Artists and Activism – Through the Decades
As we watch what is happening in our country, politically and socially it’s hard not to be reminded of how things have changed, yet, how much they have actually stayed the same. Back in the 60’s when I was born, the civil rights movement took on a very different look once it was televised.
Most of the country didn’t realize what was going on outside of their comfort zone until they turned on the television and witnessed with their own eyes the injustices that was taking place in the world as they sat on their comfy couches.
Fast forward to 2018 when we no longer have to turn the knob of a television set to view the news as we are now walking around with the news 24/7 365 right in the palms of our hands with a Smartphone, Tablet or Laptop.
Through the decades there have been many individuals and groups who have been on the right side of the law and in the thick of activism so this evening we are going to talk about the artist, those who have used their platforms and their ability to use their talents to command large audiences in order to spread the word of injustices.
Most of us have heard about artists who are activist such as Nina Simone, Paul McCartney, Stevie Wonder, Bono, Sting, James Baldwin and Mos Def, who have been vocal, but what about the local artists in our own communities who are activist?
Activist can be such a loaded term or label, that many believe it may have negative connotations and oftentimes the message is lost in the theme, ie Black Lives Matter and it’s going to be politicized in some way. However, for everyday citizens, activism can be a way to change the lives of everyday citizens in a local town or community.
Artists are very involved in the local towns and communities and are thinking people. They know many of those affected so most feel that it’s their job is to reflect what they see as well as speak up about the times with their own authentic voices, and oftentimes politics is going to be part of that.
My Podcast guest, Madeline Porter is someone whom I met back in 2016, at an event held at a Networking Event held at the Delaware Art Museum which was featuring Our America: The Latino Presence in American Art she was our Tour Guide.
Madeline attended Cab Calloway School of the Arts for middle and high school, as well as Brandywine Summer Fine Arts Camp during the summer break. During those years, she majored in Visual Arts, and minored in Communication arts.
Madeline is an artist, better known here in Delaware at Rising Phoenix.
“I love learning different languages and studying different cultures. I do poetry as well as write stories. I teach Spanish classes at local libraries and I also help teach English as a Second Language.
I aspire to create a language learning program that’s greater than Rosetta Stone. I want to travel the world and I have already been to three countries. I am very passionate about humanitarian issues and I consider myself to be an activist. I care very much about immigrant rights, women’s rights, racial justice and LGBT+ issues.”
Let’s Chat > Are you an activist?