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Ayoka Chenzira

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Information about Ayoka Chenzira

Profile image of Ayoka Chenzira

Interview Date

December 10, 2006

Profession

Category:
EducationMakers
ArtMakers
Occupation(s):
Animator
Communications Professor
Film Professor
Film Director

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Burnt Orange
Favorite Food:
Sushi, Tuna Fish Sandwiches
Favorite Time of Year:
Fall
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Amalfi Coast
Favorite Quote:
That's What I'm Talking About.

Birthplace

Born:
11/8/1953
Birth Location:
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Interview Date

December 10, 2006

Profession

Category:
EducationMakers
ArtMakers
Occupation(s):
Animator
Communications Professor
Film Professor
Film Director

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Burnt Orange
Favorite Food:
Sushi, Tuna Fish Sandwiches
Favorite Time of Year:
Fall
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Amalfi Coast
Favorite Quote:
That's What I'm Talking About.

Birthplace

Born:
11/8/1953
Birth Location:
Philadelphia
See how Ayoka Chenzira is related to other HistoryMakers

Biography

Ayoka Chenzira was born on November 8, 1953, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania to Paul and Bernice Wilson. Chenzira was reared by her mother who owned a beauty parlor in the building where they lived in north Philadelphia. Pennsylvania. Chenzira played the cello, field hockey and studied ballet for a number of years. She attended private boarding school during high school. After graduation, she attended The College of New Rochelle in Westchester, New York, where she studied film and photography. Chenzira received her M.A degree in education from Columbia University and her B.F.A. degree in film production from New York University, where her thesis piece was Syvilla: They Dance to her Drum, a short film that documented the African American concert dancer, Syvilla Fort, who was her dance teacher.

As the chair of the department of media and communication arts at the City College of New York, Chenzira managed programs in advertising, public relations, journalism, film and video. She also co-created the City College of New York’s first M.F.A in media arts production graduate program.

Chenzira is a prolific film artist whose works include features, performance art, documentaries, experimental productions and animation. In fact, she is considered the first African American female animator. In 2002, Chenzira was invited to serve as the first William and Camille Cosby Endowed Professor in the Arts at Spelman College in Atlanta, Georgia, where she is creator and director of the Digital Moving Image Salon (DMIS) and teaches a year long research and production course. She also created and served as co-director of Oral Narratives and Digital Technology, a joint venture between Spelman College and the Durham Institute of Technology (DIT), where she designed and taught workshops primarily for Zulu students at DIT.

Chenzira lives in Atlanta, Georgia, and has one adult daughter.

See how Ayoka Chenzira is related to other HistoryMakers
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