From New York to Spokane and a dark scattering of other U.S. cities in between, Black Lives Matter murals are cropping up and, for the reasons you’d assume, being defaced. Meanwhile, there’s an unprecedented (fam, have you too used the word unprecedented an unprecedented number of times lately?) rise in demand for work created by black artists. From this, we might conclude that the current moment has returned black art to the spotlight. We’d welcome such news. But, before we break out our very best bourbon, no matter how badly we’d like to forget, we have to remember that no booze is powerful enough to numb the reality that black
artists people, even those “at the very top of the game,” in industries ranging from fashion to theatre to publishing and beyond, are still not regarded or treated in a manner that mirrors white peers.
That said, we know your mamas raised you to support black creatives and we need you to keep doing so. So, after you place those online orders, try to respond to any delays with pride and understanding, rather than frustration and negative reviews. Collectively we must respect the hustle of black artists who are trying to respond to an unprecedented number of (and probably dis-proportionally annoying) requests from Beccas who are temporarily eager to push their coins towards black owned businesses and artists. Y’all. We have to be patient and bite our tongues. For the culture. Note: you’re not alone if you find this challenging. Inhale and find some inner serenity with this BIPOC-centered meditation app.
As the Confederate-centric Mississippi flag is yanked from its post, black artists have been asked to imagine a new Mississippi flag that speaks to the direction this country is –we pray– heading. Whether you believe the changing of the flag is performative, too-little-too-late-late, or a sign of progress, it’s inspiring to witness black visionaries reimagining our world.
When hasn’t it been inspiring to see black visionaries’ reimagine this world? We owe black persistence, survival and art to our resourcefulness and ability to recreate, rebuild, redefine and reimagine. Black Chick Media is curious, if you could ask black creatives to recreate, reimagine, rebuild, remake, replace, or re-insert-verb-of-your-choice-here anything, what would it be? What are you recreating and reclaiming? What’s on your Black Futures Month list?
Below we’ve reimagined Nina Simone’s ever appropriate Mississippi Goddam as a text between her and the perpetually immature, unnecessarily violent, responsibility avoiding, “leather wearing in the summer-time,” United States of America. Enjoy.