PushBlack Asks: What is the Responsibility of the Black Artist?




Hey, PushBlack fam! There has always been a revolutionary nature to black art. From the moment Plymouth Rock landed on us, we have used our creativity to fight back. Our enslaved ancestors planned revolts and shared escape plans through negro spirituals.



PushBlack presents Clint Smith.

What is the responsibility of the black artist? We sat down with renowned poet and writer Clint Smith to get his views on the unique opportunities black artists have to call out violence against black people. Check out PushBlack’s first original video where Clint drops jewels for 2 minutes and shares sections of his 2015 TED talk where he shared his spoken word piece How to Raise a Black Son in America. Be on the lookout for more dopeness from our 2 hour interview with Clint.

Watch it here and then let us know what you think by clicking one of the links below. Thanks!

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Hey, PushBlack fam! There has always been a revolutionary nature to black art. From the moment Plymouth Rock landed on us, we have used our creativity to fight back. Our enslaved ancestors planned revolts and shared escape plans through negro spirituals. The Black Power movement gave rise to the equally revolutionary Black Arts Movement. Now, the Black Lives Matter movement adds momentum to our modern day efforts to fight back through our creativity. The legacy of black activism in art is far too expansive to cover in one email, but we’ve brought you some interesting pieces to give you a taste of where our art has been and where it is going as part of our ongoing struggle for black liberation.

Danger: Black art ahead.

From public art that commands men to Stop Telling Women to Smile to afrofuturist art that looks at the past and present to claim the future, black artists in every artistic discipline are illustrating our experience all over the world. The Guardian writer Hannah Giorgis tells us “black art is dangerous, because it marries the personal and political” and provides numerous examples of past and contemporary black artists who are doing their part to fight the good fight. Also, do yourselves a favor and check out more work from these 10 Artists of the Black Lives Matter Movement.

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Blue was our favorite color.

The father of the Black Arts Movement, the late Amiri Baraka, is known for his many contributions to black art through poetry, fiction, essays, drama, and music criticism. His seminal work “Blues People” traces black music of the slaves up to the blues of the 1960s. While we of course recommend reading the book, check out this 3 minute video of him giving a brief overview of how the black experience can be traced through our music at any given time. We wonder what he’d think of Future’s trap gospels on his new album Dirty Sprite 2. Watch a modern day interpretation of Baraka’s words incorporated in the 3 minute video, A Manifesto on the Nature of Black Art by Kinfolk Collective.

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Curated by PushBlack family member:

Julian Walker @KinfolkColl