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THE CALIFORNIA AFRICAN AMERICAN MUSEUM’S EXHIBITION VISIBLY INVISIBLE FOCUSES ON THE PLIGHT OF THOSE AFFLICTED WITH ALBINISM

LOS ANGELES, CA-While addressing the issues of myth and tradition within albinism, the California African American Museum’s (CAAM) exhibition Visibly Invisible is sure to spark dialogue about the issues faced by people of African descent living with this condition – discrimination, prejudice, mutilation and murder. Visibly Invisible opens at CAAM August 29, 2014 and is ongoing through March 1, 2015.

Visibly Invisible highlights Jamaican-born, Los Angeles-based, artist Yrneh’s Gabon Brown’s international journey while researching and documenting the devastating effects of prejudice, ignorance and violence inflicted upon people with albinism in Tanzania, Jamaica and, to a lesser degree, the United States. Albinism is defined as an inherited condition present at birth, characterized by a lack of the pigment that normally gives color to the skin, hair and eyes.

Through videos recorded during his journeys and artwork created in various media (photography, collage, assemblage, sheet metal, cast bronze and ceramic sculpture), Brown shares the inspiration from his trips and the heartfelt devotion he has developed towards children and adults living with albinism.  In his first solo exhibition at a major Los Angeles museum, Brown has produced powerful work intended to effectuate change through artistic exploration, social engagement and public discourse.

The artist, a former model, singer and actor, is a recent graduate from the University of Southern California’s Roski School of Fine Arts program. He had a passion for the visual arts and a desire to combine his many talents with his interest in albinism in USA and abroad. Upon the completion of his degree at USC, Brown traveled to Tanzania, Eastern Africa, where he found first hand-account of the reality experienced by people with albinism.  In Tanzania it is believed that those born with albinism possess magical powers and that their body parts can generate great wealth.

Ultimately, Brown’s goal is to debunk the myths attached to people with albinism and continue to lend his support.

Programs in association with Visibly Invisible include the following;

WALK-THROUGH and CONVERSATION

Saturday, September 20, 2014, 1:00 – 4:30 p.m.

Join artist Yrneh Gabon Brown and exhibition curator Mar Hollingsworth for a dynamic walk-through of the exhibition Visibly Invisible, and an additional informal conversation with local scholars, advisers and supporters, Paul Van Blum and Karen Koblitz. Light refreshments will follow.  RSVP preferred at 213.744.2024

DANCE AND POETRY PERFORMANCE

Sunday, November 2, 2014, 2:00 – 3:00 p.m.

Inspired by his experiences in Tanzania, Yrneh Gabon Brown performs a unique piece accompanied by professional dancers from JazzAntiqua Dance & Music Ensemble. Choreography: Pat Taylor.

FILM SCREENING: BLACK AND WHITE: CRIMES OF COLOR (58 min)

Saturday, January 10, 2015, 2:00 – 3:00 p.m.

This film documents the efforts of Vicky Ntetema, a BBC radio journalist, as she begins an investigation into the black market traffic of body parts of persons with albinism.  Film courtesy of Under the Same Sun, an organization devoted to helping people with albinism in Tanzania.

PANEL DISCUSSION:  ALBINISM IN TANZANIA

Saturday, February 7, 2:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.

CAAM is proud to present a panel discussion exploring the genetics behind albinism, and the social-political factors leading to the plight of the albino people.  Panelists include Dr. Murray Brilliant, PhD., senior scientist and director at the Center for Human Genetics at the Marshfield Clinic Research Foundation, Wisconsin, and Dr. Rebecca Kammer, clinical consultant, Optometric Education at VisionCare Ophthalmic Technologies, and founder of Low Vision U, Orange County.

Exhibitions and events at CAAM are free and open to the public. Parking is $10 in the lot adjacent to CAAM, at  39th and Figueroa Streets.  CAAM is located at 600 State Drive, Exposition Park, 90037. For more information on CAAM visit www.caamuseum.org.

Ongoing Exhibitions in CAAM’s Galleries

Recent Acquisitions: Curatorial Selections ongoing through September 7, 2014

Curvature: Lines and Shapes ongoing through November 2, 2014

Visibly Invisible opening August 29, 2014 through March 1, 2014

Lookin’ Back in Front of Me: Selected Works of Mark Steven Greenfield, 1974-2014 opening September 25, 2014 through April 5, 2015.

Golden State Mutual Life Insurance Company: More Than a Business Extended Exhibition

ABOUT THE CALIFORNIA AFRICAN AMERICAN MUSEUM

The California African American Museum (CAAM) is a state agency charged with researching, collecting, preserving and interpreting for public enrichment the history, art and culture of African Americans. Collaboratively operating in partnership with its 501(c)(3) non-profit organization Friends, the Foundation of the California African American Museum, CAAM houses a permanent collection of over 4,000 objects of art, artifacts and historical documents, and a publicly accessible Research Library containing more than 20,000 volumes.

To bring its mission to life, CAAM hosts up to 13 exhibitions annually and tours several of its organized exhibitions nationally.  CAAM also presents a wide variety of more than 80 annual public programs ranging from educational and curriculum-driven lectures and tours with scholars and experts to art workshops, film screenings, and its highly popular signature series of monthly live performances Target Sundays at CAAM.

In furtherance of its value-driven commitment to mentor the next generation and give back to the community, CAAM proudly trains and employs high school students year-round through its Young Docent program; offers Buses & Docents as a source of equitable access to field trip opportunities for school and community groups that otherwise could not afford the transportation; fosters cross-issue, cross-town and cross-cultural learning and dialogue through its Young Voices at CAAM school exchanges; actively advocates literacy, book reading and written expression through Heads are Turning, Children are Learning; and, creates small business development and customer outreach opportunities for artists and craft-makers through its on-site Artpreneur vending program.

 

Letter to the Editor: “How Long, Not Long”

Dr. Mildred Henry

Dr. Mildred Henry

From: Dr. Mildred D. Henry, Retiree

This 81-year-old writer asks, “How long will the slaughter of African American males continue?”  In my lifetime, Black males have been tortured, executed, and hung from trees. This writer witnessed our family cotton gin and general store burned to the ground, twice, by racists.  Today, horses have been replaced with cars; and sticks and ropes traded for guns.  In Fruitland Park, Florida, sheets of a notorious hate group were traded for law enforcement uniforms.  On behalf of Dan’te Parker, Michael Brown, Trayvon Martin, Donte Jordan; and others, in the words of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., I ask How long?” Through the years the south was infamous for racial hatred and abominable acts, however, now barbaric activities against Blacks take place nationwide.

Weekly, in California, Missouri, Alabama, Illinois, Ohio, all across the nation, a Black mother’s son dies at the hands of professed law enforcement personnel who are sworn to protect, not to kill our citizens.  Black men have been shot in the back; shot in the top of the head; choked, and electrocuted to death by law enforcement officers.  How long before these atrocities are stopped?

Dan’te, a hard-working, good natured, father of five children, who loved to sing, left home in Victorville, California riding his son’s mongoose bike because Dante’s bike had a flat tire.  He was exercising to lose weight.  Dante was stopped at approximately 5 PM by a Deputy Sheriff because of a reported attempted break-in at a residence. The resident, reporting the incident, said the suspect left riding a bicycle.  ‘A Black man on a bike’ was stopped by a law enforcement officer, stunned by a Taser “multiple times”, “more than five times”, was dead by 6 PM, and his family never notified.  Why?  How Long?

By 11 PM, when her husband had not returned home, a concerned, alarmed, wife began phone calls only to be informed that her husband was at a medical facility. Accompanied by her father-in-law, the wife went to the facility, was questioned by detectives, and after several hours of waiting, when she asked to see her husband, was informed that her husband’s body had been transported from Victorville, in San Bernardino County, to Riverside County.  The family was never notified.  Reportedly Dante’s six year old son asks every morning, “Why all black men have to die?”  This writer asks, “How Long?”

The eleventh edition of Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary defines genocide as: “The deliberate and systematic destruction of a racial, political, or cultural group.”

How long will this seemingly open season on Black males continue? From the cradle, through the prison, to the grave, seems to be the designated channel for too many Black males in our society. Blacks do not own the airplanes and ships that bring drugs to the neighborhood, nor do we manipulate the systems that eliminate jobs.  However, there is always an ample supply of drugs and gangs on the street corners. Seemingly, there are those who destine Black youth to go from the schoolhouse to the courthouse to the jailhouse, so that they have no opportunities to be in their own house.  How long will we tolerate this systematic demise of a people?

The outrage crosses racial, generational, gender, and all barriers. A 90 year old Caucasian female survivor of the Holocaust was arrested in Ferguson, Missouri as she marched for transparency and justice. We send Black males around the world to protect the very hands which needlessly kill them in their own country.  How Long will this continue?

How long will culturally uneducated politicians refuse to listen to those who have “boots on the ground” in the Black communities and culture?

This “open season” and massacre of Black males must end.  How long?  I hope not long because we can wait no longer for accountability and an end to the genocide.

 

“A Part-time, Sunday Angel, Full-time Devil… If the Shoe Fit, Wear It!”

Lou Coleman

Lou Coleman

By Lou Coleman

Jesus said that you cannot serve both God and the things of man {Luke 16:13). Let us dissect this verse, allowing the chips to fall where they may, and the conviction of God to fall where it will. The picture of the double-minded person. Jesus taught us that no one can serve two masters. In fact, Jesus went so far as to say it is a “love-hate” proposition. In His words, “You can’t play both sides of the fence.” This has been true all through God’s Word. Elijah asked, “How long will you hesitate between two opinions?” Joshua proclaimed, “Choose you today!” One translation says, “You can’t have it both ways.” James 4:4 (NLT) speaks about double mindedness in terms of adultery, “You adulterers! Don’t you realize that friendship with the world makes you an enemy of God?”  MAKE UP YOUR MIND!

At some point you have to make up your mind. If you keep going back and forth you are doomed to the erratic existence of the double minded! If you don’t make up your mind you will be plagued by doubt and fear. If you don’t make up your mind you will be tossed like a cork on a wave. If you don’t make up your mind God will never trust you! Did you catch that? Were worried about trusting God, but God doesn’t know if He can trust us with the most precious of truths! Why would He put his treasure (his people) into our hands if we won’t commit? Why would He ever trust us with anything?

Listen, we don’t have the option of picking and choosing when our walk is with God. We don’t have the option of serving God today and not serving Him tomorrow. The Word says, “Choose ye this day, whom you will serve.” Just as the Lord issued a call through Joshua, all those centuries ago, for His people to make up their minds as to whom they would serve, so He issues the same call to His people on this day. Hear the call God is giving to you. Oh, I feel like preaching. It’s Time To Make Up Your Mind! And, it is! If you are reading this article, God has granted you another opportunity today to decide who will have your worship, your love and your obedience: God Almighty, or you and all the things that want to capture your minds.

Joshua’s command to the people was three-fold {Joshua 24:1-28} they were commanded to “fear” God; clean up their lives by putting away their other gods; and they were to serve the Lord. This would put them in a position to put God back in the forefront of their lives. This is a command that we need to take heed of today! We need to 1.) Fear the Lord – That is, we need to reverence and honor Him for Who He is. He deserves to be respected and loved by those He has redeemed! 2.) We need to – put away our other gods! All those things in our lives that come ahead of the Lord need to be put away forever! 3.) We need to – serve the Lord with sincerity. We are His possessions and should live as such, {1 Cor. 6:19-20.) The implication for us is that God does not want His people to live lives of hypocrisy! He wants us to be what we claim to be! Joshua challenged the people to choose who they would serve and to get about it! The same choice stands before us today! It’s about time we get off the fence and make up our mind who’s team we are on. We cannot have both God and the world! We cannot have Him and all our distractions. Either He is in first place, or we have a different god! You have been confronted by a challenge.

Joshua set the example and laid down the gauntlet for us by stating his clear intention to serve God. We need some Joshua’s in our day! We need some men and women who will settle it in their hearts that Jesus Christ and His Word and Will, are going to come before everything else in life! We need some who will set the example for others. We have too many who, by their lives, give justification for slackness in life. We need some who have a backbone of steel and who would rather die than let something come ahead of God in their lives. (Ill. Daniel – Dan. 1:8-19; the 3 Hebrews – Dan. 3:1-30; Daniel – Dan. 6:1-28; Ruth – Ruth 1:16-17.)

Don’t you know that, of all spiritual states, lukewarmness is most abhorrent to God, and grieving to the Holy Spirit. ‘[Revelation 3:15-16]. Thus has God declared his utter detestation of this state. You do not need to settle for a lukewarm lifestyle. Repent and trust in the Word of God who’s grace teaches us to deny ungodliness and to live godly and righteous lives. Full time- not sometime. Full time- not half time. Full time – not part time. Full time, because God is full time to us. He loves us full time. He cares for us full time. He provides for us full time. He does this even when we don’t. He made a plan for us that would give us full time help. He sent His Only Begotten Son to die for us so we would be saved full time from the gates of Hell. He gave us full time help when He empowered us with the Holy Ghost that came to comfort and empower. He gave us full time help when He said when you fall down I will help you get back up again. So why would we want to be anything but full time?

One of the most frightening group of verses in the Bible is found in Rev 3:14-19, when Christ is talking to the Church of Laodicea. He is addressing the people of a city known for its wealth. But despite its financial prosperity, it was spiritually impoverished. He says to the people “You are neither cold nor hot. I wish that you were either cold or hot. So because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I am about to spit you out of my mouth. For you say I am rich, I have prospered, and I need nothing. You don’t realize that you are wretched, pitiable, poor, blind, and naked.” What’s frightening about this statement is that a lot of people in this world who call themselves Christians are lukewarm. They fall into the category of sometime or part time Christian. Yes you might go to church on Sundays, make an appearance, but the real question is have you given yourself completely to God? If the Lord be God, then serve Him. If He isn’t, then go ahead and serve whatever has your heart. But whatever you do and choose, stop trying to have the best of both worlds! Choose whom this day you will serve!