Public Programs And Events

The Making of 'Surveillance Punishment and The Black Psyche

The Making of 'Surveillance Punishment and The Black Psyche

Theresa Lang Community and Student Center, Arnhold Hall
General Public 

A performance lecture by M. Lamar

'Surveillance Punishment and The Black Psyche' is an imprisoned black man’s reflections on his life sentenced to death for killing his male overseer who was also his lover.This is the first showing of this multimedia music theater piece which draws loosely from the life of Willie Francis the 16 year old black boy who in 1947 was famously executed twice for the murder of Andrew Thomas a Cajun pharmacy owner in St. Martinville Louisiana who had once employed him. It is alleged that Francis and the 53 year old Thomas were engaged in a homosexual relationship. So here Lamar explores interracial homosex, surveillance and punishment from the Jim Crow south back to the plantation to trace it’s legacy in contemporary black life as well as how the state continues it’s white supremacist surveillance and punishment of black bodied Americans. 

M. Lamar is a songwriter and performer. His music combines his operatic voice and piano playing that spans western classical music and dissonant black metal. In this performance lecture, M. Lamar will discuss the creation process of the piece and the implications for political montage performance in the contemporary art scene. 

The performance is part of the Lang InterArts course, Dialectic Material, but is open to the public. For information contact T.L. Cowan,

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