City of Rocky Mount

Thumbnail and photo courtesy of the Black Light Project

Thumbnail and photo courtesy of the Black Light Project

The City of Rocky Mount is partnering with the Black Light Project (BLP) to create eight, permanent, large-scale photographic installations in multiple prominent public locations around the city, ranging in size from 20x20 feet to 20x60 feet. Based in Greenville, NC, the Black Light Project is a creative partnership of founder and director Tonya Lynch and photographers Bryce Chapman and Randy Curtis. BLP is designed to challenge the media’s common, and often negative, narrative about Black men by highlighting the positive narratives of real, everyday Black males who are the rule, not the exception. These men are fathers, brothers, husbands, sons, friends, and neighbors who light the world with kindness, fearlessness, perseverance, love, strength, and humanity. This public art installation is an outgrowth of an in-process exhibit that is being curated in partnership with Rocky Mount’s Imperial Centre for the Arts and Sciences. Utilizing community engagement and a public nomination process, the project seeks to tell the stories of these everyday heroes. Based on a variety of narratives, subjects will be chosen for the installation and the final work will include a mix of full color and black and white images that will be graphically enhanced to include quotes from each participant, further highlighting their stories. The community engagement process is being facilitated in partnership with the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., Nash-Edgecombe Economic Development Inc., Rocky Mount/Edgecombe Community Development Corporation, and Rocky Mount Mills. All the locations for the installations are managed by the City of Rocky Mount’s Parks and Recreation Department, with the exception of Rocky Mount Mills. Nash County sites include the Imperial Centre for the Arts and Sciences, the Rocky Mount Mills, and South Rocky Mount Community Center. Edgecombe County sites include R. M. Wilson Gymnasium, Booker T. Washington Community Center and Stith-Talbot Park.