Monday, February 24, 2014

Great 28 -Black Love 2014 Iyatunde Oshunade Folayan

OhKay, this one right here!???... She on a mission, this sistah put the 'ack in Black (as in 'ack like you know'). She ain't playin' and she ain't scared... leaving her mark everywhere she go, and comin' to a liberation near you. It is my pleasure to present this daughter of Detroit, the fierce, multi-talented, non-stop, Ms. Iyatunde Oshunade Folayan.

The proud granddaughter of cotton pickers, singers and farmers from Alabama, she is the loving rebel daughter of a retired GM auto worker/former cotton picker and a school administrator. Iyatunde's given name is LaTrice Annette Dixon. 
A Detroit native, she was the first in her family to graduate from a university. As a student at the University of Michigan in the late 80's, Iyatunde remembers being politicized by a lone, Black Lesbian protester outside her dorm room window. Soon thereafter, she joined the United Coalition Against Racism (UCAR), a student group that led the historic winning campaign to increase Black student enrollment at U-M, setting a pro-affirmative action trend at universities nationwide. After obtaining her degree in Political Science, Iyatunde moved to New York and took classes in video and film at Third World Newsreel and the Nuyorican Poet's Cafe. The universe aligned so that she would get an opportunity to work as a producer and music researcher on the PBS documentary of her hero called A Litany for Survival: The Life and Work of Audre Lorde. 
After obtaining her MFA from the first graduated class in Media Arts at City University of New York in 1999 and received Best Screenplay for her film short The Book of Ezekiel. Before leaving the East Coast in 1999, she returned to Detroit and co-founded S.P.I.C.E., Sistahs Providing Intelligence Creative and Empowerment, a nurturing and supportive organization to serve the needs of Detroit's Black Lesbians. 
A passionate supporter of independent media, Iyatunde co-founded the South Centeral Radio Collective and birthed the first Black women's radio show on Los Angeles' KPFK (90.7 FM) entitled Some of Us Are Brave. While living in Long Beach, Iyatunde collaborated with Dorothy Randall Gray and programmed A Burst of Light, Long Beach's first Black Lesbian film and poetry series, founded The Here To Stay Coalition with Yardenna Aaron in 2008 and organized the first Black, queer contingent to march annually in Los Angeles' Kingdom Day Parade. Under the tutelage of Queen Hollins, Iyatunde is honored to be a gatekeeper at the EarthLodge Center for Transformation and the Queer Full Moon Circle in Long Beach.

Iyatunde has been unceasing in her efforts to address the issues, celebrate the achievements, and  support the creation of healing spaces, within the Black/Queer community intersection locally and globally; reaching out to, raising awareness around and standing in solidarity with our queer brothers and sisters on the continent.

Based in Detroit, Iyatunde works closely with Black LGBT community there and is completing her screenplay Who Saves Brown Girls Who Don't Holler?

Follow Iyatunde on Twitter @IyatundeF to see what she's up to.


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