The space and time in which we currently reside necessitates more love, more acknowledgement, more positive affirmation, more consciousness, more inspiration, and more empowerment. An "Ode to Blackness" was conceived out of this spirit. Why an "ode" to blackness? Because the beauty of humanity is reflected in the resilience of humankind and for far too long hegemonic societies have sought to suppress the humanity of black people. Yet, everyday, I see that beauty reflected through the survival of the marginalized and oppressed people of color around the world. I see the resilience and feel it as I walk around inside of this black body. I encounter it everywhere I go but I do not see it acknowledged and celebrated as it should be. An "Ode to Blackness" is about recognizing the humanity of black people and celebrating the culture which we create collectively. An "Ode to Blackness" is necessary now because it has always been necessary.
We should all be celebrating the glory of blackness beyond the month of February just as we should all be celebrating the glory of womanhood beyond the month of March. This project is designed to produce a cultural moment that embodies the celebration of our triumphs and struggles in a tangible way. An "Ode to Blackness" is representative of the universality of humanity as experienced through a black lens. Through this collaborative storytelling experience, we shall collectively channel our love of self, love of community, and love of culture through our collective experiences as artists, activist, women, men, gay, straight; more simply as human beings.
Society is rampant with toxicity and negative vibrations. We are disconnected and in a state of flux. Our environments are fueled by chaos. There are times when I look around and fail to see a world that reflects the greatness of our shared humanity. The popularity of spectacle raises the probability of being exposed to more destruction and dismay than beauty and enrichment. An overconsumption of commercial media promotes appetites of excess driven by overstimulation and controversial distractions. The news cycles regurgitate one political and/or sex scandal after another, crime, and overall societal disintegration. During our comparably short occupancy on this planet humankind has seemingly set a course toward self destruction, which threatens every living person, animal, plant life, and natural resource. The unyielding quest for power and domination is destroying humanity. The situation is dire.
We need more love, now. We need more universal odes of positive affirmation. We need an "Ode to Blackness" and it is past due.
I will use this platform to share my "ode" and I invite you to share your "ode" as well. Do you know of an organization promoting social good in the black community that deserves recognition? Do you know of an artist or activist or artist-activist using their platform to promote wellness, healing, or consciousness? Do you know a cultural ambassador working to preserve and promote black culture throughout the diaspora? Do you simply want to share what you love about blackness? If the answer is yes to any of these, you can submit your "ode" via email at ode2blackness@gmail. Continue to follow the blog for updates. Subscribe to the #O2B youtube channel and follow our instagram account @ode2blackness. Stay tuned!