The Humanities Center is proud to present as part of its Brown Bag Series, a talk by Juanita Anderson, Area Head, Media Arts and Studies, Department of Communication
By 1943, when Detroit became the epicenter of the nation’s largest wartime race riot, Hastings Street had already emerged as the vibrant center of business and commerce for the city’s burgeoning African American Community. But by 1960, it had become a ghost town—giving way to construction for the new Interstate, I-75.
Hastings Street Blues is a documentary work-in-progress that will examine mid-20th Century African American life in Detroit and the city’s pre-Motown music legacy. The blues and its duality of hope and hard times becomes a driving narrative, and metaphor for the film’s parallel themes of self-determination and community displacement. Hastings Street record shop owner and record producer, Joe Von Battle becomes the central character who weaves these themes together. The writings and performances of his daughter, Kresge Literary Fellow Marsha Music, inform his story, as will the first person accounts of those who knew him, archival images and the music he recorded. Filmmaker Juanita Anderson addresses the process of developing this documentary feature film, and ponders the relationship between present-day physical place, collective memory and forgetfulness.
These talks are free and open to the public! We also provide free coffee, tea and cake!