Loud. Black. Resident Part I: In Conversation with Dr. Omi Osum Joni L. Jones

Today from our friends at ARTS.BLACK we bring you Arielle Julia Brown’s interview with Dr. Omi Osum Joni L. Jones. Omi Osun Joni L. Jones is an artist, scholar, and an Associate Professor in the African and African Diaspora Studies Department at the University of Texas at Austin. Dr. Jones states, “My desire has been to transform predominantly white academic spaces into places where Blackness reigns. That is done with Black bodies.” This article was originally published October 2, 2016.


Arielle Julia Brown: What is your name? Give us a bit of an overview of your work.

Dr. Omi Osun Joni L. Jones: I am Omi Osun Joni L. Jones and I am an artist scholar.  My work has focused on several areas that overlap. I am interested in Black performance, more specifically Black Diasporic performance. I’ve been most interested in Yoruba-based areas so, of course, Southwestern Nigeria, but in addition to that, spaces where Yoruba aesthetic and Yoruba spirituality are prominent, so places like Cuba and certain regions of the United States.

My work as an artist has often been connected to the ways that art can prod us to think, feel, and know more deeply, and create contestation even amongst the audience witnesses.

The scholarly work that I do attempts to make the scholarship itself embodied on the page so that I encourage a different reading practice rather than a linear reading practice. That kind of scholarship is made most clear in my book, Theatrical Jazz, Performance, Àṣẹ, and the Power of the Present Moment.

Read the full article here.