Resources: Teachers & Lessons

There are some people and experiences that when you encounter them you are forever transformed. This is the growing tribute to those powerful resources!



Spirituality as Ideology in Black Women’s Film and Literature

written by Judylyn S. Ryan
thank you Layli Phillips Maparyan for recommending this book to me!!!

My Comments: I hope to write a longer piece soon but for now…

It is the first book that I have ever seen that talks about Black Feminist Filmmaking using those words specifically. I believe that is has been done before, but I don’t know where. Just reading the introduction is a gift every filmmaker should give to themselves. Then you won’t be able to put it down.

I am interested in creating the world anew – the world we deserve to have. Judylyn S. Ryan draws out the ways and the whys that Black Women artists have used their art to create the world anew. This book reached down into me, outside space outside time, and prophesied myself and my purpose to me.

When I read this, “Since spirituality is a key way of Black women’s ways of knowing, Spirituality as Ideology emphasizes the role of the artist as theorist, theologian, and priestess, exercising spiritual agency through the work of art”. It was like looking into the mirror and not only being seen and reflected but in an even more articulate and visionary image than I could have formulated at the time. It moved me several steps toward my future filmmaking brilliance.

Quotes from the book “ ”

Spirituality as Ideology, therefore, makes a two-pronged argument: that spirituality functions as a life-affirming ideology in Black women’s art, and that, in the choices informing narrative construction and characterization, Black women filmmakers and writers embrace the role and responsibility of the priestess, bearing, and distributing life-force to sustain the community of viewers and readers. p.5

While most discussions of Black women’s engagement with, and contribution to, the discursive space of the culture (the social text) assume as oppositional or reactive stance, I argue that the disposition reflected in Black women’s art tends to be proactive rather than reactive, and that oppositionality is not a prominent feature. p.6

“…I illustrate that Black women filmmakers use cinema to unmask other realms of experience-the realm of the hidden past, and the realm of hidden/suppresed dimensions of the present.” p.9
“She goes on to say, “…I analyze the strategies by which Black women filmmakers inscribe unique artistic subjectivity within the arena of filmmaking and conclude that the techniques they use promote new forms of visual literacy.”p.9

Prayer by Májozo/Estella Conwill: “I just want you to teach us, Lord of the wilderness, how to make of our art an offereing like manna, invulnerable to the greed of those who would hoard it for themselves and control the supply and try to resell it to the needy…. show us how to make art that truly serves the hungry” (228).p164


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