News Brief

#DrawingWhileBlack Is an Online Celebration of Gifted Black Artists

Black artists around the globe shared their work this weekend on social media, using the hashtag #DrawingWhileBlack.

Black Twitter is the unspoken champion of social media. We can almost always count on the virtual community ย to produce movements, threads and hashtags that keep us scrolling down our Twitter feeds for hours, often times in laughter and awe.

This weekend, that hashtag was #DrawingWhileBlack, which saw gifted black artists from various backgrounds getting their names out there and blessing our feeds with incredible paintings, drawings and other forms of visual art for the freeโ€”what more could we really ask for from social media?

The hashtag was created by Twitter user,ย Annabelle H, who mapped out the rules for #DrawingWhileBlack on her page last Wednesday.

The hashtag is a celebration of black artists, and their talent is seriously out of this world. Check out some of our favorites below.

Interview

Interview: The Awakening of Bas

We talk to Bas about The Messenger, Bobi Wine, Sudan, and the globalized body of Black pain.

The first thing you notice when you begin to listen to The Messengerโ€”the new investigative documentary podcast following the rise of Ugandan singer, businessman and revolutionary political figure Bobi Wineโ€”is Bas' rich, paced, and deeply-affecting storytelling voice.

Whether he is talking about Uganda's political landscape, painting a picture of Bobi Wine's childhood, or drawing parallels between the violence Black bodies face in America and the structural oppression Africans on the continent continue to endure at the hands of corrupt government administrations, there is no doubt that Bas (real name Abbas Hamad) has an intimate understanding of what he's talking about.

We speak via Zoom, myself in Lagos, and him in his home studio in Los Angeles where he spends most of his time writing as he cools off from recording the last episode of The Messenger. It's evident that the subject matter means a great deal to the 33-year-old Sudanese-American rapper, both as a Black man living in America and one with an African heritage he continues to maintain deep ties with. The conversation around Black bodies enduring various levels of violence is too urgent and present to ignore and this is why The Messenger is a timely and necessary cultural work.

Below, we talk with Bas aboutThe Messenger podcast, Black activism, growing up with parents who helped shape his political consciousness and the globalized body of Black pain.

This interview has been edited for length and clarity.

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