Collection ID: COL 36
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Collection context


Alile Sharon Larkin
Consists of two films directed by Sharon Larkin.
13 canisters
Materials are in English
Preferred citation:

[item], Alile Sharon Larkin Collection, Special Collection ASL, Black Film Center & Archive, Indiana University, Bloomington.


Biographical / Historical:

Alile Sharon Larkin is an artist-educator and award-winning independent film and videomaker. Larkin believes the arts and education are powerful tools for social change and justice. Larkin consistently addresses issues of race and class in her work.

Larkin's teaching experience ranges from pre-K to college (Social Science and the Arts--Mount St. Mary's graduate education course for teachers).

By combining her multiple subject elementary teaching credential with her M.F.A. in Film Production, Larkin designs and implements multicultural, arts-based, experimental learning across the curriculum.

Larkin has been a public school teacher for the Los Angeles Unified School District for over 20 years. She has taught at 32nd St/USC Visual and Performing Arts Magnet School since 1992.

Filmmaking is an integral part of her interdisciplinary curriculum. Dreadlocks and the Three Bears celebrates "kinky curly nappy hair," collage art, and folk tales. Larkin received an AFI Independent Filmmaker Grant for Mz Medusa, a half-hour narrative film based on a student's negative hair remark. Mz Medusa was made in Larkin's fourth grade class as part of that year's curriculum through the combined efforts and talents of students, parents, administration, and professional film crew. It reexamined ancient Greek/African connections. Mz Medusa was reviewed in BFCA's Black Camera in Spring/Summer 1999.

Larkin has received eight VIC Awards (Video in the Classroom) LAUSD/KLCS-TV/DT for teacher produced short films which document student learning of textile arts (tie-dye), storytelling, yoga, jazz, women's history, Kwanzaa, and African/African-American dance.

Larkin's screenplay "A Different Image" is published in Screenplays of the African-American Experience, edited by Dr. Phyllis Klotman (Indiana University Press). Her critical essay, "Black Women Filmmakers Defining Ourselves" is published in Female Spectators, edited by E. Diedre Pribram (Verso Editions, London). Larkin's critical essay "Cinematic Genocide," first presented at Norfolk State University, has been partially published in the BFCA's Black Camera.

Larkin's current artistic passions include turning her unproduced feature screenplays into graphic novels, publishing and animating her unpublished picture books, and fully animating Dreadlocks and the Three Bears. Larkin remains most passionate about her greatest gift, which is nurturing and educating children artists.

Scope and Content:

The Sharon Larkin Collection currently consists of two films. Both of these films are represented in 16mm format. For simplicity, these films have been grouped into a series devoted to Larkin's 16mm films. From there, the collection has been subdivided by the individual titles. Within each subseries is a listing of the canister numbers corresponding to the specific reels of film that comprise each film.

Acquisition information:
The collection was deposited in January 2003.
Processing information:

Processed by BFCA staff.

General note:

In 2022, the Black Film Center/Archive (BFC/A) transitioned to its current name, the Black Film Center & Archive (BFCA). This finding aid was created under the organizational name Black Film Center/Archive. Upon this organizational name change, all previous references to the BFC/A were updated in this finding aid to match the current name, Black Film Center & Archive.



This collection is open for research.


Photocopying permitted only with permission of the Archivist.


[item], Alile Sharon Larkin Collection, Special Collection ASL, Black Film Center & Archive, Indiana University, Bloomington.

Indiana University Bloomington
1320 East Tenth Street
Herman B Wells Library, Room 044
Bloomington, Indiana 47405-7000, United States
Indiana University Bloomington