Only the Poets

February 21, 2018

 

"The poets (by which I mean all artists) are finally the only people who know the truth about us. Soldiers don’t. Statesmen don’t. Priests don’t. Union leaders don’t. Only the poets."

-James Baldwin

 

Like many in the Black Twitterverse, I saw Black Panther this weekend. Throughout the movie I couldn't stop thinking about how Ryan Coogler brought the film to life. The camera angles, the dialogue, the weight of the music against each scene. I began to not just watch the movie, I began to study it. Halfway through I realized:

 

WE ARE IN THE MIDDLE OF A NEW BLACK RENAISSANCE.

 

Yes, this is a loaded statement but I do not make this claim lightly. As a culture we are demanding a seat at the table and showing our asses as soon as we sit down. Ryan Coogler directed a high-grossing politically driven Marvel blockbuster, Kehinde Wiley made the presidential portrait fly as hell, and Issa Rae...well Issa Rae is everything (it would take a full day to explain how phenomenal that woman is.) 

 

The unimaginable is being attained and the unsurmountable is being exceeded. So what does this mean for you and I? It means that now is the perfect time to create. Shit, now it is imperative that we create.

 

This is the time to take risks, this is the time to experiment and most importantly this is the time to fail. Your vision was not bestowed upon you to observe others as they live out their dreams; your vision was given to you so you can articulate your experiences and inspire others to do the same.

 

The only answer is to genuinely create more than we mindlessly consume. As Baldwin said, "only the poets know the truth about us..." Through our art, we are obligated to tell our truths. In a world that rapidly digests mass-produced mediocrity, we must tune out the debris and tell our stories.

 

-The Good-Natured Troublemaker

 

 

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