Aloe Blacc, Arisha Hatch and Kierna Mayo Discuss The Transformative Nature of Art at The Root Institute

Illustration for article titled Aloe Blacc, Arisha Hatch and Kierna Mayo Discuss The Transformative Nature of Art at The Root Institute
Photo: Anthony Williams; Courtesy photo from Arisha Hatch; Courtesy photo from Kierna Mayo

Presumably, ever since art has existed, there have been conversations about what art actually means. And over time, the most effective ways to use art—protest, social change, allegory, etc.—became as essential to the conversation. In the Black community, where all art is under a microscope, those conversations of interpretation and use are central; no movie, album or sculpture gets to exist in a vacuum and just Ultimately, this is one of the goals of equality movements—artists seeking to create art that doesn’t have the weight of the world on its shoulders.


In that sense, art can be transformative. An artist can create music that becomes the soundtrack of a movement—think Marvin Gaye’s What’s Going On?, or Kendrick Lamar’s Alright—or art can be used to tear down communities and create narratives to oppress and terrorize people—think D.W. Griffith’s 1915 film Birth of A Nation.

That is the underpinning of “To Build or Destroy: The Transformative Nature of Art” for The Root Institute. If art is especially used as a method for storytelling, how is that storytelling used?

Hosted by yours truly, Panama Jackson, this panel features singer/songwriter/activist Aloe Blacc, content creator extraordinaire and lynchpin of Black art for decades, Kierna Mayo, and Vice President, Chief of Campaigns for Color of Change, Arisha Hatch.

In this conversation, we explore how best to use art, the responsibility behind its creation, and how and why certain stories get elevated and how that impacts culture.

Tune in after 5 p.m. today, Aug. 13, to check out the conversation with Aloe Blacc, Kierna Mayo and Arisha Hatch.

Make sure you check out this (and other) panels at The Root Institute every Tuesday and Thursday throughout the month of August.


Join the discussion! The Root is hosting its first-ever, virtual Root Institute, presented by Target, featuring several of the leading minds in our community talking about politics, culture, health, community building and social impact. Subscribe for updates today!

Panama Jackson is the Senior Editor of Very Smart Brothas. He's pretty fly for a light guy. You can find him at your mama's mama's house drinking all her brown liquors.