The Black Light Project is a nonprofit based in Greenville, NC. Its mission is to shine a positive light on black men. Tonya Jefferson Lynch, the Producer of the Black Light Project, works with two photographers, Bryce Chapman and Randy Curtis, to produce images that challenge pervasive negative perceptions presented by the media. The men represented in this project are the unsung heroes of their communities. They are fathers, sons, husbands, brothers, friends, neighbors, co-workers, and they light up the world around them. To learn more about the Black Light Project, visit the Black Light Project website.
Our goal with the Black Light Project inclusive public art grant is to celebrate members of our community, tell their stories, and to create positive dialogue that encourages getting to know a person’s story. We acknowledge that there are countless individuals in our community that also make Rocky Mount a better place. We hope this public art will honor their stories as well.
Originally, there were thirteen men selected to participate in the Black Light Project here in Rocky Mount (on display in the Arts Center Spring 2020). Of our original thirteen participants, eight were selected to be part of the Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation’s Inclusive Public Art Grant. Learn more about Bobbie, Brad, Brandon, Chris, Coach Mike, JoSeth, Kyle, and Yannick by listening to their audio on this page. You can also download Otocast for GPS locations to the sites and listen to audio.
The City of Rocky Mount and the Black Light Project were one of ten projects selected for a $50,000 grant for inclusive public art (learn more about the other projects here) through the Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation. This grant aims to tell marginalized stories of women, people of color, or other groups that are not frequently shared and express how cultural, ethnic, or racial differences strengthen our communities. Our project uses eight portraits of our Rocky Mount participants and installed them onto community buildings and structures throughout Rocky Mount. Banners can be viewed at the following locations: Rocky Mount Mills, Imperial Centre for the Arts & Sciences, South Rocky Mount Community Center, R.M. Wilson Gym, Booker T Community Center, and Stith Talbert Park.
All black and white photography is by Bryce Chapman.
Bryce Chapman has been a freelance photographer since 2010. His photographs have appeared in two different CORE publications and he has exhibited widely in exhibitions such as the African American Life in Eastern North Carolina Exhibition, the Pitt Community College Black History Month Exhibition, The Black Light Project Exhibition at the Emerge Gallery, and the Black Peace Gallery Showing. He has been working with the Black Light Project since its conception and is one of two lead photographers in the nonprofit.
All color photography is by Randy Curtis.
Randy Curtis is a freelance photographer that specializes in head shots, portraits, fashion, beauty, commercial, and marketing tools. Originally from New York, Randy moved to North Carolina to continue to pursue photography as an artist. He has been working with the Black Light Project since it’s conception and is one of two lead photographers in the nonprofit.
Otocast is a FREE app for your mobile or tablet through Apple or Google Play. The app provides GPS locations to all six sites, photos of all eight participants, and audio clips so you can get to know our participants a little better.