Linda Goode Bryant

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Linda Goode Bryant
Linda Goode Bryant by David Shankbone.jpg
At the 2010 Tribeca Film Festival
BornJuly 21, 1949 (69 years)
Alma materSpelman College
Columbia University
OccupationDocumentary filmmaker

Linda Goode Bryant was born July 21, 1949 in Columbus, Ohio to parents Floyd and Josephine Goode. She is known for her work as an arts professional, American documentary filmmaker, and activist.[1]


In 1972 Bryant received her Bachelors of Art degree in studio art with a minor in drama at Spelman College in Atlanta, Georgia. In 1980 she received her Master of Business Administration degree in management from Columbia University in New York City.[2]


Before embarking on filmmaking, Bryant began her career as an arts professional having been a fellow at the Metropolitan Museum of Art and in the education department, as an education director at the Studio Museum in Harlem in the 1970s.[2] After which she opened up a gallery originally located in Midtown Manhattan called Just Above Midtown (JAM) from 1974–1986.

Just Above Midtown[edit]

In 1974, Bryant founded Just Above Midtown (JAM), a New York City non-profit interdisciplinary artists’ space that supported new work by emerging visual, video, and film artists, choreographers, musicians, writers, and performance and theater artists. Originally located on West 57th Street, JAM was the first gallery space to exhibit the work of African-American artists and other artists of color in a major gallery district. At JAM’s inception, works by artists of color were primarily exhibited in community centers and cultural institutions in African-American, Native American, Latino and Asian communities. JAM was met with resentment and hostility from nearby galleries. The first exhibition at the gallery, Synthesis: A combination of parts or elements into a complex whole on view from November 19–December 23, 1974, featured work by David Hammons, Camille Billops, Elizabeth Catlett, and Norman Lewis.

JAM emerged during the recession and was created with the purpose to initiate social change. During this time there was a distinct difference in the value of white artists compared to non-white artists within the art industry. Bryant intended JAM to be a place where black artists could go to be free from the oppressive views of the commercial industry.

In 1977, JAM moved to 178-80 Franklin Street in Tribeca as a result of an increase in rent costs. Tribeca offered a larger space and was located further downtown compared to the location on West 57th Street. While it continued to operate as a commercial gallery and exhibition space, Bryant and her team emphasized live events, such as performances, readings, video screenings, and lectures which included business seminars, at the Franklin Street location.[3] JAM initiated a seminar and service program called "The Business of Being an Artist". This program was meant to provide materials and opportunities for artists. In May 1982, Bryant and Janet Henry published the first issue of Black Currant, a publication that focused on the work of artists affiliated with JAM.

JAM moved to its final location in 1984. At 503 Broadway, it ceased to be a commercial gallery and functioned as studio space. The publication became B Culture, edited by Greg Tate and musician and producer Craig Dennis Street. JAM officially closed in 1986.

Artists who exhibited at JAM include:


She co-produced and directed, with Laura Poitras, Flag Wars (2003),[4] which became a cinéma vérité Emmy Award-nominated documentary. The setting of this film is located in Columbus Ohio. It focuses on the events that take place when white homosexual homebuyers move to a working class primarily black neighborhood resulting in conflicts due to the strong difference in culture and values behind each group. This film displays themes of prejudice, gentrification, privilege, poverty, and politics. [5]. Goode Bryant and Poitras received the Center for Documentary Studies Filmmaker Award in 2003 for Flag Wars. She is also a 2004 Guggenheim Fellow[6] and Peabody Award winner.[7] She also directed other films including a segment of Time Piece (2006), a documentary displaying the reflections of several American and Turkish Artists and a reality television documentary called Mustafa (2004). Apart from directing, Linda Goode-Bryant was also a part of the film Colored Frames, a documentary that looks at the influences and experiences of black artists in the past fifty years. [8].

Personal life[edit]


Goode Bryant is a Founder and the Executive Director of the Active Citizen Project (ACP), a non-profit organization that serves as a catalyst and laboratory for broad-based public activism using art and new media as tools for social change.[9] Goode Bryant developed Project EATS during the 2008 Global Food Crisis. She has a philosophy on art and how it relates to food and life. She expresses this through her involvement in Project EATS and believes in the importance of caring for others.

Linda Goode Bryant was also an activist for racial equality, especially within the art industry. In 1974 she founded and directed Just Above Midtown, Inc. (JAM), a New York City non-profit artist space.[10] JAM art gallery was a tool that she used to for this purpose. She founded and direct it with the intent to exhibit black artist's work while also attracting black collectors in order to help boost the success of black artists.


  1. ^ "Linda Goode Bryant | The HistoryMakers". Retrieved 2018-10-17.
  2. ^ a b "Linda Goode Bryant | The HistoryMakers". Retrieved 2018-09-09.
  3. ^ Rujeko Hockley (April 2017). Morris, Catherine; Hockley, Rujeko, eds. We Wanted a Revolution: Black Radical Women, 1965–85: A Sourcebook. Durham, NC: Duke University Press. p. 136.
  4. ^ Flagwars
  5. ^ POV. "Flag Wars | POV | PBS". POV | American Documentary Inc. Retrieved 2018-10-16.
  6. ^ Linda Goode Bryant Archived 2011-06-22 at the Wayback Machine.
  7. ^ Peabody Awards Archived 2010-06-10 at the Wayback Machine.
  8. ^ "IMDb - Movies, TV and Celebrities". IMDb. Retrieved 2018-10-16.
  9. ^ Active Citizen Project
  10. ^ "About Us — Project EATS". Retrieved 2018-09-09.