For the last 14 years, The Brothers' Network has worked tirelessly to change the narrative surrounding black men in our society by providing a space where black men can be their authentic selves without the confines of societal stereotypes. This long-standing organization is doing the work needed to showcase the multitude of identities of Black men.
Founded by Gregory Walker in 2007, The Brothers Network was conceived after Walker recognized the unusual differences between the involvement of Black Men in the arts and culture scene in Philadelphia as opposed to places around the world.
“As I began to explore the arts here in Philadelphia, I recognized a schism between Philadelphia and other American cities. Rarely did I see other African American men in attendance at high art experiences nor museum events and gallery openings. When I did, I would run over to them, introduce myself and exchange contact information.”
Walker’s work in the Philadelphia arts scene began while serving as a board member for the world-renowned Philadanco Dance Company. As well-respected as Philadanco was globally, Walker was shocked to see the lack of hometown engagement - especially within the black community. This observation sparked the passion that drove the creation of The Brothers Network: a community that celebrates African American involvement in the high arts.
Beyond simply creating a community and a network that amplifies the arts within the black community, The Brothers Network’s mission is rooted in showcasing the multiplicity of identity of Black men, thereby addressing false assumptions and working to shift the narrative surrounding fear of the black body in our society.
“We are the medium that talks about the multiplicity of identity of African American Men. The work we do shows the humanity of Black Men, and we do that by showing that black bird-watchers exist, black intellectuals exist, black opera singers exist."
At the end of the day, The Brothers Network operates on the need for people to show up in a room together and be engaged in intellectual conversation. During the pandemic, The Brothers Network recognized the immense impact COVID-19 could have on the organization and its members who rely on the unique sense of community built through events. Following the guidance and directives from their members and supporters, The Brothers Network has organized outdoor, socially distanced, in-person events for this spring and summer, including art exhibitions, black-led bird-watching, dance events, and even bringing their newly produced play Pass Over by Antoinette Nwandu outdoors this June. Learn more about the upcoming outdoor events by clicking here.
As a long-standing non-profit here in Philadelphia, The Brothers Network has been a part of the CultureWorks family since its conception. As a track 2 member, The Brothers Network has the freedom to continue its essential and valuable work in Philadelphia and around the world, with the help of partners and affiliates such as The Barnes Foundation, The Philadelphia Orchestra, Philadelphia Theatre Company, and many more.
The Brothers Network brings together artists, intellectuals, thinkers, writers, and the community at large for dialogue and discourse, using art to generate cultural change. Through their work, The Brothers Network is doing what is necessary to change the narrative, eliminate the baseless fear, and showcase the humanity of African American men as being Black Beyond Boundaries.
Find out more about The Brothers Network here.