Art show that examines media stereotypes set to open

Art show that examines media stereotypes set to open
October 13
05:45 2016



Tomorrow night, Winston-Salem State University’s (WSSU) Diggs Gallery will open a powerful new exhibit that takes control of the stereotypes and prejudices associated with African-American men often depicted in today’s media.

High school graduation rates are at an all-time high for black students. More black people are going to college than ever before, and the President of the United States of America is a black man. But, this is rarely the image depicted in the media.

The same racial stereotypes of African-Americans that have existed since the day Dutch ships docked off the coast of Jamestown, Virginia, in the early 1600s, are the same images we see in the media today. When we turn on the news and other media, black people are often represented as uneducated, criminal-minded, dangerous individuals.

“Do You See Me?” features nine emerging artists of color who are questioning the dominant narratives and imagery associated with black male identity.

An opening reception for  will be held on Friday, Oct. 14 from 4 to 7 p.m. The exhibit will run until March 1, 2017.

Diggs Gallery Director and exhibition curator, Endia Beal, said, “These artists are unapologetically urging the viewer to step outside of stereotypes and prejudices that stigmatize black men and focus on themes of love, family, pain and pride.

“The themes presented in the exhibition are shared amongst all people and connect us as one. So, do you really see me? Do our differences make you uncomfortable? Together, these artists are working through the struggle and asking us to acknowledge the past, work to change the present, and be hopeful that in the future everyone is treated with love,” Beal said.

Dr. James Pope, WSSU assistant professor of liberal studies, said at a place in time where images inform perceptions of ourselves and others, “Do You See Me?” unapologetically defies the dominant narrative.

“This exhibition is a clear intentional meditation on ways to take control, re-inscribe, and resist dominant narratives of what it means to be SEEN,” Pope wrote in an opinion piece featured in The Chronicle last week.

“Do You See Me?” includes artists Davion Alston, Jordan Casteel, John Edmonds, Ivan Forde, Aaron Fowler, Zun Lee, Terence Nance, Chris Watts, and Lamar Whidbee.

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Tevin Stinson

Tevin Stinson

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