Hanif Abdurraqib's Black VHS Experience
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Hanif Abdurraqib's Black VHS Experience

A man stands in a filed with trees facing the viewer but looking away.
Hanif Abdurraqib. Courtesy the artist. Photo: Maddie McGarvey.

New York Times bestselling author and poet Hanif Abdurraqib’s widely published writing often explores music’s relationship with Black experience in America. Guest curating a series of films this summer at the Walker, Abdurraqib took cues from his recent books Go Ahead in the Rain: Notes to A Tribe Called Quest and A Little Devil in America: Notes in Praise of Black Performance to organize a look back at the 1990s as a particularly vibrant moment of critical mass for the representation of Black music in film. Ranging from Whoopi Goldberg’s performance in Sister Act to Robert Townsend’s portrayal of a fictional R&B group in The Five Heartbeats, plus the Queen Latifah–led heist film Set It Off, Abdurraqib’s movie playlist is affectionately inspired by their soundtracks.

On Friday, July 14th, Abdurraqib comes to the Walker cinema to introduce the first film screening in his summer playlist, The Five Heartbeats.

Read more about Hanif Abdurraqib’s Black VHS Experience in an interview, Films as a Place for Black Joy.