culture

To Be Black

+PDXOctober 22nd 2020

We have a saying at Wieden+Kennedy: “the work comes first.” But the truth is the people come first. Without people, creativity stops. And part of creativity is using your voice and speaking up. So this is what some of our Black employees have to say about what it means to be Black today.

Because it’s the great question of our time, especially this year. There is no one single answer. Instead there are millions of perspectives. Millions of experiences. Millions of stories.

And while we don't yet know those millions of other stories, we decided to start at home, with our people and their perspectives.

So, WHAT DOES IT MEAN #TOBEBLACK IN 2020? This is what it means. Scroll below to see their responses.

Yahkeema Moffit (Left) “Being Black in 2020 isn't something one person can define. Pretty great isn't it?”

Megan Daniels (Right) “An exhausting and daily fear. Fighting for life and justice in our community.”

Valeene Wilson (Left) “To be Black in this strange new decade is to exist with purpose. The world is awake.”

Marques Gartrell (Right) *“Watching the world’s attention fade away when the hashtags stop trending.” *

Danielle Magee (Left) “Black is strength.”

Jordan Dinwiddie (Right) “Let your soul glo.”

Anthony Williams (Left) “To be Black is to be limitless, remarkable, immortal. To be Black in 2020 is no different--white people just finally realized it.”

Blair Ringgold (Right) “The Black womxn should be loved & protected.”

Breanna Jones (Left) “To matter in conversation but not yet in policy.”

Taylor Roberts (Right) “I am who I am. And I ain't changing for nobody.”

Dominique Thibault (Left) *“Owning my Blackness while living in a world with mainly white friends and family.” *

Jasmyn Barr (Right) “Being Black in 2020 is not much different than being Black every other year. Only this year we are being seen and heard. I also feel like I am the most unafraid this year to be my authentically Black self.”

Joshua Christie (Left) “Out of many, one people.”

Zaynah Ahmed (Right) “My Blackness is my legacy. It is the history of who I am and how strong my ancestors were.”

Jasmine Cogdell (Left) “Black Women are QUEENS. We cannot be left out of the narrative. #JusticeforBreonnaTaylor.”

Keeara Taylor (Right) “The same as it has all my 41 yrs...I matter.”

Eden Andu (Left) “Being Black is the extreme sport in America. Beautiful, Yet Painful. Conveniently Visible, Yet Invisible.“

Tiffany Golden (Right) “To fly with heavy bones.”

Emery Barnes (Left) “CELEBRATED AND CONVICTED.”

Kyle Chin (Right) “Seen. Finally.”

The above art can be seen in the windows of W+K Portland.

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