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If you haven’t met me before or saw any of my videos, there’s one thing that sets me apart from many people…
…I’m…I’m black. *GASP!*
All jokes aside, there is a lot of under representation of people like me in the black community and in the art community. Where I come from, I don’t see many, if any successful black men and women during my commutes. I don’t see them happy and thriving. I see them surviving, downtrodden doing what they can to keep their bodies afloat.
I remember riding the bus on my way home one day. It was 12:30pm, lunchtime for those that work Downtown, and with the hustle and bustle of professionals coming from their offices to grab a bite I noticed something… Not a brown person in sight.
I happened to look around in the bus, and surrounding me were people of dark hues.
That got me thinking. I started making observations during my commutes in my city.
A majority of homeless men and women in my city are black.
A majority of people that take the public transportation are black.
I remember recalling only two teachers of mine in my entire school career that were black. This includes middle-school all the way up to college.
It’s something to easily gloss over, but when something like this is prevalent in your everyday life, where you aren’t surrounded by successful, happy people of your kind: Teachers, professors, artists, role models, it can twist your psyche. Whether you realize it or not.
I went to a minority business expo last Saturday and it was… phenomenal. Words couldn’t explain my feelings as the day progressed. Excited? Enlightened? Empowered? All of the above and then some?!
To see so many black and brown faces, dressed for success, with degrees, professions, business names, and business cards, God, It was such a breath of fresh air.
To see people, like me, making something of themselves.
To see people, like me, carry themselves with poise, with articulate speech, yet never forgot where they came from.
To see people, like me, exude so much love, positivity and.. business sense! Ugh, the business sense!
That. In of it’s own was life-changing. To meet and be a part of a large, influential group of strong, black men and women. Older, and my age, doing what it takes to succeed. To change our community. So many bright ideas, untapped potential. Some people were blossoming, and others were just starting to bud. Words could not explain the high I got just from being a part of #MBEES.
I realized due to us being so underrepresented in our communities at home, in the art communities abroad, I need to be someone known to other girls and black artists like me. Because believe it or not, growing up with a role model that looks like you, speaks like you, and understands you can be the most powerful thing in the world.