Black Lives Matter

Black Box Press Studio
The past 15 years that I've been writing here, I have never felt more uncomfortable but also never felt more immediacy to write a post.  It's so difficult to even begin, words don't come easy for me at the best of times, (I'm such a visual person), and these days words seem even harder. I've taken pause for the past while especially trying to find my voice during this time and where I think I can do best amidst everything and going forward.  As difficult as all of this is, I'm also grateful we are having this conversation with the Black community. There have been unthinkable issues Black people have had to deal with in history, but this time, things feel different. I really hope we are at a turning point. Enough is enough.

Being the wife and business partner to an Indigenous person, I have sadly witnessed different forms of racism first-hand throughout the years with him (let it be known Canada also has a big problem with racism and our Indigenous peoples), but having said that it's important to acknowledge my white privilege and I also want to address the Black community which is so important at this time. Firstly, I understand, I don't understand the depth and extreme issues facing Black people. As a white person, I strive to continually learn and understand this world and my place and responsibility as a human being in it. The one most important thing I have learned along the way is, you cannot make judgement or opinions on others' actions unless you have walked a mile in their shoes and when it comes to racism and protesting/activism, it's impossible as a white person to know how that really feels.  I cannot speak for someone, nor will I try in any circumstance, but what I can do, is stand up, support and be accountable to making a difference.

With that said, I'm going to stay in the lane I started here all those years ago and do what I do best, which is supporting the beautiful, the decayed and the handmade community and will ensure to be more inclusive (not just now, but ongoing), and bring light to the beautiful work of more BIPOC people. I am also making a commitment to help dismantle racism, using my privilege to condemn violence and to step up in the form of art activism. We will continue to support independent artists of all races, and respectfully will try harder, listening with an open mind and heart and most importantly, "being anti-racist". Black Lives Matter.

(Above) A powerful piece by Delita Martin of Black Box Press Studio who writes on her instagram how her son loves to run and each day that he goes out for his run in his hoodie, she prays for his safe return. (Please support Delita's work if you can, and if you can't, support with your social. Heart her work, make comments and give her some love). Click here to see her work.

Jan Halvarson

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