Harlem Homegrown: Films for Harlem, by Harlem or about Harlem

Hosted by Michael Henry Adams, Harlem Historian and co-curator of our annual Homo-Harlem film series.

The Polymath, or, the Life and Opinions of Samuel R. Delany, Gentleman

Dir. Fred Barney Taylor, 2007, 75 min.

Throughout this sprawling portrait of prolific novelist, professor and literary critic, Samuel R. Delany, one can’t help but wonder how Delany found the time -- between grooming his prodigious beard, his amorous dalliances and being highly dyslexic -- to write over twenty works of fiction, eleven works of non-fiction, and two memoirs, finding his way into the Science Fiction Hall of Fame. Using a range of experimental techniques and borrowed footage from Delany’s home movies, Fred Barney Taylor document’s Delany’s life growing up in a prominent Harlem household, his coming of age in the East Village where he enthusiastically sampled the radical sexual, cultural, and artistic freedom of the early sixties, and his reception as a major figure in American literature.

After the Movie:

Conversation with Samuel Delany and filmmaker Fred Barney Taylor, with Michael Henry Adams, moderator.