Photo by Cristian Newman on Unsplash
Dear Artists of Color, You Are Powerful, Brave, and Gifted
By Rashanda Freeman

After attending an open-mic poetry session hosted by APIARY Magazine this weekend, one thing became abundantly clear: artists of color are hauntingly talented. I’m talking about the type of talent that keeps you awake at night, the type of talent that bring tears to your eyes, the type of talent that affirms all is not lost in this world, despite the current political discourse.

Artists of color who find ways to create moments of peace through their art, I applaud you. Artists of color who strive to tell the truth even when it’s raw and gritty, I applaud you. I applaud you because you give voice to those who are often excluded from  conversations held in mainstream spaces.

Artists of color reflect our lived realities and remind us that we deserve to be seen, heard, and acknowledged. It’s rare that I find myself at a loss for words, but seeing artists of color from all different backgrounds share space to uplift each other is an unforgettable experience. Merely existing in this world as a person of color can be grueling. You’re constantly explaining some facet of your existence, apologizing for inherited trauma, and carrying loads of generational baggage. You are taught to be polite and mind your manners to gain access and protect your safety. Therefore, having an evening of community with artists who look, talk, and sound like you, is like a much needed therapy session.