Why does it seem to be that communities of color don’t support or encourage the creative arts as much as the mainstream community does? Why are families pushing to their children that being a doctor, a lawyer, an accountant or Wall Street power player are the only ways to have a career? Why do we buy into the notion that the creative arts are a luxury—something that only the mainstream, i.e. white, folks can enjoy, understand and execute?
Many of times I’ve witnessed this underlying cultural fallacy in clients who feel that when I, a graphic designer who is black, informs them of the need to invest in a visual plan for their business, they hear me suggesting they waste dollars on superficial expenses. Yet that same advice coming from a white designer or studio, then it’s taken as crucial marketing advice and must be budgeted for immediately. REALLY? We both can have the same design background, education, experience but somehow my professional advice is considered to be superficial. Dismiss the fact that I might be more sensitive to your business’s needs because of shared cultural experiences however, when the professional expertise is identical yet the conclusion is that mine is superficial says but one thing. Cultural genocide.
It’s this self sabotage that communities of color do to themselves, especially the black community, that destroys our legacy. We’ve always had rich, creative, cultural expression but more so within the last 50 years somehow we have come to denigrate ourselves in that expression. We have begun to dismiss our own knowledge and viewpoints as unimportant in lieu of accepting the perspectives the mainstream has of us is what shall be held as the standard.
Why are we so content on having so little representation it the creative arts that are making images yet cry and shout when we don’t like what we see? Why are we so content on having our ad agencies receiving crumbs off advertising budgets to do “ethnic markets” when we should be clamoring to get the whole damn “general market” pie? Don’t people of color live within two markets naturally? Why are we so content on supporting movies that show the same stupid stereotype genres over and over instead of supporting indie films that try to break that mold? Why are we so content on bashing each other instead of supporting one another? Take Spike Lee and Tyler Perry…hey Spike, you could’ve have done what Tyler did but instead you went for ego and tried to be Hollywood instead of trying to be your own film empire. Can’t knock Tyler for what he has done. He’s put his money where his mouth is.
The same goes for business…why are we so content on supporting everyone else’s business but not our own? I’m here to help your business succeed just like I hope you’d want mine to. This cultural genocide is a bunch of nonsense so when are we going to wise up and STOP ALL THE SHIT?