Coming of Age

No matter where you are, stepping into manhood is a significant rite of passage. Either through circumcision in your tribe or acceptance into a brotherhood. However, becoming a black man in America can sometimes be denied by the injustices of society and learning the tools to navigate that is critical in continuing to survive. 

“Every positive change- every jump to a higher level of energy and awareness involves a rite of passage.”

Dan Millman

Several young African boys undergo a circumcision ritual, whereby they are inducted into manhood. Their hands clasp walking staffs, and their faces are painted in bold geometric patterns that frame their eyes. Circumcision ceremonies in many African cultures include secret rituals that unite esteemed society members to induct the new initiates. One of such common ritual is the process of teaching the initiates the norms of the community and accepted behaviors expected of a man.

Amir Leung-Tat, Coming of Age, 2018. Digital Photograph. ©Amir Leung-Tat. All rights reserved.

Amir Leung-Tat

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Ubuntu is a exhibition of the photography of Amir Leung-Tat. An interpretation of the Nguni term which means "I am because we are" and associated African philosophy which promotes the interconnectedness of humanity, Leung-Tat's work represents a poignant exploration of the vast totality of the black experience through the eyes of an artist coming of age. Shot during his time in Keyna, as well as during the 2020 Black Lives Matter demonstrations in Boston, MA, his work captures the enduring connections and similarities that override geographical differences. Despite the forced separation of Black bodies from their homeland, there is a vibrant energy and resolve to overcome obstacles and a singularity of spirit that remains connected across time and space.

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