Cultural Conversations #3- Artists & Athletes

There is a stigma in the culture around being an artist. Too often that is just relegated to an default position or career or hobby. Make no mistake–I believe that you need to expand your network to include unlikely people or places–life does not lend itself kind to the unprepared. But it seems there is no value placed on those that consider themselves, call themselves, artists.

They, we, us don’t get the respect we should if we were more prone to athletics.

Tell me I’m lying! I’ll wait.

It would seem the fam that whom battle rap or call themselves rappers have garnered themselves the title of artists for themselves! Yet, when you need a flyer done ‘on a hook up’; hair and nails done for an event; resume done or redone; you have a book you just gotta write but ‘don’t got it all right now’; a beat made for your songs on SoundCloud, YouTube of Spotify–or a video shot to put on YouTube—you know who to ask!

And what do the artists in your life do? They concede. They give. They serve. They create. This is what artists do–give. That is the dual nature of these gifts we have–but no one wants to always pay for them! Yet, anything having to do with being entertained in a gym, stadium, arena or some sort of practice session–y’all support that! The book signings, short film debuts, the series on the YouTube Channels, the nail shop openings, custom tees? Nall. It irks! It hurts! If people in your circle can by a PS5, then they can buy 5-6 copies of your book–and gift them!

The Arts need the same support a high school football team does!

Not everyone wants to play on a team: the gifts don’t fit there! Just like you support the daughter that is on the Dance team–support the one that is getting the writing awards. If you have a son that is good at drawing, support him like you do his cousins who play basketball, football or run track! Spread the support around! The last thing a Black child needs is to feel they are unseen and unsupported. Athletics are one thing, but not the only thing! The Arts need the same support! I feel most often athletics, that type of prowess is attached to whatever possible money is coming in the future. To that end, lemme help you: not everyone gets drafted. Not everybody Mama is going to be on the NFL Draft special. Not everybody’s son is going to the NBA, or daughter going to the Olympics!

It is okay to support the child that would rather draw the sky than run under it.