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Friday, April 19, 2019
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EBONI hosts Black Light Art Gallery

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Amber Hood '17 and Penelope de la Rosa '17 (in background) perform at EBONI's Black Light Art Gallery in the Cabaret on February 12. (Photo by Nick Eaton '17)

Emerson’s Black Organization with Natural Interests (EBONI) hosted the Black Light Art Gallery on February 12, showcasing the art of young students of color.

The showcase, held in the Cabaret of the Little Building, featured performances and audience members from Emerson and other nearby colleges, including Berklee School of Music and Boston University. Poetry, rap, and spoken word, were among the many genres performed.

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Wall art at EBONI's Black Light Art Gallery in the Cabaret on February 12. (Photo by Nick Eaton '17)

“I want people to have a greater view of black culture,” said Alexis Bradley ’17, co-president of EBONI and one of the performers. “A lot of students here aren’t familiar with black culture. They only see the stereotypes that are presented in the media or through popular TV shows.”

“Blackness isn’t one thing; it’s a volume of things. I want people to experience us in different ways and have people let out of the box that’s being placed on us,” she continued.

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Alexis Bradley '17 performs at EBONI's Black Light Art Gallery. (Photo by Nick Eaton '17)

EBONI treasurer Christopher Calhoun ’16 says that with the many controversial race issues such as Ferguson, the organization decided to focus upon a centralized theme titled “Black Lives, White Noise.” The Chicago native says that the theme emphasizes a “want and hope for freedom” that would allow students of color to express themselves in a medium in which they are comfortable and displaying talents “without feeling silenced by anyone.”

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Nathaniel Charles '17 plays piano at the Black Light Art Gallery. (Photo by Nick Eaton '17)

Berklee School of Music graduate and performer Ryan Easter says black music needs to be included in the same ranks as other cultures. Easter, who is a part of The Trap Music Orchestra, said that he “tries to create an outlet for a lot inner-city youth to feel like music of black culture is treated with the same type of hierarchy as someone like Beethoven.”

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Trap Orchestra from Berklee College of Music performed at the Black Light Art Gallery. (Photo by Nick Eaton '17)

After his performance, Easter said that he wants people to “look at themselves and say ‘We’re worth a lot more than what they say we are.’” 

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Taylor Jett '16 and Kristen McLaughlin '17 at the Black Light Art Gallery. (Photo by Nick Eaton '17)