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Tim Haslett

visual artist, filmmaker, and cinematographer, was born in Tupelo, Mississippi, and grew up in Clarksdale, Mississippi, the son of Rowena and Arthur Fielder. He studied architecture and film at Howard University from 1978 to 1982. While there, he worked with the filmmaker Haile Gerima, who became a mentor and an influential friend. Jafa's concerns with the centrality of the Middle Passage and slavery in the African Diaspora led him to rethink the political and aesthetic importance of defining “blackness,” and how what Jafa called “primal sites” are crucial to any project concerned with the liberation of people of African descent.

Renowned for his cinematography on Julie Dash's path-breaking film Daughters of the Dust (1992 Jafa put into practice techniques he had long been theorizing Black Visual Intonation was a radical aesthetic notion about the mechanics of filmmaking Jafa won Sundance Film Festival ...

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SaFiya D. Hoskins

actor, artist, and singer, was born William December Williams Jr. in New York, New York, to William December Williams Sr. and Loretta Anne (maiden name unknown). His father, an African American, was a caretaker; his mother, a West Indian from Montserrat, was an elevator operator. Williams and his twin sister, Loretta, were raised by their maternal grandmother in Harlem. In 1945, when he was only seven years old, he performed on Broadway in Kurt Weill's The Firebrand of Florence. He had accompanied his mother to work at the Lyceum Theater when producer Max Gordon suggested that young Williams audition for a part opposite actress Lotte Lenya. Along with classmate actress Diahann Carroll, he was a student at Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School of Music and Fine Arts in New York, from which he graduated in 1955 Williams went on to study painting at ...