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Angeles County | Community News File / Leimert Park

Poets, Artists to Discuss Neighborhood Renaissance

September 24, 1998

Area poets and artists will discuss the role of art as a weapon against oppression at an evening discussion tonight sponsored by the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.

The museum's fall 1998 writer-in-residence Michael Datcher will lead the discussion, "Renaissances of Resistance: The Documentation of Black Humanity as a Weapon Against Oppression in Leimert Park and Harlem."

Datcher, a Leimert Park writer and poet, said: "The emphasis of this fellowship project is to really give artists a chance to speak about the significance of our own art."

Often commentary and analysis of African American art comes from outside the culture, he said, and "separates the art from the culture that produced it."

Panelists include poet Kamau Daaood, founder of the World Stage, visual artist Ramsess, novelist and poet Jenoyne Adams, Keith Antar Mason, performance artist and artistic director of The Hittite Empire, and painter Aziz.

The panel will discuss parallels between the Harlem Renaissance of the 1920s and the urban arts movement in Leimert Park in the 1990s, Datcher said.

"We're interested in talking about how the chaos of urban life can engender art," he said.

The event is at 7 p.m. at the Los Angeles County Museum's Bing Auditorium, 5905 Wilshire Blvd. Admission is free.

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