12th Annual ECBACC Convention - an annual gathering of comic book artists, writers, their fans and retailers who are interested in discussing, buying and selling comic books, sci-fi, action figures and related material by and / or about Black superheroes / super-powered characters / adventures
AfriCoz Contest - the first costume and cosplay contest celebrating characters of African descent in comic books, sci-fi, fantasy and film
2013 Glyph Comic Awards - honoring and recognizing those creators making great contributions to the African image in graphic novels, comic strips and comic books
ECBACC S.T.A.R.S (Storytelling That Advances Reading Skills) - a program held at the Free Library of Philadelphia to address the literacy skills of young people by using interactive comic book themed exercises that promote reading as fun and exciting
Born in Africa around 1753, named for the slave ship that carried her across the Atlantic to Boston, Massachusetts, Phillis Wheatley was America’s first published black poet. She was around seven years old when she arrived in the colonies. A family by the named of Wheatley purchased her for domestic work, and quickly discovered her exceptional literary gifts. The Wheatleys’ eighteen-year-old twins Nathaniel and Mary tutored Phillis in English, Latin, and Greek. She wrote her first poem in 1765 at the age of about twelve, and more soon followed. Her first published poem (1770) was “An elegiac poem, on the death of that celebrated divine, and eminent servant of Jesus Christ, the late reverend, and pious George Whitefield.” Phillis and the Wheatley family attempted to get a volume of her poetry published in 1772, but no American publisher came forward, so the Wheatleys sent Phillis and Nathaniel to London to look for a publisher. They found one in bookseller Archibald Bell, who in 1773 published Wheatley’s Poems on Various Subjects, Religious and Moral, seen here.
Many of the poems in this book are elegies, with both Christian and classical themes. For the second image, we’ve opened the book to Wheatley’s poem “To S.M. a young African Painter, on seeing his Works,” written for the black artist Scipio Moorhead who engraved the frontispiece portrait of Wheatley seen in the first image. These poems and others attracted acclaim from Voltaire, Benjamin Franklin, and George Washington, the latter of whom Wheatley may have met in person. Interestingly, our copy of Poems on Various Subjects is bound with a 1771 edition of Alexander Pope’s An Essay on Man. Pope was one of Wheatley’s main literary influences. SL
Wheatley, Phillis. Poems on Various Subjects, Religious and Moral. (London : Printed for A. Bell, bookseller, Aldgate, and sold by Messrs. Cox and Berry, King-Street, Boston, 1773)
There is the Philadelphia you know and the Philadelphia you will never see. The first summons a cornucopia of familiar images: Benjamin Franklin, Rocky Balboa, cheesesteaks whiz wit.
The second is safely out of view from the cobblestone streets of Society Hill or the brewpubs of Northern Liberties. But if you wander north on Broad Street, well past the alabaster phallus of City Hall, you may glimpse the first hints of that obscure Philadelphia in the emptied husk of the Divine Lorraine Hotel, a sullied spinster with more than a century of stories but nobody to hear them anymore.
Shortly thereafter start the Badlands, North Philadelphia neighborhoods like Kensington, whose row-house lanes were once home to working-class whites whose modestly prosperous lives were circumscribed by the factory, the church, the union hall, the front stoop and the bar.
On a summer Sunday, a trip to Connie Mack Stadium or an outing to the Jersey Shore. Then cue the familiar midcentury forces: minority influx, white flight, factories moving to China, crack, crack babies, the end of welfare as we know it, here at the end of the land, the Philadelphia you will never know.
I drove through the Badlands with Barbara Laker and Wendy Ruderman, two journalists for the Philadelphia Daily News who shared a 2010 Pulitzer Prize for investigative reporting and are the authors of Busted: A Tale of Corruption and Betrayal in the City of Brotherly Love.
The book is based on a newspaper series, “Tainted Justice,” that revealed such an astounding degree of corruption among Philadelphia’s drug cops that you would not quite believe it in a Martin Scorsese movie. But your belief, or lack thereof, is irrelevant, because this story is true.
Open Call for Creators: Time Travel Convention and Recurrence Plot Release
In collaboration with Metropolarity.net, this interactive exhibition explores time travel as a practical activity – something that does not require a machine, an advanced degree, or other privileges. Using afrofuturism and science fiction as lenses, the exhibition will revolve around time travelling with everyday tools such as memory, dreams, imagination, manipulation of language and perception, light, and music.
Inviting submissions from the public of all ages, the installation will feature personal time machines and time travel devices created by submitting creators. Leading up to the exhibition, we will host a workshop on March 23, 2014 at Yell Gallery with materials and an interactive lecture component, where people can discuss ideas for alternative methods of time travel. The workshop will feature the “quantum time capsule”, where attendees can be part of the creation of a live installation at the Convention. We will also disseminate a curriculum for use in classrooms and afterschool programs for teachers to work with students to make work for the Convention.
The Time Travel Convention opening reception will also be the premiere of AfroFuturist Affair creator R.Phillip’s experimental book of short time travel tales called Recurrence Plot and her Sun Return celebration. The reception will feature readings by Metropolarity and a few other guest authors.
Seeking submissions of small installations, film, audio/video, literature, photography, objects, and art pieces dealing with time travel, such as personal time machines and devices and time travel artifacts. Works can be individual or collaborative, and should be experimental. Proposals should include a description of your project or piece, including dimensions, sizes, number, and other specifications. Please identify any audio/visual and electrical needs. Also include artist information and website if available.