"This young, black, male student is holding his book bag while walking throughout a school campus. He is formally dressed while wearing a varsity jacket with symbols that incite narratives of the historic 1954 Supreme Court case Brown vs Board of Education, which happened in Kansas. While it didn't desegregate the entire education system, it was a big propeller that sparked the process, hence why the painting is called a rising star (The student can also be seen as "A Rising Star"). On one shoulder there is a black panther with yellow stars beneath, on the opposite a bald eagle is illustrated with the same stars. This signifies the duality in identification an African-American student can feel attending a predominantly white institution seeking a high-quality education. It is a blessing these racial boundaries were broken but it doesn't take away the difficulty of embracing both your "blackness" and "Americanness" in such an area. This also stems from my personal experience of hopping between predominantly black institutions to predominantly white institutions throughout my whole life." - Andrew Gray, 2021
Acquired from Band of Vices, Los Angeles, California