Paper Clips | Join us to Examine the American Dream and Who Has Access to It

Tuesday Jan 12th, 2021

paperclips event jan

Examining the American Dream, and who has access to it, through books and movies.

Please join us for Paper Clips, a virtual program that uses literature and film to frame conversations about community issues and social change. Hayes Moses and Abdullah Washington will return to co-facilitate lively discussions centering around "The Fire Next Time" written by James Baldwin and the movie "I Am Not Your Negro" a 2016 documentary film directed by Raoul Peck.


  • This is a friendly, casual, safe-space for everyone.
  • Feel free to read and watch at your own pace and jump in for a session! 

Erie Arts & Culture would like to thank the Film Society of Northwestern Pennsylvania and the Erie County Public Library for being advising partners of Paper Clips.


All sessions will take place from 6 - 7:30 PM on zoom.

Fri, Jan 22
Fri, Jan 29
Fri, Feb 5
Fri, Feb 12

Please register here

Literary Selection: The Fire Next Time

Written by James Baldwin


At once a powerful evocation of James Baldwin's early life in Harlem and a disturbing examination of the consequences of racial injustice, the book is an intensely personal and provocative document from the iconic author of If Beale Street Could Talk and Go Tell It on the Mountain. It consists of two letters, written on the occasion of the centennial of the Emancipation Proclamation, that exhort Americans, both black and white, to attack the terrible legacy of racism

Available here

I Am Not Your Negro
Literary Selection: I Am Not Your Negro
Directed by Raoul Peck


In 1979, James Baldwin wrote a letter to his literary agent describing his next project, "Remember This House." The book was to be a revolutionary, personal account of the lives and assassinations of three of his close friends: Medgar Evers, Malcolm X and Martin Luther King, Jr. At the time of Baldwin's death in 1987, he left behind only 30 completed pages of this manuscript. Filmmaker Raoul Peck envisions the book James Baldwin never finished.

Available here


Abdullah Washington

When he's not MCing Erie’s Blues and Jazz Festival, acting at PACA, or advocating for the creation of Erie county's own community college, Abdullah Washington is the poet Bigg Wash.

One of the initial 12 Tedx Erie speakers in 2015, Abdullah has opened for the legendary rapper KRS-One and the poets Amiri Baraka and Sonya Sanchez. His spoken word album "Infinity Gems", released in 2016 as part of the Erie County Poet Laureate Initiative, was declared one of the top three full-length albums produced in Erie County that year.

In 2017, his short film "1000: A Film about Erie" was broadcast on WQLN documenting powerful local artists, athletes, personalities, and entrepreneurs from across the broad spectrum of our community.

Over the last two years, Abdullah has served on the advisory board of the Heinz Endowment's Just Arts program which supports Allegheny County artists producing socially constructive art and narratives.


Hayes Moses

Hayes Moses is a native of Erie, Pennsylvania. A graduate of Mercyhurst Preparatory High School, Hayes earned his Bachelor’s degree from Edinboro University with a concentration in sociology and Africana studies.

His career has been divided between his work with children in education through the Erie Rise Leadership Academy and ministry through the Greater Bethlehem Temple. Hayes has been an active member of the Erie Playhouse for 32 years - having performed in such productions as ‘Ragtime,’ ‘The Color Purple,’ and ‘The Mountaintop,’ among many others. In 2004, Hayes participated and advanced to Hollywood on the popular television series ‘American Idol.’ Locally, he has performed at events such as Celebrate Erie and 8 Great Tuesdays with the Erie All Stars.

Hayes is the proud father of two daughters, Maya and Iman.

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