Black trauma has been at the forefront of mainstream media for a long while. In 2020 in particular, amidst protests and police brutality, there were countless stories of violence, hatred, and discrimination toward people of colour.
There’s no denying the importance of acknowledging the impact of systemic racism which is so prevalent in our society. Understanding and fighting against the oppression of black people must always be a priority. However, it is equally important to acknowledge and uplift black joy. Black voices must be heard, and black art must be celebrated.
We’ve curated a list of incredible collectives that are working to elevate, support, and promote black artists.
Black Music Coalition
The Black Music Coalition focuses on establishing equality and eradicating racial injustice within the music industry. From executives, to publishers, to artists, black folk from all walks of life are offered a platform of support to access opportunities and progress in their field. The ‘betterment of black industry professionals’ is part of the BMC’s manifesto, which was created as a response to #blackouttuesday to hold to account the companies that pledged their support.
By guaranteeing a collective voice for black people who work in music, the BMC hopes to foster a more fair, empowered landscape in which people of colour can create and share their art.BMC MANIFESTO SEPT2020 by K
Black Joy Parade
Self-described as ‘hyper-positive’, the Black Joy Parade is a non-profit based in California that celebrates the black experience and the community’s contribution to history and culture. The parade itself acts as a physical embodiment of the organisation’s vision, and other events and partnerships further their goal.
A notable example of what the Black Joy Parade does is the Artist Lift Off project. To preserve the art that was born out of the 2020 racial justice protests, Black Joy Parade commissioned the makers to recreate their work to be shared digitally and in various print mediums.
Taken from the Black Joy Parade website, this quote explains beautifully why black art is so important to expose and revere:
“When we’re sad, their work lifts us.
When we’re in pain, it heals us.
When we’re happy, it reflects and amplifies our joy.”
Black Music City
The Black Music City program acts as a source of inspiration for today’s black creatives. It gives the chance for creatives across any medium to pitch project ideas to honour Philadelphia’s rich black music history, for which they will be given a grant to bring their project to life.
Offering funded opportunities to marginalised artists is invaluable, and Black Music City not only commemorates culturally significant music but also gives rise to new, emerging talent.
Black Music Collective
As a prominent entity in the music industry, The Recording Academy has a responsibility to uphold black artists and shine a light on their work in times where it could be easily overshadowed. As such, they have created an advisory group of music industry leaders to head up their Black Music Collective as a means of including, recognising, and advancing black creators and professionals.
Chaired by iconic black artists such as Debra Lee, Quincy Jones, and John Legend, the Black Music Collective is dedicated to identifying ways to pioneer black representation within the Academy itself, as well as the music industry at large.
Black stories are important, and these stories are often told through mediums of art and music. Therefore, we must continue to support and uplift the voices behind the stories, and pay extra attention to the collectives who are championing black creatives.