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Black Tag – Black Art is Black Money 7
Courtesy of Blacktag

Exploring Black culture’s seismic influence on mainstream trends

Blacktag is a creative company that seeks to elevate Black creators and provides a platform for them to showcase their work – here, their short film highlights examples of how Black people have shaped contemporary culture

From bantu knots and baby hairs, to disco and techno, the dab, the whoa, and every major TikTok dance trend you can bring to mind, Black people drive contemporary culture. But very rarely do we see Black creatives receive proper recognition – or compensation – for their work.

Featuring the likes of Jalaiah Harmon, Sage ElsesserParker Kit Hill, Gabrielle Richardson, Eloisa Santos, and Miski, Black Art is Black Money is a short film exploring some of the many examples around the world where Black culture has been the catalyst for global trends.

The film is directed by Akin Adebowale and Ousman Sahko Sow, who are the co-founders of Blacktag – the Issa Rae-approved, Black-owned creative company that houses independent Black creatives and provides a platform for them to showcase their work.

Described as somewhere between Netflix and YouTube, the platform seeks to elevate Black creators and connect them with fans and brands. Issa Rae and Common are partnered with Blacktag to make original content, while creators can sign up through the website and set up their own profiles.

“We built a platform that elevates Black creators and technology, provides audiences with better content, provides brands a way to sustainably collaborate with Black creators, and contributes to the worldwide charge of equating Black economic power with our immense creative power,” Adebowale tells Dazed.

The film highlights an extensive list of Black cultural contributions, from the influence of African art on Picasso, to dance moves like the charleston, juba, whoa, and the dab. “We’re incredibly excited to break the monolithic stereotype around Black creativity; the world needs to see more stories around Blackness globally. The more we know about our racist history, the more we understand what's going on now and what audiences are seeking as it relates to content,” explains Sahko.

"We’re in this pop culture moment right now. America is struggling with what kind of country it wants to be. Personally, we believe the world is hungry to see more than what’s currently being offered,” he adds. 

You can watch Black Art is Black Money below, and keep your eyes peeled for more content from Blacktag. “Black art has for a long time and continues to drive popular culture worldwide,“ says Adebowale, “this simply needs to be acknowledged and paid for”.

Find out more about the Blacktag initiative here