How Do You Play When You’re Prey?
A Personal Exploration into Black Creative Healing
Keywords:Blackness, Creativity, African Diaspora, Community Care, Autoethnograpy, Arts Based Research
Creativity is woven into the culture of Black America. Our histories and struggles as members of the minoritized African Diaspora are recorded and passed on in song and story, in movement and design. We are – and have been – the creators of an evolving culture that is simultaneously underestimated and desired by dominant culture. This othering poses real and pressing threats to our lives and livelihoods, as we are consumed and exploited to the point of erasure; and yet we keep creating. But why? What is creativity to the Black American living in such a predatory society? And how do I, as a Black creative minoritized in a Healing profession, engage with it? How do you play when you’re prey? These questions form the basis for an heuristic exploration into a video blog project entitled “Black Creative Healing,” where Black creatives are recorded engaging in conversation and collaboration over concepts relating to Blackness, Creativity, and the Healing process. Through arts-based analysis of past collaborations, available publicly on Youtube, I will investigate my own motivations, inspirations and roadblocks to the creative process as a Black healer. I will interrogate the directions and intentions laid bare by my creative endeavors and seek to define a central ethos by which other Black creatives may find themselves seen and encouraged, in the interest of finding balance between the “me” that is – and has been – prey, and the “me” that has only ever known – and been known by – play.
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Copyright (c) 2021 Natasha Thomas
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