Black History Month 2021: Lifting Creative Voices

A list of groups and organizations that work all year to provide opportunity and recognition to Black creatives.

In honor of Black History Month, here’s a list of resources that uplift Black creative voices in the advertising industry and beyond. These organizations are committed to building a creative community that is diverse and representative—one that is long overdue. Their focus on inclusivity and education stretches throughout all months of the year, and we hope you’ll join us in supporting their efforts. Keep reading to learn more and be inspired.

And for those of you local to the Middle TN area, we’ve included a few ideas on how to celebrate Black History month here in Nashville.

  • #blkcreatives is a collective that works to nurture and protect Black creativity by providing access to opportunity. The group unites around a goal to help creatives "build the future they want for themselves and the next generation.”
  • Rememory, a growing creative directory inspired by Toni Morrison, highlights the talents of Black women and non-binary people of the African Diaspora. Visit their site to get connected and read more about their mission.
  • Where Are All the Black People? began as a panel discussion in 2011 to address the diversity problem in advertising, but it quickly gained public attention to become its own conference. For the past decade, the group has pushed for action and equality in the advertising industry.
  • Derek Walker's annual February Twitter feed returned this year with daily tweets to highlight Black advertising professionals throughout Black History Month. Follow along to see who's shaping the industry these days, and become part of the community Walker's creating.
  • Nappy was created in response to the lack of representation in stock images as a collection of free, hi-res photos featuring Black and Brown individuals. Learn about their goal to "tackle diversity one stock photo at a time," and check out their collection.
  • The Ghetto Film School is a nonprofit education program that has prepared thousands of students for creative careers through 100% free, intensive courses. Read more about how they're developing and celebrating the next generation of great storytellers on their site.
  • Hire Black Female Creatives provides a growing list of talent for creative roles including photography, industrial design, wardrobe styling, and more. There is a space to add yourself or a Black female creative you know to the list to get started.
  • The Boom List is a monthly newsletter dedicated to giving diverse creatives the celebration and credit they deserve. Subscribe to stay up on impressive creative happenings.
  • Women Who Create, a unique mentorship community built by and for women of color within the creative industry, pairs mentees with female mentors. The group even provides a guided 15-week program to help participants get the most out of the process.
  • People of Craft is a dynamic space for creatives of color to share their talents in design, advertising, tech, illustration, lettering, art, and more. Their goal is to accomplish what's long overdue--redefining what a creative looks like.
Celebrate Locally
  • Jazz on the Move: The popular concert series featuring iconic jazz music performed by Nashville artists is continuing virtually with a new show, "The Life and Music of Hank Mobley," featuring saxophonist Jovan Quallo. Stream it on YouTube here.
  • Black History Month Celebration at the Discovery Center: Join the Discovery Center on Feb. 28 day virtually or in-person for a day of special events sponsored by the Nissan Foundation. Free and open to the public.
  • Voices from the Past: A Celebration of Black History: From Feb. 5 - March 25, this exhibit by local African American artists will be open to the public at Centennial Art Center. COVID-19 protocols will be strictly observed.
  • National Museum of African American Music: Nashville's newest museum is now open with the mission to "educate the world, preserve the legacy, and celebrate the central role African Americans play in creating the American soundtrack." Weekend tours are now open.
  • Black Women in Creative Spaces: This networking event is back for its third year celebrating Black women, Black business, and Black creativity. Typically held at the end of February, this year's event has been moved to May 1 out of COVID-19 precaution. Nevertheless, tickets are on sale now.
  • A Black History Moment with...: Racial Justice Ministries at Scarritt Bennet Center is honoring Black History Month with a video series that brings community members and leaders together through music, poetry, prose, and personal reflection. Check out their new videos here.
  • Stax Museum of American Soul Music: Take a virtual tour of the Memphis museum to get immersed in the history of soul music, and learn about how creatives came together over their craft regardless of skin color or background.

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