Black Future Month // 2-25-11 // Billy Colbert, Collage

Posted on February 26, 2011

This next post is gonna be short and sweet. The video comes to me via the freshest brother I know living in the D.C. Area, Jamal Williams. I’m a little biased cause Jamal is my actual brother, and his opinion means more to me than most folks’. I’ve also managed to highlight the work of my 2 other brothers during the month, so I figure big brained, big headed Jamal could use a little shine. Jamal moved out to D.C. to attend Howard University a few years back. After doing his undergrad work with a focus on Physical Therapy and Sports Medicine, he began a blooming career as a personal trainer. He’s now doing work that combats childhood obesity in the black community with a series of mobile and web-based apps. Check for his work here: KidFit Online. But this blog isn’t about Jamal. It’s about his good taste in art, and this video he posted of D.C. based visual artist Billy Colbert.

The footage is taken in 2007, a pivotal time in D.C.’s real estate, and in the last moments before the market went sour.

Billy Colbert “Corporate Merger” from BBBloch on Vimeo.

As I watched the footage, I couldn’t help but to be reminded of the work of Benjamin Banneker, one of the first urban planners in our country’s history. Banneker’s responsible for refining L’Enfants vision for the District’s layout and creating the plan that D.C. was built upon. He’s paired with Colbert as both attempted to make meaning out of the materials and infrastructure in the DMV area. I wondered to myself as I watched the footage if Banneker, in all of his intelligence, imagined creating the type of city that’d yield the Here’s an image of Banneker’s etchings, and a link to a very informative (pronounced extra-nakafied-geeky) article on the science of Benjamin’s plans. Spill Space on Benjamin Banneker

Thickwit honors the ingenuity of Billy Colbert and the space Benjamin Banneker made for #BlackFuture as he planned a Chocolate City.


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