North Carolina Newspapers

page 4
March 23, 1979
March 23, 1979
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Urcfc 23-31
Proud to portray
women, heritage
W A cn actress Cicely Tyson received
widespread recognition for her
u V u c 1 -tl
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Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman," she
did not represent just another talented
actress who had finally made a name for
She represented a black woman who was
1 proud of the features and the heritage of her
race, and who was not ashamed to portray a
black woman on the screen.
Tyson will appear at 8 p.m. Monday in
Memorial Hall in an "Evening with Cicely
Tyson" in which she will perform dramatic
readings from the poetry of Nikki Giovanni
. .
and other authors and qive her own
Tyson began her acting career 22 years
ago m an amateur production oi me
Vinnette Carroll play Dark Side of the Moon
Carolyn Worsley is a staff writer for the
i Daily Tar Heel.
I 1 S.'-
Cicely Tyson es herself end es Uh Jsne Plttmsn
after a secretarial job and a successful stint
as a model.
In 1972 Tyson received an Academy
Award nomination for her role as Rebecca in
the film Sounder. Her film career has been
marked by similar degrees of excellence
since Sounder.
Tyson won two Emmys her role as Jane
Pittman in the television drama "The
Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman." Film
critic Rex Reed described Tyson in that role
as "one of the most brilliant performances 1
have ever seen by a woman of any color, any
age, any season."
Tyson has also appeared in Roots,
"Wilma" and "King," a television drama on
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in which Tysor,
plays his wife, Coretta Scott Kinq.
Most recently, Tyson played the role of
Harriet Tubman in the television special "A
Woman Called Moses." She won the award
for best actress from the International
Television Festival in Monte Carlo for that
Tyson will appear in conjunction with the
Black Arts Festival. Her performance is co
sponsored by the festival and the Carolina
Forum Committee. Tickets are $1.50 and
are on sale at the Carolina Union desk. H
week "off arts, einiteirtaniniinnieinift
After a four-year absence, the Black
Arts Festival, a week of workshops,
performances and speakers dealing
with black art, returns this week.
"Our purpose is to expose the UNC and
Chapel Hill community to black art by
bringing in national, international and local
artists," said Greg Pennington, , cultural
coordinator for the Black Student
Movement, which is sponsoring the event.
One of the biggest attractions this year
should be the appearance of Cicely Tyson at
8 p.m. Monday in Memorial Hall.
In the "Evening with Cicely Tyson," the
award-winning actress and producer will
perform dramatic poetry readings and give
her own commentary.
Tyson was asked to appear fecause the
festival coordinators felt a female black artist
was needed and because of Tyson's
familiarity with a number of artistic media
including film, television and poetry,
Pennington said.
Carolyn Worsley is a staff writer for the
Daily Tar Heel.
"She also has a pretty clear idea of the
impact of film on society," he said.
Tyson is being sponsored by the Black Arts
Festival and the Carolina Forum Committee.
Tickets are $150 and are on sale at the
Carolina Union desk.
Other black artists appearing during the
week will be art historian Rosalind Jeffries,
n LaVerne Players director Herman Jones,'
Brooksie Harrington and the Choral
Ensemble, and mime Billy J. Banner. Also
featured will be the Bowie State Dancers, the
Ebony Dance Theatre and the New York
Community Choir, which has performed
background music for Nikki Giovanni poetry
recordings. There will be a $4 admission
charge for the New York Community Choir
The Opeyo Dancers, the BSM Gospel
Choir and the Ebony Readers will also
perform on Friday night.
Five workshops and a religion seminar will
be conducted during the week. The visiting
: performing artists will conduct workshops in
their areas of expertise in vocals, dance,
;-: drama and mime. Durham poet Lance Jeffers
P will conduct a fifth workshop on poetry.
The religion seminar will be conducted
Thursday in the Carolina Union by a panel of
local theologians.
Students wishing to attend a workshop or
needing more information should contact the
BSM office at 933-8345.
Art works by black students from different
campuses will be on exhibit throughout the
week in South Gallery of the Union.
Saturday morning offers the chance for
people to sample and collect recipes for a
variety of "soul food" and African dishes at
the Soul Food Taste Fair at 1 1 a.m. in Upendo
Lounge of Chase Cafeteria. Chapel Hill
women and students will donate dishes, and
50 cents admission will be charged.
After the fair, workshop participants will
have the chance to demonstrate what they
have learned in a "Do Your Own Thing"
talent show at 12:30 p.m. in Upendo.
The Black Arts FestivaLwas held annually
in the early 70s but was discontinued,
Pennington said. Distressed by the lack of
black artists appearing in Chapel Hill,
Pennington said the BSM has worked this
year to revive the festival. 0
where to
217 Union
South Gallery
Memorial Hall
Memorial Hall
Great Hall
207 & 209 Union
Memorial Hall
217 Union
Memorial Hall
TIME (pxi.)
all week
11.00 a.m.
Reception for and lecture by Rosalind
Chora! ensemble headed by Brooksie
Black art exhibit
Cicely Tyson, admission $lf0
Vocal workshop by Brooksie Harrington
New York Community Choir, admission
Poetry workshop
Theater workshop by Herman Jones
Readers theater performance: "Block
Woman: Sumbe Sumba Luye Koon"
Dance workshop by Bowie State
Dancers ,
Religion seminar by Chaplin Edwards
(and a panel of local theologians)
Performances by Bowie State Dancers
and Ebony Dance Theater
Mime workshop by Billy J. Banner
Performances by Billy J. Banner
followed by the cultural groups of the
Black Student Movement
a) Opeyo Dancers
b) Black Student Movement
Gospel Choir
c) Ebony Readers
Soul Food Taste Fair,-admission 50
"Do Your Own Thing" (a talent show
where people will be able to show what
they have learned from workshops and
pmtt(i8aD ttirace erosic
he first performance ot next week's Black
Arts Festival will give Chapel Hill an exam-
pie of perhaps the most well-known form of i
black American art the spiritual. -;
Organized by senior speech education major -Brooksie
Harrington, The Evolution of Spirituals and 3
the Oral Tradition is a presentation by a 20-voice
choral ensemble, four musicians and a narrator. "
The performance, at 8 p.m. Sunday in Hill Hall
Auditorium, will trace the history of black music from
the oldest traditional spiritual to modern gospel
pieces. The program will include such songs as You
Got Shoes, I Got Shoes; Draw Nigh, Close; and Steal,
Away To Jesus
Battle and Brooksie Harrington; and percussionist
Curt Garret.
The performance will be a "dress-up affair," said
Harrington, but no admission will be charged.
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Herman La Verne Jones, director of the LaVerne
Players Inc., will be leading a dramatic workshop
sponsored by the BSM's Onyx Theatre from 7-8 p.m.
Wednesday, March 28, in Great Hall of the Carolina
At 8:30 p.m. the players will present a dance and
reader's theatre production of Jones' Black Woman:
Sumbe Suma Luye Koon ("1 have nothing, but we
Sharon Wellington, a junior music major, will be a have everything."), a poetic tribute to the strength of
feature soloist. Junior political science major Rosalind black women.
Fuse will fill in with narrative background.
Musicians include: pianists Phillip Worth, Carmen ANN SMALLWOOD
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The spiritual Is perns? th9 most well-known form of black art
DTHWiH Owens
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y unity of silence, dance, son;
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An evening of pjack culture at UNC will
conclude the Black Arts Festival by
: featuring the cultural arms of the
'Black Student Movement the Ebony
Readers, the BSM Gospel Choir and the Opeyo
The theme of the evening, which begins at 8
in Memorial Hall, is: "From the silence comes
the sound, the dance and the song."
"Next Friday is the closing for the festival,
and what we've tried to do is pull together
various art forms to create a feeling of unity,"
said Greg Pennington, an Opeyo Dancer and
cultural coordinator for the qroups.
The performance wll begin, as the theme
indicates, with silence from mimist Billy J.
Banner. Following the silence, will be sound
from the Ebony Readers.
The Readers are a group of seven that
prepares works of prose and poetry to present
. on campus, in Chapel Hill, and at other schools
across the state. They will read well known
black poetry, drama and some original material
with the theme of unity and the black man's
Their last poem, "For the People" by
Margaret Walker, will be interpreted by the
Th3 Cpsyo D-r.tcrs will t:!l sicr!:3 thrcu'h th:!rtr.cvcm:nt3 DTKAndy James
Opeyo Dancers. The 20 member group
performs almost every kind of dance, including
classical, modern, jazz and boogie. Most
dances are choreographed by group members
and then taught to the group.
"Each dancer will be doing his own thing for
the first dance," Pennington said. "We are
interested in dance as an expression. Each
dance has a story to tell." Besides dancing to a
poem, as it is being read, the dancers will
perform to a song by Quincy Jones entitled
"Many Rains Ago." "The message of this song is
""the longing of black people for home,"
Pennington said.
The last dance routine is "Could You
Believe" by Al Jarreau. The BSM Gospel Choir
will accompany the dancers and will sing five
songs. The 30-member Choir is a religious
group, said Gaynell Biggs, Choir president.
"The majority of our members are Christians,"
she said. "We sing to the glory of God."
The evening's unique mixture of black art in
expressing one message can be enjoyed by
everyone, Pennington said. "Exposure to black
art is something the total community can
enjoy." a
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Thg cc:psl choir "sings for fro glory of God "
DTHAndv Jarne
Notable groups
reflect culture
In performance
Several notable groups reflecting black culture'
appear at UNC this week in conjunction with
the Black Arts Festival. The New York
Community Choir will present a concert of gospel music,
and the Ebony Dance Theatre, the Bowie State Dancers
and mime Billy J. Banner will all perform and hold
workshops during the week.
The New York Community Choir will give its concert
at 8 p.m. on March 27 in Memorial Hall.
The choir has received numerous awards and critical
acclaim, including gold records, Grammy nominations
and Ebony Music Poll's award for the number-one gospel
choir in 1974 and 1975. The choir has also recorded with
such artists as Vicky Sue Robinson and Melba Moore.
The choir is directed by Benny Diggs and expresses
the belief that "gospel cannot be confined to the
churches." Their belief in a new beginning for gospel
music has produced a sound which is contemporary, yet
traditional in gospel.
Tickets are $4 for Tuesday's concert, which is
Mary Beth Starr is a staff writer for the Daily Tar Heel.
sponsored by the BSM and the Carolina Union, and are
available at the Union desk.
The Bowie State Dancers are holding a dance
workshop from 3:30-6:00 p.m. March 29, instructing in
their style of dance-modern, to predominantly black
popular music. -
1 he group is 15 students from Bowie State University
in Maryland, under the direction of Alice Montgomery
who is formerly from North Carolina. The dancers will
give a joint performance with the Ebony Dance Theatre
at 8 p.m. Thursday in Memorial Hall.
The Loony Dance Theatre of North Carolina Central
University was founded . to expose children of
disadvantaged cultural backgrounds to the art of modem
dance. The group relates technique with choreography
that depicts Afro-American culture, using whatever style
is necessary modern, ethnic, or jazz.
The group is directed by Phyllis Ledbetter and has
performed at colleges and benefits throughout the state.
Billy J. Banner is the most visible of a handful of black
mimes in the United States today. Banner will hold a
mime workshop from 3:30-6 p.m. March 30- in the
Carolina Union and will perform at 8 p.m. in Meftjarial
Banner was born in Concord, N.C., and went on to
study drama at the University of Notre Dame. World
famous mime Marcel Marceau saw Banner perform there
and asked him to return to Paris with his company. But
Banner chose to remain and finish his education.
After graduating, Banner went to New York where he
studied mime under Moni Yakim, one of Marceau's
students. In New York, he emerged as one of the fastest
rising mimes.
Banner has also acted in soap operas and off
Broadway plays, modeled in commercials, and with
groups such as the famous Mummenschanz, O

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