For Us By Us
by Brittany Edwards·
We love Black artists, and especially love Black artists who work with other Black artists to show and tell Black stories. Enter: Ibra Ake.
(Photo credit: The One Club)
He’s had a hand in Atlanta, Childish Gambino’s Guava Island and “This is America”, and more recently, was one of the artists behind the iconic “Black is King” visuals.
When working with Queen Bey, the expectations were high — not only was he there to bring authentic references and representations alive, he had to learn to “be an archeologist at the same time.” There was a constant creative exploration of the nuances of culture and the history, meaning, and creators of that culture. And that level of thoughtfulness and attention is more than apparent when looking at the final product.
There’s immense responsibility that comes along with telling Black stories, because, as Ake says “you just don't get to see representation like that or [Black] people honored in that way.” And with that responsibility comes praise, criticism, and opportunity for discourse — all a part of the process.
The stories are beautiful, the people are beautiful, the process is beautiful.