Black people are very talented that is for sure. We have contributed a lot to music, film and fashion. We have contributed a lot to the make up industry and to the hair industry. Oh and let’s not forget dance. So we know we’re talented right?
I hope we know this and live in this truth.
I say all this because I want us to not get our validation from others but from ourselves. I want us to not give our efforts to companies that are racist and do not have our best interests at heart as artists.
Even myself I have given my artistry to companies that have not really helped me, see my two self-published books. I thought I was getting such a good deal but I wasn’t and I wouldn’t recommend it, especially for a first author but I didn’t think my work could get published traditionally so I jumped on self-publishing (I was wrong, my writing only gets better each day).
So what I learned was that it is good to research the companies you’re going to work with and to come in with your eyes wide open, ready to take no crap.
I’ve heard so many horror stories of black creatives being exploited. For example in kpop I didn’t know that a lot of songs were written by black people or produced by black people, particularly black women. A large majority of SM’s tracks, particularly for groups like NCT, have been produced or written by black people.
I was surprised because as any long time kpop fan will know SM is all about money and exploiting their artists for money and they have been known to treat foreign members of groups unfairly. Sure, SM produces amazing artists and high quality music but at what price? They need to change how they treat their employees and how they work with foreigners in Korea or they won’t survive long.
So when I heard black people worked with SM I was so apprehensive because I did not think anything good could come out of the deal apart from good music. And what do you know, I was unfortunately right. SM paid them in peanuts, peanuts! The woman, Tiffany Red, who produced Boss and Go didn’t get paid well at all! There’s a whole article on it, you can search it up.
So that whole ordeal got me thinking. We really shouldn’t give our time or our efforts to companies like SM. Learn from their trauma, don’t work with companies like SM.
It’s not just SM. It’s Hollywood and that whole industry. I’m not saying, don’t work for Hollywood but let’s put money and effort into our own industries just as much as others do for theirs. I wish the BET awards were more important to us than the Oscars, or that Essence was more important to us than Vogue. I mean, if they don’t want us and we’ve been trying and it’s 2020 then fine, let’s make our own way and our own path.
Look at Bollywood and the Chinese film industry. They are giants! China is set to overtake Hollywood in fact, even with Corona I think they can still do it. And why? Because they value their own media and their own industry more than the white industry.
I know it’s hard and it’s difficult but I think we can do it. I think we can be great.
As long as we don’t become what we hate we’ll be golden. As long as we treat other races well and collab with those who respect us then the future could be bright.
But first, let’s stop wasting our time on those who have no respect for us. They don’t deserve our time.