Winding down Black History Month by talking about The Black Present, which is more important. History is important to know and understand so we can work toward a better future. But the present is where we live, and Black people’s challenges aren’t a thing of the past. The thing that’s gonna get us through and into that glorious future all humans want for themselves and the people who come after is art, and it’s crucial that artists at a social, cultural, or class disadvantage get all the support we can find for them.
Support Black writers and artists and performers and playwrights and filmmakers and other creative people. Support them by buying their books and art and jewelry or going to their shows or movies. Support them by boosting the signal about their art on social media, to your friends, or to influencers such as editors, publishers, gallery owners, venue owners, museums and the like. Or support them directly through Patreon and crowdfunding sites and tip jars.
For that last one, I challenge you to peruse the list below and back at least one of them, preferably two or three.
Taneka & Genué
Taneka is a black queer tumbleweed and the co-founder of Beyond Press, a small press responsible for the award-winning Beyond: The Queer Sci-Fi & Fantasy Comic Anthology, ELEMENTS: Fire an Anthology by Creators of Color, and the newly launched Passion Fruit: A Queerotica Anthology by Queer Creators. Genué is a queer xicana who has been sharing fancomics and pinups for sites like Tumblr and Filthy Figments, but has finally pushed through to the other side with her debut in ELEMENTS: Fire and as the colorist of Full Circle.
Together, we’re finally ready to share our worlds with you.
Love Circuits, is a comic that was born out of a rotten deal with a publisher that no longer exists (HOORAY). After paying to get our IP back, we have full control of sharing the adventures of Yvonne King, a new kind of sculptor living in an alternative Miami, and Lucos, a refurbished android companion.
Demonomics (or “Business is Hell”), is a fun little doodle comic about demons in the fashion industry starring Reyna, Amon, and Luce. We’ll tell you now, the devil definitely does wear Prada and looks amazing in Louboutins.
From his Patreon page:
Do you like podcasts? What about video podcasts? Do you like writing about video games? What about cookies? Do you also like jokes?
Because I’m doing all of those things.
You should hop over there and look at the whole list, but for me, this cinched it:
Fanfiction Theater is a 10-15 minute podcast where I read crossover fanfictions accompanied by classical music.
Y’all. Come on. Give him a dollar for that at least.
Joyful Reads by Kristen Carter
From the GoFundMe page:
I’m starting a monthly subscription box called Joyful Reads. Joyful Reads is a subscription box committed to marginalized voices and books that reflect the world around us. I would like to open in May 2017. Our target demographic is teenagers and young adults who love Young Adult literature.
You can also support Kristen via:
From the Patreon page:
So look, here’s the thing: For the past decade, I’ve been writing, talking, thinking, teaching, and learning about philosophy, comparative religion, magic, artificial intelligence, human physical and mental augmentation, pop culture, and how they all relate. I think about, talk about, write about, and work toward a future worth living in, and I want to do all of that with you.
I mean a future where we have the option but not the expectation to self-cyborg. A future where, when we’re confronted with the new and unprecedentedly strange kinds of minds we’re likely to meet in this century, we can embrace the new and the strange, and use it to make ourselves even more than we already are. A future where everyone has the data, information, knowledge, and ability to conduct their lives in their communities, the best they know how.
I’m doing this work at both AFutureWorthThinkingAbout.com and, now, Technoccult.net, but to do all of this—to write, talk, read, converse, and write some more to, with, and about leading thinkers-and-doers in many fields of philosophy, science, art, technology, magic…so many thing—takes time, and so much of all of our time, these days, is spent trying to make money, and, to be honest, some of the ways we spend our time making our livings can drain the will to live, let alone do the kind of work we love and want to be doing.
That’s where you come in.
Her photos are amazing!
From her Patreon:
I am a native New Yorker and street photographer. Capturing ordinary people living everyday life is my passion. I have been doing it since 2007, when I decided to seriously nurture my life-long interest in photography. Now I am working towards getting my work in front of a wider audience. Your monthly pledges will help me do that! With your donations I will be able to send initial contact packets to galleries and art dealers, self-publish photo books (including hiring professionals to help me with the layouts),enter prestigious photo contests, and have my photos printed and framed for exhibitions.
My name is Odera Igbokwe and I am an illustrator and painter. You might know me from projects such as”Odera Redesigns the cast of Sailor Moon”,FEM4FEM,”Pepperbreath!: A Digimon Fanzine”, or Black History Month: Celebrating illustrators/painters of the African Diaspora.
I am constantly creating more inclusive illustrations, that celebrate the diversity of people of the african diaspora, and show that we exist in fantastical realms.
With “Melanin Mythologies” I will produce 2* illustrations a month. One illustration is exclusive to patrons, and the other is open to the general public. These will range from character illustrations to original paintings. (*2 illustrations a month can happen if we reach the $500 goal!)
Your support on Patreon will provide me with the resources to create more inclusive illustrations. As an illustrator, many of the assignments I take on continue to exclude people of the african diaspora. With your support I can take on less of those assignments, in favor of showing the world more of our black resilience, intersectionality, and magic aka ~melanin on fleek~
OliveOilCorp / Alone
Alone is a romance comic about the budding relationship between Jack, a quiet widower, and Sarah, a former musician, as they both try to reconcile with their pasts.
While a love story at its core, Alone also deals with themes of grief, family, prejudice,addiction, and the effect music has on our lives. You can read all of the story up to this point for free at alone-comic.com.
I’ve been posting Alone online for the past two years, but between juggling school and other jobs, updates have been…sporadic at best. Supporting my Patreon will help me dedicate more time to working on the comic and other side projects along the way.
Hey y’all! I’m here with a group of talented artists and writers to create my first Sword and Soul graphic novel series, Uhuru. Uhuru is based on my novel series Meji, but expands the world of the epic fantasy with new stories and new characters. If you liked Meji, you’ll love Uhuru.
Mildred Louis / Agents of the Realm
Agents of the Realm is a College years coming of age story, taking influence from a number of timeless Magical Girl themed tales. Shortly after beginning their first year of college at Silvermount University, Five young women; Norah, Adele, Kendall, Paige and Jordan, discover that they’ve each been chosen to help protect not just our world, but a newly discovered sister dimension as well. As they venture forward through their college years, their lives start to take on forms of their own, providing them with new opportunities to learn just how much power they have over their destinies. This is a currently running webcomic that updates twice a week on Sundays and Thursdays.
Tanya DePass / I Need Diverse Games
I Need Diverse Games is my full time job thanks to I Need Diverse Games becoming a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization as of August 13th, 2016. Because of this change, I’m dedicating all my time and resources available, but doing this doesn’t generate a lot of money to keep the lights on, pay for miscellaneous things that you need daily. In fact, keeping I Need Diverse Games afloat would cost me what little I had to spare when I was employed.
If you can help me support myself while I do this work it would be great. Thank you in advance for any help you can give so I can continue to do this full time.
Zig Zag Claybourne
From his Patreon page:
First rule of Write Club is talk incessantly about writing, because everybody out there has questions about story and I don’t mean just of the written variety. I mean story. Life. So we talk. We might understand something essential maybe around the 27 trillionth conversation had.
I love fiction. Worlds imagined, worlds altered, reshaped or totally twisted. Anything that fires the imagination is a gift from the gods. As such I try to only write fiction that I feel, something that resonates between us beyond the financial transaction. I want to add vitality to that 27 trillion-and-one conversation.
I can do that with your help. Maybe you like blogs on writing. Maybe you don’t mind some slice-of-life. My “Posts” page is for you; we can play however we like there. I’ll write for you, I’ll honor you and, most importantly, we’ll get to listen to each other. That, my friends, is a conversation worth having.
I have been working on my webcomic Star Trip for three years now and both the comic’s art and writing have improved significantly. I am currently working on Book 2 and the completed comic will be THREE Books in total with around 400-500 pages per book. I really enjoy working on this comic and I am very proud of how much it has grown!
THIS IS WHERE YOU COME IN! Your contributions per month will give me enough of a safety net to help me stay on my feet and keep creating. In return for your patronage you will receive exclusive Patreon only posts of concept art for the currently running Star Trip chapter, Patreon exclusive monthly wallpapers, early access to my mini comics, scanned sketchbooks, and the warm fuzzy feeling that comes with helping an artist do what they love while keeping them housed and fed!
From the Patreon page:
I host a radio show called the Black Swan Collective. When I announced this show, I mentioned that I had larger intentions for it than just music. I wanted to feature artists of all types and give them a platform to showcase their work. So this is what I’m going to do as soon as possible.
I am planning to launch a daily (weekday) show to give Black women artists of all types a platform. I want to talk with women in music, film, theatre, writing, poetry, painting, sculpting, fashion, comics, mixed media, anything they use to express themselves creatively. Furthermore, I want to talk with activists whether or not they use art to address their social issues.
You can also support them via:
Bethany C Morrow
I’m a speculative literary author of YA and adult fiction. Raising my voice in a world trying to silence me.
Follow her on Twitter @bcmorrow.
Support her via:
I’ve been a fan of Shannon’s non-fiction writing for a while; you should read it here. Then head to her Patreon and support her writing by supporting her!
Astria Legends is a Christian Fantasy series that is being adapted into novels, comics, animated shorts, dance and spoken word productions as well as other visual/performance arts mediums.
Black Girl Squee
From the Patreon:
Podcasting, like mainstream media, has become another male-dominated medium. Even the spaces occupied by people of color tend to amplify male voices over women’s.
I want to change that. My goal is to build a podcast network of shows made by and for women, primarily women of color. My dream is to hear women’s perspectives on everything from music to pop culture to politics, sports, and activism, in a thoughtful way, always considering intersectionality.
You can help make this vision reality by supporting this Patreon. Donations will be used to cover the costs of shows already in production (Black Girl Squee, Ratchet Research) as well the creation of new shows that will be the foundation of the premium podcast network (i.e., the Building Fund).
I am rebuilding my jewelry business and to do that, I’m experimenting with selling some poetry. Subjects will include job hunting, Memphis life, and the struggles of living between the margin and the center in the Trump era.
Did I miss you? Go on and add your links and/or pitch in the comments :)
Black History Month Posts
- Tempest Challenge: Black History Month Edition
- Black Women in 19th Century American Life | Tempest Challenge BHM
- The Temple of My Familiar by Alice Walker | Tempest Challenge BHM
- Scott Woods: Just Read Everything He Writes | Tempest Challenge BHM
- Zora Neale Hurston: A Life in Letters | Tempest Challenge BHM
- Melissa Harris-Perry at ELLE | Tempest Challenge BHM
- Why Black Stories Matter – Adam H.C. Myrie | Tempest Challenge BHM
- Sun Ra and Afrofuturism | Tempest Challenge BHM
- My Life, My Love, My Legacy by Coretta Scott King | Tempest Challenge BHM
- Parable of the Sower / Parable of the Talents by Octavia E Butler | Tempest Challenge BHM
- Linda Addison Will Scare You (In A Good Way) | Tempest Challenge BHM
- Pushout: The Criminalization of Black Girls in Schools by Monique W. Morris | Tempest Challenge BHM
- Kintu by Jennifer Nansubuga Makumbi | Tempest Challenge BHM
- 1984 & About Writing by Samuel R. Delany | Tempest Challenge BHM
- Anthologies & Collections | Tempest Challenge Black History Month
- Linkspam | Tempest Challenge Black History Month
- August Wilson’s Plays | Tempest Challenge BHM
- Support Black Authors, Artists, & Creatives | Tempest Challenge Black History Month