Grammy-nominated singer/songwriter Meshell Ndegeocello will discuss her upcoming multidisciplinary theatrical work “Can I Get A Witness? The Gospel of James Baldwin,” on November 29th, 2016 at the Schomburg Center in Harlem.
Theatrically structured as an African-American church service, “Can I Get A Witness?” features sermons and original musical compositions that challenges audiences to engage in critical investigations on race, religion, sexual orientation, America and the status quo, while celebrating Baldwin’s ideas through music and visual imagery.
During the intimate discussion on her creative process, Ndegeocello and members of her creative team will discuss how “Can I Get A Witness?” is inspired by James Baldwin’s The Fire Next Time, the process of reimagining Baldwin, and the continued relevance of his legacy.
This event will follow the Schomburg’s program The Fire This Time: A New Generation Speaks About Race on November 28, 2016, titled after an anthology of the same name. The anthology, edited by Jesmyn Ward, uses James Baldwin’s 1963 examination of race in America, The Fire Next Time, to engage “eighteen of today’s most original thinkers.” The conversation will feature contributing writers, Rachel Kaadzi Ghansah, “The Weight,” and Kiese Laymon, “Da Art of Storytellin’ (a prequel)”, and will be moderated by Rich Blint, 2016-2017 Scholar-in-Residence at Pratt Institute, co-editor of a special issue of African American Review on James Baldwin and contributing editor of The James Baldwin Review.
Blint is also featured on “The Schomburg Mixtape” podcast, where he discusses the lasting significance and influence of James Baldwin’s work on a new generation of African American scholars, writers and artists.
Tuesday, November 29, 2016, 6:30pm