Stop Paying White People To Write About Black Art
You are not a diverse publication if you write about Black people but don’t hire Black people.
I turn on my phone and I can’t scroll by all the art on my timeline without tapping hearts.
There are so many Black creatives and people of color who have used social media to promote their talents.. poetry, music, fashion and so much more. We’re bloggers and writers creating art, day in and day out.
Unfortunately, for some of us brown folk we aren’t opening emails with subjects that read “work for us” or direct messages with countless opportunities everyday.
Your board rooms are bland. The seats in your offices are filled with white bodies with stolen Black ideas, Black thoughts and Black feelings.
You are not a diverse publication if you write about Black people but don’t hire Black writers.
And please refrain from defensive comments on how you haven’t noticed there’s only one Black person in the building, of course you haven’t noticed! You’‘ve been told that a group of white people in a room to create art is normal, you dont see anything wrong with it, because the entire room represents you.
It’s been programmed into your mind since the beginning of time, that you need us, you need our ideas, and our bodies to help you survive. We put food on your table but aren’t worthy enough to sit down and eat with you.
But when one of us do get a seat at the table, the whole community celebrates. We celebrate because those opportunities feel like one in a million.
It is 2017, there is no excuse on why you lack Black creatives in your meetings. Make space!
We’re everywhere and you know it. Let’s keep it real, Black twitter alone is an atmosphere of creatives, creatives who you ask to work for free. Yes, free, which is something else I want to bring up.
White People, when y’all gonna pay us?
Stop asking Black people to write and work for free, this isn't the year 1742.
If you value people of color so much, that you craft up a friendly email for us to review your products, to speak at your events, to write and educate you through various publications. Then pay us.
Journalists asking about our experiences, and absorbing what we teach you, then to the form it into your own content without pay, is what has been done to us for hundreds of years.
We introduce you to our world and you get coins.
A pattern that you continue to repeat.
You want to collaborate and work alongside people of color, who have been putting so much magic into the world since the moment we were kidnapped from our homes? Well, I’m sure we would love to work with you… if you pay us.
I can’t wrap my head around y’all asking Black curators to boost your brand, which will give you more money, and us an ashy repost ( not all filters work with our melanin, thanks), a shared article on your page or the more preferred word most of you like to use, exposure.
We don’t need exposure.
We need to survive in a world that keeps taking food out of our mouths. Our food a.k.a ideas, are taken by people who already ate.
You need to value our time,
our work, our voices.
If you value exactly all I’ve listed, then you’d pay us.
We are worth more than standing on shelves unpaid and collecting dust for entertainment.
Let’s take a quick break, and remind you that after you read this, that doesnt mean you go and hire one of us to prove how progressive your team is, to give the appearance that it’s all good and the enviorment is equal now.
This is called tokenism, which means you are just as problematic as you were before.
Ok, back to why I’m really here..
Stop overlooking us.
Stop taking up space on and offline, stop taking writing opportunities on topics and experiences you haven’t lived. You’re taking it away from struggling artist who are trying to make a few bucks.
You ghost follow us on our platforms, take bits of peices of our captions and place them in your articles, then wait for your money to appear. You don’t want to hear it from the source, you don’t want to hear from the people that live and create the art you lack the understanding of.
Why ask how Moonlight and Viola Davis’ speech meant to Black people when we can just ask you right?
Basically there’s two parties to blame here, the white publications/white editors, and the white folks who accept payment when asked to write about Black culture and Black art. Oh, and Beyonce. Stop writing about Beyonce.