It was one of those perfectly black days. The type of day that is so perfectly black that you want to paint a picture of it. Though the summer rains did leave puddles of water that children can’t resist splashing in. The first SummerStage of the year kicked off with perfect synergy at Von King Park in Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn as ImageNation’s 13th Annual Outdoors Festival drew people from across the five boroughs..

DJ Spinna kept it so funky on the turntables and worked the crowd up into a soulful overload, as the half of those in attendance were gathered in the orchestra area in front of the stage, engaged in dancing frenzy not seen since the Matrix.

A seriously lovely day, a seriously chocolate day, a seriously black day as director Jeymes Samuel screened his cinematic short film They Die By Dawn, starring such talented performers as Isaiah Washington, Bookem Woodbine, Erykah Badu (Who I think steals the show), Jesse Williams, Rosario Dawson, Nate Parker, Michael K. Williams, Kelly Hu, Harry Lennix and many others. 

Samuels brings world famous black heroes of yesteryears back to life as such real life folktales as Jim Beckwourth, Nat Love, Ben Hodges, Bill Picket and Stagecoach Mary live once again and are contemporaries in a world of their own choosing.

Watch the video as Jeymes explains the method to his genius in writing and directing the project, watch ImageNation founder Moikgantsi Kgama talk about the ongoing legacy of ImageNation and it’s efforts to raise funds via the I AM IMAGENATION online fundraiser to support the renovation of the existing RAW SPACE gallery into the ImageNation Sōl Cinema, a 60-seat cinema.  

Also, actor/activist Jesse Williams gets candid about his thoughts on the aftermath of the Charleston, South Carolina terrorist attack. Stay tuned for intelligent, entertaining and enlightening conversation. For more information on upcoming events brought to you by ImageNation in conjunction with SummerStage log on to http://www.imagenation.us/ai1ec_event/imagenation-outdoors/?instance_id=56927.