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Black Bard George Moses Horton: Remediating Oral Poetry

Black Bard George Moses Horton's Resurgence in the Digital Era is a pioneering artistic venture that delves deep into the extraordinary life and spirit of George Moses Horton. Born into the shackles of slavery, Horton transcended the barriers of his time, flourishing as a revered oral poet in North Carolina, where literacy was denied to the enslaved. Guided by the scholarly insights of Dr. Cecil Brown, our project draws from his research featured at the National Museum of African American History & Culture to rekindle the essence of Horton's captivating oral poetry through the potent fusion of Augmented Reality (AR) and AI technologies.

Weaving together ChatGPT, AI Voice cloning, Text-to-Audio, Nvidia's Audio2Face, Unreal Engine's Metahuman, and real-time lip syncing, we will craft a mesmerizing digital avatar of George Moses Horton based on his descendant's DNA. This avatar will feature an AI-cloned audio track, intricately emulating Horton's poetic style as gleaned from training ChatGPT. Like a phoenix rising from the ashes of history, Horton will be brought back to life through Augmented Reality, where he will interact with and captivate a contemporary audience with his sublime verse.


Dr. Cecil Brown, Research Project Lead

Kathy Wang, Chief Designer and Research Assistant

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