By Tambay A. Obenson | Shadow and Act June 20, 2011 at 3:19AM
In New York City this week, Kenseth Armstead premieres his Creative Capital-supported project, Spook™ (a multi-media project on the life and times of James Armistead Lafayette, a slave-turned-spy who provided intelligence to help end the American Revolution).
... After extensive historical research, Armstead re-tells the story of this man through a variety of contemporary media formats, including hand-drawn images, collage, performance-based work and HD video production. The exhibition Spook™: INVOCATION is comprised of thirty graphic novel inspired drawings depicting three months in the spying life of James in 1781, when he was successfully working as a double agent for America's first Director of Central Intelligence, George Washington... This re-mixed take on the story of the American Revolution forces the viewer to examine whether all of our history has been told. James, a lost hero, is drawn in context, for the first time, as a fully realized character. The artist invites the viewer to join him in ambitiously inserting an African Founding Father into the pantheon of heroes traditionally celebrated on July 4th.
As I said in my previous post about the so-called "arsonist slave," here's another fascinating, rarely-mentioned story that I'd like to see developed into a feature film narrative to be released on the big screen.
For more on Kenseth's project, click HERE for its Creative Capital page. Opening night reception is on June 23rd. I might be able to attend.
Watch a brief profile of Armistead Lafayette in the video below, courtesy of the African American Trailblazers series: