1. A Writers’ Celebration of Romare Bearden

    Playwright August Wilson praised Romare Bearden for his celebration of “black life presented on its own terms, on a grand and epic scale, with all its richness and fullness, in a language that was vibrant and which, made attendant to everyday life, ennobled it, affirmed its value, and exalted its presence.”

    On the occasion of the artist’s centenary, 92Y’s Unterberg Poetry Center invited creative writers—including Elizabeth Alexander, John Edgar Wideman, Russell Goings and Stanley Crouch—to speak about what Bearden’s life and art has meant to them. In honor of Black History Month, we share video of this tribute, which took place last December 3 and was co-sponsored by the Schomburg Center, the Bearden Foundation and the West Chester Poetry Center.

  2. Russell Goings surrounded with pieces of artwork by his longtime friend, the late artist Romare Bearden.
NY Daily News has a great story about Goings using a roomful of Bearden’s art as a prop during a recent lecture to students.


Some 26 eighth graders from PS 57, most of them black and Hispanic, were gathered in the 92nd Street Y’s Weill Art Gallery, to listen to Russell Goings lecture them on the need to set goals in their lives.
“We’re all on an odyssey,” Goings said. “An odyssey is about discovery. You coming here today is part of your odyssey. So what are you going to leave here with?”
A former professional football player, stockbroker and chairman of the board of Harlem’s Studio Museum, Goings, 80, is a spellbinding speaker who can work a room and a prop — after one student said he hoped for a pro football career like his, Goings popped his dentures out.
“You don’t want to play football man,” a smiling Goings said as his audience howled with laughter. “They knocked my teeth out. I have no teeth, I got no knees, and but I got a bucketful of knowledge.”
The teeth were a minor prop, the entire room a larger one. Hung on the Weill walls were 43 works by artist Romare Bearden: paintings, collages and ink and felt pen portraits.

Read more. The exhibit at 92Y, Romare Bearden: The Paper of Truth, is free and open to the public through Dec 9 and there will be a Writers’ Celebration of Bearden on Dec 3 featuring Elizabeth Alexander, Kim Bridgford, Stanley Crouch, Kwame Dawes and more.

    Russell Goings surrounded with pieces of artwork by his longtime friend, the late artist Romare Bearden.

    NY Daily News has a great story about Goings using a roomful of Bearden’s art as a prop during a recent lecture to students.

    Some 26 eighth graders from PS 57, most of them black and Hispanic, were gathered in the 92nd Street Y’s Weill Art Gallery, to listen to Russell Goings lecture them on the need to set goals in their lives.

    “We’re all on an odyssey,” Goings said. “An odyssey is about discovery. You coming here today is part of your odyssey. So what are you going to leave here with?”

    A former professional football player, stockbroker and chairman of the board of Harlem’s Studio Museum, Goings, 80, is a spellbinding speaker who can work a room and a prop — after one student said he hoped for a pro football career like his, Goings popped his dentures out.

    “You don’t want to play football man,” a smiling Goings said as his audience howled with laughter. “They knocked my teeth out. I have no teeth, I got no knees, and but I got a bucketful of knowledge.”

    The teeth were a minor prop, the entire room a larger one. Hung on the Weill walls were 43 works by artist Romare Bearden: paintings, collages and ink and felt pen portraits.

    Read more. The exhibit at 92Y, Romare Bearden: The Paper of Truth, is free and open to the public through Dec 9 and there will be a Writers’ Celebration of Bearden on Dec 3 featuring Elizabeth Alexander, Kim Bridgford, Stanley Crouch, Kwame Dawes and more.