Black creativity has touched every corner of the world. Black art, music, innovation, history, writing and entrepreneurship have impacted other cultures and been a catalyst for mainstream creatives. As cultural appropriation has proven, Black creativity has been the foundation of American culture even when it has been stolen, manipulated andunderappreciated.
“...this invention called whiteness uses and abuses us, burying Black people out of sight and out of mind while extracting our culture, our dollars, our entertainment like oil - Black gold, ghettoizing and demeaning our creations then stealing them, gentrifying our genius,” activist and actor Jesse Williams said in his 2016 BET Awards speech.
Eurocentric norms and white supremacy have decided what is considered professional, expertise and worthy in society in regards to business interactions. Due to these decisions being based on racist ideals, many Black creatives and innovators have suffered and lost business simply for things like wearing their hair in natural or Afrocentric styles.
But, Black people prevail and when they aren’t offered chances or a seat at the table, they create their own unique spaces where they don’t have to conform or assimilate. As these genuine Black spaces grow, prejudiced, eurocentric ideals are being dismantled. For example, many states including New York, California, New Jersey and Illinois have enacted laws making race-based hair discrimination illegal.
Despite the hardships, Black creatives, innovators, artists and entrepreneurs continue to thrive authentically and unapologetically. According to the State of Women-Owned Businesses Report, there were 2.4 million African American women-owned businesses in 2018 and African American women-owned businesses represented the highest growth rate of any group in the number of firms between 2014 and 2019.
Black creativity shines in art, technology, sports, history, music, business and much more. The impact of Black creatives is growing and becoming more prominent and authentic. America was built on the backs and minds of Black people and the world shifts with Black innovation.