I am a musician, performer, independent music writer, and social justice advocate originally from Mississippi. I’m currently based in the American Midwest. I identify as straight and my pronouns are he/him/his.
It’s important to me to understand what drives the choices people make. I ask the same questions of myself that I would ask a subject. I take ownership of my role in creating a fertile space for subjects to feel comfortable and to be honest about what they share with me. My perspective is unique because I’ve made it a priority to put myself in spaces that make me anxious, to learn from the interactions therein, and to share what I learn with others as a storyteller. I’m particularly interested in the space where music and social justice interact and co-exist.
The image of African American athletes Tommie Smith and John Carlos, joined in solidarity by Australian athlete Peter Norman, atop the podium at the 1968 Olympics in Mexico City is iconic.
Creativity helps me foster deep connections with others around me. It’s one of the ways that I build community both online and in real life. My wife, daughter, and I share our creativity in a variety of mediums with one another and that’s important to me.
My Black experience has largely been interdependent. I’ve used graphic design as a vehicle to promote concerts for over 20 years – I’m also a musician. I’ve learned everything I know from others who took the time to teach me. I’ve also had many collaborators throughout the years. A lot of my design is born out of a necessity, a means to an end, but I’ve enjoyed designing and learning along the way.
Interdependence is key. If we cannot find the environments that make us feel safe and welcome enough to truly express ourselves, we have to create them for ourselves.
That’s a great question.