Desiray Kerr : Black Identity in the Arts

"Black Identity in the Arts" is a website providing the opportunity to indulge in Black art, gain further understanding of Blackness and serve as a step toward a truly inclusive art community.

pursuit of happyness

Project Statement:

"Black Identity in the Arts" is about the significance of rap culture and black poetics. Rap gets a bad rap; Hip-hop isn't getting the attention it deserves in the art scene. What is at its core a literary artform that flaunts poetic technique and charisma, is reduced, by some, to its vulgarity or invalidated as “art” due its emphasis on politics. Black rappers who explore the relationship between politics and aesthetic are practicing Black poetics. These poets vary in their approach to the art, appearance and style, yet a common thread runs through all of their art: the shared-experience of being Black in this racialized American society. This project consists of a website that goes into depth about the poetics of rap and how they are a reflection of the black experience. The study of black poetics will provide another opportunity for the art world to indulge in black art, a deeper understanding of blackness, and a first step towards a truly inclusive art community.


Artist Statement:

Desiray Kerr is a West Indian-American first-generation artist from Queens, NY. As she started developing her own taste in music she realized that she had an interest in rap culture and its poetics. It’s a culture of lyricism, beats, and emotion. It has the ability to tell a story and evoke emotions from deep within. The lyrical talent, production ability, and overall skill it takes to create it is a form of art. Kerr finds inspiration in new rap artists like Kendrick Lamar and J.Cole, as well as older rap artists like Amiri Bakara. She aspires to shed light on the Black identity in the arts. Her work focuses on the lyricism in rap and also draws connections to the influence of rap on modern times. She wants to redefine the image of rap culture and black poetics from mainstream and uncultivated to something more urbane.