Join the Urban Democracy Lab for a screening of “The Sun Rises in The East” (2021), a film that chronicles the birth, rise, and legacy of The East, a pan-African cultural organization founded in 1969 by teens and young adults in Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn.
There will be a post-film discussion with film-makers Cynthia Giwa and Tayo Giwa, and surviving members of The East, Dr. Segun Shabaka and Malika Iman, moderated by UDL Visiting Scholar Amanda Boston, PhD.
About the Panelists:
Cynthia Giwa and Tayo Giwa are writers, photographers and filmmakers who live and create in Brooklyn. A married couple, they are the creators of Black-Owned Brooklyn, an online publication in which they document and preserve local Black business, culture and history. Their 2022 documentary feature The Sun Rises in The East, is the first feature-length documentary to explore this inspiring story.
Dr. Segun Shabaka (Segun pronounce shay-goon) is a lifelong resident of Brooklyn, with an extensive and consistent activist history, beginning as a high school student. Starting in the early ‘70s, Dr. Shabaka worked diligently for almost two decades at the Brooklyn-based East/Uhuru Cultural and Educational Center. Starting in his late teens as a volunteer at the institution, he soon became a full-time employee of Uhuru Sasa Shule (Freedom Now School), where he taught preschool through high school. Dr. Shabaka served from 1978 to the mid 80’s as the editor and manager of the organization’s newspaper and printing services, Black News and Pyramid Press, respectively. From 1980-87 he served as the institution’s executive director. As executive director he coordinated over three-dozen community-based institutions, organizations, programs and services housed at the Uhuru Cultural Center. Dr. Shabaka is currently chair and also a founding executive board member of the International African Arts Festival, which is going into its 53rd year. Additionally, Dr. Shabaka operates his own cultural consultant and travel business, Pyramid Productions, which for almost three decades has taken groups to Africa and countries in the African Diaspora.
Malika Iman is the daughter of the late revolutionary activists Yusef and Dara Iman. She was raised “in the struggle” and had the honor of absorbing the wisdom of many “movers and shakers” dedicated to achieving the liberation of African people in the Diaspora. Malika and her family were pioneers in the Black Liberation and Black Arts Movements, working with Amiri Baraka (LeRoi Jones) and his Black Arts Repertory Theatre and the Spirit House Movers. It was through this alliance that Malika developed in the arts of writing, theatre, poetry and became a leading African dancer and choreographer with her father’s group, the Weusi Kuumba Troupe. Malika eventually formed her own dance company, Afrika in Motion Dance Theatre, active from the late 1980s to the early 2000s. Malika worked at the EAST organization in office administration and also performed at their Jazz programs and the International African Arts Festival. She also worked for the EAST’s monthly newsletter, Black News, the EAST food co-op, kitchen, and taught at Uhuru Sasa primary school. She is honored to have been one of the first graduates of the Uhuru Sasa high school division. Finally, Malika was the graphic designer, contributing writer and editor on the recently published book Voices of the EAST Sisterhood.
This event is jointly sponsored by:
The NYU Center for Multicultural Education and Programs
Martin Luther King Jr. Scholars Program
NYU Department of Social and Cultural Analysis
Gallatin’s Diversity Council
NYU Institute for Public Knowledge
New York University and Gallatin provide reasonable accommodations to people living with disabilities who wish to attend events at the School. For every event, Gallatin staff will be on hand to assist guests. Please note that the entrance at 715 Broadway is wheelchair accessible. To request accommodations, such as a sign language interpreter, assistive listening devices, or large print programs, or should you have questions regarding accessibility for an event, please contact Gallatin’s Office of Special Events by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 212-992-6328. Should you need an accommodation, we ask that you send your request as early as possible so that we have time to fulfill your request.