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Atlanta's Black Performing Arts Primary Sources 

Atlanta is rich in arts and culture. From live performing arts to film, television, and new media, entertainment has become a strong theme in the history of the city.
Nicholas Bazemore tells the story of Georgia Filmmaking in his book The Industry Yearbook 1973-2013; Georgia State University Librarian Nedda Ahmed's project Screening the South combs through primary and secondary publications to compile a list of all the films related to the south; Dr. Ethan Tussey maps the breadth of media industries in the city in Atlanta Media Project. 

While we know that Atlanta has a rich history of production, we also know that under American slavery, Blacks were restricted from reading and writing; therefore, they could produce limited amounts of materials commonly perceive as archival. This lack of tangible evidence creates issues for the preservation of Black production culture. Black stories and traditions had to evolve in
order to endure, so the owners of these stories forged survival techniques that circumvented formal archival institutions controlled by the same government agencies that restricted all aspects of Black life and thought.

This project builds upon Saidiya Hartman’s ideas of Black Radical Practice by proposing that we understand the Black body as the primary site for knowing, preserving, and sharing Black cultural material and create solutions to sharing and preserving it for the future. 

Where in Atlanta are performing arts materials preserved?
Which institutions prioritize black performing art archives?”

Atlanta University Archives 

First-Rate Materials

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