Thu, Nov 18, 2021

7 PM – 9 PM PST (GMT-8)

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The Intersection: Woke Black Folk is a stage play on the complexities of Black political identity and a story about how humans navigate difference. This project has been met with critical acclaim by thinkers and artists such as Angela Davis and Erykah Badu. It premiered at the Pan African Film and Arts Festival in Los Angeles as the featured theatrical production in March 2018 and has since toured internationally -- staging in venues and universities across the U.S., England, the Netherlands, France and Brazil. This one-woman show calls into question the partisanship and groupthink that often inform discussions about social justice today. As an astute observer puts it, "How does Fagbamila's staging, claiming, theorizing, and embodying of contradictory perspectives create room in an otherwise claustrophobic political landscape?”

Speaker Biography:

Funmilola Fagbamila is a Nigerian-American playwright, actress and scholar. Her internationally touring stage play “The Intersection: Woke Black Folk” has been met with critical acclaim by thinkers and artists such as Angela Davis and Erykah Badu. This production explores the complexities of Black political identity and is a story about how humans navigate difference. It premiered to sold-out houses at both the Pan African Film Festival in Los Angeles (as the featured theatrical production) and the Skirball Cultural Center. The Intersection has staged in venues and universities across the U.S., England, France, the Netherlands and Brazil.

Funmilola currently serves as a professor of Pan African Studies at California State University, Los Angeles. As an original organizer of the Black Lives Matter national network, Funmilola contributed to the organization’s inception in 2013 and served as the Arts and Culture director in LA for years following.

In 2015, Funmilola was honored by the United States Congress and the Black Community, Clergy and Labor Alliance for her commendable activist scholarship and service. In 2017, Prof. Fagbamila was awarded the Inaugural Activist-in-Residence position at the Institute on Inequality and Democracy at UCLA Luskin. And in 2018, Amplify Africa and the US Congress honored Funmilola once more with the “African Excellence” award in the field of education.

Funmilola’s viral poem “Black Girl Fly” has been viewed online more than 4 million times and in 2021 the TNT network collaborated with Funmilola on a national feature for this piece. Her writing, creative productions and social commentary have been featured in publications such as the Guardian, BBC, NPR, NOW THIS news, Blavity, FOXtv and Netlflix.

In 2017 Cal State LA hosted a public dialogue between Funmilola and the Ooni of Ife, traditional ruler of the Yoruba kingdom Ile-Ife. In 2018, Funmilola and Nigerian presidential candidate Omoyele Sowore participated in a public dialogue on the state of affairs in Nigeria and the African diaspora. And in 2020 Funmilola traveled to Paris at the request of the president of France, to offer her consultation in France’s plan to address the country’s colonial history with African nations. This came to fruition after the president, Emmanuel Macron, had viewed Funmilola’s social commentary and political analysis in the popular French publication, Le Monde.

Funmilola has delivered keynote addresses, lectures and performances at universities across the U.S. and Europe. Some of the venues include UCLA School of Law, Oxford University, Stanford and Harvard.

Sponsored by:
Illuminations/The Chancellor’s Arts & Culture Initiative, Office of Inclusive Excellence Spirit Award, Arts Equity Advisor, and Humanities Equity Advisor


Private Location (register to display)

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Illuminations: The Chancellor's Arts & Culture Initiative | Website | View More Events

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