De Angela gave two different talks back to back at Black Portraitures[V] conference on Oct 17–19, 2019 at NYU.
The Evolution of African-American Funeral Programs in Greene County, Alabama on the On Black Death panel.
Abstract: My grandmother, Rhinnie Mae Oliver, religiously collected funeral programs of her family and friends. Over the years, she amassed quite a collection. Upon my grandmother’s passing in 2014, I inherited this collection. While many are using DNA today to discover their family tree, I can piece together a sizable portion of my family tree through these funeral programs. However, funeral programs often do not reveal the complete truth particularly when describing complicated, southern, African-American narratives. In this talk, I will discuss the evolution of the visual design of the funeral program in Greene Country, Alabama, while also revealing stories, connections, and omissions about and from my family’s narrative.
Denise Matthews aka Vanity: More Than a Nasty Girl on The Sonic 15th Century to Today: Music and Influences panel.
Abstract: Denise Matthews was photographed profusely over her lifetime as a beauty queen, model, actress, and singer. However, after Prince rechristened Denise as Vanity, her image as a “Nasty Girl” transformed her identity and narrative. She will be forever known and seen as Vanity, despite being more than a “nasty girl.” In this talk, the evolution of Denise/Vanity will be revealed and deconstructed by showing how the photographic gaze shifted her narrative for better or for worse.