Black Portraiture[s]: V

Terrie Boddie, “Prison Industrial”, 2018

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.

Prince Batdance Symposium

The Estate of Prince Rogers Nelson is not affiliated, associated or connected with the ‘Prince Batdance Symposium,’ nor has it endorsed or sponsored the ‘Prince Batdance Symposium.’ Further, the Estate of Prince Rogers Nelson has not licensed any of its intellectual property to the producers, advertisers or directors of the ‘Prince Batdance Symposium.’

To celebrate the 30th anniversary of Prince’s 11th album, The Batman Soundtrack, De Angela organized and curated the Prince Batdance symposium (#Batdance30ATL), a 2-day event at Spelman College. On Friday evening, March 29, 2019, the symposium consisted of an opening keynote with Chuck Zwicky, one of the sound engineers on the album, and a video screening to kick off the event. A full-day of 4 panels and a closing keynote with Prince’s cousin, Charles (Chazz) Smith, followed on the next day, Saturday, March 30, 2019.

For more detailed info about the symposium, visit http://batdance.polishedsolid.com.

If U missed the Prince Batdance symposium, you can relive it by either reading the #Batdance30ATL livetweets or watching the video archives.

To view all the current, available video archives of the Prince Batdance symposium, visit http://batdance.polishedsolid.com/video.

Interviewed by Roy Turner for TrickyKid Radio Podcast

De Angela was interviewed by Roy Turner on Episode 65 of the Trickykid Radio Podcast about Prince & organizing EYE NO #Lovesexy30BK. You can hear her segment around 44 minutes and 12 seconds in. The podcast also has an amazing segment with Ingrid Chavez! You can hear Ingrid’s new track #YouGaveMeWings as well as a couple of other tracks from her upcoming Memories of Flying LP out this Fall! I hope you’ll tune in and listen!

In this accompanying photo from the Symposium, Ingrid & De Angela are joined by one of the most amazing human beings on the face of the earth, Krysta Battersby 😉

EYE NO Prince Lovesexy Symposium

The Estate of Prince Rogers Nelson is not affiliated, associated or connected with the ‘Prince Lovesexy Symposium,’ nor has it endorsed or sponsored the ‘Prince Lovesexy Symposium.’ Further, the Estate of Prince Rogers Nelson has not licensed any of its intellectual property to the producers, advertisers or directors of the ‘Prince Lovesexy Symposium.’

To celebrate 30 years of Lovesexy and Prince’s 60th birthday, De Angela organized and curated the EYE NO: Prince Lovesexy Symposium  at NYU Tandon Pfizer Auditorium in Brooklyn. On Friday, June 1, 2018, the symposium kicked off with an opening keynote featuring Cat Glover, Prince’s principal dancer on the Lovesexy Tour, Dr. Fink of Prince and The Revolution, who was one of Prince’s keyboardist during the Lovesexy tour and Ingrid Chavez, poet and actress, who opens the Lovesexy album and a screening, as well as special guests Joe Blaney and Chuck Zwicky, two sound engineers who worked with Prince during this period. A full-day of 4 panels followed on Saturday, June 2nd with a closing keynote with Prince’s cousin, Chazz Smith. 

For more detailed info about the symposium and video archives, visit http://lovesexy.polishedsolid.com.

Here are all the current, available video archives of the EYE NO Prince Lovesexy Symposium.

OPENING Keynote from Day 1:
feat. Cat Glover (Thank YOU, Hayley Drinkall) Dr. Fink of The Revolution, Ingrid Chavez, Chuck Zwicky & Joe Blaney

The SPIRITUALITY panel from Day 2:
feat. Erica Thompson, Steven G Fullwood, Arun Saldanha & Fredara Mareva Hadley

The STYLE panel from Day 2:
feat. Kirsty Fairclough, Mike Alleyne, Aisha Khalilah Staggers, Monique Wakanda Morris & Kamilah Cummings

Part 1 of the STUDIO & LIVE panel from Day 2:
feat. Adam Reid Sexton & Tasha Digital

Part 2 of the STUDIO & LIVE panel from Day 2:
EDITED feat. Harold Pride

UNEDITED feat. Harold Pride

Part 3 of the Studio & Live panel
P3 EDITED feat. Arthur Turnbull

P3 UNEDITED feat. Arthur Turnbull
https://vimeo.com/292521111/212dba7bc7

The SOTT30BK reunited panel
feat. Zaheer Ali, Anil Dash, Miles Marshall Lewis & Elliott Powell)

The Closing Keynote
feat. Charles ‘Chazz’ Smith

Betty Davis They Say I’m Different Symposium

On Friday, May 25, 2018, De Angela had the honor and privilege of organizing and curating the Betty Davis – They Say I’m Different Symposium at NYU Tandon Pfizer Auditorium in Brooklyn will celebrate funk legend, Betty Davis. The symposium consisted of a panel moderated by Fredara Mareva Hadley (Oberlin) with talks by De Angela, Kwami Coleman (NYU Gallatin), Emily Lordi (University of Massachusetts, Amherst), and Greg Tate, writer, musician, and cultural provocateur. The talks were followed by a screening of the new documentary, Betty – They Say I’m Different and a Q&A with the filmmaker, Phil Cox. 

To find out more detailed information, visit the symposium website:

http://betty.polishedsolid.com 

We raised over $500 in donations 4 Girls Rock! Pittsburgh at the event. Thanks 2 everyone who donated! However, it’s not too late to donate online. Betty Davis & the film team would be very happy if folks continued to donate to the empowerment program for female youths of all definitions, abilities, & backgrounds: Girls Rock! Pittsburgh: http://girlsrockpittsburgh.org/donate/

She’s Always In My Hair: Jill Jones, The Unheralded Muse of Prince

De Angela had the honor and privilege of speaking about Jill Jones at the Black Portraiture[s] IV: The Color of Silence conference at Harvard University on Friday, March 23, 2018. She was hoping Harvard would release the official video of the conference, but they haven’t yet. Luckily Kabria Cummings filmed it for her from the audience.

She made an error in the talk because she was rushed for time and a bit stressed out. She flubbed that Teena was like a big sister to Jill (She said Jill was a big sister to Teena). You NEVER have enough time to speak at conferences. That’s why she personally loves the long podcast format.

Jerome Benton Interview

“Are you afraid of bats? Well, I ain’t afraid of…” If you are a hardcore Prince fan, you know the rest, but, if you don’t, listen to me and Jerome Benton as we discuss my favorite film of all time, Prince’s Under The Cherry Moon (UTCM), on Grown Folks Music’s inaugural Behind The Film podcast, to distinguish when we speak to members of the Purple kingdom from our usual Inside The Album podcasts.

I had the honor & privilege to discuss UTCM with Tricky live and in the “real” studio, which since April 2016, has been my #2 bucket list item. Before that my #2 was witnessing Prince in the studio work his magic.

I must give MASSIVE thanks to Jill Monroe for making this dream a reality. I never thought in a million years that I would get to interview Jerome IN PERSON at my job (Thank you, Luke DuBois).

I will never forget that day for as long as I live! Thank you, Jerome Benton, for the many, many decades of joy! We 💜 you!

Peach + Black: a panel & screening of Prince’s Sign O’ The Times

The Estate of Prince Rogers Nelson is not affiliated, associated or connected with the ‘Peach + Black: Sign O’ The Times Panel,’ nor has it endorsed or sponsored the ‘Peach + Black: Sign O’ The Times Panel.’ Further, the Estate of Prince Rogers Nelson has not licensed any of its intellectual property to the producers, advertisers or directors of the ‘Peach + Black: Sign O’ The Times Panel.’

I hosted and moderated a panel and screening of Prince’s Sign O’ The Times in Pfizer Auditorium, 5 MetroTech Center, Brooklyn, at NYU Tandon School of Engineering on Thursday, June 8th, the day after his birthday at 6pm. This is the epitome of a little idea turning into something very special with the strong encouragement of some of my Prince friends, Mable Ivory of Louella Productions, Deanna Martin, and Ron Worthy of soulhead. With a LOT of help from these friends who co-organizing the event with me, Peach + Black far surpassed my expectations. I literally wanted to do a small intimate screening at work, but Mable wasn’t having it. She encouraged me to make it a bigger event. So, thank you, Mable, for your vision and action!

De Angela favorite SOTT Panel
Amazing Photo by @Priana (left to right: Mable Ivory, Ron Worthy, Elliott Powell, Zaheer Ali, De Angela L. Duff, Anil Dash, Deanna Martin, and Miles Marshall Lewis.)

We had some extraordinary Prince scholars lined up, including myself acting as moderator.

  • Anil Dash, Technology Entrepreneur, Activist & Writer (Fog Creek Software, Glitch, Medium, Stack Overflow, etc.)
  • Marshall Miles Lewis, Music Journalist (Rolling Stone, XXL, vibe, BET, etc)
  • Zaheer Ali Oral Historian at Brooklyn Historical Society and teaches Prince course at NYU
  • Elliott Powell, Professor at University of Minnesota and teaches Prince course at UMN

The event was FREE.

Supporting links:

Purple Reign Conference

I was super excited and truly honored to be “in the number” to present at the first international academic Prince conference, Purple Reign: An interdisciplinary conference on the life and legacy of Prince in Manchester, England, in May 2017, on Prince in Under The Cherry Moon! Finally, my academic and music worlds collided!

utcm talk deangela wrecka stow

I spoke on the Film and Visual Art Panel on Thursday about, Under the Cherry Moon: Prince, as his most authentic self. Here’s the abstract of my talk:

While Under The Cherry Moon (UTCM), Prince’s second feature film, is often maligned by most, the film is actually the ultimate public document of Prince as his most authentic self. While Purple Rain presents one side of Prince, the aloof artifice he shared with the public, UTCM represents him as he truly was with his close friends and associates, hilariously funny.

Early on, you see glimpses of Prince’s sense of humor through songs he penned for The Time (such as Tricky and Movie Star), but with the release of UTCM Prince’s quick wit was unveiled and showcased at its finest. In fact, the comedic timing of the banter between Prince and Jerome Benton in this film rivals, not only that of Morris Day and Jerome in Purple Rain, but also Laurel & Hardy and other comedy duos. This film is also a testament to Prince’s countercultural stance — always embrace doing the opposite of what is expected.

On the heels of the massive success of Purple Rain, most artists would have followed up with a sequel, but Prince did not. Overall, UTCM was a daring and artistic, buddy film, shot on location in France in black and white. The film broke social norms at the time by turning race (interracial relationships) and sexuality (bisexuality) on their heads. The themes of duality that Prince addressed throughout his entire musical catalog persist from start to finish in UTCM: life and death, good and bad, love and lust, & rich and poor. However, the most pervasive theme throughout UTCM is fun. In fact, Prince’s final words in the film were, “We had fun. Didn’t we?” In the context of Prince’s recent passing, these words have never meant more than they do now.

utcm talk deangela butterscotch still

Eyeo Festival 2016 Ignite! Talk

I had the privilege and honor of giving an ignite talk at Eyeo Festival 2016 in Minneapolis, MN, the day before Prince’s birthday about my passions: record collecting, wrecka stows & Prince. I was a little TOO excited and stressed due to the IGNITE format (slides advance automatically: 20 slides, 15 seconds each).

Black Female Rockers from Betty Davis to Joi

I have had the privilege and honor to present, Black Female Rockers from Betty Davis to Joi, at both the BLACK PORTRAITURE[S] II: Imaging the Black Body and Restaging Histories conference in Florence, Italy, and BLACK PORTRAITURE[S] II: Revisited conference in New York. The video above showcases this talk at BLACK PORTRAITURE[S] II.

Abstract:

“To be invisible will be my claim to fame.” – Gladys Knight & The Pips

While Carrie Mae Weems’ “Slow Fade to Black” (2010) commands you to consider how the images of famous black female performers like Eartha Kitt, Nina Simone, Lena Horne, and Josephine Baker are receding from cultural memory and prominence, the series also sparks a deeper question of why the images of black female rockers such as (and most notably) Betty Davis, Joyce Kennedy, and Joi are still sadly mostly unknown, uncredited, or ignored. We can not reduce their invisibility to just race. Because their images directly confront the relationship between gender and sexuality, their reclamation of power and freedom is undeniable, refuting stereotypes and, ultimately, rewriting music’s history and culture.