Art is peace of mind or it is madness, depending on who you are and how you look at it. I love how there are no rules when it comes to art. I love how creativity is a muscle that just needs to be worked for people who don’t consider themselves as creative. I love how creativity isn’t just with a pen and paper or colored pencils and paint, but it is your mind, body, and soul.
I love how art can be inspired by anyone or anything. I love being encouraged to not simply look from a far and take it all in, but also having the opportunity to contribute because of the nature of Detroit. There are endless opportunities to showcase your own talent, learn, listen, work, and do. There are so many different people in the city starting from Black Bottom, to Southwest/Mexicantown, to Hamtramck and their addicting Kielbasa. There is culture and inclusiveness brought together by different forms of art.
This Black History Month for me has been filled with so many different types of art by so many different people including patients, students, family, writers and artists. I am now more than ever embracing my blackness, and not holding back because of a previous fear
of making others uncomfortable. Growth cannot occur if uncomfortable conversations don’t occur. I’ve been pushed and I’m finally starting to push back, refusing to allow others to dictate my life, especially those that don’t know the experience of being a Nigerian-American woman constantly surrounded by privileged white people.It’s tough but just a means for me to work harder to earn the respect my parents taught me to always give.
I got really lucky with my group for Challenge 3. Finally, I felt as though I was on the same page as everyone else. Although as I was the only African-American in my group, I was inspired by my team members’ fearlessness, openness to people’s strengths as weaknesses, and creative freedom. I was most appreciative of our meaningful conversations during our lunch breaks from Dearborn Meat Market to Mexican town. They weren’t afraid to go anywhere or do anything which means a lot to someone like me who has been constantly held back by overpowering personalities and situations. They allowed me to be me, and I thank them for that.