Artist Statement

Who am I? Who are we? Those questions … often asked and often gotten wrong are part of the narrative of Black men in America. There’s more to this narrative than meets the eye. Kevin Powell recently said ‘Part of the issue with men … is we don’t realize how awash we are in patriarchy, sexism, misogyny, homophobia … we just don’t know.’

#BeTheFlame is a message to the world from one of the most feared, desired and criticized creatures. It’s a message of hope, release, survival and freedom. This exhibition will tell two distinct stories of Black men. The first story - “#BeTheFlame: Words of Love and Inspiration” - will be messages of hope from Black men to the world. Additionally a second, and very urgent story - “#BeTheFlame: Black Gay Men, HIV & Standing At The Front of the Line” - will tell the stories of Black gay men who’re living with HIV and sharing their stories with the world.

The photographic works are a combination of color and black and white images conceived, directed and snapped by Jay Ray.

Original Exhibition Information

March 18, 2016 - April 30, 2016

The Gallery EAV | 490 Flat Shoals Ave. SE, Atlanta GA 30316

Story #1 - Words of Love & Encouragement

Story #2 - Black Gay Men, HIV and Standing At the Front of the Line

Opening Night Images