As MLK famously said, “Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.”
On Monday, Black Lives Matter Global Network will launch its newest arts and culture endeavor centering life, love, joy, rest, and pleasure. Following the launch of their USPS campaign “Write Black Love Letters,” the creative team of Patrisse Cullors and Noni Limar deliver a new series of works that focus on Black Life and how MLK’s life has inspired us all to live. The new series will live on the BLM website and Instagram in celebration of King’s influence and achievements as a civil rights leader. This year is especially important to amplify his work more than ever after the violent events that took place at the US Capitol, our symbol of democracy, on January 6th. This attack against the 117th US Congress — carried out by a mob of white supremacists — was an attempt to overturn Trump’s defeat in the election, a direct assault on our right to vote and democracy. We need to uplift our community right now and these artists have been curated as love is a focal point of their work, and with love brings healing and the ability to rejoice and continue the necessary work to move forward as a people.
“This MLK day BLMGNF is centering life, love, joy, rest, and pleasure. We will not allow white supremacist violence to deter us from the dignity and humanity of Black life. Every artist in this series was hand picked because each of them center love as part of their work. We know MLK believed in love as the center of his work and at the center of the civil rights movement. Join us in honoring his legacy through this beautiful and transformative artist series.”
— Patrisse Cullors, Co-Founder and Executive Director of BLM & Co-Curator of the BLMGN MLK Artist Series
“We need a day to dream. A day to center life and leisure. We, who believe, like MLK did in the radical relentless pursuit of freedom, must also stop to dream, to be, to LIVE.”
— Noni Limar, Co-Curator of the BLMGN MLK Artist Series
The artists involved in the MLK series are:
- Derrick Adams
- Christian Scott aTunde Adjuah
- Nikki Blak
- Melanie Charles
- Rodney Diverlus
- Shaina Simmons
- Shaina is an actress and interdisciplinary artist hailing from New Orleans, LA. At the interstices of activism and artistic praxis, her work seeks to heal the past, tend to the present, and reimagine the future of the diaspora. Shaina has performed and presented nationally and internationally at the Hammer Museum, RedCat Theater, Highways, Historic Playmakers, Bridge Art Space in Bangkok, the Ludwig Foundation and Fabrica de Arte in Cuba, and the Edinburgh Festival Fringe in Scotland. Shaina is a self-published children’s book author. Her other writings cultivate Shaina’s work with healing modalities extending to her certifications in yoga, reiki, meditation, and as a doula. Her yoga and meditation has been featured on USA TODAY, Eye On LA, and LaLa Milan’s debut single, Twerk Out. Shaina has trained with the Drama Therapy Institute of LA and holds a MFA in Acting from CalArts. She is a candidate of the inaugural cohort in Social and Environmental Practice, MFA at Prescott College.
About BLM Global Network Foundation
#BlacklivesMatter was founded in 2013 in response to the acquittal of Trayvon Martin’s murder. Black Lives Matter Global Network Foundation is a global foundation supporting Black led movements in the U.S., UK, and Canada, whose mission is to eradicate white supremacy and build local power to intervene in violence inflicted on Black communities by the state and vigilantes. By combatting and countering acts of violence, creating space for Black imagination and innovation, and centering Black joy, we are winning immediate improvements in our lives.