Oklahoma Contemporary

Press Item

'We Believed in the Sun' distills lessons of Oklahoma's Black history in art

Oklahoma City Free Press • May 22, 2021
A black screen with a large, white, stylized eye and teardrop, a newspaper page visible from behind.
Ebony Iman Dallas, Love Thy Neighbor (2021). Digital image printed on linen and video (45 seconds, looped). Courtesy of the artist. Photo by Trayson Conner.

This week, survivors of the Tulsa Race Massacre testified before Congress, bringing renewed attention to the long and fraught history of African Americans in Oklahoma. For many, the attention is long overdue, with many of the survivors aging into their hundreds.

For others, the attention is unwanted, especially after the Governor of Oklahoma signed into law a ban on blunt teaching about our fraught past of racial brutality and disharmony including “critical race theory” in schools.

But for Oklahoma City, the attention is perfectly timed to provide its residents with the opportunity to reflect on its own past and its future as the city rapidly evolves.

Oklahoma Contemporary’s much-anticipated new exhibit, “We Believed in the Sun,” distills the lessons of history in highly individualized stories by two Oklahoman artists, providing an approach that’s attached to the lived Black experience of America.


Additional We Believed in the Sun coverage:

Art Exhibits That Are Well Worth the Summer Road Trip
Paper City

Personal artistic reflections on the Black Oklahoma experience
405 Magazine

'We Believed in the Sun' open at OK Contemporary through August

Photographer with local roots awarded Guggenheim Fellowship
Muskogee Phoenix, Tahlequah Daily Press
and Yahoo! News

Art exhibit to show perspectives on Black Oklahomans' intergenerational struggle for equality

We Believe in the Sun exhibition celebrates ongoing impact of Civil Rights movement in OKC

Edmond Active

'We Believed in the Sun' sheds light on overlooked aspects of Oklahoma history

From multimedia exhibits to comics panel, artistic events across Oklahoma mark Tulsa Race Massacre centennial
The Oklahoman


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Oklahoma Contemporary
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