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American Music Month Celebration Continues with Renée Baker

The failures of America’s Reconstruction era and later decades of Jim Crow segregation reinforced the cultural isolation and social injustices experienced between black and white America during the later portion of the nineteenth and first half of the twentieth centuries.  Since the late 1960s progress has been glacially slow to bridge these political and economic divisions, and the pervasive social injustices experienced by people of color continue to bleed across our communities.  The politics of respectability and questions of colorism that permeate today’s racial dialogues only rehash the never-ending cycles of hope and denial for the country’s disenfranchised.  With little or no substantive reward for those individuals who genuinely wish a better and more just life for themselves and others unlike them, the outcome frequently turns to anger, disbelief, and unspoken silences between our communities that we allow to define us over time and mute our desire to learn from one another.  Renée Baker, accomplished Chicago composer and founding director of the Chicago Modern Orchestra Project, will provide a 90-minute open discussion and viewing of portions of D. W. Griffith’s Birth of a Nation and Oscar Micheaux’ The Symbol of the Unconquered using her newly created music scores to begin a larger conversation with the audience about the unspoken silences of race and identity that were portrayed in early twentieth-century silent movies and continue to exist in today’s America. For further information contact Scott Schwartz.

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