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Lectures and Book Signings
Seventy-Fifth Birthday Tribute to Curtis Mayfield

December 17 at 11:00
East Building Auditorium

Presentation, music, and film screening in celebration of Curtis Mayfield (1942–1999), American singer, writer, producer, and label owner.

Remarks will be presented by Aaron Cohen, music critic, humanities professor at Wright College, City Colleges of Chicago, and author of the forthcoming Move On Up: Chicago Soul Music And Black Cultural Power.

Move On Up looks at the social, cultural, and political changes that shaped soul music in Chicago during the 1960s and 1970s and how musicians themselves were often agents of those very changes. As a singer, songwriter, producer, guitarist, and entrepreneur, Curtis Mayfield stood at the center of this movement. During Cohen's presentation, he will read excerpts from his book that describe Mayfield's working methods and his influence.

Curtis Mayfield music presented by DJ Jahsonic


Film screening of Urban Soul
Ghanaian British filmmaker John Akomfrah's work asks audiences to engage with colonialism and the African diaspora through memory and montage, creating meaning by connecting history with lived experience. Across exhibition contexts, in gallery settings through immersive multichannel installations, and also in the cinema space, Akomfrah is a leading voice in contemporary time-based media art. Akomfrah's work for screen and television includes sixteen single-channel films from the influential Black Audio Film Collective (BAFC) and newer works by the present iteration of the collective, known as Smoking Dogs Films. Over the years, Akomfrah and his partners have been commissioned by many television channels, in the United Kingdom and elsewhere, to produce original programming. An example of Smoking Dogs Films’ work made for broadcast, Urban Soul , uses a pop culture subject—the phenomenon of R&B—as criteria to investigate deeper themes of corporate corruption and greed. (2004, 75 minutes)

This program is proposed and made possible by Darryl Atwell.

Left image: Photograph of Curtis Mayfield, courtesy of Curtis Mayfield III; Right image: Photograph of DJ Jahsonic, courtesy of Jamil Hamilton

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