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Makeela B Amani
Brooklyn, NY
Neighborhood: Flatbush

ARTIST STATEMENT: Our world has changed drastically since people of African descent took up mental and physical arms to fight against a power structure that was not created to protect and serve them by virtue of their perceived status in society. The motivation to fight for basic human rights in a country/world that was built on the sweat, bones and bloody tears of ancestors was real and immediate. The masses understood what they were struggling against and held strong dreams of equality for themselves and their children. Today, many feel that the struggle is over; there is no need to fight. Many feel that we have “arrived”, so instead of continuing to build on our communities, we feel that equality means fleeing from our communities and not contributing to positive culture. We run from a culture that included story‐telling and creative pursuit, in addition to intellectual ones. We leave these things behind to pursue a somewhat soulless culture of immediate gratification and quick sound bites to inform us how to think, how to feel about others and how to see our world. The role of the artist (visual or otherwise) is to evolve with the times, but always cause the audience to think. As artists, we must continue the cultural revolution. We must celebrate freedom fighters and pay homage to our community and educate us all. The education and upliftment of oppressed people is not gained by suppressing and denigrating other people and cultures; it is simply about acknowledging the beauty, strength, and culture of our people. Using our talents and experiences to ensure we, as a body of people, do not go back to the days when our fates were determined outside of ourselves. We are all learners and teachers. As artists we must use our talents to educate and uplift, and I revel in opportunities to build with fellow artists , and share with our community so we may build and move forward positively. Artist Statement Cultural Revolutionary Artists Makeela B. Amani

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