BLOGROLL: Roberts on Preservation and Social Justice| National Trust for Historic Preservation

Andrea Roberts, founder of the Texas Freedom Colonies Project and a scholar of heritage conservation and urban planning discusses historic preservation and social justice:

“Preservationists have argued for a shift toward a people-centered history. Even the National Trust for Historic Preservation has talked about inclusivity, about preservation’s role in telling the American story, about revitalizing depressed communities, and about recognizing places rather than just individual structures. I argue, however, that—while the turns in historic preservation practice and scholarship reflect a kind of progress, one in which certain professionals and academics demonstrate a willingness to take on issues like climate change and improving the quality of life in depressed areas—we remain challenged by the concept of social justice in preservation because social justice work asks something more of us. But what is the “more”? How does the practice of historic preservation become social justice practice?”

Read the rest:

The Texas Freedom Colonies Project
documents and preserves the history of former slaves who founded Freedom Colonies or Freedmen’s Towns across Texas.

“There are no comprehensive studies of threats to TXFC survival, documentation of Black Texans’ approaches to placemaking and problem solving, or an official atlas of settlements. The Texas Freedom Colonies Project is a research project dedicated to filling that gap.”

Jasper and Newton county Texas Freedom Colony homecoming presidents in Shankleville, Texas, in 2014. | Credit: Photo by Sarah Junek

Read more about the project:

Filed under: Andrea Roberts Tagged: #adphd, african american, blogroll, digital, history, memory, preservation, slavery, united states

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‘Robot Chicken’ Trailer: Season 9 is Here to Make Fun of Everything That Comic-Con Loves

Robot Chicken” has a lot to catch up on.

It’s been over a year since the Adult Swim show was on the air, and it looks like that android-poultry hybrid spent most of its time watching TV. At the show’s Comic-Con panel Friday afternoon, the team behind “Robot Chicken” unveiled the first look at Season 9, which is set to debut at some point this fall.

Read More ‘Archer’ Meets ‘Kingsman’ in Unexpected Animated Spy Crossover — Watch

Eagle-eyed viewers will spot parodies of “Mad Max: Fury Road,” “Westworld,” “Black Mirror,” Pokemon and AT&T commercials: basically, everything that Comic-Con fans adore. (Bonus points for getting in a mention of the late, lamented “Selfie” — John Cho would be proud.) And, by the looks of things, it seems like the show’s favorite nerd has come a long way since getting starstruck by George Lucas in an elevator.

It’s been a busy offseason for the “Robot Chicken” gang. In addition to prepping this latest run of episodes, the team also managed to squeeze in a couch gag for “The Simpsons” as well.

“Robot Chicken” Season 9 is still waiting on a release date, but catch an idea of what’s coming your way below:

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‘Krypton’: Superman’s Grandfather Will Redeem the House of El — Watch

As Comic-Con kicked off in earnest on Thursday, Syfy traveled across the galaxy to land on Superman’s home planet.

In the “Krypton” sneak peek teaser below, the action takes place two generations before the Man of Steel was born and the titular planet was destroyed. Seyg-El (Cameron Cuffe) is his grandfather, seen here as a young man who looks to be in his 20s.

Although Superman, born Kal-El, is a hero to us mere humans, his family didn’t enjoy that kind of appreciation. The House of El was ostracized and shamed, and it was up to Seyg-El to fight to redeem his family’s honor and save his world.

That isn’t the only house name we may recognize. Among the cast are also Georgina Campbell (“Broadchurch”) and Ann Ogbomo, who play Lyta Zod and Alura Zod, respectively. They are likely the ancestors of Superman’s nemesis General Zod, who had spent a stint in the Phantom Zone.

Rounding out the cast are Elliot Cowan, Rasmus Hardiker, Wallis Day, Aaron Pierre and Ian McElhinney (“Game of Thrones”).

Take a look at the teaser trailer for “Krypton” below:

Based on DC characters, “Krypton” is executive produced by David S. Goyer (“Man of Steel,” “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice,” “The Dark Knight” trilogy). Damian Kindler (“Sleepy Hollow”) will serve as executive producer and showrunner.

“Krypton” premieres in 2018 on Syfy.

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‘American Horror Story’ Season 7 Title Is a Frightening Explanation of the 2016 Election

American Horror Story” took months to get to Roanoke in 2016, but series creator Ryan Murphy made this year’s journey a little clearer.

Murphy revealed on Thursday night at a Comic-Con stunt that the upcoming season of “American Horror Story” is subtitled “Cult.” The series’ seventh season will premiere on FX on Tuesday, September 5. This confirmation follows months of speculation about how the events of last November would play out in his anthology horror series. Based on the video reveal from San Diego, this season may play out as a cross between a campaign rally and a ritual sacrifice.

Murphy first hinted at a possible election-themed season back in February, explaining that filming would commence in June. He later walked back his comments that the upcoming season might have a literal Trump figure as part of the story.

Read MoreAmerican Horror Story’: Sarah Paulson Reveals Which Characters She’d Resurrect — Paleyfest 2017

Now, with the season’s theme confirmed, the show has also finalized some of its cast members. The already-locked-in Sarah Paulson and Evan Peters will be joined by Lena Dunham, whom Murphy had teased as joining the cast.

Murphy had spent the past few weeks teasing the final details of the upcoming season on Instagram, releasing this distorted version of a (GOP?) elephant back in May and a skin-crawling photo of someone covered in bees on Monday. The bee theme was carried over into the first social media teases, each having a beehive theme. A swarming hivemind, drawing in unsuspecting followers. We see what you did there, Mr. Murphy!

American Horror Story Season 7 tease.

A post shared by Ryan Murphy (@mrrpmurphy) on May 5, 2017 at 7:28am PDT

AHS last clue before this week’s TITLE reveal. Ideas?

A post shared by Ryan Murphy (@mrrpmurphy) on Jul 17, 2017 at 1:47pm PDT

Here’s how the stunt looked when it was revealed Thursday night:

Fans eager to find out more shouldn’t have to wait too long for more info: the show has a Comic-Con set-up ready for this weekend alongside a number of other FX series.

“American Horror Story” Season 7 is part of Murphy’s ever-expanding roster of projects in production, including the second season of “American Crime Story,” which will center on the 1997 assassination of Gianni Versace, and a “Feud” follow-up reliving the events surrounding the Monica Lewinsky trial.

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‘Rebel in the Rye’ Trailer: J.D. Salinger Biopic Is a Portrait of the Recluse as a Young Man — Watch

Presumably hoping for better results than the documentary “Salinger,” Danny Strong’s upcoming biopic “Rebel in the Rye” will examine the early years of everyone’s favorite recluse. Nicholas Hoult stars as “The Catcher in the Rye” author J.D. Salinger, who died at age 91 in 2010 — 30 years after his final interview and 45 years after last publishing a new work. Watch the “Rebel” trailer below.

Here’s the brief synopsis from the film’s Sundance premiere: “This biopic of legendary author J.D. Salinger (Nicholas Hoult) details his relationship with socialite Oona O’Neill (Zoey Deutch), his experiences fighting in World War II, and his writing process for ‘The Catcher in the Rye.’” The trailer is heavy on Salinger’s inner turmoil, which gives life to his most famous creation: Holden Caulfield.

Kevin Spacey, Sarah Paulson, Lucy Boynton, Hope Davis, and Victor Garber co-star. IFC Films will release “Rebel in the Rye” on September 15.

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Darren Aronofsky Defends Hollywood to a Skeptical Alejandro Jodorowsky

Alejandro Jodorowsky is a big fan of Darren Aronofsky, but that doesn’t mean he agrees with the “Black Swan” director’s faith in Hollywood. Though the two filmmakers essentially fawned over each other for much of their nearly one-hour conversation on a recent episode of the Talkhouse’s podcast, Jodorowsky never wavered on his contempt for Hollywood.

The 88-year-old filmmaker sat for the interview in part to discuss his 2016 film “Endless Poetry,” which played at last year’s Cannes Film Festival and hit U.S. theaters last week. The film is an autobiographical story of the Chilean artist’s youth, specifically his introduction to the bohemian artistic circle of ’40s Chile. “Endless Poetry” played in two theaters over the weekend, taking in $27,000, and has nationwide release in the upcoming weeks.

Jodorowsky began the conversation by calling Aronofsky one of the working filmmakers he truly admires, and by complimenting his first film, “Pi,” for its “big spiritual searching.” He also heaped praise on “Black Swan,” the 2010 drama-thriller starring Natalie Portman that received a best-picture Oscar nomination. “When you made ‘Black Swan,’ I was fascinated,” Jodorowsky said. “I said, ‘He’s able to survive in that terrible world that is Hollywood.'”

Aronofsky was quick to defend the system that, he said, let him make his next film, “Mother!,” without interference. “They let me be completely free,” Aronofsky said. “There are many people that love cinema in Hollywood, but it’s hard when you’re reaching and you’re trying to do something different. Sometimes it’s hard to figure out what model it falls into.”

Alejandro Jodorowsky

Alejandro Jodorowsky

Daniel Bergeron

He added that films that have a “very rich spirit” do come out of Hollywood every year. “Sometimes they come out of America and are distributed by Hollywood — they’re not always made in Hollywood — but there’s a few,” he said.

One recent film that Aronofsky said had “tremendous humanity” is Matt Reeves’ “War for the Planet of the Apes.” “Within those apes, who are becoming more and more human, there’s beautiful ideas about fatherhood and family,” Aronofsky said.

Jodorowsky pushed back, however, stressing that Hollywood continues to be overwhelmingly about money, not movies. “Money is the goal, and when you work for money, the work itself is not the same, because you don’t give yourself to the work,” Jodorowsky said. “You give yourself to the product of the work.”

He added that in some of his recent films, actors basically worked for free. “Why? Because they are tired of the Hollywood pictures, of the ‘Supermans,’ the monsters, and the romantic idiot histories,” Jodorowsky said. “They are tired of the deprivation. They want something that gives them the desire to live in this world that is terrible.”

Asked why he stopped making films for long periods of time, Jodorowsky replied that he spent years raising money so he could make his films without compromise. This allowed him to make 1973’s “The Holy Mountain” and 2013’s “The Dance of Reality” without anyone telling him what to do, he said.

Read More Why 87-Year-Old Alejandro Jodorowsky is at the Peak of His Career

For “Endless Poetry,” Jodorowsky turned to more than a million Twitter followers and mounted an Indiegogo campaign that raised over $300,000, the bulk of the budget. Though he didn’t share plans for future fundraising efforts, he did say he wants to make three to five more films, which he said would all likely lose money. One is a documentary about psychomagic, a type of therapy Jodorowsky practices to heal people with emotional problems. “That sounds great,” Aronofsky said.

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Dear HBO: About that Alt-Reality “Confederate” Show.

Ok. HBO has created tremendous buzz about a show that has everybody talking, even me. It’s a show called “Confederate,” the South won, time moved on, slavery and abolitionist sentiments and battles over freedom evolved through our own day.

To put it in Entertainment Weekly’s words: 

But wait, isn’t that already the reality we essentially live in micro form now? 

Not knocking you HBO, seriously, it reminds me of the mockumentary “CSA: Confederate States of America” in which the most salient feature were television advertisements for enslaved Black people and “Cops” reimagined as a show about slave catching.  It’s interesting that a show is being produced in the twilight of “Underground,” a show that gave Obama era passion and swag to the abolitionist movement…of course, not your show not your channel, not your problem. And yet, a whole new generation of people were tuned in to learn about slavery and the resistance against it.  As an interpreter of slavery, a Black man who willingly chooses to portray and give voice to the lives of his enslaved Ancestors, this is a gift. It’s hard to get African Americans to visit and therefore become stewards of the history of their Ancestors’ plantation experience. When we dont show up, we can’t police the narratives others tell and can’t speak up for our dead. But that’s not your baggage, not your problem, right?

Your show concept is cool until we begin to think of all the other alt-history moments that would be equally provocative but seem unimaginable because of our addictive, national obsession with structurally racist ideas. What if Dr. King became president or Dr. Betty Shabazz or Coretta Scott King or Fred Hampton or Myrlie Evers? What if Haiti fomented rebellion to free enslaved African Americans? What if, and this is really crazy….if enslaved Africans were completely freed in 1776 or even 1789. Or maybe shucks, full and permanent equality and voting rights after the Civil War? 

Just imagine if our 1776 hero Kwaku Walker is emancipated on July 4th. What if he got to change his surname back to Ayensu after a full apology and recompense in a land share by his former slaveholder. Imagine that some would repatriate, others would encourage the United States to abolish the slave trade. A large portion might demand representation in the government. And in the spirit of freedom of religion and assembly later guaranteed, the Orisha, Abosom and Vodu might be worshipped like Allah or Jesus in Black houses of worship. Imagine white children more fully assimilating into African culture and better health and less stress leading to Black majorities from southern Maryland to coastal Georgia where the ancient civilizations of West and Central Africa could flourish in an American context. Maybe Kwame forces Jefferson to rethink his views of racial hierarchies. Maybe he helps cure Benjamin Franklin’s Negrophobia. Imagine Kwaku’s wife Belinda passing down to her daughter’s the knowledge that no man, especially not slaveholders would ever violate her womanhood. Imagine the sanctity of their marriage, parental rights and familyhood protected by law.

Why is the inevitable scene of sexual degradation and semi-pornographic snuffery your show might well have or moments of torture a la sadism/masochism more important than a show that would show the warm promise of what America could have been, not if it had maintained a twisted romantic inspired push pull of moralities, but had in fact honored it’s cause to declare all (men) equal? What if there was no more encroachment on Native lands? Funny, we had a show on your network and dime about coexisting with vampires, but never a notion about Native peoples being able to live in peace with treaty keeping non-Native neighbors. How about if Abigail Adams was able to get her voice heard and American women were liberated long before anyone knew what a lighter or a bra was?

To another point, this show could be a means of being sharp social commentary on today’s vestiges of slavery and the racist past as prologue. If it is, I’m all for it. Indict law enforcement overreach and show it’s roots in slave catching and slave patrols and executions of enslaved people…read Africans in America…for being perceived threats. Show the history of our bizarre accepted exploitation of women of color and the baggage of identity issues we were lobbed with in slavery’s aftermath. The Black body and the agricultural, industrial and cultural products associated with it from the 18th-19th centuries were America’s most valuable holdings ever. Talk about the theft of our labor and culture, talk about our daily ongoing resistance, born of our inception in 1526.

If you’re going to do this, there must be no moral ambiguity. The institution of racial chattel slavery was one of the greatest moral evils in the history of humankind. There is no waffling here. Facts: our world has been shapes by this institution and it’s dregs and aftermath. Slavery keeps claiming victims (and to hell with anyone who dares wince at the word or suggestion.)  If you’re going to do this, do it right or not at all. 

We live in a country where apologists for this system still exist. Where websites written by so-called neo-Confederates talk about people like me as “feral Negroes.” This is not a time to be merely provocative but preemptive. Voting rights have been under attack ever since they were granted. The so called Alt-Right has introduced Nazi era tactics and is led by Richard Spencer, a spineless racist who once suggested the white West find a “humane” way to exact genocide against African Americans.  

We don’t have room for error here.  Not one inch, lest others take a mile. 

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