Exhibition at The Valentine Museum Highlights UR Dissertation Fellow's Documentary on Black Identity

December 8, 2020

Film CoverUNIVERSITY OF RICHMOND — The Valentine Museum in Richmond, Virginia, is currently featuring a documentary film directed by University of Richmond Dissertation Fellow Chaz Antoine Barracks in its “DONT TOUCH MY HAIR rva” exhibition.

“Everyday Black Matter” is a Richmond-based documentary Barracks produced to explore the diversity of African American identity through stories of Black hair experiences.

The film was originally planned to be screened at The Valentine, but due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it is available to watch online on a “pay what you can” basis until Dec. 31.

“I wanted to use the complexity and resistance rooted in many Black hair stories to show that Black identity isn’t monolithic, and showcase everyday Black life as fine art,” said Barracks. “With the backdrop of beauty salons and other Black-owned spaces in the city, the viewer gets a glimpse of Richmond's rich cultural production built from Black experiences, aka Black Matter.”

Barracks joined UR’s Rhetoric and Communication Studies department as a dissertation fellow this year, where he teaches a course on media, culture, and identity and is conducting research that explores Black feminist auto-ethnography, Black pop culture and performance studies, and Black queer world-making. 

He received both his undergraduate and master’s degrees from UR and his doctorate from VCU. He currently leads the “Blackademic” programming at Six Points Innovation Center and produces and hosts his own podcast “Black Matter.”