Living

SONGS OF THE SOUTH

by

Released in November 1946, Walt Disney’s first live-action film, Song of the
South
, has abided in infamy throughout the postwar era due to its racially volatile subject matter centered on Joel Chandler Harris’s Uncle Remus folk tales. Save for the U.K. and Japan, the film remains largely suppressed, yet its signature number, “Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah,” often surfaces, reopening deep queries about American racism. On the occasion of photographer William Eggleston’s Whitney retrospective, the Black Rock Coalition will perform a four-night musical program that dialogues with the Memphis master artist’s investigations of the New South. Led by Sophia Ramos, Doron Flake, and Maritri, and featuring Brazz Tree, Soul Cycle, and California King, the BRC’s sonic army aims to represent the real, postwar southern culture that
was the glory of the years between Dr. King’s assassination and the
post–civil rights malaise ushered in by Reagan. The program will span from
Macon to Muscle Shoals and New Orleans, yet special emphasis will shine on
Eggleston’s Memphis and its legendary biracial Stax label in remembrance of
recently deceased Isaac Hayes. During this November that rewrote black-white
relations with lightning, “Experiments in Color Negative” is required viewing in the urban Briar Patch.

Fridays, 7 p.m. Starts: Nov. 7. Continues through Nov. 28, 2008