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Beyond U – Listening B(L)ack Media Series

June 6 @ 5:00 pm - 7:00 pm$15
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June 6 |Time: 5 – 7PM | Location: Hannan Center Black Box Theater – Lower Level Cost: $15 weeknight
Curtis Mayfield – Music & Film “Sparkle”
The focal point of this event will be the powerful composer and musician Curtis Mayfield and the now-cult classic film, Sparkle, for which he composed the soundtrack. The lecture will of course include a comprehensive account of his life’s story and the wide-reaching impact he had on the musical scene and the world as a whole. In particular, this conversation will highlight Mayfield’s prominence as a musical activist, as many pieces from his vast array of robust works are considered to be incredibly important contributions to the ongoing fight for freedom. There will be live performances of some of these songs throughout the lecture.

The feature film for this episode is a rags-to-riches musical drama about the trials and tribulations faced by an all-Black girl group as they attempt to work their way to success. The movie became quite well-loved, especially because of the way it portrays the effects of Harlem’s social and musical culture around the world. Mayfield’s soundtrack perfectly underscores both the gravitas and poetic nature of the film.

July 11 | Time: 5-7PM | Location: Hannan Center Black Box Theater – Lower-Level | Cost: $15
Roberta Flack — Music & Lecture “Compared to What”
This event will showcase the legacy of prodigious songstress, Roberta Flack, and her power and versatility as a political activist and revolutionary poet.

The lecture will begin with a journey through the sonic storyteller’s life and career.  We will discuss the historical and cultural importance of her compositions as we perform some of them throughout the lecture, as well as the long-lasting impact of her political work as the 87-year-old icon continues pushing for a better society and a brighter day.

August 1 | Time: 5-7PM | Location: Hannan Center Black Box Theater – Lower-Level | Cost: $15
Billy Strayhorn — Music & Film “Lush Life”
For this episode we will focus on the vast musical impact of tremendously prolific composer, Billy “Sweet Pea” Strayhorn. We will examine his lifelong musical journey as an indispensable artistic counterweight to Duke Ellington.  To supplement the discussion, there will be a showing of the documentary, Billy Strayhorn: Lush Life, which sheds necessary light on the complicated obstacles Strayhorn was forced to navigate as an openly gay Black man, as well as a preeminent musical artist. Live performances of his works will illustrate the profound and long-lasting nature of Strayhorn’s immense musical catalog.

September 12 | Time: 5-7PM | Location: Hannan Center Black Box Theater – Lower – Level | Cost: $15
Quincy Jones — Lecture & Film “The Wiz”
The focus of this episode will be the incomparably influential Quincy Jones. We will discuss his plethora of original compositions and arrangements, as well as the many significant artists and projects he shaped as a vetted musical architect and guide.   The lecture will be preceded by a showing of The Wiz, laying the groundwork for our discussion of its soundtrack composer’s expansive artist portfolio.

Beyond U Hannan After Dark - Listening B(l)ack Media Series
Hannan After Dark


Hannan Center Black Box Theater
4750 Woodward Avenue
Detroit, MI 48201 United States