I was scrolling through LinkedIn today and ran across an ArtNet article that was a wonderful expression of what success and achievement can look like.
The context of the article describes how successful Black artists and artists of color are taking their success and investing it in various programs and residencies for up and coming young artists of color, whether through time or funding. These residencies provide the tools young artists need to become small business owners, which, as an artist, you essentially are.
The reason for this post though, had to do with the comments section and the general replies from white people about the success of Black artists. Here is one example:
Who this person is does not matter as much as the statement they are making. To call art color blind is like saying that the color of an orange doesn't matter, except without all of the repercussions that a racist society can have on a Black body that is not an orange.
It was a small interruption, a baby step, but interrupting racism is really one step at a time. I understand that I will make missteps, I will put my foot in my mouth, and I will apologize for those missteps. I don't expect that this level of change, which is both personal and for the benefit of everyone I interact with in my community, to be easy. It will be messy. I will have to come to terms with my upbringing, the privilege that colors my very existence as a white women in this society.
I will not be undertaking this journey in a void. Before I even commented on the post above, I armed myself by doing research on my opinions. Yes, I know and understand colorblindness is ill-intentioned, but what can I say that might possibly resonate? And I'll be clear here, the words that I used were not my own, and I did not give credit. So, let me give credit where credit is due - thank you Samantha Vincenty (and whomever her research led her to) and Oprah Magazine for the words to help me on my journey. Eventually, I'll be able to tackle these situations using the new language I continue to learn from such encounters.
I didn't stop at Oprah Magazine, although I appreciated the perspective and simplicity of the argument provided by Vincenty. I also did a bit of a deep dive into the American Psychology Association's book 'The Myth of Racial Color Blindness.'
Here is an excerpt:
The persistence of racial disparities in education, health, wealth, poverty, and incarceration supports the notion that we live in racially hierarchical society, which affords unearned benefits to White Americans and unfairly burdens people of color. The very existence of these disparities challenges claims that race does not matter in U.S. society. Read More...
I understand that this is just the tip of a very large 400+ year old iceberg. I just want to set my intention for the new year, that it is an iceberg that I, as a white person, will do my best to topple.
All quotes from Samantha Vincenty article, 'Being Colorblind doesn't make you not racist - In fact, it can mean the opposite' from Oprah Magazine, published on June 12, 2020.
Musings on business, womanhood, consulting, and things I find interesting.