Black Gold Series, Chapter 1: A Celebration of Black Music with Keynote Speaker Opal Tometi

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Berklee Performance Center
136 Massachusetts Avenue
United States

The Berklee Ensemble Department, in collaboration with the Center for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, kicks off the new Black Gold Series with a Celebration of Black Music.

In honor of Black History Month and the Black Lives Matter movement, this 60-minute concert will feature students, faculty, and special guests playing a select range of historically black music, highlighting genres such as Afro-Caribbean, the music of Duke Ellington and Dizzy Gillespie, neo-soul, and ’90s R&B. 

Opal Tometi, a Nigerian American strategist, writer, and community organizer who cofounded Black Lives Matter (BLM), a historic political project and network launched to combat structural racism, will deliver the keynote address before the concert.

A millennial trailblazer, Tometi is widely respected for her creativity and leadership. At 28, she became executive director of the Black Alliance for Just Immigration—the only national immigrant rights organization for black people in the United States. She is currently featured in the Smithsonian’s new National Museum for African American History and Culture for her catalytic contributions to modern-day social movements.

An international thought leader, Tometi addressed the United Nations General Assembly, a privilege only a few U.S. black leaders have been afforded. Tometi has appeared on CNN, MSNBC, and BET, and has been published in CosmopolitanHuffington Post, and Time.

In 2016, Tometi, alongside fellow BLM cofounders, received an honorary doctorate, the Glamour Woman of the Year Award, BET’s Black Girls Rock Community Change Agent Award, and recognition by FortunePolitico, and Marie Claire for being among the world’s 50 greatest leaders.

Tometi holds a bachelor’s degree in history and master’s degree in communications and is a racial justice communications consultant. Although often traveling around the globe to support human rights activists, she resides in Brooklyn, New York, where she loves riding her single-speed bike and collecting African art.