, thanks to ,the Motown
chorus antics of 'Johnny and
the Houston Outlaws, who back-
ed . him up like a film clip of
rock singers of the middle 60's.
The second half of the con-
cert, which featured jazz trum-
peter Hugh Masekela and the
Last Poets, more clearly polar-
ized the traditional from the
avant-garde. Masekela played
mostly his established hits, all
flavored with melodious African
chants. Of these, Bajabula
Bonke (The Healing Song),
from his album "The Promise of
the Future," was the most excit-
ingly performed and the most
eagerly received. But, musically,
Masekela's performance expres-
sed more of the mastery of trad-
ition than it did the promise
of the future. His Latin medley,
for example, evidenced few ori-
ginal ideas and ended, appro-
piately (and exquisitely), with
the anticipated. "slightly out of
tune" blue notes.
Masekela's appealing voice,
apparently capable of unlimited
ranges, timbres, and effects was
generally more interesting, than
his conventional, though swing-
ing, horn playing. But while
'Masekela "makes it", he doesn't
innovate, which is one thing the
Last Poets do.
Bringing a new, highly provo-
cative kind of performance with
them from New York's Harlem,

the Last Poets do more than re-
vive the poetry-and-jazz idiom.
They almost, change the- mean-
ing of the word "entertain-
ment." Their outspoken, politi-
cal poetry suggests not just
ideas, but passionate feelings:'
lashing out against whites with
"the God complex" and blacks
who cower and cling to the easy
traditional escapes of drugs,
sex, and negro stereotypes.
The poets, Omar 'Ben Hassen
and Alafia 'Pudim, (a third,
Abiodun 'Oyewole, recently left
the' group), chant contrapun-
tally at times and punctuate
each other's lines at o t he r s.
They also get through to the
audience via the intriguing tech-
nique of letting one recite his
verses in the foreground while
the other g r o a ns, moans,
screams, cries, wails, even ges-
ticulates in the background.
Adding emotional impact to
verbal expressions of frustra-
tion, desparation, pride in being
black.
The poets' abundant illusions
to innovative jazz exprimental-
ists like John Coltrane, a n d
their frequent images of change
("Niggers change' their h a i r
from black to red to blonde. .
leave no doubt that theirs is the
poetry of transition. While it is
traditionally lyrical and reliant
upon images and meter, its con-
tent always looks into the fu-
ture. And while much of its pow-
er: lies in its forthright intro-
spective questioning ("Do you
understand what it means to
be a free black man?"), it is
not without humor ("Due to
lack of participation, the revolu-
tion has been cancelled.").
Even the drivation of their
name, "the Last Poets", re-
flects accute concern for our
transitional condition. Ac-
cording to the groups' pre-per-
formance explanation, it takes
its name from a poem by a
black poet who describes the
present as "the last age for
poems and essays." His poem
threatens that "After this age
there will be only the spear,
puncturing the villain's heart."
Perhaps this judgment re-

"Just
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Sun. Times

"Start the
Revolution'
Without
Me",

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Doors Open Tonight 6:45
Shows at 7 and 9 P.M.
Next "THE ACTIVIST"
Join The Daily Staff

STRING/WIND ENSEMBL S
-Roberta Goldman
OIL PAINTING-Ned Stern
"Artistic expression of Hebraic, Hasidic,
or Israelli Themes"
Info and Registration-THURS., SEPT. 24, 8 p.m., at
1429 HILL ST.
663-4129

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flects a subjective wish, but I
heard the Last Poets speaking
not only to blacks who are pre-
paring for the age of spears,
but also to both blacks and
whites whose idealistic hopes
envision the New, Beautiful Cul-
tire coming into its own some-
time during this age of poetry
and essays. In any case, I know
I heard the audience cry out en-
thusiastically,' "Write on!"

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