5 Ways Black Creatives Owned the Lockdown

“Sue me I’m voting for everybody black”

There is no need to rehash the harshness and assault of this week on black souls and lives. We all know what happened and everyone has a role to play in deciding what to do next.

In the meantime, I want to be intentional about highlighting all the ways that black creatives have elevated black culture and have really made us proud in this time of adversity. These are my personal 5 top!

  1. Verzuz

Legendary music producers Timbaland and Swizz Beats put together the concept of Verzuz, where each week two top musicians in a genre play their top 20 songs in a friendly battle on Instagram Live. They found a way to give us something to look forward to each week, it has been uplifting to see the magic of music, culture and outpouring of support as we blast the comments with emoji’s and “That’s my Jam!”

In an interview with TMZ they shared how they have turned down multi-million dollar deals from “vultures” to keep Verzuz authentic and for the people. “We just wanna keep it where people are entertained because we living in a world where 16 million people lost jobs.”

We have seen artists like T-Pain Vs Lil John, Erykah Badu Vs Jill Scott, Nelly Vs Ludacris, 112 Vs Jagged Edge to name a few. The artists share some stories behind their songs and it has reminded me of how lucky I am to be a millennial- we really had the best of everything! The first Verzuz I watched was Teddy Riley Vs Babyface, I was jamming along with 500K other old school jam lovers, then IG Live “broke”. I think to date it was the biggest IG Live ever hosted and it cut the celebration short.

The best Verzuz so far has been between Jamaican dancehall superstars Beenie Man and Bounty Killer. They were together, side by side, giving us the best hits until the police tried to shut the party down! Then, in her royal demeanour — Rihanna jumped in the comments and told the police to go home! It was a perfectly flawless night, no glitches, freestyle verses- it was a special and positive moment.

I think we need more female musicians on the platform, my personal desire is to see Tamia Vs Tony Braxton! Who do you want to see?

2. Hanifa // The Pink Label Congo

Anifa Mvuemba, 30 year old founder of fashion brand Hanifa rocked the fashion industry when she debuted her latest line, The Pink Label Congo on 3D models. She worked on this collection for 7 months and her preparation met opportunity in this time of social distancing.

Anifa Mvuemba

In contrast large fashion retailers like Nieman Marcus, J.C Penney and brands like DVF Studio (UK), Aldo, True Religion, J. Crew and Forever 21 are filing for bankruptcy, because of cancelled and low sales. Anifa has orders through the roof and its important to point her innovative approach in design and execution. In addition, she is raising awareness about illicit practices- including use of child labour in cobalt mining in her home country of the Democratic Republic of Congo. All your faves Google, Apple, Tesla, Dell and Microsoft have been named in a lawsuit filed by International Rights Advocates for benefitting from cruel, inhumane labour used to source cobalt to build lithium components needed in most tech gadgets.

As soon as I get a job, I am committed to wearing black designers and brands like Hanifa, Pyer Moss, Diella Reaux, Ofuure, Fear of God and Fenty. Drop other black brands to check out for in the comments!

3. Elaine Welteroth Brooklyn Stoop Wedding

Weddings may be postponed, but we cannot cancel love. Elaine Welteroth, former editor of Teen Vogue and her husband, Jonathan Singletary held a picture perfect wedding on the stoop of their brownstone in Brooklyn. There are many people who have had their weddings in quarantine, with a few people in a room- but this was a full blown celebration- it didn’t even feel like a “make shift” wedding.

The couple met when they were children in church through their mothers and they decided to dedicate their wedding day to their mothers by getting married on Mothers Day! They saved their date and mission accomplished.

I loved everything about their wedding- the joy, the fashion and 200 guests(95% were attending virtually) that included Lupita Ny’ongo as maid of honour. Then all this was wrapped up with a Brooklyn style socially distant block party!

Perfection!

4. TikTok Dances

All of them are started by black creators. Yes, ALL!

And then popularised by white influencers… remember the culture vultures Timbaland and Swizz spoke about…

The Renegade dance was created by 14 year old Jalaiah Harmon and then got popularised by white influencers who were being paid to make appearances doing the dance. Anyway, this isn’t time for this discussion.

If there is anything cool you saw coming off Tik Tok, we did that. Remember how we ATE with that Don’t Rush challenge? I loved to see it all of it!

Then we were blessed with a Savage remix! (All puns intended) Where were you when you heard Beyonce’s verses on “Savage”? Don’t you just love Bey’s “Ok” as Meg is reciting how is she “classy, bougie, ratchet.”

I couldn’t even do the first TikTok dance so the remix has just made it impossible for me to figure out where to start. Its so fast!

5. I Launched a Podcast

Of course I had to plug myself!

If you are a professional considering a shift in your career- either planned or by circumstances listen to our podcast. We have women in the legal industry sharing their stories of the shifts they have made. Make the Shift with The Legal Werk on Apple and Spotify. We are trying to make the Joe Rogan money (he sold his podcast to Spotify for $100 million), or secure the Joe Budden bag.

Bonus

[Insecure style closest this season was just one fire outfit after another- especially for Condola’s character and Molly levelled the heck up in dressing, not character. ]

Finally, I hope this made you smile. You are made of more and you are made for more. Focus on:

What other cool culture moments made you proud? Drop in the comments below :)

A South African lawyer based in New York.