“I listen to everything from Bach to Lil’ Wayne, and it doesn’t make me more or less Black,” said current Affiliate Artist de’Angelo Dia as he spoke about his upcoming performance entitled Negritude Movement,  in which he will explore the dichotomy of personality and identity at the Center’s Closing Reception on Friday, August 20th.

de’Angelo Dia will explore three unique, personal entities as he conducts a poetic internal dialogue with himself: (1) masculine sensitivity, (2) conformity and (3) revolutionary yet gangster ideologies.  “Negritude Movement relates to my current body of work concerning males from some ethnic minority groups in our society who represent the subject of my work, and each audience member will see and experience the performance based on their own cultural upbringing and present interpretation.”  In this 15-20 minute performance, de’Angelo will examine this topic through the art of poetry and stepping (traditionally associated with Collegiate Black Greek letter fraternities and sororities).

The performance Negritude Movement is inspired by the literary and ideological movement, developed by francophone Black intellectuals, writers, and politicians in France in the 1930s. The Négritude writers found solidarity in a common identity. They believed that the shared Black heritage of members of the African diaspora was the best tool in fighting against political and intellectual hegemony and domination.

Investigating public opinion and contemporary beliefs, Dia uses photography and performance art as a catalyst for dialogue while arousing public concern with social, political and racial issues. He has earned his Bachelor of Science Degree in Applied Communication and Sociology from Appalachian State University, and his Master of Arts Degree in Literature from The University of North Carolina at Charlotte.  Since then, he has studied art in Athens Greece, Guadalajara Mexico, and Nairobi Kenya.  His artistic influences include Martha Cooper, Basquiat, Shel Silverstein, Dr. Seuss, Chicano and street art.