African-American English in North Carolina

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Segment on African American English and its role in the lives and identities of African Americans in North Carolina

Excerpt from from the documentary “Voices of North Carolina”

DVD Available

The Old North State is home to diverse language traditions from the Outer Banks to the Southern Highlands. Cherokee and Lumbee Indians, African Americans, and first language Spanish-speakers all have a home in this linguistically rich state. “Voices of NC” features series of short educational vignettes, each focusing on a different language community in North Carolina. Southerners from all walks of life lend their voices to a universal portrait of language and identity.

Executive Producer WALT WOLFRAM

A production of
at NC State University
Want to learn more about the Language and Life Project?






The 5 Most African-American Friendly Countries

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One of the most emailed questions I get to my inbox, is about countries that are African-American friendly. So what exactly does that mean? Watch the video and see!

And while it’s important to realize every African-American will have their own unique experience, I just wanted to highlight the most pleasant experiences I’ve received through my 30 countries of travels (now 65 by the start of 2018).

Remember, it’s okay to disagree and our experiences will vary based on so many things. Being an African-American WOMAN vs. an African-American MAN also renders its own unique account.

For those who enjoyed this video, feel free to check out a couple corresponding blog posts I wrote:

5 Cities in Europe That Welcome Black Skin Color –
The Best & Worst Things About Traveling While Black –

Be sure to SUBSCRIBE to this channel for videos and vlogs about life on the road as I chronicle my adventures through traveling, entertaining, and inspiring others to get out of their comfort zone and explore the world around you.


NEW PAINTINGS. African-American spiritual visionary Leon Kennedy.

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NEW PAINTINGS. African-American spiritual visionary Leon Kennedy @ Wm Latham’s 2520 Telegraph Gallery

With Lisa Aurora Calderon — Owner of Naming Gallery

African-American spiritual visionary Leon Kennedy (b. 1945, Houston, Texas) uses paint, pencil, marker, and mixed media on found objects to create ecstatic visions, memory paintings, and urban life portraits. Kennedy is featured on several pages of Rosnak’s “Contemporary American Folk Art” (Abbeville, 1996), and in Betty-Carol Sellen’s important survey, “Self Taught, Outsider, and Folk Art” (McFarland & Company, 1999).

In 1997, the Smithsonian Institution purchased 200 significant works from the renowned Rosenak collection for an undisclosed sum estimated to be about $2,000,000. This acquisition included a bed-sheet by Kennedy.

The 1997 Folk Art Messenger, Vol. 10, No.3, reported that the acquisition makes the Smithsonian American Art Museum the world’s preeminent repository for American self-taught art.

“It is our desire to see them as part of the history of 20th-century American art,” said Chuck Rosenak.

Mentioning Leon Kennedy, the article notes these works were the first American collection exhibited at the Collection de l’Art Brut, Switzerland, which “testifies to its quality and uniqueness.” The Leon Kennedy masterwork painting now resides at the Smithsonian American Art Museum, while photos of Kennedy and other materials of Kennedy’s are available for study at the archive at the National Archives in Washington, D.C.

Contemporary American Folk Art: A Collectors Guide. ROSENAK, CHUCK and JAN ROSENAK, New York: Abbeville, 1996.
The Folk Art Messenger. Vol. 10, No. 3, Spring, Summer 1997.
Self Taught, Outsider, and Folk Art. Betty-Carol Sellen, (McFarland & Company, 1999).
Black Creation: A Quarterly Review of Black Arts and Letters. Vol. 4 (Fall 1972). Beauford, Fred, ed.
The Black Artist in America: An Index to Reproductions, THOMISON, DENNIS. Metuchen: Scarecrow Press, 1991.
Country: United States
Books: Contemporary American Folk Art: A Collectors Guide.

Permanent collections
1997 Smithsonian American Art Museum (then the National Museum of American Art) acquisition.
1990 The House of Blues, multiple acquisitions.

Solo Exhibitions
2009 A440 Gallery, AMERICAN VISIONARY, San Francisco, CA

2005 Kings Gallery, San Francisco Unitarian Universalist Church
2000 Oakland City Hall, Oakland, CA
1996 Good Samaritan Baptist Church, Oakland, CA
1995 La Pena Cultural Center, Berkeley, CA
1992 West Berkeley Senior Citizens Center, Berkeley, CA
1988 Richmond City Hall, Richmond, CA
(1967-1974) BlackMan’s Art Gallery in San Francisco

Group Shows
2009 New York Outsider Art Fair
2007 Revolving Museum, Lowell, MA, “Race Class Gender”
2006 American Visionary Art Museum, Baltimore, MD, “Race Class Gender”

2005 Robert Cargo Gallery, PA, “The Dream Lives On”

2005 Richmond Art Center, Richmond, CA
2004 Ames Gallery

2003 Black Box, Oakland, CA, “Absolute Reflection”
2000 San Francisco Arts Commission “Extraordinary Artists,” curated by Bonnie Grossman, The Ames Gallery
2000 SOMArts Gallery, San Francisco, CA
1999 Visual Aid’s “Big Deal”
1997 Collection de l’Art Brut, Lausanne, Switzerland
1996 Sheppard Art Gallery, University of Nevada, Reno, NV, “Memories and Visions: Self-Taught and Outsider Artists West of the Rockies”
1994 African American Museum, Dallas, TX
1994 Skyline College, San Bruno, CA, “Emerging Talent: African American Artists of California”
1992 California State University, Hayward, CA, “Vernacular Art”
1992 2000 (annually) Berkeley Civic Arts Commission, Berkeley, CA (Windows Project)
1991 Creative Growth Art Center, Oakland, CA, “The Gospel Connection” with Louis Estape

William Latham

Finding The Grove Park African-American Cemetery in Alachua County

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I found this old African-American cemetery from the old community of Grove Park. Also known as Odum Grave… I can’t find any other history just yet. I discovered this by exploring in Phifer Flatwoods Preserve by The Hawthorne Trail. Check out my blog post here –

Conversations about African-American Leadership in New Orleans: Irma Dixon

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Irma Muse Dixon was the first African-American elected to the Louisiana Public Service Commission (PSC), representing the Third District (1992-2004). In the early 1980s, Dixon was affiliated with the Total Community Action Agency and its Central City Health Clinic, run by former State Representative Dorothy Mae Taylor, the first African-American woman to serve in the Louisiana House of Representatives. Through this agency and clinic, a generation of rising black politicians such as Dixon were groomed. In 1988, Dixon was elected to represent District 95 in the Louisiana House of Representatives (1988 – 1992), resigning upon her election to the Public Service Commission. Dixon has served in Louisiana state government with the Office of Employment Training and Development and as an undersecretary in the Department of Culture, Recreation and Tourism. She has served New Orleans city government as Director of the Department of Recreation and the Director for the New Orleans Department of Property Management. Today she is a security manager for Xyant Technology. Mrs. Dixon is active in the Urban League, the Boys and Girls Club of New Orleans, the YWCA, and New Orleans Second Baptist Church. In 2009 she was chosen to head Beacon of Hope, a New Orleans charitable organization. Dixon earned a B.A. from Southern University in Baton Rouge, a masters degree in social work from Tulane University, and is a fellow of Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government.