RACE IS THE PLACE

Gallery: Race as Art


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The Performers

Meet the performers featured in RACE IS THE PLACE.

A headshot of Ahmed Ahmed

“There’s no intrinsic value of being black; there’s no intrinsic value of being white.  It’s a fake concept, but certainly I’ve…been oppressed by it all my life.”
—Amiri Baraka
Ahmed Ahmed
Ahmed, an Egyptian-born comedian, now makes Los Angeles his base. He has appeared in movies and television shows such as Roseanne, Swingers and MTV’s Punk’d.

Amiri Baraka
The former poet laureate of New Jersey, Baraka is the author of dozens of books of poetry and prose. He taught in the Department of Africana Studies at SUNY-Stony Brook for 20 years and has been a writer and activist for decades.
A headshot of Amiri Baraka

A headshot of Andy Bumatai Andy Bumatai
Bumatai is a Hawaiian-Filipino comedian and writer who performs on stage and television in Hawaii and on the mainland. He has toured with many performers around the United States, and has six albums of stand-up comedy.

Three men stand before an American flag background. The man on the left has his hand on his chest, the one in the middle is holding a small American Flag, and the man on the right is saluting.

Culture Clash
Culture Clash (Richard Montoya, Ric Salinas and Herbert Siguenza) formed in the Bay Area in 1984 as a group dedicated to exploring cultural and racial differences through theater, comedy and satire. Their show A Bowl of Beings debuted on PBS’ Great Performances in 1992, and led to their own self-titled comedy show on Fox. They have also published a book, Life, Death and Revolutionary Comedy, containing the scripts for three of their shows.

A headshot of Kamau Daaood


 “Culture Clash is a comedy group, and we’re out there to shock the audience. We do it to provoke…and to also provoke thought.”
—Ric Salinas of Culture Clash
Kamau Daaood
Daaood is a poet, writer and co-founder of Los Angeles’ World Stage. He is also a community arts activist, and the subject of the autobiographical documentary Life is a Saxophone.

Mayda del Valle
The youngest person ever to win the National Poetry Slam competition, Del Valle is a Puerto Rican poet raised in Chicago. She appeared on Def Poetry Jam on Broadway and on HBO’s Russell Simmons Presents Def Poetry.
A headshot of Mayda del Valle

A headshot of Michael Franti Michael Franti
A performer and activist in San Francisco for two decades, Franti was a member of the socially conscious groups The Beatnigs and Disposable Heroes of Hiphoprisy before founding Spearhead in 1994. Spearhead also organized the annual “Power to the Peaceful” mega-concerts in Golden Gate Park, and has toured around the world, sharing stages with artists from Ani DiFranco to KRS-One.

A headshot of Eduardo “Lalo” Guerrero Eduardo “Lalo” Guerrero
Guerrero is a performer, writer and the “father of Chicano music.” Born in Tucson, Arizona, he recorded dozens of albums and was named a National Folk Treasure by the Smithsonian Institute in 1980, and awarded a National Medal of the Arts by President Bill Clinton in 1996. Guerrero died in March 2005 at the age of 88.

A headshot of Barry “Shabaka” Henley Barry “Shabaka” Henley
Born in New Orleans, Henley has appeared in Ali, the Showtime series Barbershop and the soon-to-be-released feature Miami Vice. He has also written and performed a one-man show, Jungle Bells.

A headshot of Danny Hoch Danny Hoch
Hoch is an actor, playwright and director whose plays Pot Melting, Some People and Jails, Hospitals & Hip-Hop have won numerous accolades including two Obie Awards. He has written on race and hip-hop for The Village Voice, The New York Times, Harper's, and The Nation, and is the founder of the New York Hip-Hop Festival.



“Once upon a time, there was a delicate Oriental lotus petal of the East who moved to New York City to find fame and fortune at a nail salon at the corner of 125th and Malcolm Shabazz Boulevard….”
-—Kate Rigg
James Luna
Luna is a performance artist and a Luiseno Indian who lives on the La Jolla Reservation near San Diego, California. Much of his art explores what it means to be an “Indian” in contemporary American society.

Kate Rigg
This Canadian/Indonesian writer and performer now makes New York her home. Rigg toured with the shows Kate’s Chink-O-Rama and Birth of a nASIAN, and is also a member of the musical group Slanty Eyed Mama.
A headshot of Kate Rigg

A headshot of Raymond “Boots” Riley Raymond “Boots” Riley
A musical artist and poet residing in Oakland, California, Riley was a member of the 1990s “Marxist hip-hop” band the Coup which released four award-winning albums: Kill My Landlord, Genocide and Juice, Steal this Album and Party Music, which was named “best rap album of the year” by numerous publications. Riley has taught several workshops on arts and activism, in which he developed “guerilla hip-hop concerts,” mobile concerts on flat bed trucks.

A headshot of Beau Sia Beau Sia
An Oklahoma-born Chinese-American performer and writer, Sia appeared on Def Poetry Jam on Broadway, and his poetry has been collected in books, recorded on CD and broadcast on television. A Night Without Armor II: The Revenge is his own book of poems.

A headshot of Piri Thomas Piri Thomas
Born and raised in Spanish Harlem by Puerto Rican and Cuban parents, Thomas is a writer, poet and performer whose 1967 autobiography, Down these Mean Streets, has been in print ever since. His other books include Savior, Savior Hold My Hand and Stories from El Barrio.

A headshot of Haunani-Kay Trask
“The anger is actually a safety valve. What’s the alternative? I’d rather make art than, you know, commit murder.”
—Haunani-Kay Trask
Haunani-Kay Trask
Haunani-Kay Trask holds a Ph.D. in political science from the University of Wisconsin. She is presently Professor of Hawaiian Studies at the University of Hawaii. Among her books is the poetry collection Night is a Sharkskin Drum.

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