BLACK ARTISTS THRIVING IN THE METAVERSE'S CREATIVE REVOLUTION
The Harlem Renaissance was a torch banner movement proclaiming to the world that Black Art had been reborn from the ashes, and in spite of the efforts to quench our spirit, bodies and souls, artists were inaugurating a new era of success and excellence, that, unfortunately, has not yet – almost 100 years later- fulfilled its promise: opportunities for ALL.
A better life that seemed (and seems) never to arrive. The Great Depression hit and, as the mainstream media usually loves to point out, it disproportionally affected the Black community, including Harlem. Since racism, the nationwide race riots and lynchings did not come to effect, society found the best way to silence any type of Black expression: economic suffocation. Fast forward 40 years later and you will find the BECC (the Black Emergency Cultural Coalition), a group of 75 Black artists, openly protesting at the doors of the Metropolitan Museum of New York at the opening of the exhibition entitled "Harlem on My Mind: Cultural Capital of Black America 1900-68", as none of the works on display belonged to a Black artist from Harlem. Can you imagine a celebration of 50 years of Hip-Hop where none of the guest artists were Black? This is what they dared to do in 1969, in the midst of the civil rights movement. In spite of the enormous contributions made by Black artists during the 70-year period covered by the exposition, they were still denied being given their due credit (i.e. monetary benefits to the creators) and acknowledgment.
Many of the crypto artists are trying to make it in very centralized platforms, neglecting the possibilities that decentralized Web3 offers. Yes, Twitter is fine for socializing and creating a community while Instagram is slowly transforming into a marketplace where artists are struggling to sell/promote their artworks.
If you identify with the first case, Tokenomics will allow you to extract value from your community and open the door to a type of patronage that would otherwise have been impossible due to the high threshold of entry.
For the ones identifying with the second case (they know how to sell their creativity, but NFTs and crypto concepts are overwhelming to grasp), Collector DAOs might be a great opportunity to explore. A Collector DAO is a type of DAO (Decentralized Autonomous Organization) that collects, sells and issues NFTs (Non-Fungible Tokens). NFTs are unique digital assets that can represent art, music, games, and more on the blockchain. Collector DAOs allow people to pool their funds and collectively decide which NFTs to buy, sell or create. Collector DAOs can help emerging artists by providing them with exposure, funding and feedback. By getting their NFTs into the collections of Collector DAOs, artists can reach a wider audience, earn royalties from secondary sales, and get valuable insights from the DAO members. Some Collector DAOs also support artists by commissioning new works, sponsoring events, or offering grants. Basically, if you have talent, and you know how to sell yourself to a community eager to acquire collections of innovative and unique artists, they will make the technological migration to the Web3 world much easier for you and in your behalf.
While some platforms are taking steps to address these issues, such as implementing verification processes and stricter copyright policies, many others are failing to provide adequate protections for artists and creators. There is a risk that Web3 platforms will become associated with theft and misappropriation rather than innovation and creativity, that is why Metaverse use cases are an excellent solution to complement your journey towards financial stability and secure recognition.
As per curators and collectors, they have now the opportunity to take over the baton that the BECC left as an heritage. Their mission - the inclusion of Black artists within the most relevant museums worldwide- is far from being accomplished, so we must not miss this opportunity to promote our artists, create collections that will increase their value for generations and bear witness to the greatness of our creators throughout the ages.
The potential of the Metaverse in ushering a new era of inclusivity and empowerment for Black artists is real and is now. Remember, NEVER STOP DOING YOUR BEST JUST BECAUSE SOMEONE DOESN’T GIVE YOU CREDIT.