[Chicago Crossings: Bridges and Boundaries, reel 84; Ray Price]

Kartemquin Films interviews Raymon Price, Curator at the DuSable Museum of African American History, about the Spertus Museum of Judaica's 1992 exhibition "Bridges and Boundaries," which was originally intended to be a joint exhibition with DuSable. In this tape, Price talks about why DuSable ultimately didn't take part in the project.

0:00Copy video clip URL Color bars & tone.

0:50Copy video clip URL Video begins. There is an issue with the audio and the crew tries to fix it.

1:55Copy video clip URL Raymon Price talks about growing up on 47th St, where he knew many Jewish people. He talks about his first job working for a Jewish storeowner, and how he used to find money laying around while sweeping, possibly there as a test to see if he was trustworthy. He also talks about some of his Jewish friends, who he grew apart from as they grew older and become more involved in their own cultures.

7:02Copy video clip URL Blumenthal asks him about some of his wording about being “almost friends” and Price talks about how they would play on the street, but there was still a sense of division between them.

9:42Copy video clip URL Blumenthal asks Price about what he thought of the exhibition when Spertus proposed it. Price says he liked the concept, but he wasn’t sure if he would have the time to do it well, and when he approached an artist that he was considering as the possible Black curator, that artist had similar reservations that they wouldn’t have the time to be able to do it without “force-feeding it.”

14:42Copy video clip URL Price says, “It was as much timing as anything,” regarding why DuSable didn’t take part. He also talks about an exhibition that DuSable had proposed to Spertus a few years prior called “Some of My Best Friends” that would have been a historical look at already extant work that addressed the Black–Jewish relationship.

15:55Copy video clip URL Price talks a little more about his connection to Jewish people growing up.

19:00Copy video clip URL Blumenthal says there is a sense that the Jewish community has a greater sense of urgency regarding Black–Jewish relations, and that from what Price is saying, it sounds like the black community views it more as just a historical matter. Price says that the message never came across to DuSable that Spertus was trying to “contemporize” the issue. He also says, “I don’t think I wanted to go out and drum up something I wasn’t really involved in.”

22:00Copy video clip URL Price said he wasn’t sure of the parent exhibition that was at the Chicago Historical Society. He views CHS as a third party, and suggests he didn’t fully trust their part in it.

23:50Copy video clip URL They talk about how the Black–Jewish issue is of more interest to Jews, but that also it seems like the exhibition was “sprung on” DuSable, and that the exhibition was already heading in a direction that was somewhat different from what DuSable would’ve wanted to do had they had more control at the very beginning. Price says the project “seemed contrived.”

26:15Copy video clip URL They talk about the tension between mainstream museums and cultural specific ones, and Blumenthal mentions how Morrie Fred viewed the Chicago Historical Society as “neutral ground” and thought this was a good thing. Price disagrees. “We needed to have a charge! It needed to be between the two cultural [groups].” Price also talks about an exhibit DuSable presented about a Jewish black artist who painted while inside a concentration camp.

 

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