Black creatives have long doubled as historical archives.

TV series Watchmen and Lovecraft Country, though both based in fictional worlds, each weave the long overlooked 1921 Tulsa massacre into their storylines. Even more recently, the Judas and the Black Messiah film takes a look into the inner workings of the Black Panther Party, contrasting the group's negative depictions in mainstream media. 

In an interview with Blavity, Grammy-winning artist H.E.R. talked about the responsibilities of Black creatives and her new visual project: a collaboration with Amazon which pays tribute to the iconic Dunbar Hotel in Los Angeles. H.E.R., short for “Having Everything Revealed,” said that she feels a duty to promote more accurate portrayals of Black history and help rewrite faulty narratives.

“I think it’s a responsibility that we have as Black creatives to continue to push the right narratives and continue to tell the truth,” she said.

From the late 1920s to the early 1970s, the Dunbar Hotel stood as a bastion of Black excellence, accommodating the likes of W.E.B. DuBois, Langston Hughes, Lena Horne and a plethora of other entertainers at a time when they would have been denied service at white establishments. 

During the immersive June 17 musical event, H.E.R. will imagine a 2021 Dunbar Hotel. For the nearly 25-minute long music visual project, H.E.R said she and the creative team were focused on celebrating and elevating Black music.

“Me and child, the director, we’ve been really cool since I was really young. And we both have a passion for Black music, right — the history of Black music, celebrating Black music, and it’s Black music month,” the Vallejo, California native said. “Just really [being] connected to our roots, that’s really important to me.”'

Inspired by past jazz greats and 1990s R&B stars alike, the “Fight For You” artist said many of the artists that frequented the Dunbar and contributed to its legacy helped pave the way for entertainers like herself.

“Billie Holiday and how honest she was in her music. I think it allowed for artists like Lauryn Hill and even me to be honest and authentic in our music no matter what is going on,” H.E.R. said.

After recently winning the Oscars’ Best Original Song award for her contribution to the Judas soundtrack with the song, “Fight for You,” H.E.R. said she was not only drawn to the life of former Black Panther Party leader Fred Hampton, but the opportunity to have a Black story presented correctly. 

“I was just so thankful to be a part of a story like Fred Hampton’s. I watched the film and I didn’t know all the stuff that had went down," she reflected. "I kind of knew about Fred Hampton but I really didn’t know. And what really did it for me was that he was 21 years old and he was bringing all these communities together."

“I just try to seize every moment that I have and take every opportunity that I have to tell the truth and pave the way for the next storytellers,” she added.

Making her major acting debut, the 23-year-old described the collaborative project as fun and “whimsical.”

“I don’t think we knew what we were doing until like after the fact, which is what kind of made it cool. We had a goal, we had an idea but until it really came together, we didn’t realize what it was going to be, what it was going to feel like. And now, I can say that I’m really happy with all the ideas that were put together,” she added.

Amazon executives hail the Prime Day Show projects, which also include collaborations with Kid Cudi and Billie Eilish, as “imaginative experiences” that showcase the breadth of talent the three artists bring to the table. Jennifer Salke, head of Amazon Studios, said that they are each making a way for themselves as cultural visionaries.

“These iconic artists have not only broken new ground in music but are inspired storytellers, culture creators, and visionaries,” Salke said. “We’re thrilled to partner with Billie, H.E.R., and Cudi to bring these authentic and deeply personal specials to fans around the world as we celebrate Prime Day.”

With her highly anticipated Back Of My Mind album releasing Friday, H.E.R opened up about being excited that the country is opening up from COVID-19 restrictions, and that she has shows lined up as early as August.

“This has been a tough year for a lot of people and I’m happy we can start moving without fear and we can just be more free," the artist said. 

The singer's also been more liberated in terms of sharing her identity.

When it comes to her signature shades, something she was notorious for in the earlier phases of her career, H.E.R. says she's "slowly but surely" allowing herself to be more visible. 

"It's been organic," she said of sporting glasses less frequently. "I think the point of wearing the glasses in the beginning anyways was so that people could focus on the music. They say eyes are the windows to the soul. And for me, my music is the window to my soul."

"So I wanted that to be the focus and I feel like I've done that so slowly but surely you get to see more of me," the artist continued. "I don't know if it's ever going to leave the stage. I'm revealing more of myself but I'm always going to keep it about the music." 

You can view H.E.R.’s Prime Day Show episode starting on June 17 on Prime Video.