I was sitting in my Advanced Poetry class on my first day of classes and, as part of icebreakers introductions, my professor asked us “what are you all doing to celebrate Black History Month?” My first thought was “oh my god, it’s February”. Answering retrospectively, I want to make sure I am supporting more black creators. I encourage you all to do the same. Here are some artists you should check out this month, and going forward:
Keith Knight, based out of San Francisco, is primarily known as a comic strip artist, focusing on socio-political issues surrounding race, immigration, and language. His hilarious comics bring insight into current racial issues in a very satirical way. He is also co-writer, co-creator, and co-producer for a new Hulu show Woke—a comedy show, starring Lamorne Morris, based on Keith Knight where main character Keef is racially profiled by a police officer. The trauma from this event causes Keef to start hearing inanimate objects speaking to him.
Monday is originally from Tulsa, Oklahoma and is a black painter/activist. Her work celebrates African American women as she paints them in a positive light “to change the negative views and stereotypes that they face through storytelling and advocating equitable representation in visual culture”. Her works are amazing and definitely worth checking out.
Emma Make is a British artist located out of Lisbon, Portugal. Her work pops with color and is made both by hand and digitally. Her prints vary in subject matter, but many of her prints are centered around colorful flowers and are thought to have originated from her travels and her Mozambican heritage.
Ike Slimster, born in Nigeria, is a visual artist and comedian based out of New York. He paints and produces digital art. He edits and produces short films and documentaries. He produces music. He writes and performs stand-up comedy. This guy does it all and there’s definitely a work of his out there that will interest you. And if you’re in New York, he hosts sip and paint events!
For links to all his works make sure you check out his website.
I understand that sometimes money is tight and it’s difficult to financially support creators. But there are other ways to support as well. Go check out Keith Knight’s Woke on Hulu. Follow Emma Make’s Instagram. Go listen to some of Ike Slimster’s music. Or, at the very least, share some of these amazing Black artists' works with friends. There are always ways to support both during and after Black History Month!