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Celebrating Black History Month: African Americans and Film

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February is Black History Month!  To mark the occasion, every Tuesday in February CLP Carrick’s Teen Thing (our weekly teen activity/chill out time) is going to focus on some remarkable contributions made in the areas of film and technology by African Americans.   Each week we’re going to explore a new pioneer, talk about why they’re important, and create with an art project related to that person!

February 5th @ 4:30 PM

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Duane Jones as Ben in ‘Night of the Living Dead’

On the first Tuesday of the month we’re going to spotlight Duane Jones.  If you’ve ever seen the 1968 local horror classic Night of the Living Dead, then you probably recognize Mr. Jones as Ben – the film’s hero.  What a lot of people don’t know, however, is that his portrayal of Ben was an important milestone in film history, as it marked the first time that an African-American was cast as the lead star in a horror movie.

In homage to Mr. Jones and his classic role, we’re going to be making mini stop-motion zombie movies on our iPads!  Once again, Ben will try and save the day from hordes of undead flesh eaters!  Will he live to tell the tale this time???

 

February 12th @ 4:30 PM

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Frank Braxton is our subject in the second week of February!  Mr. Braxton is largely regarded as the first African-American animator to be offered a position with a major Hollywood studio, Warner Bros. Cartoons.  He drew for a number of classic animated movies and TV shows.  Some of his most enduring works include:  You’re in Love, Charlie Brown; A Boy Named Charlie Brown; and the Mister Magoo, Bullwinkle, and George of the Jungle TV shows of the 1960s.

Since love will be in the air this week, we’re going to watch some of Mr. Braxton’s work and flex our imaginations with some basic animation/flip book techniques!

 

February 19th @ 4:30 PM

Valerie Thomas' Illusion Transmitter

Valerie Thomas’ Illusion Transmitter

On February 19th, we’re going to focus on Valerie Thomas and 3D technology.  Ms. Thomas, a scientist and inventor who worked for NASA, is widely known for her Illusion Transmitter, a device she developed and patented in 1980.  The basic idea behind the Illusion Transmitter was to take the flat image from, say, a TV screen and have it projected into your room in 3D – almost like a hologram in a Sci-Fi movie!  Needless to say, the invention provided some serious upgrades for the existing 3D technology of the day, and is still currently used by NASA.

Look for some red and cyan action going down this week!

 

February  26th @ 4:30 PM

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To close out our month-long celebration, we’re going to have a special screening of an awesome documentary focusing on the vibrant cultural scene of Brooklyn in the 1980s and early 1990s, which launched a number of notable directors, musicians, artists, poets, and comedians.  Popcorn, anyone?

 

All of these events are free and open to anyone in grades 6-12.  Teen Thing is held every Tuesday from 4:30 PM to 5:30 PM at CLP Carrick (1811 Brownsville Road, Pittsburgh PA 15210).  Hope to see you there!

stuffs and stuffs:

              

Jon : Carrick

2 Responses

  1. Terrific idea Jon, and sounds like a great month of fun.

  2. Thanks a ton for utilizing time to publish “Celebrating Black History Month: African Americans and
    Film CLPTeensburgh: Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh Teen Services”.
    Thank you so much again ,Rosalind

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