Updated: Feb 23
Black creatives have influenced our culture for hundreds of years. From the incredible musicianship of Ella Fitzgerald to the bold statements in Robert Colescott's paintings, history would not be the same without these pioneers in the arts. With Black History Month right around the corner, we wanted to showcase some African-American creatives on the rise in 2023.
PJ Morton began his career as a keyboardist for Maroon 5, working as a full-time keyboardist from 2012-2014. He would later debut several solo albums and win multiple Grammy awards including, Best Traditional R&B Performance in 2019, Best R&B Song in 2020, and more. His musicianship is known for its fusion of gospel, soul, and R&B, and he uses his versatile playing styles to deliver songs that can pull at our heartstrings and lift our spirits. There is no denying his lyrics resonate with so many people, as he is known for his messages of positivity, optimism and, righteousness.
Michael R. Jackson is a rising American Playwright and composer who recently wrote a musical titled "A Strange Loop". This play captured the hearts of many for highlighting the struggles many queer people of color have to go through. His messages will go on to inspire future generations, especially those who believe they are not seen enough in this big world. Winner of the 2020 Pulitzer Prize and the 2022 Tony Awards for Best Musical, Michael R. Jackson is definitely someone you want to look out for in the year 2023.
Amanda Morgan has been captivating audiences with her elegance and skill in the dancing world. In addition to being a world-class ballerina for Pacific Northwest, she is known for standing up against police brutalities and racial injustice in protests and through her art. Amanda Morgan is also the founder of The Seattle Project, a collaboration of interdisciplinary artists that give back to BIPOC and LGBTQ+ communities by creating works meant to uplift and empower primarily through dance.
This artist takes her abstract style from her Afro-Trinandaian roots and Brooklyn, New York upbringing to give us vibrant, breathtaking, and thought-provoking art that depicts the struggles of dealing with racism and mental health. Kristen also celebrates culture and resilience through her paintings and she has become a role model for many youg children interested in the arts.
The incredible Jessica Wilson known for her work as a dietitian and activist had recently come out with a book! This book, titled "It's always been ours" explores how black women's bodies have been portrayed by society, and how to become resilent in a judgmental world. Jessica Wilson is using her voice to validate the experiences that many black women go through and let everyone know how to reclaim their body as theirs and not what society wants to view it as. Additonally, she has co-founded Amplified Melanted Voices, which aims to fight social injustice in communities and become a voice to BIPOC communities.