Celebrate Black History Month: Cey Adams

In honor of Black History Month, we spoke to cultural pioneers in the Equinox community about what this month means to them. First up, visual artist Cey Adams, who was an integral part of the early graffiti movement and has displayed his work at Equinox clubs in Los Angeles and New York. Later this year, he’ll be releasing a book with the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture about the history of hip-hop. 

What does Black History Month mean to you?

To me, Black History Month right now is about survival. We finally are at a place where we can have difficult conversations about race and gender and sexual preference. Hopefully when all is said and done, there will be systemic change, but as we’ve seen, probably not. We have to keep pushing. When I think about Black History Month, I think about making people aware of what it means to live in this body. And celebrating the people that came before us is important as well, but right now it’s about this.

How will you celebrate this month?

It’s about staying focused, being grateful, and most importantly trying to continue to make art. I’ll celebrate Black History Month by coming to my studio and trying to make some artwork so I don’t forget who I am and what I’m supposed to be doing.  

cey-adms-mobile- collage

Which Black  icons inspire you?

Muhammad Ali and Martin Luther King.

Can you talk about the Black Lives Matter Mural?

Over the summer I was asked to participate in painting the first Black Lives Matter in Brooklyn at the Billie Holiday Theatre in Bed-Stuy. It was an opportunity to honor all the men and women that had died at the hands of police and racial violence. It became a new living memorial and sidewalk graveyard. I did over 150 names and a lot of people came by and volunteered. There are so many names that didn’t become famous; if it wasn’t for George Floyd, we wouldn’t have been able to shine a light on these issues. 



Black live Matter Mural