Bradford Young in collaboration with Bethel Tabernacle AME Church
Award-winning cinematographer Bradford Young (Ain’t Them Bodies Saints, 2013; Mother of George, 2013; Pariah, 2011) created a three-channel video installation titled Bynum Cutler. Inspired by late playwright August Wilson, the film featured black monuments set against the backdrop of Weeksville’s historic Bethel Tabernacle African Methodist Episcopal (AME) Church in a tribute to the pioneering Black women, men, and children who embarked on countless journeys in search of refuge.
Former Site of Bethel Tabernacle AME Church and PS 83
1630 Dean Street
near Schenectady Avenue
A native of Louisville, Kentucky, award-winning cinematographer Bradford Marcel Young moved to Chicago at age 15 to live with his father. There, he received early artistic inspiration from the works of Romare Bearden, Jacob Lawrence, and Aaron Douglas. Young studied film at Howard University, where he was influenced by Haile Gerima. He was director of photography on the feature films White Lies, Black Sheep (2007), Pariah (2011), Restless City (2011), Middle of Nowhere (2012), Ain’t Them Bodies Saints (2013), and Mother of George (2013). He has won Cinematography Awards at the Sundance Film Festival twice: in 2011, for his work on Pariah, and in 2013 for his work on both Mother of George and Ain’t Them Bodies Saints. Young’s collaborations with artist Leslie Hewitt have been exhibited at The Kitchen, The Studio Museum in Harlem, The Menil Collection, Des Moines Art Center, the MCA Chicago, and Lofoten International Arts Festival, Norway.
Young is currently director of photography on J.C. Chandor’s A Most Violent Year, and recently finished shooting on Ed Zwick’s Pawn Sacrifice.
Bethel Tabernacle AME Church
Bethel Tabernacle AME Church was founded in Weeksville in 1847 and was the third African-American church to be established in Brooklyn. Prominent members of the church included Junius C. Morel, who wrote for the AME national newspaper The Christian Recorder, and T. McCants Stewart. As a member of the Brooklyn School Board from 1891-94, Stewart played a pivotal role in the establishment of Brooklyn’s first racially integrated school, PS 83, which is currently owned by the church and located across the street at the intersection of Schenectady Avenue and Dean Street.
To accompany their artworks for Funk, God, Jazz & Medicine: Black Radical Brooklyn, we asked all four participating artists to contribute playlists of music that inspired or evokes their commissions. Encompassing everything from the prolific brilliance of jazz performer Sun Ra to the witty hip-hop of Outkast, these soundtracks express both the common themes of the exhibition and the vibrant individuality of our featured artists.