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Crisis In Black Culture Talk - Rescheduled


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My most sincere apologies to our panelists, guests, volunteers, photographers and video folk who came out last night for our Community Conversation: A Crisis In Black Culture, scheduled to happen on Monday, February 17th at 6:30pm at the African American Museum in Philadelphia.

 

It did not happen. We were unable to get into the museum.

 

It was a highly embarrassing experience to have a local TV News van pull up and have nothing to tell them, nor the rest of the crowd. It was also tremendously frustrating to look at folks shivering in the cold patiently waiting and believing in "you" and what you do. I'm not sure just yet what happened that caused this mishap, but I assume we'll find out shortly.

 

The thing that bothered me most was the idea that we were there to discuss the Crisis in Black Culture. As a trained visual artist, I work with symbols and symbolism. This experience has lost none of its symbolism on me. Particularly, as I had specifically attempted to find a Black institution in which to do this special Black History month conversation. However, after reaching out to three other Black institutions, and asking to rent their space, only to receive no response from them, we settled on the African American Museum in Philadelphia.

 

The Crisis in Black Culture was evident to all of those folks standing outside in the cold last night. Things happen. People make mistakes. But, I feel there is something bigger at work here and it is symbolic. The thought of being outside and unable to do anything about it was not lost on anyone. It is a frightening and heartbreaking thing to see your optimism, your excitement, your faith standing on the sidewalk unable to get inside, where it could be harnessed and harvested. Instead it freezes or rots in the street, or languishes on the sidewalks of this city. This experience is a symbol, a snapshot of the relationship between many institutions and Philadelphia's people. We stand on the outside, ignored, underserved or misrepresented.

 

▪ What purpose do our institutions serve if they don't serve the people?
▪ What do we need them for if they don't engage us?
▪ Why are resources that could be used in other ways used to support an institutional system that ignores us?

 

If you too are frustrated and want to see change and be a part of the change that you want to see, or just want to talk about it, then join us for our re-scheduled dialogue;

 

A Crisis In Black Culture
Monday | March 3rd | 6:30 p.m.
First District Plaza
3801 Market St, Philadelphia, PA 19106

 

If you didn't know….
The First District Plaza was built in 1991 by the First Episcopal District of the African Methodist Episcopal Church, the oldest denomination founded by people of color in the United States. The only institution of its kind in the United States, First District Plaza is home to a myriad of community service organizations and programs and The Grand Ballroom, a full-service banquet and conference center.

 

Many thanks.

 

Homer Jackson
Phila Jazz Project

 

 

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Philadelphia Jazz Project is a sponsored project of the Culture Trust | Greater Philadelphia, with funding provided by The Philadelphia Foundation.