Blocked at Five Points (performance still) ; presented at Lines of Influence: The Jacob Lawrence Symposium; SCAD Museum of Art; 2017.  Film; photo montage; performance
       
     
  Blocked at Five Points (performance still)
       
     
       
     
       
     
       
     
       
     

Blocked at Five Points Performance

Film; photo montage; performance

As the on-air host for the PBS documentary 37 Weeks: Sherman on the March--which chronicles Union General William Tecumseh Sherman’s “march to the sea”—I was absolutely astonished to learn that the buying and selling of human beings took place at Five Points MARTA Station in Atlanta, the symbolic locale where north, south, east, and west meet, and yet there is no historical marker or public indicator of any kind to honor those unknown souls who passed from auction block to plantation at the heart of Atlanta’s public transportation corridor. Equally troubling is that the Margaret Mitchell House, located less than two and half miles away, preserves the memory of the author of the celebrated novel Gone With the Wind which features a slave mammy as one of the central characters of the book. The juxtaposition of these two lived realities—one institutionalized and preserved; the other lost and forgotten—represents Atlanta’s inability to reconcile its present day identity with its troubled past. More specifically it is emblematic of a systematic attempt to control the historical narrative through a process of memory erasure. Blocked at Five Points aspires to arrest our predisposition to forget our past by drawing attention to slavery’s proximity to our present.

  Blocked at Five Points (performance still) ; presented at Lines of Influence: The Jacob Lawrence Symposium; SCAD Museum of Art; 2017.  Film; photo montage; performance
       
     

Blocked at Five Points (performance still); presented at Lines of Influence: The Jacob Lawrence Symposium; SCAD Museum of Art; 2017.

Film; photo montage; performance

  Blocked at Five Points (performance still)
       
     

Blocked at Five Points (performance still)

       
     

SCAD Honors Visionary Voices

This performance was produced in conjunction with the Savannah College of Art and Design, to honor the sit-in protesters who fought to desegregate lunch counters in downtown Savannah, Georgia.

       
     

Visionaries_Masud Olufani Performance_480p

       
     

Freeing Ourselves of the Stain of Racism | Masud Olufani

A talk given at the Arizona Baha’i Conference.