12 ways to celebrate Black History Month

Queer-specific events

• Third Annual Marlon Riggs Film Festival: Friday, Feb. 17 marks the first day of Fahari Arts Institute’s Third Annual Marlon Riggs Film Festival, presented in cooperation with The South Dallas Cultural Center, Black Cinematheque Dallas, Q-Roc.TV and BlaqOut Dallas. The festival honors the legacy of the late gay, Fort Worth-based filmmaker Marlon Riggs. Screenings begin at 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday night at the South Dallas Cultural Center, 3400 S. Fitzhugh Ave. The cost is $5 per night. There will be a talk back after each evening of films.

• Queerly Speaking: Queerly Speaking is a monthly spoken word open mic event for queer people of color hosted by the Fahari Arts Institute at the South Dallas Cultural Center. The fourth season begins this month with February’s theme of “Love on Top.” 8 p.m. Friday, Feb. 24. $5.

• Unity Black History Soul Food Potluck: United Black Ellument is an organization dedicated to building Dallas’ young black gay and bisexual men’s community. They will be celebrating Black History Month with delicious soul food on Sunday, Feb. 19. The food and fun starts at 6 p.m. and people are encouraged to come with or without a dish. The event is free. UBE is in Deep Ellum at 3116 Commerce St., Suite C. UBEDallas.org.

• ¡Baile! The Dance: Allgo is Texas’ statewide queer people of color and allies organization that focuses on improving the queer people of color community’s health and advancing LGBT black and Latino artists and community organizing.  Baile takes place from 7:30 to 11:30 p.m. Friday, Feb. 17 at the Emma S. Barrientos Mexican American Cultural Center at 600 River St., Austin. Tickets are $25 online/$35 at the door. If you’d like to support but can’t travel to attend, consider an online donation, which can be made at Allgo.org/Allgo/Support.

Other events

• ‘Free Man of Color’: The African American Art Repertory Theater presents Free Man of Color, the true story of John Newton Templeton, a freed slave, who graduated from Ohio University 35 years before the Emancipation Proclamation. Desoto Corner Theater at 211 E. Pleasant Run Road, DeSoto. AarepTheater.com

• Mahalia Jackson ‘Queen of Gospel Music’ Exhibition: The African American Museum celebrates the life of Mahalia Jackson with 51 pieces of artwork and rare footage of her life and performances through June 30. The museum is at 3536 Grand Ave., Dallas, in Fair Park. Admission is free. AAMDallas.org.

• ‘My House Cultural Discovery — African American Folk Tales and Legends’: You and your children or favorite little ones can celebrate Black History Month at The Museum of Nature & Science with storyteller Toni Simmons at 11:30 a.m. on Feb. 24, followed by craft time until 1 p.m. Free for members and included with the cost of general admission for non-members. 3535 Grand Ave., Dallas. NatureAndScience.org.

• 13th Annual Red, Hot & Snazzy Benefit: The United Negro College Fund, or UNCF, presents its 13th Annual Dallas/Fort Worth Black History Month signature event Saturday, Feb. 18 at the Hyatt Regency in Downtown Dallas. Proceeds provide scholarships for low-income college students and operating resources for UNCF’s Texas-based historically black colleges. For more information on time and cost, visit: UNCF.org.

• Black History Month Celebration: South Side on Lamar celebrates Black History Month at 8 p.m. Feb. 26. The local Ebony Emeralds Classic Theater presents a special performance, Three Tales of Black History. It is directed by Akin Babatunde and will feature music by Jelly Roll Morton, Duke Ellington, Charles Mingus, Thelonius Monk and Billy Strayhorn. The show takes place in South Side’s Blue Room, 1409 S. Lamar St.

• Cultural Awareness Series: The Dallas Black Dance Theater presents its annual Cultural Awareness Series Feb. 23–26.  Price levels vary from $10–$65. DDBDT.com.

• ‘Frederick Douglass Now’: The Black Academy of Arts and Letters (TBAAL) presents Frederick Douglass Now, a show by Dress Performance Theatre Series starring Roger Guenveur Smith at 8:15 p.m Feb. 24-25. The show takes place in the Clarence Muse Café Theater in the Dallas Convention Center, 650 S. Griffin St., Dallas. $15.

• Saturdays of Service: Black history month is moving from being more event-based to service-based. Groups such as Black Men Emerging at SMU are pushing for change and not just entertainment. They lead Saturdays of service throughout the Dallas area from 9 a.m.–1 p.m. Remaining service dates are Feb. 18 and 25.

— Compiled by Toi Scott

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition February 17, 2012.

—  Kevin Thomas

Marlon Riggs Film Festival continues this weekend

Back in black

Filmmaker Marlon Riggs changed the face of black gay America with his monumental film Tongues Untied. The 1989 documentary was controversial, but his legacy endured. Two decades later, the Fahari Arts Institute strives to keep Riggs relevant — especially to a younger audience.

“Youth is a big focus this year,” says arts director Harold Steward. “We are encouraging people to bring their families to the festival.”

The Marlon Riggs Film Festival returns for a second year on Feb. 18. The festival is presented in association with Black Cinematheque, Q-Roc TV and the  South Dallas Cultural Center as well as with the cooperation of the United Black Ellument and AIDS Arms.

Read the entire article here.

—  Rich Lopez

BACK IN BLACK: The 3-day Marlon Riggs Film Festival returns to mark the gay black pioneer

CUT AND PRINT | Cleo Manago’s ‘HIV Healing in Young, Black America’ screens as part of Fahari’s Arts and AIDS series.

RICH LOPEZ  | Staff Writer
lopez@dallasvoice.com

Filmmaker Marlon Riggs changed the face of black gay America with his monumental film Tongues Untied. The 1989 documentary was controversial, but his legacy endured.

Two decades later, the Fahari Arts Institute strives to keep Riggs relevant — especially to a younger audience.

“Youth is a big focus this year,” says arts director Harold Steward. “We are encouraging people to bring their families to the festival.”

The Marlon Riggs Film Festival returns for a second year on Feb. 18. The festival is presented in association with Black Cinematheque, Q-Roc TV and the  South Dallas Cultural Center as well as with the cooperation of the United Black Ellument and AIDS Arms.  In efforts to expand the quality, panel discussions with filmmakers have been added to supplement the screenings. The inaugural day is centered on Riggs and his work: I Will Not Be Removed: The Life of Marlon Riggs and the short Tongues Untied: Still in Vogue.  In a nod to those works and Riggs, this year’s festival is titled Untied, but not Removed.

“Each day has a theme which helps our film selection,” Steward says. “We always start with Riggs and Lamond Ayers who worked with him will come to speak about his relationship with him and working in media and film in the ’80s and ’90s.”

The Texas Health and Human Services Department stepped in to sponsor the second night that gives attention to health issues and the impact of HIV/AIDS on the black community. This serves as part of Fahari’s Arts and AIDS series. HIV Healing in Young, Black America: Getting the Language Right by Cleo Manago screens alongside Claudia Malis’s Why Us? Left Behind and Dying. Malis will be in attendance to discuss the issues of youth today becoming infected and her initiatives in which youth research the impact first hand. Free HIV testing will be offered through the evening.

“It is a gift to have her here to talk about that,” Steward says.

The three-day event wraps on Sunday with a series of short films thematically addressing the idea of black masculinity in a gay world. Julien Breece’s short The Young and Evil may raise the most eyebrows. The film takes on the controversial topic of bug chasing and looks at one man in his quest to contract the virus. Robert X. Goldpin’s Punch Me follows a man as he struggles to accept himself in the midst of his father dying and the loss of his boyfriend. Goldpin will Skype in to the festival for a virtual panel discussion about his film. Patrick Murphy’s Animal Drill rounds out the three films.

The goal of this festival is to use these films and media as a guide through black America,” Steward says. “Riggs addressed culture, sexuality and health in his work. We just want to continue that work.”

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition Feb. 11, 2011.

—  John Wright

Fahari Arts Institute tells the Bull Jeans story

Fahari introduces you to Miss Bull Jeans

Harold J. Steward directs Q-Roc Ragsdale in this one-woman multi-media show about Bull Jeans and her life in the rural South of the 1920s. Her story of survival, love and lesbianism is told in the bull-jean stories based on the book by Sharon Bridgforth.

DEETS: South Dallas Cultural Center, 3400 S. Fitzhugh Ave. 8 p.m. Sunday at 3 p.m. $15. Q-Roc.tv/Bull-Jean.

—  Rich Lopez

Best bets • 10.08.10

Friday 10.15

No need to ask where the beef is
Burgers and beer is a primo combination, but with wine, it’s a step up. Especially if they are made by 11 local celebrity chefs, then it could just be heaven. The second annual Burgers & Burgundy hosted by Chef John Tesar puts it all together for your pleasure while raising funds for DIFFA. Who said eating burgers could ever be bad for you?

DEETS: The House in Victory Park, 2200 Victory Ave. 6 p.m. $75. DiffaDallas.org.

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Saturday 10.16

Never cross a gay vampire at bingo
The last thing you want to do is piss off Miss True Blood by yelling “bingo” before her. The last thing you need is a big bite mark on your neck before it’s truly scarf season. Put on your fangs, widow’s peaks and capes for this month’s GayBingo Vampire. Just watch out for those real ones blending in. Garlic should keep you safe — alone, but safe.

DEETS: The Rose Room (inside Station 4), 3911 Cedar Springs Road. 5 p.m. $25. RCDallas.org.

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Sunday 10.17

Fahari introduces Miss Bull Jeans
Harold J. Steward directs Q-Roc Ragsdale in this one-woman multi-media show about Bull Jeans and her life in the rural South of the 1920s. Her story of survival, love and lesbianism is told in the bull-jean stories based on the book by Sharon Bridgforth.

DEETS: South Dallas Cultural Center, 3400 S. Fitzhugh Ave. 3 p.m. $15. Q-Roc.tv/Bull-Jean.

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition October 15, 2010.

—  Kevin Thomas