In response to the historical significance of 2020 defined by COVID-19 and social protest, the black album. mixtape., a project by Regina Taylor and SMU, invites students, professionals and the community in the arts, technology, science and activism to submit original content until May 3, 2021.
Works can include video, music, audio, images, monologues, photos, designs, or text, interviews or self-interviews. To recognize and celebrate the talent and work of collaborators, the black album. mixtape. and Ms. Taylor will offer eight awards in the amount of $500 each at a virtual block party on May 11, 2021.
This page will be updated daily with more submitted works.
Art & Photography
“Dark theme photographs” By Marko Milic
“African Culture” and “Live In Peace” By Chaima Boucherma
“Forget Me Not” By Martha Carlisle
This field of forget-me-not flowers acknowledges and honors Black Americans who paid the ultimate price of racism, and reminds us not to forget them. Each flower is individually cut from a pattern I created using a photograph of a forget-me-not flower. The flowers feature hand embroidery, machine quilting, and a black button. The unfinished edges of the forget-me-not flowers represent unfinished lives. The purple background color represents sorrow; it also represents the dignity of these individual lives.
“The Circle Will Remain Unbroken” By Deitrah Joye Taylor
“Sweet Escape” By Brooklynn Huerta
Sweet Escape is a collection based off of my imagination to escape into a candy reality. My vision and aesthetic derive off of those sweet childhood memories that I share with my friends and family. I remember that big pink fluffy cotton candy that I got at every annual carnival, making confetti cake every year for my birthday, walking to the store with my grandpa to get ice cream, getting full off taffy from trick or treating with my friends, or all those wild sleepovers where me and my friends got sugar high! Step into my sugar reality and down memory lane with me. I hope that each piece brings a little bit of joy and nostalgia unleashing your inner child. This is a tiny collection that very much so resembles me as a person! I am very playful and eclectic, and I don’t think enough black designers or models are represented in that field of fashion so I hope to continue to fill in that gap.
“Open Letter To The Pegasus Corpse” By Patiance Wiley
“Progression?” By William Moore
“BLM” By Samuel Wu
“Squashed Perception” By Neo Makondo
“Let the Sunset on Hate” By Mikaela Brooks
“Sisters Bond” & “Warrior Grace” By RaKendra Turner
“Sisters Bond” – My sister and I in tribal like look, leaning on each other in support
“Sisters from Another Mother” By Iwa
“Black Portraiture” By Leandre K Jackson
Digital Art By Meg Seymour
“BLACK PEOPLE LOVES” By Destiney Johnson
“Eve’s Mitachondral Movement” By Morgana Wilborn
“Portraits from The Hood” by Leandre K Jackson
“Mother and Learning Something New” by Prarena Chopra Mondal
“Two Different Sides of the Moon” by Puja Mondal
“Search within find without” by Hilda Adelson
“Embrace” by RaNina Turner
“Being-in-the-world: Anxiety Undone” by Mohamad Hossein Nourani
|Vulnarability, fragility and the imminence of death in these times of global crisis has never been more tangible in our daily life. The cause of this crisis, the virus, is so far in the sense that it’s invisible and yet so close that it may be everywhere around us. The hope and inner urge for immortality dwells within each of us and so does angst and fear towards the notion of death and finitude. Graveyards in this sense are where we can dive into all of these existential dillemas. Anxiety and angst thus are the two outcomes of this existential situation. To me though, finitude and the notion of death have been the main subjects of artistic exploration. Cemeteries are the perfect representation of this immenent fragility. Walking among those who have left us, makes me feel peaceful and tranquil. The awareness of my own finitude washes away the anxieties and worries of daily life and guides me towards leading a more authentic and free life. Knowing without doubt that one day, I will become a part of this wonderful nature and contribute to the roots of what comes after. Like this anonymous gravestone. Embraced by and giving to mother nature. Grounded, settled, eternally rooted. Through this mentality, I strive to show that being aware of our finitude in this world, is not only liberating but can also lead us to a better life by making us aware of the present moment, the moment now.|
“A Trashy Overlook” by Shoka Kamaria-Ford
“Hand Me Down” by Lillian Young
“Garra” Glass Painting, by Seetia Akpawu
“Zoom” by Julian Rumos
“Fuga” by Jaime Enrique Prada
“The project interprets newspaper advertisements about the slave escape, which came with a detailed description of the person. This is how the ads are recreated from an empowerment perspective. The escape is a revolutionary act with the intention of returning the way you came. Elements such as water, contribute to the meaning of purification and it is through the sea that the ships arrived full of slaves, but in this case, the person faces alone before that immensity of the sea through which he tries to heal the wounds.” Jaime Enrique Prada is a student at University of Lima.
“Black Lives Matter” by Zita Holbourne
Original Paintings by Raymarah Watson-Cunningham
“Identity is the way we perceive and express ourselves from the things we are born with such as ethnicity and heritage, gender, or body. Although the woman in this painting is not myself, I did create her in my likeness.
Just as my mother was, and her mother, and her mother, and so forth. There is truth and beauty that lie within a black woman. There is grace and elegance in her hair, her clothes, and her being. This is all easily lost within the soul of a black woman due to the unjust acts and cruel words of society. I hope that this painting could serve as a reminder to black women, as well as myself, to take a good look within and discover who you are. For it is only a job you can do. Embrace the grace you hold.”
“Good Days” by Mahari Kitt
“Good Days” is a painted portrait of the singer SZA, created using acrylic paint on a canvas sized 18″ x 24″ . This piece celebrates the Black Women in the Music Industry as they represent for the little Black girls that look like them. It reminds us that no matter what happens in life always try to make a “Good Day” out of it.” Kitt is a student at Kennesaw State University.
“A Study on the Weight of Being Black (Finds) A Study in the Resilience of Blackness” by Constance J. Strickland
‘The Fight,” A Series of Self-Portraits by Kaye Rogers
“A large series of self-portraits that reflect my reality as a black man.”
“Big Dawg” by Kordeena Clayton
“Photo of intense individual at BLM protest in front of a controversial sign. This photo is coming from Nova Scotia, Canada’s first Black settlement and largest migration of African people and Descendants.”
“Billie Holiday” by Golda Toffan
A memorial of Billie Holiday’s song “Strange Fruit.” Artist’s description: “Billie Holiday was a civil rights activist and wouldn’t let anything not even the police stand her way. She would always stick up for black people and risk her life and career to sing a song that put her life at risk.”
“Black Joy” by Hannah Tkatch
Artist’s description: “After I found out my commencing ceremony was switched to online, I took it upon myself to take my own graduation photos. This is a photo I took of my dog Prince and myself.”
“My Brother’s Keeper” Original oil-on-canvas from Patti Blueh
Pati Blueh is an artist located in Ghana.
The Root, by Ezekiel Emeka Chidozie
“The work tilted The Root, is a photo showing a boy looking at his surrounding, like a kind of word view, he is standing there lost in his thoughts thinking about the way forward he is confused because of the damages COVID-19 brought.” Chidozie is a student at University of Nigeria, Nsukka, Enugu State, Nigeria.
The Healing Art of Synthia SAINT JAMES
“Love is Essential”
by Mikaela Brooks
“Mourning” by Mikaela Brooks
“While being black fills me with so many beautiful things (love, joy, pride resilience, forgiveness, rhythm, and seasoned food) it often feels as though to be black means to be constantly mourning. We mourn or our ancestors and what they went through, for the loss of culture and history, for the stories that will never be told, and for the brothers and sisters that are still being killed today due to a system that was created to keep us down. Black people have given so much to not only this country, but the world. Despite all that we have given freely, so much has been stolen from us in return.”
Milktoast by SMU Student Taylor M. Knight (Bachelor in Fine Arts in Studio Art, a Bachelor of Arts in Film and Media Studies, and a Minor in Archaeology. )
SMU Student(s) Leon Jones, Rhett Goldman, Caleb Mosely: “Through My Mind”
“Shadows in Isolation” by Courtney Marsaw
Artist’s statement: “I think a lot of people can relate to the difficulties that come with putting a work of art together. I struggled with that throughout this project, which is why it’s not finished. Shadows In Isolation is a concept I developed while in solitude. With the pandemic affecting our lives more than ever, I wanted to play on the idea of your shadow being your company. During that time, I learned that life happens in ways you don’t envision and it’s okay to share that process with others.”
A Short Film by TJ Harris, DePaul University (M.F.A. Acting ’21)
Artist’s statement: I created this piece in April of 2020 as a part of a voice class project. The film was inspired by my hero Chadwick Boseman’s commencement speech at Howard University. Chadwick continues to help me triumph over any obstacles, and his passing reinforces that even more within me.
“Psalm 91” by Jennifer Young.
Young is a student at the Theatre School at DePaul
Our Stories: 2020 (Submitted by SMU Student Alexa May)
Artists’ statement: SMU students Kelsey Hodge, Nushah Rahman, and Alexandra Savu walk us through their first four months of the pandemic. They navigate a campus-wide shutdown, dramatic shifts in religious and social life, cries for racial justice, and graduating into an unknown and uncertain future. Their stories offer a collective voice of hope.
“Glimmer of Hope” by Chadwick Peters
Artist’s description: “There is light in the horizon of the abyss we are climbing out of…”
A COVID-19 Project by Sayomi (Los Angeles)
“Something that keeps my mind off of Covid is dancing.”
Culture Loop by Wilfredo Rivera, Cerqua Rivera Dance Theatre
“A female African American Choreographer’s personal response & meditation on the racial injustice movement explosion following George Floyd’s assassination in 2020.”
“The Cicada Year” by Tamara Jones
“2021 is a cicada year. As the earth thaws, the nymphs of Brood X will emerge to find a safe place to shed their skin and come of age. For the first time in 17 years, these black-bodied creatures will wander clumsily through this new world singing and fucking, eating and being eaten. The Cicada Year tells a story of growth that percolates within—subtly and slowly—and manifests as a beautiful ephemeral being.”
“A Study on the Weight of Being Black (Finds) A Study in the Resilience of Blackness” by Constance J. Strickland
“Strange Fruit” by Zariyah Perry
“This is the story of two young black girls that live their lives in a world full of hatred for their beautiful black skin and hang for it.” Perry is a student at Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing & Visual Arts.
Black Musicals Matter by Lonnae K Hickman
Trouble Of The World 2020 by Neil Totton
Artist’s description: “2020 has awakened the sleeping world to harsh realities African-Americans have been enduring for centuries. I wanted to explore the strength, faith and struggles in Black America. This 14-minute work is a visual collage of found internet footage, photography and performance projected onto my moving body. Trouble Of The World asks viewers to consider if the power of prayer can save America from its troubles?”
“Are We Having A Revolution, Or Is It Something Else” by Cristee Cook
A poem about what it’s like to be a black mother in America, from the perspective of a white mother.
“Normal Kid Stuff” by Cristee Cook
“America” by Jade Coleman
“Covid Masks” by Vincent L Mason
“Tired Blood” by Shemetra Carter
A Black woman thinks she’s turning into a White woman.
“Zemill & Brotha Deep Speak – The Audacity of Truth” by Efrem Zemill
“Untitled #1” by Tim Rhoze
“The Circle Will Remain Unbroken” by Deitrah Joye Taylor
I am a public historian and dramaturg. This is my narrative of reunion after COVID 19
“Killing Ourselves” by Mariot Valcin Jr.
A memoir and charge regarding infighting.
“BLM: Hear My Voice” by Sean Avery
I was inspired to write this poem a few months after the murder of George Floyd for a free response, English project.
“T W E N T Y – T W E N T Y – T O G E T H E R” by Nafissatou Ndiaye
“Cascade” by Kimberly Jae
“The Pulse” by Lillian Rivas
“Black Lives Matter Poetry Collection” by Patiance Wiley
A collection of poetry written through the turmoil of the black lives matter movement within quarantine.
“Can’t Sleep” by Jazzma Pryor
“Agony” by Louis Williams III
Somewhere in the meeting space between black rage and white apathy, this poem was born. Unbelievably angered at the flippancy that folk have at the disappearances of his sisters, this little black boy decided to pen his “Agony”.
“The ’19 Stages of Mercury” by Ashley Sanders
This is a short story about a young lady living in Atlanta during the riots of 2020. She felt the strong emotions that came from anger and hopelessness and blindly joined the crowd of rioters to spread awareness. She wanted everyone to hear her voice that night. The fear and anger of 2020 had driven her into doing something she never thought she could do. She wanted to tell her story to others that are willing to listen. She also wants to ask you a question…How close are you to going mad?
“Gibberish in Retrograde” by Kara Adrienne Roseborough
In “Gibberish in Retrograde,” the Black speaker analyzes their contrasting admiration for, and disdain for, the English language; recognizing it as tool of European colonialism.
“I Believe” by Nya Smith
“Set Trippin” by Valerie Udeozor
Artist’s description: “A seven minute expression through monologues/spoken word /rap that expresses the feelings of four young adults and how they found positives through the double pandemic of 2020.”
“Like Flutter from a Black Butterfly” An original poem recitation by Durell Cooper ’08
“Follow the Spirit” by Olga Manuilova
“Trash: Chauvin” by Everton Ferreira de Melo
“A short film poem about the first trial on Derek Chauvin in 2020 and its results on the feeling of people of color in the USA.” Directed by Everton Melo and Tammy Gomez; Written by Tammy Gomez; Edited by Everton Melo
“Budda Pecan Nuyorican Discertation” by Vida Landron
“The Strange Fruit and the Mountain” by Sheyenne Javonne Brown
“If Knees Could Talk”
“James Baldwin, Circa 1987” by SMU Student Marquis D. Gibson
A contemporary reimagining of James Baldwin’s final interview with Quincy Troupe in St. Paul de Vence, France.
“1-Neet-Kat” by Gil Pritchett
“Smoke sum herb” by Shyronda S Felder
“Melancholy” by Joshua Oshea Mergerson
“No Peace” by Celeste Butler
“What’s Life to a Sole” by Saniyah Mack
“Dear America,” by Amira Marshall
“The Third Island” by Maurice Williams
“Can You Take Me To The Root?” by Umm Jasmine Dia
“Walk With Me” by Brandy White
“Cavernous” by Amir Hubbard
“Be True To You” by Charlie Jordan Brookins
“Drown” by Chrislyn Shepard
“In The Dark” by Alexandria Carrington
“DEEPDIVE” by Daks McClettie II
“Blue” by Maria Cornelious
“149 West One Hundred and Eighth Street Manhattan” by C Niambi Steele
“All” by Ben Woods
“Hands Up…Don’t Shoot!” by Kodisha Bivins
“Her Song” by Cherry Mantis
“Make The Change” by John M Tyler
“Rough Ride” by Djore Nance
“Symphony for the End of the World (2020)” by Amrita Dhillon
“This audio piece ‘Symphony for the End of the World’ created during the first COVID-19 lockdown, deals with the mass paranoia and conspiracy of the COVID age. Snippets from Orson Welles’ 1938 radio drama ‘The War of the Worlds’ – which unintentionally provoked a mass panic about an alien invasion – are layered over contemporary COVID-19 conspiracy theorists who have created their own modern brand of paranoia with seriously damaging consequences.”
“Airplane Mode” by Karisa Washington
“My submission is a produced instrumental that I created during the spike of Covid-19. Everything is made from scratch and I created it on a airplane (how I got the title of the song) coming back from my hometown. I made the best with the intentions of reflecting my feelings that I experienced during the pandemic. During the pandemic, it was hard to socially interact with people and while I had difficulties with the issue of not being able to speak to people face to face, I was able to let out all my emotions into my work.”
“My Eyes” by Jarrett Murray
A song and scene based off of a photo by Accra Shepp of Andrea Willis at a BLM protest in August, with real dialogue from an interview with Andrea herself. Originally created for The Civilians: Showing Up Cabaret. Words by Katie Madison, Music by Jarrett Murray
Original Songs by Bobby Daye
“This song was created to highlight the importance of voting and having your voice heard.”– Bobby Daye, from a submission to the black album. mixtape.
“Making of an Avatar” by Jenny Kljucaric
“Making of an Avatar explores the process of avatar creation within gaming and internet communities. Drawing upon specific elements from various games and placing them within a slower paced, ominous environment allows for a closer look at this gaming trope. The piece equates the concept of the avatar to that of the cyborg through its DNA and chromosomal imagery and its fragmentation of the body. The video pulls elements from the opening sequence from Ghost in the Shell, Mamoru Oshii’s 1995 animated film, as well as its audio to create a tense and somewhat meditative state. The audio also works to create a sense of humor between the ridiculous figures and the serious tone of the film’s opening sequence. I do not own the audio in this piece. The song is ‘Making of a Cyborg’ by Kenji Kawai from the Ghost in the Shell soundtrack, 1995.”
“Portrait of a Nation” by Mark Hirsch
Grace, Excerpt from the Original Play by SMU Theatre student Crislyn Fayson
It’s March 14, 2020. Today is the day after Breonna Taylor’s death.
“There are two living, breathing, and loved black lives in the space. Take care of them.”
MS.PEACE, a black 28 year old woman, sits still in front of her computer screen. Her Zoom screen is on, her glasses are resting in her hand, and a notebook sits in front of her blank and open. She’s staring at the wall.
GRACE, a black 19 year-old girl pops up on the screen, her head down, writing in a notebook. She looks up quickly, taking in the room, and gets to writing again. She huffs.
Where is everyone?
Oh! Good morning Grace.
Am I the only one here?
Yes. You’re the only one who decided to come today.
How are you?
I’m ready to take the test.
SMU Journalism Student Interviews Lexxi Clinton ’21
Troy Pryor and Regina Taylor Interview Harry Lennix
Regina Taylor Interviews Edward Okpa
Edward Ejike Okpa Jnr. also referred to as Ejike Okpa II, is a Nigerian-American Entrepreneur, commercial real estate Broker, economic development.
Regina Taylor Interviews Curtis King
Curtis King, founder of The Black Academy of Arts and Letters, Incorporated (TBAAL) of Dallas, Texas, was born in Coldwater, Mississippi. Earning his master’s degree in theater from Texas Christian University in 1974, King worked for the Mayor’s Council on Youth Opportunity in Fort Worth, and the Sojourner Truth Theater Company after graduation. King was teaching theater at Shaw University in 1977 when he learned that the BAAL had gone defunct in 1976. Using $250, King formed the Junior Black Academy of Arts and Letters (later The Black Academy of Arts and Letters, Incorporated, or TBAAL) in homage to BAAL in 1977. TBAAL went on to become the only African American multidisciplinary cultural arts organization housed inside a major urban convention center.
Regina Taylor Interviews Dallas’ District Attorney John Creuzot
John Creuzot is a retired Judge and an award-winning lawyer with more than three decades of experience in the criminal justice system, including more than 21 years as a Felony District Court Judge. His background also includes seven years of service as a Dallas County Assistant District Attorney and Chief Felony Prosecutor as well as a criminal defense lawyer while in private practice.
Regina Taylor Interviews SMU Alumni, Miami Vice Star Saundra Santiago
Saundra Santiago is a versatile actress who has worked in television, movies and on the Broadway stage. She holds a BFA from the University of Miami, and an MFA from Southern Methodist University.
Regina Taylor Interviews SMU Alum, Actress and Stage Director Ptosha Storey
Storey was born and raised in Dallas, Texas and graduated from Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts. She later attended Southern Methodist University. She’s known for her role as Nancy Hallsen in the BET prime time soap opera, The Oval.
Regina Taylor Interviews Film and TV Writer/Producer Kevin Arkadie
From Arkadie’s biography: “I’m originally from Washington, D.C., the Nation’s Capital, affectionately known as “Chocolate City.” My mother worked for the Federal Government, of course. We moved to Maryland, then Dallas, Texas where I graduated from Lake Highlands High School and enrolled at Southern Methodist University’s Film school. After my first year, I transferred to the Theatre Department and received my BFA in Acting, although I always thought I’d be a short story writer or novelist.”
Vicki Washington Interview with Djore Nance
From Art & Seek: Washington has been not just a mainstay but a foundation in North Texas theater, influencing generations of artists. She started and led two black companies, r.t.w.-reading the writers and Afro-American Artists Alliance. She’s taught at Booker T. Washington Arts Magnet for three decades. She’s acted and directed at companies from Jubilee Theatre to Theater Three. And now her influence has gone national: Her son, Terence Nance, is the director of Random Acts.
Djoré Nance is a singer, actor, musician, composer, music producer, and conductor originally from Dallas, TX. Djoré has been a frequent guest of the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra. In 2008, Djoré made his Carnegie Hall debut with the Opera Orchestra of New York.
Interview: Jonathan Norton and Vicki Meek
Vicki Meek, a native of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, is a nationally recognized artist who has exhibited widely. Meek is in the permanent collections of the African American Museum in Dallas, The Museum of Fine Arts in Houston, Fort Wayne Museum of Art, Paul Quinn College and Norwalk Community College in Norwalk, Connecticut.
Jonathan Norton is the Playwright in Residence at the Dallas Theater Center.
Theatre TCU’s Cast: “How Artists Use Their Platforms for Social Change Past and Future”
Regina Taylor ’81 Interviews Actor, Director, Writer Akin Babatunde