Sunday, April 12, 2009

Connecting Black Jewelry Designers



So last night I was just hanging out in the different jewelry groups I belong to...one to many if you ask me...but anyway, I decided to post that I'm looking for other black jewelry designers. To be honest I didn't expect any replies but ironically I received quite a few.  Soon I started a little emails list with the people who responded.  But after a discussion about not seeing a group for black designers Sonja of Fire Hazard decided we should have one and *bam* made a yahoo group for black designers.


At first I couldn't believe it...how could there not be a group for black designers?! Well I had no time to really ponder the issue because Sonja and I were soon inviting the other women and planning how to attract more members.  We started throwing ideas back and forth about ways to promote the group, the groups aim and purpose and how to handle any drama that would follow.  

Now someone reading this will think...what drama can happen just because you started a group. For that person I'll share a email I received today from a non-black jewelry maker.

From: C
Date: Sun, Apr 12, 2009 at 3:36 PM
Subject: black jewelry designer

Hello and Happy Easter,

You and I are fellow jewelry designers and fellow members of several yahoo groups.  I’ve been to your blog and feel that you have no idea how badly you are alienating me (and perhaps others) when you ask for black designers.  I try to tell myself that you are just looking for like minded friends but the color of one’s skin has nothing to do with their insides.  I sort my beads by color, not my friends.  I hope that one day the world will be color blind to skin tone but until all stop discriminating by color, this isn’t going to happen.  Everyone is colored unless invisible has become an option.  So, unless you have another reason for looking for black designers that I haven’t fathomed, I’d like to be a part of your group even though my skin isn’t black.

Sincerely,
C

Now, I'm at a loss on how to answer this.  I don't understand how something as simple as black women jewelers forming a group to talk shop means we're...or should I say "I" want to alienate non-blacks?!  Lets be real here...I come across information and  projects that are race specific. If a company is looking for a "black" designer or is offering an incentive for the "black" creative community then what would be the point of me posting this info in a non-black group? It's best to have a place where this info will reach the intended community.  That's my view of the issue. Since this is a group issue I'll ask the group and see what they say about this...but I wish people would respect other people choices. 

3 comments:

T.Allen-Mercado said...

It's an interesting point on both sides. I think what some people-regardless of ethnicity fail to understand is the sheer magnitude of hurdles overcome to be an entrepreneur and an artist, let alone one of color. It isn't as much about alienating as it is about bringing together the historically alienated.

On the other side of the spectrum, we have to eventually come to a place where we identify as artists/designers/artisans alone in our craft-we will always be black without question. Perhaps as a group we will figure a way to achieve this.

BTW-I'd love to join.

Nidhi Seth said...

Handmade
beaded jewelry for men
, women and teens at affordable, artist-direct prices.
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Gammie said...

I think you have hit on a Sociological dilemna. How to be all inclusive without including all? There is something to think about. :)

We are all unique in our craft, but what makes us unique could be race, ethnicity, or even what part of the world we live in.

Goodness...I think I will shut up now. Please let me know how your group solves this.

Thanks,
Jeanne