Saturday, February 1, 2014

Free February.

Black. History. Month. Three little words we link together in February, then not again until a year has transpired.

I dig history. No wonder I went on to study Archaeology. (allow me a little chuckle at that there petit-pun, and a hope the reader will accept my disarming icebreaker - as such.)

Couple things about history ... (1) it happened, and (2) there's an awful lot of it, with more made every day. It can be micro or macro, ipso and facto. And, it leaves clues in as wide a variety.

I got an early start on this season-of-reason by reading the story of Aminata Diallo, engagingly imagined around a lot of said clues, by renown Canadian author Lawrence Hill. In The Book Of Negroes, describing one woman's 18th-century lifetime, Hill paints a vivid context, collating history into a timeline today's knowledge-seeker can refer to.

The illustrated edition of this book should be in every library near you, though it was controversially re-titled Someone Knows My Name for America and certain other markets. Clearly, that word, Negro, used and abused, carries so much history that it can enter publishing-house boardrooms and reshape itself.

If you're putting off reading this book, or won't go see 12 Years A Slave, then the chances are excellent that you'll never see any of the films which have been pulled together for the 2nd annual staging of the Toronto Black Film Festival this February.

That, in itself, is justification for this focus on Black film. And also why I'll join a TBFF14 discussion panel on screen diversity.

Organisers Fabienne Colas and Emile Castonguay personify the scope of the programming. Inevitably there is copious intersection with non-Black historical and dramatic narratives - 'cos the world works that way.

While the fledgling TBFF14 takes foothold in this big film festival town, miles away they gear up for another. Los Angeles hosts the 22nd annual Pan African Film Festival which twice screens The Skin, a contemporary supernatural thriller from Antigua I appear in, and have previously written about.

Incidentally, February 6th is when we celebrate Bob Marley's birthday. Though, like the relevance of Black/African history,
I must confess, for me it's a year-round ting.


  1. Have you seen the Bob Marley photographic exhibition in Toronto?

  2. Not yet, but you just know I will ;-)

  3. I enjoyed reading your post, although I have not in my country a TBFF :)
    The Skin is one of your films that I have not seen. I looked even on the Internet but I can not find it


Comments Welcome. All comments previewed before publishing. Thanks for reading ACKEELOVER CHRONICLES.