Neighbourhood Creative

The healing power of Black art

If I had to sum up my condition over the last few weeks, it’d be exhaustion. I’m tired. I told a friend this week that my soul feels like it needs to hibernate. Not only in grieving for George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and Tony McDade but also in viewing what feels like hundreds of accounts of hotheaded police officers violently attacking protesters who are demonstrating against police violence. Once again, I’m forced to confront the reality that I’m not as free as I’ve been led to believe. That our system is broken. That people want me dead, due to no fault of my own.

Before, during, and after times of hardship, many in the Black community create art to take in the pain and struggle and release a beauty that heals and teaches. Black creatives are always working, trying to find some understanding, envisioning a better world. Some of my most pleasant moments in the past few weeks were when a close friend and I just listened to music. We sat in its energy, each new song reflecting on our reality. We’d jump from Erykah Badu to 21 Savage to Rico Nasty to Buju Banton then back around again. From R&B classics to trap to gospel. Each twist in the playlist turns a new page in our own stories.

Here’s a selection of works that have been of service to me and some people to whom I think you should pay attention. Some of these I’ve loved for a while, other things I’ve only discovered recently. I hope you find something here that speaks to you or at least livens up your day.

Noname

Instagram

Nikkolas Smith

Zouzouo Williams Obrou

BEAM

Instagram

Teddy Walton (Music Producer)

Instagram

Bryce Cobbs

Ciscero

Instagram

Gianni Lee

Ray Neutron

Instagram

Photograph by Ray Neutron
Photograph by Ray Neutron

Tierra Whack

Instagram

Smino

Instagram

Baby Keem

Website

Andre Nódoa

KOTA The Friend

Instagram

They Hate Change

Instagram

Angrygengars

Rico Nasty

Instagram

Kenny Mason

Instagram

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Cary Fagan

Instagram | Puzzle Project (% to support Girls Who Code)

Photograph by Cary Fagan
Photograph by Cary Fagan

EarthGang

Instagram

Stina Aleah

Simpson

Instagram

Ari Lennox

Instagram

Ezra Claytan Daniels

Denzel Curry

Instagram

Shygirl

Instagram

Leighton McDonald

Brandon Gastinell

JID

Instagram

Dave McClinton

Channel Tres

Instagram

Matt Mcghee

Instagram

Adé Hogue

Koffee

Instagram

JPEGMafia

Instagram

Zack Fox

Instagram

Lucky Daye

Instagram

Father Nico

D Smoke

Instagram

Flo Milli

Instagram

G.L.A.M.

Instagram

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