On Deciding If We Should Write for CAN Journal
We know what you want. You want our thoughts. You want our feelings. You want our stories. You want our ideas. You want our solutions. You want our frustration. You want our angry-artists-of-color voices represented in this publication in order to soothe white guilt. You want us to entertain to you.
But, it’s cool. We see right through your offer.
We will not write the story you want us to write. We will not write about the history of racism in Cleveland’s art world. We will not give you well-crafted sentences about how it feels to be underserved, misrepresented, marginalized and excluded. We will not discuss our complaints because we know you already know what they are. And, we are aware that just by writing this we are giving you everything you want. It is all so exhausting!
For the past few days, every since you sent your nice and sweet white girl to ask us if we wanted to write for your publication, we’ve been wrecking our brains on whether or not we should say yes. We weighed our options.
We said no because:
- We need to spend our time focusing on our own work.
- We know we are getting used to fill a void.
- We are going to be annoyed and frustrated while we’re writing.
- We do not even read the CAN Journal because we are not interested in white content. In other words, it does not speak to us.
- We are falling into a trap.
- We know our caliber is needed.
We said yes because:
- This is an opportunity to broaden the conversation about problematic white behavior.
- This is an opportunity for us to get out of the same ole narrative: We get used. White people apologize. We voice our frustrations. White people apologize. We refuse to follow this cycle. We have decided that we will not allow ourselves to be used for white people’s entertainment. So, we will not talk about ourselves. Instead, we are more interested in writing about white people. We will not be the subject.
- We have limited media outlets in the city. As a result, when we get approached by one of them, we hold hands and jump off the building together and hope for the best.
GABRIEL GONZALEZ: TRADE MARKS | MARCH 1–APRIL 26
ACERBIC AT BREWS & PROSE | 7PM TUESDAY, MARCH 5 | MARKET GARDEN BREWERY
ALI BLACK DISCUSSING CITIZEN BY CLAUDIA RANKINE | 7PM WEDNESDAY, MARCH 6 | CLEVELAND STATE UNIVERSITY
Exact location TBA
DONALD BLACK, JR. LECTURE AT THE SOCIETY FOR PHOTOGRAPHIC EDUCATION | 11:30AM SATURDAY, MARCH 9 | HILTON HOTEL, HOPE BALLROOM