Hollywood writer and producer Calvin Brown Jr. served as the 2017 Africana Studies Artist-in-Residence from March 13-March 23, 2017. Brown, a University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill graduate and native Charlottean, guest lectured in classes, met with students in a brown bag question-and-answer session, and worked with select students to produce a short film on the history of the Africana Studies Department with students taking on roles as writers, researchers, producers, editors, and videographers.
Brown has been a successful film producer and writer for over 30 years. He is currently a writer and creative consultant on the popular series Real Husbands of Hollywood starring comedian Kevin Hart. In the early 1990s, he was the executive director of a self-created television series My Brother and Me, which aired on Nickelodeon and was based on his life growing up in Charlotte with his parents and two sisters. Other notable producer credits include the hit television shows The Proud Family, Hangin’ with Mr. Cooper, A Different World, Living Single, Single, Ladies, Meet the Browns, Moesha, The Parkers, The Sisterhood, Malcolm and Eddie, Married with Children, and Second Time Around, and the Sinbad Show.
Brown shared his vision for his residency with an interview with FOX46 Charlotte.
The Africana Studies Department established the Africana Artist-in-Residence program in 2009 to showcase the work of artists whose original perspectives and creative energy advance a deep understanding of the experiences of Africana peoples worldwide.
Previous artists-in-residence included Tayo Aluko, an award-winning performer known for his work on Paul Robeson (2010); John Perpener III, dancer, historian and scholar (2011); Barbara Higgins Bond, an award-winning illustrator (2012); Kasali Akangbe, master woodcarver, folklorist, and environmental activist (2013); Baritone Emery Stephens (2014); and Tommie Robinson, an award winning member of the Guild of Charlotte Artists (2015). Previous residency programs have been supported by the College of Arts + Architecture, the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences, and the Chancellor’s Diversity Challenge grants.