Dr. Chaz Antoine Barracks

Chaz Antoine Barracks
Dr. Chaz Antoine Barracks, UR and Bonner Scholar alum, was the CCE's first Community-Engaged Scholar-in-Residence.

By engaging in media-making as a way to both collect and circulate knowledges rooted in Black queer life, Dr. Barracks’ scholarly practice extends beyond traditional modes and systems of academic value. For example, his podcast Black Matter is an ongoing oral history project that centers Black femmes and creatives of color who engage in interdisciplinary work that pushes past common understandings held about Black people/people of color. In 2017, Dr. Barracks wrote and directed a short film and visual media project, DONT TOUCH MY HAIR RVA (Richmond, VA) which explores the multiplicity of Black diversity by centering our hair narratives and expressions as part of the critical practice of Black joy. Premiered at the Afrikana Film Festival, this film uses digital humanities to further anti-racist knowledge rooted in nuanced cultural production and community building. Dr. Barracks’ directorial and creative work was commissioned for programming at The Valentine, Richmond, Virginia’s local historical museum, and in September 2020, the museum exhibited both his current short film, Everyday Black Matter, photography, and other digital materials related to this project. The film was also a part of the 2021 American Black Film Festival.

During his residency with the CCE, Dr. Barracks released a five-episode Black Matter segment with members of the UR Black Student Coalition at the University of Richmond.

Also during his residency,  Dr. Barracks also hosted Critical Tea, a Verzuz-inspired virtual session with Dr. E. Patrick Johnson, Dean of the School of Communication and Annenberg University Professor at Northwestern University, to unpack Black texts that have motivated and inspired them. In conjunction with the event, Dr. Barracks shared his Everyday Black Matter Film Syllabus.