The cultural significance, joy, and risk of being a Black man in America is a constantly shifting battlefield. One thing is for certain: to be Black and masculine is to be at war against stereotypes. For Black men, even (and perhaps especially) those who have reached the top of their field, the tension between fear and desire can be paralyzing. The image of a Black male artist presents a strange blend of complimentary and dehumanizing traits—strong, dark, virile, threatening—that can isolate and unman. For this unique open forum, a selection of successful NYC-based dancers, educators and curators explore their personal experiences navigating the pitfalls of Black masculinity and queerness, both within and without the world of the arts, for a frank and honest conversation about modern inclusivity.
Kenneth Murphy (Moderator) – Artist, Dancer, Jerome Robbins Dance Division at The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts, Ballroom Community Activist, and Educator
Isaiah Blake (Moderator) – Artist and History Educator
Omari Wiles – Artistic Director Les Ballet Afrik, Father of the House of Oricci, HBO Max "Legendary" Season 2 competition series
Robert Mason – Artist, Juilliard Class of 2022 Alumnus, Dancer, Actor, Model, and Educator
American Sign Language Interpretation by Body Language Productions, Closed Captioning on personal devices via QR code by Total Caption