“There are as many ideas and identities as there are Black people. We have never been a homogenous group. Black presence is fluid. Acknowledging Black presence is acknowledging Black diversity."
Thea Matthews, Artist, Poet, Activist
“All Black people, we are brothers and sisters. We can feel the same thing because your ancestors are my ancestors. It doesn’t matter that I’m from Brazil and that you’re from the United States, Haiti, or Cuba. We still feel the same thing that our ancestors experienced. The racism still happens. I want to see us come together and support each other.”
Tania Santiago, Afro-Brazilian Dance Teacher and Aguas Artistic Director
“One of my favorite words that I wish we still used is “Afro-American,” because it’s not just talking about Africa. Yes, I have an identity there. But it’s Afro-Brazilian, or Afro-this that tells about the flavor, the history and my more ancient connections. It feels more authentic and I have always really liked that. It represents the seasoning of who I am, and that is a connection. Africa is a huge place with many countries and languages. When you say “African American,” it’s like saying I’m from a whole continent that I’ve never been to. Afro-American speaks of my lineage.”
Rhiannon Evans MacFadyen, Curator and Project-based Artist
“The culture and expression of Black folks: self-determination, the suffering, the pain and the love. If you can capture that in your artwork, you’ve made the connection with the community and the broader community as well. We were talking about revolutionary culture for transforming society. Our art was a reflection of what was going on in the world.”
Emory Douglas, Minister of Culture for the Black Panther Party