Join artist and creative Janelle Gray in listening to and learning from narratives about Black culture told by Black people.
Tuesdays, October 6, 13, 20 & 27, 5:00-6:30pm EDT
This 4-week class will explore art forms such as literature, television, art and song in order to appreciate and analyze Black narratives. Janelle will guide the class in reading work from classic authors such as Toni Morrison and James Baldwin to the more modern Glory Edim and Danez Smith, listening to music by Nina Simone and Lauryn Hill, analyzing Black art commonly shared on Instagram, and discussing the narratives of TV shows like The Cosby Show, Black-ish and Dear White People to name a few.
The class will contemplate the historical and political context surrounding these pieces, the message and why it’s needed and the impact of the art on our communities. The goal is for audiences to develop a broader artistic palette that may provide insight into parallel experiences that would otherwise go unseen. By doing so, the hope is that we all come to respect and hear these forms of expression and ultimately see Black art as simply art.
About Janelle Gray
Janelle is a poet, author, singer/songwriter, and storyteller born and raised in Dallas, Texas. Although she has performed on stage, she prefers the written word. She graduated from Stephen F. Austin State University with a Bachelor of Arts in Communications and Spanish before entering the corporate world. Still, the pen and paper called to her, inspiring her to write and release a solo album, Handle This. After seven years in a 9-5, she shifted her attention to fiction writing — quitting her job and relocating to Bogotá, Colombia. While writing her first novel, Echoes of the Struggle, she taught English as a private teacher, growing her roster to maintain students even after returning to the U.S. in 2017. Currently, Janelle is working on her Master of Liberal of Arts in Creative Writing and Literature from Harvard Extension School. She enjoys multiple formats including short stories, playwriting, screenwriting, and TV writing. In 2019, she produced a workshop of her play, #voiced, and worked as a first assistant director on short films in Dallas, Texas. She is also the creator of Echoes Media, an extension of her first novel. The company is dedicated to providing multiple platforms for often unseen communities with the aim of eradicating discrimination and promoting inclusion.