Blackspace

From left to right: JAMM, Naima, J Rowdy, Lil Monsta, and Zone.
Amanda Magnus / WUNC

Two years ago, the Afrofuturist digital makerspace in Durham started offering hip-hop workshops. Local students gathered at Blackspace to learn about writing and met each Friday night in a public park to rap and make beats. Out of those gatherings, a group of students – who call themselves the Blackspace Afronauts – put together their first album: “Revenge Of The Afronauts.”

MSMoody Photos

In hip-hop culture, the cypher is a circle in which people are rapping and beatboxing in a collective – a space that lays the foundation for the creation of community and music. 

headshot of pierce freelon
Mark Maya Photography

Pierce Freelon is known to many in the Triangle for his ambitious projects and constant stream of new ideas.

If he is not performing onstage with his band The Beast, teaching about the intersection of politics and hip-hop, or heading a rap cypher in downtown Durham, he is likely leading workshops at Blackspace: a digital makerspace that offers black and brown youth the opportunity to create multimedia projects that reflect their identities.