A blue and black painting. In the center is a handled chalice, pouring sky into a large black hole.  All of it is surrounded by more starry blue sky.

These stories include a range of artistic pursuits, from Black art exhibitions launched during the pandemic touching moments like Denzel Washington paying for Chadwick Boseman’s summer acting program when he was a student at Howard University.

Kelly Izdihar Crosby is a black Muslim artist based in Atlanta who challenges societal violence by “waging beauty”. She approaches her work from an almost spiritual perspective influenced by her faith, communicating a visual image of a beautified character. Her work uses bright colors and abstract yet objective images to communicate her experience as a black Muslim woman and to pay homage to the vibrant southern culture she comes from.

Arts, Religion, Protest

A Hybrid is a collection of poetry by Nikki Giovani that celebrates the joys of everyday life. She explores memories of family and loved ones, of those that are still here and those that have moved on. Food acts as a binding agent for these moments, bringing people together, and flavoring memory if not carrying them outright.

Arts, Foodways

Black Disabled Creatives is an organization dedicated to pushing for the representation of black disabled-creators in society at large. They also act as a platform for these creatives, showcasing opportunities and providing a network of other disabled creators in industries ranging from marketing and advertising to film and entertainment. The group also provides resources such as information on arts organizations that focus on disabled creators, creative tools, and resources on web accessibility.

Arts, Health, Education

Founded in 1991 by ethnomusicologist Dr. Portia Maultsby, the Archives of African American Music and Culture (AAAMC) is a features collections related to African-American music traditions from the time period after WWII, as well as an extensive amount of materials documenting black radio. The AAAMC provides access to oral histories, photographs, AV recordings, and much more to scholars and the general public to increase awareness and support scholarship on the history of African-American music in the US. Collecting and maintaining materials in this way is a mode of caring for Black music and cultural processes.

Arts, Education

On July 5, 1852, Frederick Douglass gave a speech to the citizens of Rochester, New York. It was the 76th anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence but rather than give a cliché speech on freedom in the US he took the opportunity to remind those listening that a nation celebrating freedom still has millions of people living under slavery. “What, to the American slave, is your Fourth of July? I answer; a day that reveals to him, more than all other days in the year, the gross injustice and cruelty to which he is the constant victim.”

Protest, Arts

Before Maya Angelou published her debut novel, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, she worked as a coordinator for the New York office of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference. Angelou used her experience as an actress to organize “Cabaret for Freedom”, a revue to raise funds for the SCLC. The revue ran successfully and attracted many black celebrities on its first night including Lorraine Hansberry and Sidney Poitier.

Protest, Arts

Grandma’s Hands is a song about comfort, maternal love, and memory. Bill Withers portrays his love for his grandmother through the imagery of her hands and the actions they performed, bringing the listener into those intimate moments and allowing them to substitute their own grandmother into the picture.

Arts, Health, Religion

The 1969 Harlem Music Festival was a free concert series meant to serve the Black community after the death of MLK. With artists of the day like Stevie Wonder, Nina Simone, the 5th Dimensions, and Mavis Staples, crowds that summer was larger than the years prior. The event became a healing space for artists, community members, and Black politicians alike with the Black Panthers joining in to manage community safety.

Arts, Protest

Delta Jewels: In Search of my Grandmother's Wisdom, written and photographed by Alysia Burton Steele, tells the stories of 50 Black Mississippi church women. Burton wrote the book in part because she did not have a recording of her grandmother’s voice, and she found the wisdom and care and storytelling that she was looking for in the voices of these women. Since the book was published in 2015, some of the women have passed, and Burton Steele has been able to give these women’s stories back to their families, offering their voices and stories to grieving loved ones.

Arts, Religion

Rev. Dr. Sandra Butler Truesdale founded DC Legendary Musicians in order to care for the legacies of professional musicians in Washington, DC. The organization seeks to support musicians and highlight their contributions to DC's music scenes.

Arts, Health