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Creative Arts Expression about Race

Durham youth are welcome to engage in the Unifying Community Voices (UCV) initiative, and assist with designing solutions as stakeholders through DCABP Inc's COURAGEOUS CONVERSATION™ forums and Creative Arts Expression about Race (CAE). Through CAE, area youth have a choice of genres to reflect and react to inter-generational conversations about Race and Social Justice issues emanating across the nation.  

Participants are encouraged to reflect and share your creative expressions (e.g., literary, visual arts) to be displayed via the DCABPI website, social media channels, and at local exhibition venues. Local authors, poets, playwrights, artists, musicians, rappers, photographers, and journalists will be available to assist you in developing your project, if needed. All UCV forums and youth artistic project sessions will be held via a virtual environment until further COVID-19 pandemic guidance is given by state and local officials.


Click on the preferred genre(s) below to submit your creative

All CAE submissions will be made via this webpage

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This contest is in no way sponsored, endorsed, administered by, or associated with Instagram or Facebook. This contest is operated in accordance with state and local rules and regulations. DCABPI reserves the right to censor and refuse any inappropriate submissions for any round of the contest named "Creative Arts Expression about Race". 

Welcome to






Title: Roddy Rich Cartoon Head
Submitted by: Tavest Rucker


Title: Even on the Blacktop
Submitted by: Monfonobong Utin
Sometimes you gotta go alone on the blacktop, Up and down with the rock, never stop.

Up and down with the rock, never stop

No one looking, none to shed a tear,

Court looking empty, only you and all you can bear.

Practicing foundations, scouring locations

Taking shots from different stations.

Brick after brick, tock after tick

Sometimes the flow makes you sick.

Can't afford to look at the clock

Ain't no lucky rabbit’s foot in my sock,

Just me and the rock on the blacktop.


Title: Duality
Submitted by: Abegail Campos

CAE Contest
Round 2 
"Visual Arts"


Title: Being Human
Submitted by:
Jateya Winston

CAE Contest
Round 1 
"Visual Arts"


Title: I’m on my way
Submitted by:
Kameesha Pascoe

Well there’s 9 months and counting till I graduate high school.
There’s been some good years and bad but now I’ve reached the end.
I feel like a tireless mother working to provide and I don’t have kids.
I’m so stressed by everything and everyone.

There’s 9 months of school left. I ask myself how am I am going to
survive in a world that requires money everyday.
This poverty life comes with perks and some negative things.
The perks of it is, whatever you do will work in your favor.
But the negative aspect of being a poor individual is being unable
to provide on a consistent basis and needing the help of others.
Yeah I know everybody needs help from others but Not when I have
to contemplate whether the answer is no or never. 

There’s 9 months of school left. I’m a mother with you knowing it’s already hard for me to support myself, the question is....
How am I going to take care of the kid without financial support?
Well you see I may have to take out loans, grants and financial aid
for the beneficial purpose to support myself.

Look at me, what do you see?
Do you see a young African American woman being successful?
In reality some people say umm No!! We’re seen as criminals, slaves,
and housewives.
From the outside looking in, we’re given labels which cause emotional turmoil, and —- destructs our minds.

In reality, although we’re given labels and stereotyped, we still have the opportunity to succeed.
I choose to take my chance at success no matter what people think.
And in 9 months I’ll give birth to my dreams.

CAE Contest
Round 1 

1887 - 1948

Laura Wheeler Waring was an pioneer American artist and educator, best known for her paintings of prominent African Americans that she made during the Harlem Renaissance. She was the daughter of upper-class parents, and graduated from Hartford High School in Connecticut at a period when few African American women were enrolled. She enrolled in Philadelphia's Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts in 1908. Wheeler created and taught in the art and music departments at the State Normal School at Cheyney (now named Cheyney University) south of Philadelphia after graduating from the school, where she stayed for more than 30 years.

In the late 1920s, she married Walter Waring, a professor at Lincoln University in Philadelphia. She painted while working as a teacher to supplement her income. Waring is most known for his portraits, although she also painted landscapes and still lives. Between 1927 and 1931, Waring's art was shown at the Smithsonian Institution and the Art Institute of Chicago, among other prominent places. Her pictures of African-American topics were also published in a number of books and periodicals. The Harmon Foundation, a New York City-based organization dedicated to recognizing African American achievements, commissioned Waring to create the Portraits of Outstanding American Citizens of Negro Origin series in 1943.

To view more, See > Works by Laura Wheeler Waring


Larry Amponsah is an Mixed-Media Artist that use different type of medias to create unconventional collage works that reflect contemporary politics of imagery. Born on November 11, 1989 in Ghana, Amponsah method use varied of material from different cultures to produce solution for unanswered questions. His works approach global issue by using the presence of space and materials. Amponsah received his MA at the Royal College of Art (2018) for painting. He also obtained his MFA for Chinese traditional painting at Jiangsu University (2016) and a BFA for painting at Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (2015).

To view more, See > Larry Amponsah Artwork

Click name & artwork below to review 

1938 - 2009

Ernie Barnes was an American painter, actor, and football player who was known for his paintings of moving individuals. His compositions, which were frequently densely packed with people, were meant to encourage racial harmony by depicting individuals of all races standing side by side. The artist stated, "I am tied by the strongest bonds with the organic life of all humans." “And being an artist has instilled in me the need to affirm beauty on a regular basis.”


Barnes is renown for the picture The Sugar Shack, which depicts a mass of people dancing in a jazz bar, their bodies twisting and serpentine, and was inspired by the popular sitcom Good Times. Barnes, who was born in Durham, North Carolina on July 15, 1938, began experimenting with painting while attending North Carolina College (now known as North Carolina Central University). After five years of playing in the National Football League, Barnes was hired by Sonny Werblin to be the official artist of the New York Jets. His art has graced the covers of a number of record albums, including BB King's Making Love is Good For You, and Marvin Gaye's I Want You. Barnes’ prominence was elevated after being commissioned to create the mural entitled “A Life Restored” for Kanye West in 2004, which was inspired by the rapper's near-fatal vehicle accident. Barnes died in Los Angeles, California on April 27, 2009. The American Sport Art Museum and Archives in Daphne, Alabama; the Seattle Art Museum; and the African American Museum in Philadelphia all have his work in their collections.

Learn more > Artist Ernie Barnes

1917 - 2000

Jacob Lawrence was a well-known African American artist and painter during his lifetime. He was most known for his narrative collections, such as the Migration Series and the War Series, in which he depicted the African American experience with vibrant colors and Black and brown characters. He also spent 15 years as an art faculty at the University of Washington. Lawrence was awarded a scholarship at the American Artists School in New York in 1937. He earned financing from the Works Progress Administration Federal Art Project after he graduated in 1939. He had already established his own modernist technique and began producing narrative pieces of 30 or more works on a single theme.


In 1941, he finished his best-known work, Migration of the Negro, also known as The Migration Series. Lawrence was the first African American artist join Edith Halpert's Downtown Gallery when the series was presented in 1942. He obtained a permanent job as a professor at the University of Washington in Seattle in 1971, and he worked there until 1986, when he resigned. He spent the remaining years, in addition to teaching, painting commissions and making limited-edition prints to raise money for organizations such as the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, the Children's Defense Fund, and the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture. He also did murals for the Harold Washington Center, the University of Washington, and Howard University, as well as a 72-foot mural for the subway in Time Square.

To view more, See > Jacob Lawrence Migration Series

Our Artist Profile Archive

Jaki Shelton Green

On Feb. 2, 2015, Jaki Shelton Green became the first African American and the third woman to serve as Poet Laureate for The State of North Carolina. As ambassador for poetry and the spoken word, she is a community arts advocate that has created and facilitated programs that serve various audiences and populations.


A native of Orange County, Green has been active in North Carolina’s literary and teaching community for more than 40 years. She has penned eight books of poetry, co-edited two poetry anthologies and written one play. She is a 2014 North Carolina Literary Hall of Fame inductee and was the recipient of the North Carolina Award for Literature in 2003. Green currently teaches Documentary Poetry at Duke University Center for Documentary Studies. Over the last 40 years, she has taught poetry and facilitated creative writing classes at public libraries, universities and community colleges, public and private schools and with literary organizations across the U.S.


Green’s numerous awards include the 2016 Kathryn H. Wallace Award for Artists in Community Service, through the Triangle Community Foundation, and a 2017 Duke University Faculty Travel Grant to the Alhambra Cultural Center International Prose Poem Symposium in Marrakech, Morocco. Her poetry has also been widely choreographed by dance companies including the Chuck Davis African American Dance Company in conjunction with the Kennedy Center and the Nasher Museum.


To view more, See > Jaki Shelton Green Poetry