The forgotten collateral of exhuming the Black dead through art

My best friend’s brother was murdered in 2012. We shared a birthday and the Blackness for which he was killed. My mother might say the fact that we didn’t share the same fate is only by the grace of God. I wonder what kind of God saves one mother’s Black boy just to take one away from another and calls that grace.

I am reminded of my precarious Black life, seemingly hinging on a senseless God’s whims, whenever my friend’s brother’s name is evoked. You see, Trayvon was the reason #BlackLivesMatter erupted with such force it was able to stop so many from forgetting what  makes them not matter. And, like many Black folks in my generation, Trayvon Martin’s death and his murderer’s acquittal marked a vital juncture in my social awakening. If it weren’t clear before, the disregard for Martin’s life by Zimmerman, the media, and finally, the state, made plain just how long we had been walking in place when it came to the liberation of Black communities.

‘For the People’: The Radical Artists Collective Repping Chicago Movements [INTERVIEW]

For the People Artists Collective (FTP) is entering a new season. This past year, their actions and art supported the successful #ByeAnita campaign, which advocated against the re-election of former State’s Attorney, Anita Alvarez, for her role in the Laquan McDonald video cover-up. The video showed the young black man being shot 16 times by Chicago Police.

I chatted with Monica Trinidad, an artist and organizer living in Chicago, and a co-founder of the FTP collective. She reflected on where FTP has been and where the group hopes to go in the future. She emphasized to me that FTP has a message: that art is an essential component of organizing and that organizing is, itself, an art.

Oklahoma Artist Challenges Whiteness In Moving New Mural

If a survey were conducted across America where people were asked to describe their idea of what “the average American” looks like, results would likely vary. Many people would describe themselves. However, this country has never looked like one kind of people.

To truly depict that, street artist Tatyana Fazlalizadeh took the opportunity to mount a piece of art in Oklahoma City as a constant reminder of what America truly looks like in 2016. 

BlacQurl Fosters Space for Black Women Creatives & Critics

For black women interested in art, the opportunity to speak with like-minded peers can be few and far between. The lack of space for black women in the art world compelled Jovonna Jones and Samantha Scott to create BlacQurl, an online magazine and platform for black women and femme writers, creatives, and critics.

Lauryn Hill Opens Haitian Art Exhibit In Flatbush

While Lauryn Hill was the only non-Haitian member of the Fugees, Pras and Wyclef Jean considered her “Haitian by association.” To show her appreciation of the culture – as well as the Caribbean and African Diaspora as a whole – she’s opened up an art exhibit to coincide with her performance at Kings Theatre this Friday. 

Google’s #BlackGirlMagic Doodle Was Created By A Black High School Student

Back in February, Akilah Johnson was ”surprised and overwhelmed” when she found out that she was a national finalist in the “Doodle 4 Google” contest for elementary through high school students. Could you imagine how she feels now that she’s won?

Johnson, a sophomore at Eastern Senior High School in the Northeast quadrant of Washington DC, was named the big winner in the national contest which accepts entries from the 53 states and territories, pulling in approximately 100,000 student doodles.

Why you shouldn’t make fun of Kara Walker’s “A Subtlety” exhibit

You know, I tried VERY hard to ignore the blatant ignorance that has been making its rounds around the interwebs regarding the legendary Kara Walker’s,  “A Subtlety, or the Marvelous Sugar Baby.” The exhibit takes an in-depth look at modern-day slavery in the early 20th century, particularly child labor and the affects of it on the black family.

Currently housed in a former Domino Sugar Refinery plant based in Brooklyn, I had the privilege of seeing Subtlety first-hand while in New York a couple of weeks ago. It was absolutely AMAZING. But the experience did not come without its bulls***.