Antoine Hunter presented #DeafWoke with Christopher Smith livestreaming on the global, commons-based, peer produced HowlRound TV network at howlround.tv on Tuesday 13 April at 4 p.m. PST (San Francisco, UTC -8) / 6 p.m. CST (Chicago, UTC -6) / 7 p.m. EST (New York, UTC -5).
Join us for an inspiring evening with Christopher Smith. Christopher will share his #DeafWoke journey.
#DeafWoke is a virtual consciousness-raising engaging online talk show, led by Black and Native American Deaf host Mr. Antoine Hunter PurpleFireCrow.
Founded as a response to isolation and misinformation experienced during CoVID-19, #DeafWoke provides access to the Deaf BIPOC life stories, critical coverage of the #BlackLivesMatter movement, education, Arts, social justice and analysis of CoVID-19-related news for Deaf, DeafBlind, DeafDisabled, Hard of Hearing, Late-Deafened and Black Hearing communities.
Our mission is to provide opportunities for our stories to be heard by providing the #DeafWoke platform to uplift BIPOC Deaf and disabled artists voices and to contribute to the arts and larger society, increasing awareness at the intersections of audism, ableism, and racism--this includes DeafDisabled stories as a force for cultural change and collective liberation. There is also a space to talk about economics, parenthood, and education.
All episodes will be produced with ASL Interpreters and captioning welcoming everyone to the conversation. For da Hearing and Deaf! It’s inspiring, it’s funny, it’s beautiful with the ugly, it’s things people don’t really talk about, it’s unheard of, it Deaf Woke!
The host: Bay Area native, Antoine Hunter also known Purple Fire Crow is an award-winning Internationally-known African-American, Indigenous, Deaf, Disabled, choreographer, dancer, actor, instructor, speaker, Producer and Deaf advocate. He creates opportunities for Disabled, Deaf and hearing artists and produces Deaf-friendly events, and founded the Urban Jazz Dance Company and Bay Area International Deaf Dance Festival.
Guest Bio: Christopher has been Deaf since birth, Chicago born and began his education at Whitney Young High School, where he began to study dance. Since then, he has pursued a career, as a dancer, choreographer and actor. As a dancer, he began dancing with the Sixth Sense performers in Chicago and largely credits its director, Charlotte Akinsonon and its choreographer, the late, Roscoe Gillenwater, as integral to his training.
As an actor, Christopher has worked with The National Theatre of the Deaf, the Sunshine Too Theatre Company, Deaf West Theatre (in Los Angeles), Centerlight Theatre (in Chicago), Chicago Dramatists' Workshop, the Intiman Theater (in Seattle), Film work includes "The Compensation" starring Michele A. Bank and directed by Zeinabu Irene Davis. He was also featured prominently in "It Takes The Light To Make The City", directed by Louis Antonelli. Other dance credits include working with The Joseph Holmes School of Dance, Joel Hall of Performing Arts, Dance Space, The American Deaf Dance Theatre Company (New York City, principle dancer, under the direction of Michael Thomas & Adrianne Enrich), and the Gallaudet University Dance Company. Christopher also performed with, the very innovative, National and International Wild Zappers, noted for being an all-male, all-Deaf, African-American dance company. Christopher considers the highlight of his work in dance to be his work with the Dayton Institute of the Arts, in Dayton, Ohio.
Mr. Smith is, possibly, best known for his work as the choreographer for "Deaf Side Story", a bi-lingual musical production, done in collaboration between MacMurray College Theatre Department (providing the hearing cast), and the Illinois School of The Deaf (providing the Deaf cast), in Jacksonville, Illinois.
Christopher received a Contribution to the Dance World Award from the Chicago Park District for his work on this production.
The production, is documented, in Mark Rigney's book "Deaf Side Story" (Gallaudet University Press).
As an instructor, Christopher has worked at the Rochester Institute of Technology Dance Company (also assistant director), the San Antonio Summer Deaf Dance Camp, The Seattle Theater's Deaf Youth Drama Program and the Community Service for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing in Seattle.
In Oregon, Illinois, more recently, Christopher has taught dance (ages 8-12) for the International Creative Camp and worked as a Black Deaf Advocate in Chicago. He also was able to choreograph selections from "Dreamgirls" for the White Ball Affair Banquet, hosted by Black Deaf Advocate, in 2012, during the same year, Mr. Smith was allowed to sign & dance the song "Ease On Down The Road", from "The Wiz" to prepare Chicago's Deaf & Hearing youth for the 78th Bud Billiken Parade.
Christopher's final dance role, for now, was as Larry in "A Chorus Line" in 2014. During the production, Christopher was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis. In recent years, due to the rigorous physical challenges of dance, Christopher was been focusing his energies on continuing his education and on the Theatre, by studying at Ohlone College, in Fremont, California.
He is currently working on expanding this piece into a full one-man show with news about this project, to be shared, as it develops.