Art in the definition is the expression of human creative skill and imagination, through the various branches of creative activity, such as painting, music, literature, and dance, works of art are produced to be appreciated primarily for their creativity or emotional power. There’s no debate on the fact that black people are creative. As we look through history we can see the impact of the black experience and culture in art. Although most fashion, music, and art trends are set by black people, our art, much like us has not always been accepted by the world. Black art did and still does inspire political activism and the use of speech throughout every African-American community. It allows African Americans the chance to express their voices in the media as well as become involved in the community. The Harlem Renaissance (1920-1937) was a great time to be a black creative because of the celebration of intellectual, social, and artistic expression. The art that was created in the Harlem Renaissance era has a visible impact on modern art. Pioneers of black art such as; Duke Ellington, Maya Angelou, Langston Hughes, and Zora Neale Hurston have created such a strong foundation for the future of black creativity to be accepted and accredited so that current black creatives have the opportunity to express their art freely while still honoring those who paved the way.
Here are a few of my suggested black creatives to engage/ support:
Miah Prescod, a 17-year-old writer from Brooklyn New York. Her work touches on various topics such as self-love, her culture, and more. She is inspired by the world around her, and here’s a line from her poem “The Things I deserve”- “I deserve to exist even though to be black in this world is nonexistent”. @black.artists.matter website: www.miahprescod.com
Jada aka TheBrownFroPoet, is a NYC writer who highlights her experiences from the gauze of a Black Woman through poetry. A poem of hers to black creatives that stood out to me was “Our art is a form of resilience, a form of healing, A form of spreading awareness, A form of bringing light to darkness, keep creating art, the world needs to see it”. To support: @thebrownfropoet
Kailee Taija, writer, designer, and strategist. She considers herself as a “maker”, a culture maker, an idea maker, a story maker, etc. On Kailee’s Instagram page @kailee.not.kylie you can find various pieces that embody the “black girl magic” aesthetic, with a minimalist art style these pieces would be great for your dorm or home. Website: kaileetaija.co Etsy shop: KaileenotKylie
Stephanie Boateng, Mixed Media Artist based in New Jersey and Delaware, creates beautiful oil paintings with 3-dimensional components to add texture. The piece that I most enjoy from her is called “Penelope” which depicts a black woman growing out of a pot of sunflowers. To support follow @subparstephanie and visit subparstephanie.bigcartel.com
Tierra Wilson, commonly known as UMI, is an L.A. based singer-songwriter. With various EP’s and a warm voice, she has the perfect catalog of music that will take you on a journey of self-discovery and healing. Her style of music is considered to be an alternative soul R&B. Her music has personally related to me on different levels and I highly recommend her “Introspection” EP.
How to support Black Creatives
- Get Engaged, The best way to support a creative is to get involved. Engage Black creatives you admire by leaving a like or comment on their social media posts or subscribing to their blog. Let them know how much you enjoy their work
- Buy Black, many artists, especially those in visual arts offer commissions for their art, consider buying their art if you enjoy it.
- Share, If a creator is comfortable with their work being shared, take that as an opportunity to share their art with people you know, the exposure will be good for business.
To continue the expansion of black people in the media/art world it’s important to support our people and what they create. Always buy support/black whether it’s a painting from an artist you like or streaming a song from an up and coming black artist.