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Ralph Lemon
Mar. 27 — Jun. 29, 2014

Exhibit: When the Stars Begin to Fall -Imagination and the American South / Studio Museum of Harlem
New York, NY
Life is Living Oakland 2009. Photo by Bethanie Hines.^1 Set pieces by Theaster Gates for rbGb. Photo by Bethanie Hines.^1 Life is Living Oakland 2009. Photo by Bethanie Hines.^1 Tracie Tolmaire in rbGb. Photo by Bethanie Hines.^1 Marc Bamuthi Joseph in rbGb. Photo by Bethanie Hines.^1 Life is Living Chicago 2009. Photo by Bethanie Hines.^1 Life is Living Oakland 2009. Photo by Bethanie Hines.^1

Marc Bamuthi Joseph/The Living Word Project

Dahlak Brathwaite is a multi-faceted hip-hop artist who draws upon his abilities as a musician, actor, and poet to create a dynamic, spellbinding performance. Since launching into the national spoken word scene by winning the Brave New Voices international Poetry Slam, he has performed on the Tavis Smiley Radio show and the past two seasons of Russell Simmons' presents Def Poetry Jam. This is the second time Brathwaite has worked with Marc Bamuthi Joseph, writing and performing in Scourge - a play that the Boston Globe hailed as "explosive".  As a member of the group iLL-Literacy, Dahlak has showcased his seamless blend of hip-hop, theater, and spoken word throughout the U.S. and overseas. Brathwaite is originally from Sacramento, California and is now based in Brooklyn, New York.

Daveed Diggs is an actor, educator, composer, rap and spoken word artist who graduated with a degree in Theater Arts from Brown University in 2004. He has many California and Western regional credits including Pacific Rep Theater's Troilus and Cressida (Troilus) and A Comedy of Errors (Duke), The SF Playhouse Six Degrees of Separation (Paul) and Jesus Hopped the A Train (Angel). Diggs also teaches Rap and Spoken word classes at James Lick Middle School and at the Marsh Youth Theater and gives workshops throughout the Bay Area, New York City, and New Jersey. He has been a teacher in residence with the Arts Literacy Program in Providence, Rhode Island and a teaching artist for Youth Speaks. As a writer, Diggs has written several plays in verse including: Sweeter Than, a play based on the writings of Harlem Renaissance poet Jean Toomer, which was produced by Rites and Reasons Theatre in Rhode Island; and Big Shoes, a solo performance piece. He is also a co-writer and performer The Living Word Project's The One Drop Rule directed by Marc Bamuthi Joseph. In the New York area you can see Diggs perform as a new member of the improvisational theater/rap event Freestyle Love Supreme. Catch him in San Francisco with the music/super-hero squadron The Freeze.

Dion Decibels is a Bay Area DJ/ turntablist, sound engineer, producer, teacher and  music lover. Dion Decibels is the son of a drummer and a dancer, so it is only natural for him to make and play music for people to enjoy and move to.  With over nine years of DJing and 25 years of musical experience, music is his life's dedication and he is here to bring you the funk.

Khalil Anthony (Performer) is an Artist-Educator, working within a variety of media. His work investigates relationships between the spirit and space, the black body, sexuality, society, and the urban experience. Weaving together these artistic intentions through dance and movement, writing, painting, education, and song, his work speaks to diverse audiences and communities. Originally from Chicago, Illinois and currently living in New York City, he has taught and performed in the UK, Amsterdam, Paris, Venezuela, Brazil, Mexico, Guatemala, and throughout the continental US. His work stems from a belief and commitment in the knowledge that all human beings, and especially young people, have a voice. After being published at the young age of 7, Anthony's work has appeared in various literary magazines and educational journals. As an Emmy winning singer-songwriter, his critically acclaimed album, Urbanfolksunshine, has been featured in five films, with international radio play in Venezuela, Brazil, and the UK. In 2009, Anthony traveled to England, and began ‘The Visible Man Project', which works to strengthen relationships between queer/gay artists of color from the US and the UK. His most recent project, Frederic Leon, is a novel based on events in his own life when, as a teacher, he was arrested for defending his students against police brutality. Currently, Anthony is completing his second studio album, Per Se. Khalil Anthony continues to bring life to his living by creating, being, and sharing the gift of art honestly, poignantly, and without regrets. www.negrotambor.wordpress.com

Michael Wayne Turner III, better known as MyKeyRoc, is a poet, musician, actor, model, and classically trained dancer. Originally from Houston, Texas, MyKeyRoc has lived in New York and Los Angeles, and currently resides in the Bay Area. In 2009, he was a finalist in the Youth Speaks Bay Area Teen Poetry Slam and went on to represent the Bay Area at the Brave New Voices International Teen Poetry Slam Festival in Chicago, IL. His most recent works includes a music and spoken word mixtape with phresh pham. With his poetry he has toured extensively to universities including USC, UCLA, Stanford, TSU, WKU, UK, MTSU; performance venues including San Francisco Opera House, The Chicago Theater, Art Institute of Chicago, Herbst Theater, Stanford University; and hundreds of coffee shops, museums and street corners across the country.

B. Yung has recently become a familiar face in the American Spoken word community. After performing in LA's Def Poetry Allstar show by Stan Lathan in 2006, he began a very successful career at his new found craft. In 2008, B. Yung was featured in the Russell Simmons HBO documentary Brave New Voices, ranking second in the Nation with NYC's Youth SlamTeam at the Brave New Voices National Competition. He also won first place in the Robert Redford Speak Green Competition held at The Kennedy Center in Washington D.C which earned him a chance to perform at the 2009 Sundance Film Festival.  In 2009, B. Yung joined the Legendary Us3 Band and began traveling Europe on the "Stop, Think, Run" tour and his song "Love of my life" (produced by Geoff Wilkinson) premiered on MTV and VH1 Soul. In 2010 he ranked seventh in the Village Voice Rap Reviews, was featured in the Sprite Dunk Contest commercial and also Reggie Bythwood's "One Night in Vegas" documentary about Tupac Shakur and Mike Tyson (ESPN), created an LP "Eye of the Prince," and performed in China, Russia, England and Japan.

Carvens Lissaint (Performer) is a Haitian American award winning performance artist who has been gracing stages around the United States, United Kingdom and The Caribbean. Lissaint was the coach of the 2010 NYU  Poetry Slam team and Co-coach of the 2010 Urban word slam team that won the Brave New Voices International Poetry Slam. He is also Champion of several Grand Slam competitions nationwide. Lissaint was named one of The Root’s Top 30 performance poets and has performed at TEDYouth, on Broadway at The New Amsterdam Theater, the Ohio  Theater, the 2010 Sundance Film Festival in Utah, United States Green Build Council in Arizona and the Kennedy Center. He was most recently featured on seasons two and three of Verses and Flow on TV1 and is the author of The Inspiration, From: Heart To: Page (PENMANSHIP BOOKS). He has a degree in Acting from The American Academy For Dramatic Arts and currently attends St. Johns University majoring in Dramatic Arts for Film and Television.