The Black History Month Artist Spotlight series seeks to honor Black creatives in the very moments of their first works. Afrikan American and Diasporic people have built, and been the building blocks of, the United States both economically and culturally. Even so, their work is often intentionally overshadowed by their white and white male counterparts. For instance, Shirley Graham Du Bois, OC ’35, wrote and composed the groundbreaking opera Tom Tom: An Epic of Music and the Negro, among other outstanding achievements — yet it took almost 90 years for Oberlin College to acknowledge her. By sharing who these students are now, we celebrate the next generation of Black talent.
These entries have been edited for length and clarity.