Just like the court jester, every person in society has a job and a purpose. The jester was allowed and revered as a source of theatrical performance, comedy, storytelling and even social criticism. Modern-day artists fill a similar role - if they choose to take the charge. To be an artist is to do more than create a pretty picture. Lots of artists can draw, paint, and create marvelous work. But does that work make you think? Does it cause you to pause beyond the beauty and make you absorb the message.
One of my favorite examples from an Atlanta artist is the work of Fahamu Pecou. http://www.fahamupecouart.com I decided to cite his work because I got into an online debate today with a FB friend about the perception of black men in our society. He was of the impression that black men were the likely cause of a family being beaten in Savannah, although the article we both read did not state the race of the perpetrators. I proceeded to argue with him about his race-based assumption, which I believe can be influenced by mass media. He tried to validate to me that the media report, gang violence and jails are proof that other races (not his own) have failed and are in denial about the issue with young men (now he was pointing the finger at me). He continued to go on and on and made himself sound more prejudiced with every statement. By the end of his rant I was drained to be reminded that our society has not grown as much as I would like to think.
I do believe there is an issue, but I think his statement were highly off-key. So without further delving into more argument, I encourage you to explore the work of Mr. Pecou to see what this artist has to say as a commentary regarding black masculinity in our society. It will do you well to look deeper into what this artist has to say....