Black students in Baldwin show off art ahead of Black History Month

Ahead of the start of Black History Month, dozens of people filled an art exhibit in Hempstead to see work, not from a world-renowned artist, but from young Black artists in Baldwin.
It’s part of an exhibit at the Joysetta & Julius Pearce African American Museum (JJPAAM) of Nassau County where Baldwin middle and high school students Black History Month work is on display.
Baldwin High School senior Jayson Mehlman put together a collage of artists and activists he feels have been forgotten, like trans AIDS activist and model Octavia St. Laurent.
He hopes to remind people of their contributions to the culture by sharing their story.
"I think that knowledge is power and where there's knowledge, there's passion and innovation to the revolution that they contributed to,” said Mehlman.
JJPAAM Program Director Monet Green says young people are the future and sharing young Black stories is vital.
"It opens people up to their own ideas and their own experiences and how they view the world and I hope that it inspires,” said Green.
Baldwin Middle School sixth grader Cerai Ashby says having her poetry on display reminds her of the power her story has as long as she's strong enough to share it.
"If you really care about what you're talking about, you will have to stand up and be an example,” she said. "I, myself, could be like Amanda Gorman or Martin Luther King or Maya Angelou or Rosa Parks and if I don't speak up, I will never be shown as an example."
The student's artwork will be on display all month long at the Joysetta & Julius Pearse African American Museum of Nassau County.