Culture

Why it’s important that our heroes & heroines use their visibility to amplify us

Growing up, I admired the bond many famous Black folks had. The way they embraced one another and elevated each other sparked flames in my premature heart. I found solitude in their closeness; I even envisioned them being my alternate family, in my rather fictitious universe. Black love in its entirety was instilled in me at an early age; it prompt me to love Black and to love being Black.

I remember glancing at pioneers like Rupaul, hoping to one day exchange words, or even, assemble in the same area to discuss prevalent issues. I remember being taught about the incredible human, the late, great Alvin Ailey. Being a young Black ballet dancer of the male spectrum, he was my hero. Alvin created a space and set the precedent for future Black contemporary dancers. He didn’t ask for a Seat At the Table, he built his own table.

My unaware and unwitting self reveled at how geniuses like Missy Elliott ushered in many Black talents. Missy used her solidified presence to hoist unknown faces up the ladder to attain visibility. My protruding eyes glistened with tears, in adoration of such grace and meekness.

When Gabrielle Douglas became the queen of women’s artistic gymnastics, in 2012, I cherished the way Dominique Dawes spoke profoundly about her, and embraced her. Their sisterhood illuminated a plethora of dimmed hearts.

 Few years ago, I was introduced to the soulful and exhilarating talents, Chloe & Halle. At the time, they were unknown lads, sharing their love for music with the world, via YouTube. Years after frequently uploading refreshing covers, they signed a recording contract with Beyoncé’s ever-growing label, Parkwood Entertainment. Since then, they’ve released their debut EP, Sugar Symphony, and embarked on two international and national tours. They accompanied Beyoncé on her Formation World Tour, and accompanied Andra Day on her Cheers To The Fall Tour. Since it was revealed to the world that the two lads joined Beyoncé’s label, they’ve explicated on the joys of working with their idol, Beyoncé. They’ve discussed how incredible it is to be embraced and supported by someone as visible and fierce as Beyoncé. A supporter of theirs and their boss is also their heroine. There’s power in using our presence to hoist others up the grueling ladder. 

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