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Black, Brown, and Beige


In 1943, Duke Ellington wrote and performed Black, Brown, Beige at Carnegie Hall, calling it “a parallel to the history of the Negro in America.” The title draws attention to the idea that although categorized as one group, those within a ‘race’ are vastly diverse in appearance and experiences. Latinos in America experience similar colorism and racism, and their vast diversity resulting from dozens of diasporas can be disregarded altogether.

This complex balance between diversity within a group and identity as part of a group is explored at Self Help Graphics & Art with an exhibition that takes its title and meaning from Duke Ellington’s symphony. Curated by Nery Gabriel Lemus and Jimmy O’Balles of Subir Arts Collective, Black, Brown, Beige highlights the complex stories that lie behind a label.  The exhibition features artists whose works parallel the trajectory that Ellington’s symphony set out to cover, weaving historical, transitional, and contemporary narratives. You can read more about the exhibition and Self Help Graphics here.

Opening Reception Saturday, August 17, 7 – 9 pm; Exhibition runs through September 28