Back when I visited the Tate Modern in early July, there were posters for a new exhibition - Soul Of A Nation: Art In The Age Of Black Power and I knew I had to see it. A few weeks later, I took an afternoon of work to go with Emma and...
...Listen, I'm a 31 year old woman of Afro-Caribbean descent. My parents ensured that my education included black history. MLK, Malcolm X and Nelson Mandela and all of the gory details in between. From an early age, I understood that I had to treat people as I wished to be treated but also warned that I would have to work twice as hard to prove myself because I'm black and that's just the way that the world was. I attended extra curricular black history groups and we had pictures of all 3 aforementioned black leaders on the walls in my house.
We had their autobiographies and I've seen the biopics. I've seen the vessels that carried the people of Africa to the Americas to be sold as slaves. I've seen the welts on the skin of men who dared defied their owners. "OWNERS".
None of this is news to me. There's still so much that I haven't seen but, let's just say that I've seen, heard and experienced a lot. The details & visuals of the black struggle are engrained in my core & fuel my desire to be a decent human to all people.
Oftentimes, the work, art & creative expression of black individuals are overlooked entirely or repackaged & branded as something way more palatable (miley's "twerking", kardashian's "boxer braids"). I implore you all to go & see this exhibition if you can, no matter your race, creed or ethnicity because through all the sadness & horrific tragedy, there is a joyous beauty.