As a black creative entrepreneur in South Florida, I am overwhelmed with joy to have attended the Art Of Black Miami event last night at the gorgeous Bright Line station in Overtown. Now I almost went off on a tangent about how amazing the venue itself is with it’s vibrant color schemes, geometric design, and state of the art ambience, but I want to stay focused on the real superstar. Without advocates of the arts FOR Black Artists, we would have no support or rallying of the community that matters the most to us. Art of Black Miami is undoubtedly a world class champion in the constant struggle to acknowledge and support the groundwork and upliftment of important Black Artists and their works.
The room was filled to the brim with Black professionals who obviously understood the significance of supporting Black arts & African Diasporal culture in Miami. In all honesty that room full of cultural vanguards dismantled my beliefs about the total lack of understanding of culture here in Miami. Often times I talk amongst my peers about how unaware Black people in Miami are of our powerful regal history and deep running roots which started so long before chattel slavery and our recent experiences in the Americas & Europe. A lot of times I get very home sick because in New York and Chicago there is NO shortage of proud African culture, food, fashion, dance, music, art or people. Last night showed me that I have finally found a major piece in the puzzle of my life, Art Of Black Miami has finally made Miami feel like home to me.
The wonderful sounds of Kirk Whalum’s renowned saxophone solo from Whitney Houston’s I Will Always Love You were like magic to our ears as we were privileged to experience it live. He told us an inspiring story of how Whitney championed the arts in her time, paying her homage for his own success. He reminded us that when you know what you want you should not settle for less.
The internationally renowned Sanford Biggers presented a slideshow of his phenomenal works including video, visual art & installations. His use of American history, Buddhism, Islam, Roman classical sculpture, African tribal masks, colored sand and hip-hop all collided to perfectly display the wonderful kaleidoscope of his mind. If you did not leave that event inspired I would say in my humble opinion that you should consider seeing a therapist because something may be terribly wrong. I am so thrilled that Art Basel season has come again and the bar is set very high this year for Black Artists in Miami. If we don’t have higher heights to reach for then we will surely perish so in closing I say thank you to the amazing Art Of Black Miami team for all of their work. Now let me go prepare for these Black Artist's I'm hosting with Griot's Gallery & Academy curated by Artist Frank Frazier, they got me working working day & night! :)