Artist Joseph Holston’s “Color in Freedom” exhibit — which is cur­rently on dis­play at North­eastern University’s Gallery 360 — illu­mi­nates the his­tory of slavery in America through the exhibit of more than four-​​dozen paintings.

Hol­ston uses tone and color to tell the story of uni­versal expe­ri­ences like the Middle Pas­sage and the Under­ground Rail­road, reflecting Africans’ emo­tional journey from cap­tivity to freedom.

Barry Gaither, the exec­u­tive director of the National Center for Afro-​​American Artists in Rox­bury, dis­cussed Holston’s work with young Bosto­nians at Northeastern’s Cabral Center last Thursday.

”The artist’s job is to reimagine his­tory, to put you in that moment in time and get you to think about what it would be like to live the lives of those people,” he said. “You’re called upon, when­ever you make art, to reimagine some­thing and take it out of everyday, ordi­nary life and package it up in a new story.”

Holston’s art­work was accom­pa­nied by a per­for­mance by a dance troupe led by Jacqui Parker, a play­writing fellow at the Hunt­ington Theater. She revived a the­atrical inter­pre­ta­tion of Holston’s work she first per­formed when the exhibit opened in June.

The story is two parts: one part of the story the artist is telling; the other part of the story you’re bringing,” Gaither said. “One of the rea­sons that the body is impor­tant is because every­body has one and you’re going to look at how the other ones are orga­nized” to tell their part of the story.