Around June 2020, I illustrated the Black lives Matter protest in Manchester Piccadilly. Since then I've been selling digital copies and prints of the Illustration and collecting the profits to donate towards BLM UK Chapter. I just wanted to thank everyone who shared, liked and purchased a print. We've managed to collect £101 in profit!
It really warms my heart to see so much support and kindness. And really appreciate the people who support my illustration work and the cause.
Music by Erykah Badu, 'Afro Blue.'
The Gofundme page for the UK Black Lives Matter has been closed. They managed to raise a whopping £1.2 Million. Absolutely fantastic! I'm not planning on taking down the print. Instead I've decided to dedicate the profits collected towards a different charity every year. Watch this space to find out which charity it will be next year. And if you have any suggestions feel free to share it with me at Hello@jasminissaka.com.
In the mean time I've been asked questions on how to further support black communities. I definitely do not have the answers. So I'm just sharing my perspective as a black female creative.
Support businesses from people of colour
As a creative who is hustling and juggling most days to make a living out of the work I love doing, the most amazing thing a person can do for me is just supporting my business. It's not just a business that's being supported, it's hopes and dreams and positive validation. Hopefully this will lead into building individuals who will aid in building their communities. Resulting in a continues positive cycle of growth that will enrich the way we all live, and make us feel we have the option to try be our best versions. My favourite place at the moment to check out black owned business is Love Jamii . You can also sign up for a 40% discount card on black owned businesses. Plus I frequently send out donations to the Stephen Lawrence charitable trust. A charity which supports young people between ages 13-30 within the UK in succeeding in their chosen careers, and creating a fairer society that everyone can thrive in. I've also dropped a little list of my favourite black owned businesses and charities which focus on creating equal opportunities for people of colour.
The UK’s leading independent race equality think tank. They generate intelligence to challenge race inequality in Britain through research, network building, leading debate, and policy engagement.
Race on the Agenda (ROTA) is one of Britain's leading social policy think-tanks focusing on issues that affect Black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) communities. Originally set up in 1984, ROTA aims to increase the capacity of BAME organisations and strengthen the voice of BAME communities through increased civic engagement and participation in society.
Black women are 5 times more likely to die due to complications during childbirth in the U.K.
Black Mothers Matter aim to raise money to support black mothers by funding them to have advocates or Doulas during their pregnancy to advocate for them.
Europe’s largest celebration for African, Asian, Middle Eastern, Latin American and Caribbean-heritage LGBTQ people.
Founded by by British Senegalese artist Aïcha Daffé. Sunu Ker specialises in producing hand-blended natural hand made products inspired by the natural beauty practices and raw ingredients of Africa.
Colourshot sells African inspired cards, gifts, jewellery & clothing. African fabriccards, mugs, coasters notebooks, scarves, headwraps, jewellery
A mother and daughter family business who aim to create a special space for black girls to strengthen their relationship with themselves. They create lovely self care boxes, affirmation cards, journals, T-shirts and more. Instilling empowerment every time someone is gifted with their products.
Probably a bit biased, since my roots are from Ghana, but I love the lively West African prints of the homeware products. Bespoke Binny is run by Natalie who (like me) has a love for adorning her home in beautiful bright colours . Plus there are online virtual classes for lampshade making.
There are too many Wonderfull businesses to mention. But these amazing articles will shed more detailed light on all the wonderful options available. From beauty, art to food!
Other articles about black owned businesses:
"43 BLACK OWNED BUSINESSES IN THE U.K. YOU ABSOLUTELY NEED IN YOUR LIFE"
Share, like, spread and support!
Another great way to support and elevate people of colour is by sharing, liking, talking and spreading the work they do. These days, we all have to look out for our pennies, so we can't all rush out and buy all the amazing things being created. So why not share and shout about it? Word of mouth is a powerful tool, and I can recall several times where just a few mentions of my work has lead to great opportunities. Plus, every time someone shouts about my work, I do a little (terrible) well done dance. Only the walls of my room are allowed (or have no choice) to witness this. So that's something entertaining to think about.
Currently I've signed up to FUSE a platform dedicated to elevating the creativity and voices of creatives of colour. So if you're looking for amazing artists to follow or learn about please check out their directory of different artists.
A little list of my favourite black creatives.
Cute and quirky illustrations of black women.
Modern day renaissance woman who is a singer, songwriter, visual artist, music educator, designer and image activist.
Kirsty Latoya is a South London based artist who specialises in digital illustration. She concentrates on important issues such as mental health through her art. Kirsty uses her media to de-stigmatise mental health, particularly within Black and Asian communities.
Have healthy open conversations!
Don't be afraid to ask questions, do some research, have healthy conversations and be open and ready to learn.
There seems to be a big fear and awkwardness talking about race between different people. I've definitely felt a room gone ice cold when issues and topics about race has come up. Obviously, no one has the one definite true answer and everyone's experiences are different. But if we don't have open, healthy, constructive and safe conversations about such topics we'll always keep ourselves in the dark. We're always moving forward, so it's best to move forward taking well informed steps.