Rogers Takes Inspiration from Harlem Renaissance and Hip-Hop

Bobby Rogers ’14 is featured in this year's first fall exhibition at Public Functionary.

The Blacker the Berry is partially inspired by the title of Harlem Renaissance artist Wallace Thurman's 1929 book of the same name. This groundbreaking publication took on colorism and racial discrimination within the black community. Over eighty years later, rapper Kendrick Lamar released a hip-hop track also titled "The Blacker the Berry", which responds to the ongoing race and violence issues taking place in America.

“The subjects in my work are Black. They’re as dark as everything I’ve been taught to hate about my physical self. My work is about black radical traditions, hip-hop, and the history of the Diaspora. My ancestors were stolen, slaughtered, and enslaved; I work to transcend and release ancestral trauma by fantasizing and reveling over the grandiose empires in which these ancestors once reigned. I communicate all aspects of my selfhood through my photography in an effort to inspire my audiences to similarly elevate and explore their identities and histories.” —Rogers

The Blacker the Berry considers Blackness in the context of both the historic and the contemporary through a series of ten large-scale portraits.

The Blacker the Berry
October 20–November 25
Public Functionary
Opening Reception: October 20, 7:00 p.m.

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