1. Remember you are black first. 

Black privilege is a myth that many black artists subconsciously believe they benefit from. They mimic the behavior of their white counterparts and believe they will be viewed in the same light. The ugly truth is that most black artists are often targeted because they are role models. Consequently, they believe they are exempt from the harsh realities of racism.

Sometimes their art may be compromised if it is too revolutionary or fails to meet the standards of what overseers in their industry want them producing. What these artists must realize is that the media will always portray them as a black person before an artist. Unfortunately, this means they must take precautions that other non-black artists do not worry about. Although this is the deplorable reality we face, we must not allow it to affect our craft. 

 

2. Sell your art, not your soul. 

Many artists in different industries deviate against their morals and values to reach success. This has been the case for black artists who see no other options to succeed within such a competitive industry. A prime example of this is the perpetuation of negative rap music on the radio or “ratchet” behavior on reality tv, thus receiving sufficient views to maintain their audiences. Many people probably don’t agree with the content society is indirectly forcing them to produce. Some of them are just trying to survive and sell their work.

This notion is even further shown through the manifestation of the phrase “sex sells.” Many people cross their own boundaries and receive accolades while losing themselves in the process. The ideology that a person is their brand shows a new side to people selling their souls. The fact that people treat themselves like commodities has become a normalcy that is quite disturbing. Instead of selling yourself you should sell the art you create. In selling yourself, your soul is a part of the buy one get one free deal.

 

3. Roles models don’t choose their positions.

Artists are sometimes oblivious to the fact that art holds a psychological influence on audiences. Art controls moods and behaviors and can be a natural part of someone’s environment. Whether black artists intend to be role models or not, black audiences follow them. While many black creatives and celebrities have not claimed to be role models, they are unaware of the influence they have on people who look like them.

Many successful black creatives are seen as representatives of black thought and the abstract of concrete black life. The versatility of black art is seen in the way black artists can express themselves in ways that are understood by everyone. As a black creative, it is imperative to acknowledge that your creativity can solicit more than emotions, opinions, and attitudes. 

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