GRANDMASTERS Multimedia Exhibit in Columbia

The Luminal Theatre will present GRANDMASTERS, a multimedia exhibit that illuminates the impact of martial arts on Black communities and culture since the 1960s, with an emphasis on four-time karate champion Victor ‘Vic’ Moore, subject of curator Christopher Everett’s work-in-progress documentary “Grandmaster.” The exhibit will be on display Wednesday, June 15th – Thursday, June 16th, 2022 at 701 Center for Contemporary Art in Columbia. SC Humanities supported this project with a Mini Grant.

In the 1960s and 1970s, martial arts schools spread rapidly throughout African-American communities, while martial arts movies became increasingly popular among Black audiences. Black martial artists saw martial arts as a way to keep youth off the streets, and Black activists drew on the philosophies of martial arts for empowerment and creativity. During that era, a number of Black martial artists emerged as formidable competitors on the national stage, yet most of them have been forgotten or overlooked as important figures in African-American history.

The two-day multimedia exhibit of GRANDMASTERS illuminates the grand impact that martial arts had, and continues to have, on Black communities and culture since the 1960s.

The program includes:

Wednesday, June 15

5pm – art exhibition

6:30pm – film screening: “Grandmaster” (work-in-progress) – Former karate champion Vic Moore struggles through declining health to preserve the martial arts that have defined his life. Live Q&A with director Christopher Everett and moderator/martial arts champion Andrew Gajadhar

preceded by live music by DJ Preach Jacobs

Thursday, June 16

5pm – art exhibition

6:30pm – film screening: “The Black Dragon’s Revenge” – Black martial arts legend Ron van Clief stars in this action thriller about rival gangs in search of a lost “finger fighting” manual written by Bruce Lee.

The events are free and open to the public, but RSVPS are requested. Please RSVP here:

The Luminal Theater is a nomadic cinema that brings Black film straight to the people. Learn more:

The mission of SC Humanities is to enrich the cultural and intellectual lives of all South Carolinians. Established in 1973, this 501(c) 3 organization is governed by a volunteer 20-member Board of Directors comprised of community leaders from throughout the state. It presents and/or supports literary initiatives, lectures, exhibits, festivals, publications, oral history projects, videos and other humanities-based experiences that directly or indirectly reach more than 250,000 citizens annually.