In the past, I have participated in black history month from the periphery. If I remembered, I would check out some site, read print article, or watch some PBS special. By February 15th, I would have forget it was Black History month and start thinking about March Madness or Mardi Gras.
This year, I have made a commitment to celebrate and explore Black history with conscious mind. The goal is to learn about something I didn’t know and share something I already learned.
Why share something I already know you ask? Because as a society, we have forgotten the history that has lead us to current present day. If this election and Hamilton have taught me, it’s that CONTEXT MATTERS.
What I learned today :
She was the first female African American sculptor to achieve international acclaim at a time when slavery was legal.
Matt Baker is often considered the first known successful African-American artist in the comic-book industry. He developed a reputation early on as one of the best “Good Girl” artists in the business, a master at drawing the female form. He paid attention to the smaller details that allowed his comic book heroine to come alive as a more robust character.
I view these two artist as the building blocks the chain that created one of my favorite forms of entertainment: COMIC BOOKS!
Check out the 15 Influential Black Superheroes. (My favorite black superhero is Storm.)
Learning about Edmonia Lewis, a black woman who dared to be artist, and Matt Baker, black artist who dare to left his mark on “good girls” of comics, makes me rethink the black superheros we know and love. Somehow learning about Lewis and Baker makes comics not just some whimsical, escapist entertainment. It reminds me that art, in all it’s forms, is the act of rebelling, re-imagining and see yourself in the story. Even when others try to make you invisible.