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Monday, May 27
The Indiana Daily Student

Black Voices

Black Voices: Black creatives are thriving despite the pandemic

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The COVID-19 pandemic has changed how companies and institutions function. From in-person school to working from home, the work life of the majority of the population has been turned upside down. It has even stalled entire industries, including the media industry.

The entertainment industry took this as a challenge. Near the beginning of this crisis, there was a lull in content. But for the past couple of months, there has been an influx of new movies and content creation.At the forefront of this increase in content are Black artists. Black people work hard at anything we put our minds to. It is in our blood. Black work created during quarantine has proven just that.

Black people have always worked hard and been intentional about their work. Maybe that comes from Black people being raised with the knowledge that, like Rowan Pope told Olivia in "Scandal", as Black people in the workplace and in life, “You have to be twice as good as them to get half of what they have.” 

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Zendaya acts in a scene from "Euphoria." She was nominated for an Emmy award for lead actress in a drama series for her performance in the show. Tribune News Service

One of the first movies filmed in person while also adhering to COVID-19 regulations was Zendaya and John David Washington’s "Malcolm and Marie". Zendaya felt the itch to create again since the production of her show "Euphoria" was postponed due to the pandemic. She contacted her friend and creator of "Euphoria" Sam Levinson, and they got to work. 

Similarly, quarantine brought Georgia State University student Julian Bass — a TikTok creator, self-taught editor and VFX artist — into the spotlight. Bass went viral for his “favorite heroes” TikTok showing him transforming from a Jedi to Ben 10 to Spider-Man with excellent transitions and visual graphics included.

After going viral for the video, Bass was signed to talent and literacy agency ICM Partners.

Bass and many other Black creators on TikTok have gotten a lot of attention for their content. Black creators are responsible for a great majority of the currently popular TikTok trends. But, mostly white creators are reaping the benefits.

One of the most popular examples of this being Charli D’Amelio stealing the “Renegade” dance and becoming outrageously famous as a result. The dance was created by Black teenager Jalaiah Harmon.

Though this has long been an issue, “Black TikTok” continues to thrive on the app.

Another project born in quarantine is actor and activist Brandon Kyle Goodman’s IGTV series "Black Folx." In the series, Goodman talks one-on-one with other Black people from various backgrounds and in various careers about life as a Black person in the US, their experiences in their careers and how being Black has shaped them into the people they are.

The series was started in response to the trauma and grief we as Black people have experienced this year, specifically as it relates to the continued killings of Black people by police.

Since "Black Folx" premiered on July 4, Goodman has released six episodes of the series.

Although we still have a long way to go, it is uplifting to see there is beginning to be more recognition and mainstream appreciation for media content from Black artists.

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Uplifting Black stories, perspectives and art from IU and Bloomington. Reach out at blackvoices@idsnews.com.

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