THE BLACK BOX: A Bomber’s Inspiration

“It was never for them, it was for us,” explains an African American student, with his group of friends.



What is art? By definition, art is the expression or application of human creative skill and imagination, typically in a visual form such as painting or sculpture, producing works to be appreciated primarily for their beauty or emotional power. In the 1970s, the definition of art evolved into what was commonly known as bombing, writing, or tagging in New York City. On one hand, graffiti was associated with crime, on the other, it was associated with a graffiti writer’s social status. You can call it a crime, but graffiti is an artist’s pure and honest expression. Every overpopulated city has a writer’s bench for graffiti writers to gather, sketch, and receive new ideas. In New York City, this happened to be at 149th Street and the Grand Concourse 2/5 subway station. However, I never fully understood the concept of a bomber, until I moved to Denver, Colorado down Colfax. It was sophomore year, the second semester, and I was not prepared for the culture shock I was about to undergo during my first day at Denver East High School. One school Spanning 417 feet high amassed nearly three thousand african american students; being a causasion man you could say I felt like a baby gazelle drinking from crocodile infested waters. It took a few weeks before I finally reinvented myself to fit into this type of culture. The school felt almost indirectly segregated with the few caucasian students joining ROTC, and the majority of African American students joining Theater. Luckily enough, I was able to be apart of both. Denver East’s theater room is commonly known by students as THE BLACK BOX, Denver’s version of New York’s Writers bench. I was invited to watch as each student in the class displayed their pure and honest expression. This was through acting, singing, dancing, and of course bombing. “It was never for them, it was for us,” explains an African American student, with his group of friends. Bombers graffiti because they are owning their territory and spreading their name, or message across town. Graffiti is not meant for the public rather it’s  just a social statement.