If the year 2020 has taught us one thing, it’s the beauty of compassion and the power of being kind. With the appalling headlines circling around the ill-treatment of African Americans, we feel morally obligated to be champions for the Black community, not only by committing to educating ourselves, but through tangible contribution. We recognize that the pain, the suffering, and the loss experienced by these communities can never be understood from the outside. However, we want to voice our support and stand with our friends to express our support in their fight towards equality.
Pondichérie was built with the ethos and hope of an ethical world, practicing equality and inclusivity as the foundation of a fair workplace. Being in a world full of unique attributes and differences between every culture and continent, we believe that the journey towards a more equal and accepting world starts at the individual level. Our responsibility towards our friends and families who have experienced such unfair conduct due to their skin color is greater now than ever.
To begin to show our love, admiration, and appreciation for Black culture, we have compiled a list of Black-owned brands and artists, celebrating their talent and art as a gesture of encouragement and positivity in these trying times. We are always here to listen, learn, and receive your feedback on how we can be better champions for racial justice. We are happy to connect on Instagram @pondicherie_, or through email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Black Painters that create compelling work
A Nigerian artist who paints by the moment, Omuku is a celebrated painter with various solo and group exhibitions in both the US and the UK. She paints ideas of racial and gender differences through anthropomorphic forms, questioning the notion of human bodies and other states of being.
Find her work on http://www.nengiomuku.com/
A contemporary visual artist based in Los Angeles, Breda is a self-taught painter. He regularly uses acrylic paint on paper and canvas settings to depict the complexity and beauty of humans. A motif he loves to incorporate is flowers - a means to show reality through nature. Showcased in various exhibitions in the US, Breda is acclaimed for his work reflecting black skin beauty.
Find his work on http://www.gregbreda.com/
Based in Atlanta, Okeith expressive his art through impression paintings. He challenges the perceptions and standards of beauty, painting black forms of beauty using a palette knife. Thinking of his art as a power tool, he hopes to create a cycle of reflection within people about conventional beauty.
Find his work on https://www.okeith.art/
Black Photographers contributing their unique captures
She approached various magazines for a shot at a creative outlet, and after multiple rejections, Scruggs began her own magazine with her prints. A medium to portray her creative and editorial talent, she managed the whole magazine single-handed. From visual treats to writing content, Scruggs has done it all. She was the first black person to photograph for Rolling Stone, winning numerous titles along the way for her brilliant work.
Find her work on https://www.danascruggs.com/
A photographer from Ghana, neon and vibrant colors is the most noticeable and stand-out element of Gyasi’s work. He photographs stories of marginalized individuals, boldly portraying their bravery. Capturing through the simple lens of an iPhone, his work speaks volumes concerning African lives. Worked for Apple to create stunning pictures and showcased art galleries in Pairs, Gyasi’s work has found love from all around the world.
Find his work on https://www.princegyasi.com/
A Caribbean American photographer, Barnes has grown up in the influence of photography in her family. She went on to capture and click with meaning, drawing inspiration from what she learned about black injustice. Published in The New York Times, Vogue, Vanity Fair, and numerous other magazines have helped establish her presence as a young black woman in the industry, earning her work from prestigious brands like Adidas, Calvin Klein, and others.
Find her work on https://www.mirandabarnes.com/
Black fashion designers that are recreating style
Designed by Yvonne Telford, this brand embraces skirts and dresses through the lens of a trans-seasonal style. Perfect for either layering or just wearing them during summer, her Nigerian culture inspires her clothes with a hint of western designs. She aims to create a sense of confidence and fearlessness in the women who wear them.
Shop her clothes on https://kemitelford.com/
A voice in menswear, Saunders revolutionizes the way men dress. Considering what it means to be ‘masculine’ and redefining it, her designs are also influenced by her unique British-Indian identity and culture. With collections all over the world, from London to Florence, Saunders’ creations of a feminine man are taking over the original outline of menswear.
Shop her clothes on https://www.biancasaunders.com/
A brand conscious of its ecological practices, it runs on a sustainable and ethical ethos. The designer, Wanek, enjoys sewing the clothes herself from time to time, creating truly cared pieces. Working with local production houses in the Bay Area, the brand focuses on creation without destruction. Her slow-fashion garments are paired with American and Japanese aesthetics, creating a sincerely unique clothing line.
Shop her clothes on https://aliyawanek.com/
Black artists creating stunning hand-made artifacts
Creating unique and one-of-a-kind designs on pots, saucers, and other house-hold items, this shop operates through Etsy. Pepper is an artist that practices ceramics and sculptures, producing beautiful pottery for plant pots that are later hand-painted by her. She also works with recycled items like wooden logs and mannequin parts, fashioning cute objects. Earning five stars on Etsy, her shop is loved by all who fancy individualistic hand-made pieces.
Find her shop here.
Working as a Cognitive Behavioral Therapist, Natalie Manima understands the importance of having a home space that radiates with positivity and happiness. She uses her Ghanian culture of bright colors and erratic designs to create homeware that uplifts instantly. From pillows to blankets, aprons, and more, Manima has created a line that acts as a stress buster. She sews her items herself and sells them through Etsy.
Find her shop here.
With the hope
to bring Ghanaian weaving into the industry of fashion, this brand does this through handcrafted bags. They also provide jobs to the local community in Africa, bringing out their ancestral talent of weaving through raffia bags and accessories. Her bags are bright in color with various funky elements like tassels and pom-poms and are often styled as statement pieces.
Shop her products on https://www.aaksonline.com/
We hope this list of some Black artists helps amplify their work and the unparalleled talent that comes from the culturally rich regions of Africa. We stand in solidarity with our Black friends and their community and aim to continue being by their side in this fight for equality and justice. Their fight is our fight, and we can only strive for a future where people embrace their uniqueness and are celebrated for their differences and individuality.