A Rush to Use Black Art Leaves the Artists Feeling Used

Shantell Martin photographed by Demetrius Freeman for The New York Times.

It's a familiar experience for Black creatives during a time when businesses are commissioning content in support of the Black Lives Matter Movement. Speaking with Tiffany Hsu and Sandra E. Garcia for the New York Times, these Black creators describe feeling frustrated that their labor is not being valued or fear that their work is simply being used to make performative statements of solidarity.

"I’ve worked as a Black creative all my adult life, and I’ve noticed that there’s often an assumption that you should feel flattered that this large company is reaching out to you, that it has noticed you, and that reflects a greater cultural narrative that the creative work of marginalized groups is less valuable." - Lydia Okello