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Art Exhibit: More Than February by Ronin Roc

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The Armory: Ellyn Bye Studio Lobby

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Portland Center Stage will host More Than February, an art exhibit by Portland-based multidisciplinary artist Ronin Roc, featuring icons of Black history to honor, reshape, and reclaim the legacy and stories that get passed down from one generation to the next  The exhibit is on display to view daily now through March 31, 2024. 


History is written by the victor. Colonialism and racism have shaped the history of Black people and chosen the stories that are allowed to be shared. At the same time, White colonizers pandered to the black community by giving us the shortest month of the year to celebrate centuries of history and telling us its progress. Removing critical racial theory, a.k.a. CRT, from schools trying to reshape how they referred to slavery in our textbooks to not affect the sensibilities of the youth by telling the truth of our history. The problem is that black history isn't only African-American history; it's human history, and neglecting it, trying to remake it, or changing it to be digestible for White sensibility only does a disservice to everyone and dooms us to repeat or past. The simple fact that we celebrate MLK’s Birthday but don’t do the same for Malcolm X speaks volumes.

The reason Ronin started this project was because of his son. He asked him what he wanted to do on the first day of black history month. He told me he wanted to watch Black Panther, which inspired him to do the first in the series of Chadwick Boseman, as T'Challa, a.k.a. the Black Panther. It's only fitting that it did Chadwick first, as he has portrayed many great figures in Black history on the big Screen. From there, he challenged himself to do a figure each day.

Next, focusing on Angela Davis, each time we picked another figure, I would spend the time while doing the art to dig deeper into their story. Always remember the quote from Angela Bassett in Black Panther, “Show them who you are," which led him to add text to his pieces, a faux pas in the art he decided to push against. They tell you to let the arts speak for itself, but he thought it was important to share the words of the individuals as their history is being eroded from our collective consciousness. We are more than 28 days or a footnote in the world’s history, let alone America's history.

About Ronin Roc
About Ronin Roc

Ronin Roc is a lifelong creative and a contributor to many different artistic disciplines, from drawings and painting to graphic design. An award-winning artist in both Music and Photography. Ronin, originally from Chicago, Illinois, currently resides in Portland, Oregon. Ronin is an international DJ, fine artist, host, and creator of Your Morning Drip (Portland’s first Black Morning Show). An active member in the George Floyd protest, Ronin quickly realized that the black voice of Portland was not unified, so he tried to find ways to bring together his black community and amplify their voices. 

This has long been a theme of all of his creative endeavors, consistently focusing on the conversation that should be had instead of the narration forcibly given. You can see this in efforts such as SLAY (BIPOC and LGBTQ+ hip-hop dance night), which was created to bring people together of minority groups to show that we all have things in common and want basic human rights. He expanded upon this, making a morning show in an effort to Spotlight the minority pillars of his community while also giving them a safe space to have conversations that were desperately needed but also maybe hard to have. Now, Ronin is focused on creating environments of acceptance and inclusion.



Portland Center Stage is committed to identifying & interrupting instances of racism & all forms of oppression, through the principles of inclusion, diversity, equity, & accessibility (IDEA).

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