Dr. Leigh Raiford(Curator, producer)
Leigh Raiford is Associate Professor of African American Studies at the University of California at Berkeley, where she also serves as affiliate faculty in the Program in American Studies, and the Department of Gender and Women’s Studies. She received her PhD from Yale University and was the Woodrow Wilson Postdoctoral Fellow at Duke University. A recipient of fellowships and awards from the American Council of Learned Societies, the Ford Foundation, the Mellon Foundation, the Woodrow Wilson Foundation, and the Hellman Family Foundation, she has also been a Fulbright Senior Specialist.
Raiford is the author of the acclaimed book Imprisoned in a Luminous Glare: Photography and the African American Freedom Struggle (University of North Carolina Press, 2011) and co-editor with Heike Raphael-Hernandez of Migrating the Black Body: Visual Culture and the African Diaspora (University of Washington Press, 2017) and with Renee Romano of The Civil Rights Movement in American Memory (University of Georgia Press, 2006). Her work has appeared in academic journals, including American Quarterly, Small Axe, Qui Parle, and History and Theory; as well as popular venues including Artforum, Ms. Magazine, Atlantic.com and Al-Jazeera.com.
Dr. Robin J. Hayes (producer, director)
Dr. Robin J. Hayes is an award-winning filmmaker, scholar, interactive designer, and consultant. She is founder and Creative Director of Progressive Pupil, which “makes Black studies for everybody” by producing transformative learning experiences through a variety of content. Dr. Hayes directed Black and Cuba, the first documentary to explore the relationship between African Americans and Cuba. The Ford Foundation and National Endowment for the Humanities funded her work. Currently, she is also developing the television series Fortune Bay, based on the prize- winning novel Land of Love and Drowning by Tiphanie Yanique.
A first generation college student, Dr. Hayes is an alumnus of St. George’s School where she graduated at age 16 with help from the A Better Chance program. After studying at NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts, she became the first person at Yale University to earn a combined doctorate in African American Studies and Political Science. In between college and grad school, Dr. Hayes supervised a legal clinic for homeless families at the Urban Justice Center. She also travelled extensively throughout Central America and the Caribbean with the humanitarian organization (IFCO)/Pastors for Peace, which supports a “people’s foreign policy” in the region.
Dr. Lia Bascomb (Associate producer)
Lia T. Bascomb is an Assistant Professor of African American Studies, and affiliated with the Institute for Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies and the Center for Latin American and Latino Studies at Georgia State University. At Yale and UC Berkeley, she was trained as an interdisciplinary black studies scholar with emphases in diaspora theory, cultural theory, visual culture, performance studies, gender and sexuality, and literature. Her scholarly interests focus on representations and performances of nation, gender, and sexuality across the African diaspora with an emphasis on the Anglophone Caribbean. She has published in journals such as Meridians, Souls, Palimpsest, Anthurium, African and Black Diaspora, and the Black Scholar. She has a chapter in the forthcoming collection Black Sexual Economies: Race and Sex in a Culture of Capital, and is currently working on a book manuscript tentatively titled In Plenty and In Time of Need: Popular Culture and the Remapping of Barbadian Identity.
John Stephens (Cinematographer/Archivist)
John Stephens is a visual artist who uses photography and writing to tell compelling stories that connect and relate to the human journey. Stephens is originally from Atlanta, GA, and is a self-taught photographer. He pulls his inspiration from spirituality, music, history, literature and present day culture. He has been working in his craft for over 20 years and has been voted Best of Atlanta for his professional service for the past 4 years. His work has been displayed in the AfroFuturism Rising exhibition at the Tubman African American Museum. Creatively he is driven by the ethos that , "we are all interconnected in ways that can extend our reach as artists, but more importantly as human beings." John is also assisting with efforts to digitize the Eldridge and Kathleen Neal Cleaver archive.
sierra king (Archival assistant)
Sierra King (b. 1992) is a visual artist and archivist who works within the processes of photography, text, and sound. Her work is rooted in exploring the privilege of written, spoken, and unspoken languages inside of the African-American community. A native of Atlanta, Sierra received her Bachelor’s Degree in Art from Valdosta State University in 2014. Her works from an ongoing series, “We Have Always Mattered,” have been exhibited locally in group shows at Gallery 72, TILA Studios, and Facet Gallery. In 2017, she volunteered for a residency to teach English, Leadership, and Photography in Nizamabad, Telangana State, India with Atlanta Arts Non-Profit, ChopArt. Upon returning she curated “to whom much is given,” a solo exhibition and installation, which showcased photographs and textile memories at TILA Studios.
Tierra THOMAS (Archival assistant)
Tierra Thomas is a graduating senior at Georgia State University studying History and African American Studies. She works at Georgia State University’s Special Collections and Archives where she creates finding aids and assists in processing collections to help researchers access materials. She plans to continue studying archives and their use after earning her B.A. by attending Library and Information School. In the future, Tierra hopes to increase the use and creation of archives in the black community.
DELPHINE SIMS (Research assistant)
Delphine Sims is a Ph.D. candidate in the History of Art Department at UC Berkeley, where she studies the history of photography in the Americas and the African Diaspora. Her research focuses on the ways in which race, gender, geography, and urbanity inform landscape photography. She previously worked at the Santa Barbara Museum of Art as the Curatorial Assistant in the Department of Photography. There, she organized exhibitions on subjects such as the history of salted paper prints, California landscape photography, mid-20th-century Mexican photography, and contemporary American photography. She has contributed writings to Laurie Brown: Earth Edges (California Museum of Photography, 2016), 75 in 25: Important Acquisitions at the Santa Barbara Museum of Art, 1990-2015, (Santa Barbara Museum of Art, 2016) and Looking In, Looking Out: Latin American Photography (Santa Barbara Museum of Art, 2015). Most recently she worked as a Research Assistant assessing the photography collection of the Phoebe A. Hearst Museum of Anthropology.