fayemi shakur is a rebel, a quiet rebel, but a rebel nonetheless. Artistic as a child from the very beginning, hip hop, photography, art and an interest in social justice shaped her life early on, but it was learning about — and reaching out to — political prisoners while in college and reading the autobiographies of Assata Shakur and Mumia Abu-Jamal that changed everything and shifted her awareness.
Since then, fayemi, who was just appointed Executive Director of Newark’s City Without Walls Art space, has infused all of her love of the arts and her passion for social justice into her work in her Newark, New Jersey community, making sure that there is a space for art to exist and to be expressed in a way that moves conversations forward, and potentially changes lives as it did for her. On this episode, fayemi talks about the importance of doing the work, staying focused on community (rather than social media) and why radical self care is its own form of activism.
On this episode you’ll learn…
- Why doing the work and staying focused is key.
- Taking stock of how your work is having an impact (or not) on your community.
- The empowering effect of art on communities.
- The power of beginning your day with affirmations.
- The importance of self care.
- Building yourself up along your journey so you can be prepared for that next opportunity.
- How art can be your “art cry.”
- What it takes to be an artist and make it to a gallery.
- Why artists deserve to be respected as professionals.
- The importance of women supporting women.
- Why even as a boss, the world needs to witness your vulnerability.
- And why Solange is an example of a the perfect artist for this moment.
- The three most important feelings you must have when speaking things into existence.
Thank you for listening! And hey, if you love it, click here to leave us a Rating & Review on iTunes!
RESOURCES MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE:
Shel Silverstein poetry books
Nancy Drew books
Miles Marshall Lewis
Assata Shakur: An Autobiography
Live from on Death Row by Mumia Abdul Jamal (Harper Perrenial, 1996)
“Why Black Workers Who Do Everything Right Still Get Left Behind,” from Washington Post
The New York Times “Lens” blog
“This School Replaced Detention with Meditation”
Lincoln Park Cross Cultural District
Gateway Project Spaces
Aljira Center for Contemporary Arts
Newark Arts Council Open Doors Citywide Arts Festival
[Music: “Someone Else’s Memories” by Revolution Void]