Black History Month is nearing a close and several companies have produced a bevy of content centered on the achievements and accomplishments of Black people the world over.
To kick off this new series, Meta enlisted the aid of eight varied creators through Horizon Workrooms to explore how the metaverse itself can assist in lifting Black culture and creativity, arriving in the form of “Black Future,” their overall discussion made manifest.
This roundtable of individuals included members of the press, such as journalist Danielle Young, HuffPost’s Philip Lewis, and Forbes’ Rashaad Lambert, as well as general artists, like Gault, actor Jay Ellis, and photographer Paris McCoy.
Gabe Gault, a rising muralist, joined forces with Meta for the company’s newly-launched Metaverse Culture Series with an innovative art piece titled “I Am A Man,” signifying the importance of the annual recognition.
success he’s experiencing with the Metaverse Culture Series release. He shared that his work as a traditional artist remains just as paramount to works he’ll create in virtual reality, including work on the Glass City River in Toledo, Ohio which will be the largest in the United States upon completion.
Though Meta has already made game experiences in Horizon Worlds, this is the company’s first move into art and culture for its metaverse.
A press release points out that its Metaverse Culture Series will be “a more accessible entry point into the future of tech for historically excluded communities, ensuring culture and diverse perspectives are woven into the fabric of the metaverse.”
The exhibit begins February 22 and runs through Black History Month, although a specific end date wasn’t indicated. The project was created by Gault in Horizon Worlds, which has a number of creative tools.
Based in Los Angeles, Gault uses classical painting techniques with modern mediums. To him, the metaverse can be a living museum to showcase Black history without interference.
Instead of simply viewing Black history through colorless photos, Gault created a scene loosely based in 1960s Memphis that memorialized the life and influence of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. The world features protestors holding “I Am A Man” signs giving a nod to the sanitation strike, vintage storefronts and the Lorraine Motel. The virtual world also pays homage to Rosa Parks and the Tuskegee Airmen.
“You can go to a museum, you can see artifacts, you can see writings of old history, but it’s one thing to see those visually, and I think it’s another to kind of be in a 3D environment created around that,” Gault said. “There’s just a way to now create that kind of world and experience (in) a fun, interactive and educational way.”