Black Is Beautiful, Every Time
What a year to be Black, what a year to be a person of color, what a year to be a human being. In a group therapy session today, one of my fellows referred to this year as clearing out the weeds. I think this year could be viewed through a few different analogies but that one stayed with me the most. This year has been a purge, a purge of long overdue issues that finally feel like they’re being taken seriously. With that said, there’s still so much work to do, this generation is playing catch up, more power to us...
What caught me most by surprise this year was, well, the year. For me personally though, my own efforts took me aback. I was super charged by witnessing an international movement take place which re-awoke the passionate leader in my spirit. What began as sharing protest flyers to my social media accounts, quickly spiraled into another movement that meant so much more to others than I could ever expect. I’ve been organizing unique events through an artistic lens for years in Milwaukee and I promised myself I wouldn’t organize a protest this year (due to finishing an album) but I’d do everything in my power to amplify, support and attend them. Fast forward a few months later, that promise did not stand.
On June 21st, 2020 the very first Black Is Beautiful Ride was born. Over 2,000 people showed up on bikes, skateboards, scooters, rollerblades and in cars to ride for Black lives. The feeling was unmatched, to see people of all colors and walks of life riding through Milwaukee’s north and east sides felt like bridging the gap, even for a day. You could ask any participant in the ride and majority will tell you that love was in the air. That was an intentional decision, I noticed that collectively, after 20+ days of protesting at that point, we all needed a break. This break though, would be a progressive one, one where we made our voices heard and with the goal to feel like a kid again on a warm Sunday afternoon.
The importance of Black Is Beautiful in my opinion is the message in itself. I put that on a t-shirt for a reason, t-shirts are one of the easiest ways to mobilize a message and this was one that I wanted to see everywhere. Black Lives Matter is such an important slogan but in part with that, I also want us as Black people to celebrate how special we really are. Our culture as a whole is the most influential thing on the planet and we need to wear that a lot more proudly, it’s so powerful that they stole it from us and manipulated us to think that we should be ashamed of it. That changes now, I hope to see Black Is Beautiful impact the world. I hope to see it be the coolest, easiest to consume and powerful thing that does its part to help the world realize our greatness and how it was taken away from us. It’s our time to take it back, unapologetically, this year was the perfect springboard for that.
About the author:
Sam Ahmed, who he will introduce himself as, also known as WebsterX, is a recording artist from Milwaukee, WI. Entrenched in his music, WebsterX delivers a message of hope with stories from his path to finding his own identity. With vibrant lyrics, WebsterX holds the torch for his city and lights the way to a bright future. Spreading positivity through his community, WebsterX is a co-founder of a youth organization called FreeSpace. With impressive national press coverage and award winning music videos, WebsterX has put a spotlight on Milwaukee's budding music community and continues to see his vision become a reality.