Black Cinema House is proud to partner with Logan Center Exhibitions for RETURNS, the first convening in a multi-year research project, public program and online platform that explores the history of Pan-Africanism and its articulation in the art and culture of the contemporary African Diaspora.
Initiated by the former President of Senegal and leading Pan-Africanist Léopold Sénghor, The First World Festival of Negro Arts (FESMAN) took place in Dakar, Senegal in 1966. With the participation of over 45 countries, the festival showcased visual art, music, literature, dance, and film from across the diaspora.
William Greaves’ film captures the spirit of the event and provides unparalleled insight from the perspective of the African American delegation. Based on the 1969 novel of the same title, The Spook Who Sat by the Door is an example of “blow-back” film intended to show the consequences of covert operations. Set in Chicago, the film chronicles the struggles of the Central Intelligence Agency’s first black agent, who eventually leaves the CIA and trains Chicago’s black youth to become Freedom Fighters. The screenings are followed by a small reception.