“Almost always, the creative dedicated minority has made the world better.” -Martin Luther King, Jr.
You know you feel it. That inkling, that nudge, the persistent tugging you keep trying to ignore. “It doesn’t make sense,” you tell yourself. “What am I supposed to do with it?” you ask as you go about the business of checking boxes and being normal. Your gifts are beckoning and it’s time to heed the call. Trust it, go with it, whatever your it is. Let your passion lead you to your creative niche. This moment in history is dependent on creatives, artists, and intellectuals to inspire, record, articulate, organize, sing, act, design and photograph it. You are the James Baldwins, the Gordon Parks, the Madam C.J. Walkers, the Richard Pryors, the Josephine Bakers and the Diane Nashs of our time. We need you!
GoPop maya angelou black and white dancing vintage
Photo: GoPop.co
Since its inception, this country has struggled to view us as whole human beings with full moral agency. Oppression has been an indisputable reality for people of color in this country and every major stride of progression has come with three components: severe backlash, a vital grassroots movement and an explosive surge in artistry and creativity. The Slave Trade Act that banned the importation of slaves into the U.S. was followed by more brutal treatment of black slaves in America. The Emancipation Proclamation that freed slaves within the Confederate States escalated the Civil War and brought with it savage brutality imposed upon blacks. The Reconstruction Era bred black codes and Jim Crow laws to legally restrict the freedom of African Americans in Southern states. The passing of the Fifteenth Amendment that gave black men the right to vote was followed by the expansion of the KKK and an increase in lynching in an era of sheer terrorism directed toward black people in the United States. The Civil Rights Era and the Black Power Movement were followed by the introduction of crack cocaine and the implementation of the prison industrial complex that devastated black communities in the 1980s and ’90s.
creatives are vital
Photo: Rebloggy
True to form, our generation has inherited this pattern of progress, backlash, movement, and creativity. We have witnessed the ultimate symbol of progress in the election of the first African-American President and, like clockwork, we are now experiencing the backlash of unadulterated hate, terror and strategic attempts to strip away our basic inalienable rights. Like those that came before us, we have engineered movements to address these issues. Now is time for creatives to stand up and create. Our struggle in this country has always birthed great thinkers from Frederick Douglass to Martin Luther King, Jr. and countless names that have gone unrecorded. Profound artistic movements and artists have been a vital force at every critical juncture in our history – administering therapy, stimulating thought and inspiring strength. From old negro spirituals to blues, jazz, spoken word, rap and hip-hop, when we’re at our wits end, it’s our creatives that remind us “We Gon Be Alright.”
Photo: Tumblr
History will remember this as our moment, our New Negro Movement, our Harlem Renaissance. Leaders and visionaries such as DeRay Mckesson have stepped up to implement strategies and create platforms for our voices to be heard. Creatives and artists such as Lena Waithe, J. ColeQuinta B, Amandla Stenberg , Misty Copeland and Franchesca Ramsey are telling our truths, directing our stories, embodying our beauty and sparking laughter. It’s this unbreakable spirit and the inspired genius of artistry that continues to sustain us and propel us forward.
Our work is necessary. So come forward creatives; It’s time to get in formation.
Photo: Tumblr

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