BLACK, AS IS

Youth voices have always had power… the power to elevate, educate, and inspire action. We find ourselves, again, in an era in which the unique perspectives and insights of young people are leading all of us to a deeper understanding of our present and our future. This exhibition highlights the Black Arts project at Douglas Anderson School of the Arts, a student-led initiative that centers the Black youth experience through on-campus performances, educational outreach, relationship building, and advocacy.

The poetry and visual art in this exhibit illustrate the courage it takes to express identity and personal truth – to be Black, As Is. Trauma and triumph. Love and loss. Belonging and separation. History and progress. Racism and reckoning. Justice and joy. Beauty and brilliance. These concepts are brought to life through images and words, often specifically created to compliment one another through direct partnering of artist and writer. Whether inspired by collaboration or individual experiences, the works speak to one another, creating a conversation that we are privileged to witness.

Black, As Is continues a long commitment by Yellow House of empowering young artists, curators, and writers through co-creating exhibitions, public programs, and community actions. This exhibition has been a beautifully collaborative process with students, faculty, and the Yellow House team sharing expertise and a joy for the art.

We are grateful to the UNF Africana Studies Baobab Black Arts Series and UNF Academic and Student Affairs, especially our good friends Dr. Tru Leverette and Dr. Elizabeth Heuer, for their support of this initiative and the important work they do in elevating opportunities for Black students on and off campus. Deep bows of gratitude to Deja Echols, faculty liaison for Black Arts at DASOTA, and the many visual art and creative writing teachers who inspire and mentor each and every day.  And we save our biggest love for the students whose works we celebrate here and always – you give us hope!

POETS
Ji’niyah Alexander • Zarria Belizaire • Niveah Glover • Nadiyah Headen • Autumn Hill • Kaysyn Jones • Ta’Nivea Kinchen • Zaneta Lockwood • Madison Moore • Phillip Simmons

VISUAL ARTISTS
Ji’niyah Alexander • Vera Baffour • Jayci Bryant • Kaliyah Chance • Solara Cotton • Kayden Davis • Kota DuPree • Babafemi Fatoki • LyNiah Felton • Ciera Frazier • Alyssa Giraud • Ava Goode • Tatyana Hardnett • Tiara Hardnett • Sephora Honore • Kierra Reese • Mia Slyney • Ari Thomas • Danyla Wise

PROGRAMS FOR BLACK, AS IS

The visual artists and poets featured in the exhibition have planned a dynamic series of programs.  Let’s show love by showing up.

Opening Night
Friday | April 29 | 5-8pm

See the art, read the poems, experience spoken word, light refreshments

Poetry in the House
Saturday | May 7 | 6pm

A night of spoken word and performance by the writers of Black Arts at Douglas Anderson School of the Arts

Family Day
Saturday | May 14 | 11am-2pm

Creative expression through hands-on art making and writing for all ages

As always, the events are free, but consider bringing food items, art supplies, hygiene products, or a book (by diverse authors or those on recent banned lists). All donations are for the Community Cart – a mutual aid space at Yellow House for giving and receiving some of the things that sustain us.

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