Monday, February 02, 2009

my cousin's shoes

Soapdeli misses the point. Yes, my process is different. It's different because I have different influences, different culture, different ways of being. When I go to my home church, our celebrations are of Kwanzaa, of black history month. When I talk to other blacks here, our experiences are common ground. We blacks here in Memphis have our own distinct culture, our own distinct way of speaking, our own distinct way of doing things. And our culture was not born with the birth of hip hop. It is old.

From our black insurance companies and banks to the legend of Tom Lee, who the park near the river is named after because he is said to have saved thirty white people, to the story of the black millionare who rebuilt Memphis after the yellow fever epidemic, we have history, we have roots.

And we have a different literature as well. I know bell hooks, I know Eric Jerome Dickey, the children in mom's class are reading Zane, although they aren't supposed to. We watch Tyler Perry on TV, and enjoy the Neely's.

We can draw from our old traditions as well as the new. And because of the depth of experience we have, we can infuse that into our works.

Also, hey, enjoy the works of the etsy artists of color. We are awesome. Awesome *because* of our roots, and because of our culture.

4 comments:

Morrigan said...

I brought attention to that thread in the first place (before it was pointed out that it was a year old thread)becuase given how Etsy has handled such topics as "quaint" crafts, their grandmother & grandfather gift guides, and their inspiring Storque article on plus-size gifts - I was willing to bet that they'd likewise screw up when writing a Black History Month article or gift guide.

-sorry for the run-on :)

shannon said...

Of course, they'll screw up! But that doesn't mean that we don't approach art differently if we're from different backgrounds is all I'm meaning.

fly tie said...

ok..i'll definitely have to check out the thread to see what this is all about. well said, though.

now, on to check out this etsy artists of color street team that i was previously clueless about...

Recycled By Hyena said...

More power to you Gurl!

I am reading Obama's book about his father and his search through his root and the meaning of being black AND white.
This is really eyes opening for a white girl like myself, even though I always wanted to be tolerant and such, there are some questions and problems we will never go through as white persons.

And I really don't like the Month thing, even less the day things. Like black people have a month, then the rest of the year it is for who? White people?
Women, or earth has a day in the year. The 364 other day, you can pollute or rape women and beat on them?

Great post!