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Cleveland artist uses pop culture to showcase changing faces of Black History

Updated: Feb. 13, 2019 at 4:56 PM EST
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CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) - Cleveland native Sammie the Artist is using his art to spread a message of positivity across social media.

Sammie uses a combination of abstract art and pop culture references to create pieces like the ones below:

Sammie has painted figures like Muhammad Ali, Martin Luther King, Dorothy Dandrige and LeBron James.

His art is a reflection of what he loves and he does his best to promote those doing things for a just cause.

For example, this piece was completed shortly after actor Jussie Smollett fell victim to a hate crime in Chicago.

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Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time. We are the ones we’ve been waiting for. WE ARE THE CHANGE THAT WE SEEK. - Obama • •Some ppl will just will forever be corny tho. • Change comes with maturity. I remember i use to be one of those people who didn’t wanna be around somebody that was gay or was different from me but i was young and immature. These days it’s like let whoever be whoever they want to be man. That’s one of the things i love about humans...they’re them unapologetically. That’s what makes the world go round. Just worry about your self my nig. I apologize if i ever offended anyone for any reason ( which i hope i didn’t... i was usually cool with everybody anyways). • Love yourself ... love your neighbor even if they be loud sometimes lol. • #jussiesmollett #traevoli #noh8 #thisisamerica #empire #lgbt #lgbtq #equality

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“I’m still trying to find my style to be honest," Sammie said with a grin.

He draws influence from Jean-Michel Basquiat, an artist famous for his abstract, “street-smart graffiti.”

“I watch a lot of interviews when I work, and I just get inspired by people doing what they love to do.”

“I like to call it bridging the gap. You can learn about history and be cultural in the same breath.” 

Sammie the Artist

He first fell in love with painting at the age of 3.

The 30-year-old’s passion turned into good fortune after he graduated from the Cleveland School of the Arts.

Check out all of his work below:

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