How do you feel that African Americans inﬂuenced the arts?
African Americans have left an indelible mark on the arts through a profound connection to our cultural foundations. Our artistic expressions draw from the deep well of family, struggle, happiness, pain, and liberation, allowing us to authentically and unapologetically be ourselves. Throughout recorded history, African Americans have used various artistic mediums to convey our experiences and emotions, creating a unique narrative that resonates with our community and beyond.
In the face of enduring challenges, African Americans have harnessed our distinctive approach to adversity. We ﬁnd solace in moments of frustration by channeling our pain into the creation of beauty. This beauty is manifested in myriad forms, from our culinary traditions and music to our clothing, hairstyles, and colloquialisms. The inﬂuence of African Americans on the arts is undeniable; we have consistently elevated what others might consider insigniﬁcant or disposable, imbuing it with profound value.
How do you feel that African American impact the arts?
Our culture developed the arts. All that we brought across the Atlantic was stolen and recreated. If you’re specifically talking about acting, the Greeks inaugurated that art form. It has helped blacks to build wealth and created new pathways for us to look through a different lens as we tell our own stories. As a kid I was always impressed by the metamorphosis process. Sidney Poitier exemplified that through his transformation. Coming from a very small island like Jamaica to America without having the ability to read and write fluently, he change the course of his life through acting. The arts are for those who refuse to live and think conventionally. It’s true freedom. I too, find myself free. Free to develop characters the way I see them. Free to be who I want to be. The West sales everything with Black art. We must be very care how we use the gifts that has been given to us. Time will tell how this culture benefited from those who came before us and inspired the world to look at us. I marvel at our greatness.
How does the arts impact our culture?
Art is indeed a deeply subjective and multifaceted experience, resonating with people in varied and profound ways. Tracing back to its early forms—including music, visual art, dance, and written works—art has served as an emotional outlet for artists, allowing them to empty their "emotional cup" and communicate feelings that may be difficult to express otherwise.
Over time, art's role has evolved into something even more powerful. It has become an expressive medium, a form of communication that transcends mere words. From political activism to cultural representation, art has the ability to challenge norms, provoke thought, and give voice to societal issues. Today, art is more than a collection of creative works; it's a culture in itself, drawing people together across boundaries and fostering connections between diverse backgrounds. Whether it's a painting that speaks to the soul or a musical performance that unites a crowd, art has the unparalleled ability to create shared human experiences.
The arts extend far beyond simple entertainment or aesthetic appreciation. The arts is a vital expression of our cultural identity, a tool for political and social change, a means of community engagement and healing. The arts continue to shape and reflect our evolving experiences and aspirations, uniting us in our common humanity and enriching our lives in countless ways.
How have the arts impacted our culture?
The Arts have offered us a sense of expression. It has given us the ability to validate our feelings, sense of self-worth in who we have been and most importantly who we are.
To date, what has been your favorite concert or play and why?
My favorite: I have quite a few but I would say a piece that moved me the most was the first time I watched the Imitation of Life. Juanita Moore, who was nominated for an Academy Award depicts the length a mother would go to protect and make sure her child is successful. Only to be rejected by her daughter.
Tell us about the event for the National Center for Women Innovations.
It is an Inaugural event for the National Center for Women Innovations. We have so many Hidden Figures in Innovation; Women who have made our lives easier and better. The Center’s Mission is to celebrate those women. It is proposed to be in Alexandria, VA right outside the Nation’s Capital of Washington, DC.