“Homo sum, humani nihil a me alienum puto”, or “I am human, and I think nothing human is alien to me.”
– Terence, 170 BC
It’s stunning to me that Terence figured out this truth two millennia ago. Yet, we still struggle with it. This statement says it better than I could. In an attempt to help us all be more empathetic and appreciative of diversity, I’ve compiled a list of black individuals who exemplify what it means to be human: to create.
Explore the list below and find new creatives to follow, support, and diversify your feed. The more we add to the diverse list of people we learn from and admire, the more we can move forward together.
Each name on this list is a person that excites my creativity, and by intentionally including black voices into your library, you support the beauty of black lives.
The Quilts of Gee’s Bend – showcases handmade quilts made by African-American women of Gee’s Bend, Alabama. Women in this area have been making quilts together from the 19th century until present day. What certainly began as a means to create warmth became an innovative form of abstract creative expression. If you’re looking for quilting inspiration, look no further!
Ron Finley – is a self proclaimed gangsta gardener. The short film about his efforts was a festival favorite in 2015! He teaches that a garden can change a person’s life, and then, can change a community. If you’re wondering how to grow food in a limited, urban space, Ron’s your guy. Dig in.
Jen Hewett – is one of our collaborators on the Picture Hope coloring book and we can’t get enough of her prints!! Her block-making patterns on fabric are perfect on everything from clothing to bags to tea towels.
Sebastian Curi – is also featured in our coloring book, Picture Hope! His graphic designs and illustrations are bright, playful, and full of movement! We’re proud to be included in his list of collaborators, which includes names like Warby Parker and Apple.
Janna Morton – is another one of our illustrators in Picture Hope. I LOVE her colorful, vibrant style.
Jade Purple Brown – her work is everything my technicolor dreams are made of!! The brilliant colors, the chic yet joyful designs, I just can’t get enough of it! Give her a follow instagram for an infusion of fun into your feed. For instance, check out this rug she designed below
Asiyami Gold – curates the most beautiful stories. She is the founder and designer of shop.au and truly has impeccable taste. If you enjoy airy interiors and tropical locales, visit her shop online! Did I mention that she is stunning?
Christina Moreland – has a vintage-inspired style that is laid-back and serious at the same time. She has the cutest posters with messages on how to be a better, healthier person. If you ever wonder how art and activism go together, then check this artist out!
Freya Bramble-Carter – is an incredible ceramicist who incorporates natural themes with contemporary design. Her pieces showcase skill and beautiful color choices.
Justina Blakeney – is a fellow blogging friend (you can read more about her here) and has been so supportive of us over the years. She has nailed the bohemian vibe under The Jungalow label with her shop and blog.
Andrea Pippins – wrote and illustrated the book “I Love My Hair,” she created an interactive artistic journal for young women, and more! Her work covers topics like empowerment, grief, self-love, and parenthood.
Frédérique Harrel – can be summed up in one word: powerhouse. Freya has a long history in fashion, is a parent to some cute kids. She was named Cosmopolitan’s 2018 “Influencer of the Year,” and is an inspirational speaker. In addition to following her on Instagram, listen to her TedTalks and learn something!
If you just can’t get enough and love learning about creative people, check out our expanded list that includes more than sixty artists! This list is in no way exhaustive, but it if full of amazing and inspiring people! Many of this artists also have stunning work for purchase, and we encourage you to buy their work if possible. That is an important way both to support that person and fill your home with diverse artwork.
Over 60 Black Creatives to Support
Christa David, Freya Bramble-Carter, Ronni Nicole, Malene Barnett, Lorna Simpson, Lina Iris Viktor, Kehinde Wiley, Kerry James Marshall, Kenesha Sneed, Mark Bradford, Arcmanoro Niles, Kenturah Davis, Kudzanai-Violet Hwami, Derek Fordjou, Derrick Adams
Work for purchase by these artists
Books by these authors
Work for purchase by these designers
Work for purchase by these illustrators
Business owners and Shops
Asiyami Gold, Brother Vellies, Femme Fatale DC, Check Alma, Jungalow, Tactile Matter, Oma the Label, HarperIman Dolls, Tree Fairfax, Linoto, Aliya Wanek, Oui the People, Actually Curious, UNWRP, Oat Cinnamon
Products for purchase from these shops
Black Owned Bookstores
Books to teach children about anti-racism
This list is just the beginning of some of our favorite black creatives and their inspiring work. Please help us continue to support by commenting any other people whose work you love! We would love to support them as well.