October 27, 2020 News & Features » Cover Story

Favorite

Dr. Chaz Antoine Barracks, 32 

Cultural Critic, Media Producer, and Blackademic at Six Points Innovation Center

click to enlarge feat44_chaz_barracks2.jpg

Scott Elmquist

Originally from Connecticut, Barracks grew up often shuffled between living arrangements, being the child of an incarcerated mom. But he was lucky to be in New England’s strong public school system. A first-generation college student, he earned a Bonner Scholarship to University of Richmond, which required him to work for local nonprofits. He was able to connect with the ex-offender community and soon became a scholar-activist whose work is rooted in the local Black community.

After two years teaching in Japan, he returned to Richmond and began playing host to programs around storytelling and cultural production through First Fridays. When Six Points Innovation Center opened, he was in grad school at Virginia Commonwealth University and jumped at the opportunity to work in a Black space as an education consultant, using resources from VCU and UR to help build library space while also hosting the podcast Black Matter. Check it out on Spotify. “6PIC has been a critical home space to do my research with people who look like me,” he says.

Having recently earned his doctorate from VCU’s Media Art and Text program, Barracks is very much invested in Black joy as a critical practice. His work is grounded in media arts, performance studies and Black queer cultural production. For example, “Don’t Touch My Hair RVA,” his short documentary film, used hair “to show that Black identity is never monolithic,” he says. Funded by VCU, it was commissioned for programming at the Valentine in September.

“I want to keep using my position to implement how universities can do better to support the art of marginalized communities,” he says. “For me it’s about resources and reparative justice.” His latest film, “Everyday Black Matter,” just launched as part of the Afrikana Independent Film Festival.

Back to the 2020 Top 40 Under 40
Favorite

Tags:

Latest in Cover Story

Comments


Comments are closed.

Connect with Style Weekly

Most Popular Stories

  • Cable Junction

    Cable Junction

    How data centers and new underwater cables could transform Richmond’s economy.
    • Nov 24, 2020
  • The Case for Cannabis

    The Case for Cannabis

    With Democrats in power, legalization of marijuana has become a reality. What does a new study say about how it might play out?
    • Nov 24, 2020
  • Email Bombardment For Richmond's Homeless

    Email Bombardment For Richmond's Homeless

    Read the list of demands being sent to city officials and local media.
    • Nov 25, 2020
  • Mystery Man

    Mystery Man

    Midlothian transplant Josh Pachter is an editor to mystery writers around the world.
    • Nov 24, 2020
  • More »

Copyright © 2020 Style Weekly
Richmond's alternative for news, arts, culture and opinion
All rights reserved
Powered by Foundation