Virtual Moving History XVI – Black Washington: Arts & Culture
MIPoPS is dedicating all Virtual Moving History screenings in July 2020 to highlighting the voices of Seattle’s Black community. We believe that to better understand the anger and urgency surrounding the current protests, as well as the depth and complexity of systemic racism in Seattle, it is important to examine historical context, including the evolution of local conversations regarding race.
These screenings are a preview into some of the historical resources available from local archives that document those conversations. Each program honors the contributions of Seattle’s Black community to art, activism, poetry, literature, music, theater, and government.
One of the many reasons we are passionate about magnetic media (videotape) vs. film is that its affordability and ease of use provided a democratizing opportunity for recording. The commercial availability and technological accessibility of videotape greatly diversified the content that could be created and saved by heritage, journalism, and arts communities. The Pacific Northwest’s moving image history must reflect that diversity of perspectives and stories; we must continue to prioritize BIPOC-made and -centering material, and support public access to it.
Marginalized communities are essential voices in our cultural heritage. To become better archivists and allies, we are committed to seeking and creating ways to amplify them.
Black artists in Seattle consider the role that the arts play in contributing to a city's growth, and the historical contexts that produced their individual artistic practices.
Forever Free (1984)
Original format: 1-inch Type C
A short documentary pertaining to art created by African-American women from 1862 to 1980. From University of Washington Libraries, Special Collections
Drawings from Life (1980)
Original format: 1-inch Type C
Filmmaker: Carlton Moss
A short documentary about Charles White, an African-American artist known for his Works Progress Administration (WPA) era murals. From University of Washington Libraries, Special Collections
The City is Ours (1980)
Original format: 16mm
Filmmaker: Wayne D. Sourbeer
A documentary with perspectives from three artists living in Seattle: Gertrude Pacific (Painter), Jacob Lawrence (Painter), and John Gilbert (Actor). Interviews discuss each artist’s relationship with the city and the Pacific Northwest, focusing on the importance of making Seattle a livable center and the role of art in the city’s growth. Featured content includes selections from the Jacob Lawrence interview.
Produced by Jean Walkinshaw for KCTS Seattle. Copyright 1980 by KCTS/9, the Regents of the University of Washington
- Words Worth poetry readings from Seattle Civic Poet Jourdan Imani Keith, Dobbie Norris, and Storme Webber. From Seattle Municipal Archives
- An interview with neo-expressionist painter Robert Colescott. From Seattle Art Museum
- Ellington, a dance performance by Donald Byrd. From Donald Byrd’s personal archive
About [Virtual] Moving History
Sundays, 4:30–5:30pm PDT
MIPoPS is a nonprofit whose mission is to assist archives, libraries, and other organizations with the conversion of analog video recordings to digital formats according to archival best practices.
In order to adhere to social distancing best practices, MIPoPS is proud to partner with the Northwest Film Forum to bring you a weekly series of archival videotape documenting a diverse history in Seattle. Featuring a variety of material and topics, this series will curate a set of clips each Sunday to provide comic relief, historically relevant medical and public health documentation, performance recordings, and much more.
MIPoPS hopes this series will educate and entertain viewers during this time of uncertainty and isolation.