Most people of African descent are somewhat harmonious. We love to sing and dance. We love to show our creativity.
Black people, however, must understand how our artistic experiences relate to our personal. professional and liberation experiences.
My favorite artist is my baby girl. My daughter Sonja Gantt Collins is a fine artist. Her work can be seen on her web site www.artbylg.com. She is a Graphic Arts Director for Coca Cola USA’s Southern Division but that’s not why she is endeared by her daddy.
Sonja Gantt designed both of my web sites (allworldconsultants.net and allworldcommodities.net) and she designed the controversial cover on my latest book, “Beast Too: Dead Man Writing”. Who wouldn’t love a daughter that helps her father?
I also like my illustrator, the controversial hip hop artist extraordinaire Lance Scurvin. Scurv, a techno-digital freak, is also helping me create a Gantt Report Video Blog.
The devil says if you want to hide something from Negroes, put it in a book or put it in an editorial column.
However, according to Lance, you will soon be able to watch excerpts or complete Gant Report messages on YouTube and other video platforms. That’s all the world needs is for the world’s youth to get a hold of The Gantt Report knowledge.
Anyway, I said all of that to say this. It seems that African Americans and others of African descent are artistically more imaginative and creative in times of struggle.
Hard times encourage hard art. Whenever there is a war, a natural disaster, a riot or a protest, those images are always recorded in songs, dances, paintings and photographs.
Everybody wants a civil rights photograph, a Haitian painting after the earthquake or to see a dance by the Urban Bush Women that depicts the trials and tribulations of urban life.
Art is what reconnected to one of my long lost friends, Carl Heyward. The legendary “Vibrations” Black public affairs television show was created and produced by me but the name Vibrations was coined by Carl Heyward when we were students at Georgia State University and co-hosted a radio show called African Vibrations, which is often imitated but never duplicated.
Carl is a new-age type artist. I don’t know the artsy name for it but his art work is on display at several museums in California and around the world.
In addition to depicting our situations, art is a more than viable career but you have to look at art professionally like a business.
Say you can’t rap but you can draw. Guess what? Someone has to draw the album covers and graphics for Lil Wayne, Ice Cube and Snoop Dogg. You drink alcohol? Someone had to design the images on the bottle and beer cans.
Art is everywhere. James Brown is dead but he still has people dancing to Gator Ade commercials.
Black people were the first singers, the first dancers and the first artists. The European didn’t know what art was until he came to North Africa. Hieroglyphics found on pyramid walls are examples of African art.
There is some good and bad in most everything and there is good and bad art too. The only bad art to me is lying art that portrays our experiences different than how they really are. For example, a picture of a black boy eating watermelon getting whipped by a slave master is bad art to me.
But we should support the brothers and sisters doing art for the people. Buy a painting, photograph or another piece of art from a Black artist.
Since a lot of us don’t read, our history is being preserved by Black artists!
This column is dedicated to my friend the late great artist Purvis Young from Miami, Florida who was at one time the most prolific contemporary artist in the world. (Buy Gantt’s book “Beast Too: Dead Man Writing” at any major bookstore and contact Lucius on Facebook or at www.allworldconsultants.net)