#ImReallyBlack trend highlights Black graphic designers, cartoonists on Twitter
A recent Twitter trend is empowering Black creatives to show their faces and own up to their amazing work.
On the morning of Dec. 15, the hashtag #ImReallyBlack trended worldwide on Twitter as a number of popular anime artists revealed themselves to be Black. It came as a surprise to their fans who assumed they weren’t Black based on the graphics they created and posted.
The trend opened the door for Black anime artists to better connect with their fans while showing off their work, and soon became a rally point to amplify the voices of Black creatives in the industry, and in others.
— Abelle(they/them)@looking 4 work! (@abellehayford) December 15, 2020
— AlihComms open! DONT QRT MY ART (@draculasbane) December 15, 2020
Beyond anime, it has also extended to sculptures, painters, graphic designers.
— Del ¦ Rocksteady Dev (@TheCartelDel) December 15, 2020
— solangesouline (@solangesouline) December 15, 2020
Throughout 2020, Twitter has been the epicenter of the online discussion for change and has long been a space for artists to thrive with their work.
It’s about time that platform showcased Black creators to get the love they deserve.
— PhillWorks (@phillworks) December 15, 2020
Aside from the Twitter trend, there are non-profit organizations that actually work to amplify Black artists beyond the internet. These are not your typical museums or auction houses who have a bad institutional habit of hiring only white artists and maintaining little diversity.
These nonprofits serve Black artists in Black communities. One of them is the Arts Administrators of Color Network in Washington D.C., that works to create networks among artists of color and provide mentorship programs to those entering the field.
During the pandemic, AAC created an emergency relief fund for artists of color and still is funding that initiative.
The Tessera Arts Collective in Philadelphia, is another organization that spawned in the Kensington area of North Philadelphia.
It’s been around for two years and aims to show the work of women artists of color, which includes femme, nonbinary, queer, and trans individuals that make abstract art.
“As a Black person, especially if you have had to fight for your survival, nothing about your existence or your imagination is abstract. Everything has to be concrete and tangible. I really feel that people of color, especially, have a pretty significant disconnect with abstraction and another reason why I wanted to create a space like this in a community was to be able to give people that kind of access,” said A’Driane Nieves, the founder of the organization.
Going forward, we can only hope 2021 brings more diversity efforts to the forefront, because that is where the true talents lie in wait for opportunity.