Music News

Yara Shahidi, Kenya Barris, & Tyler, the Creator discuss reclaiming Black narratives in TIME Magazine's new issue

ABC/Craig Sjodin

In TIME magazine’s special cover project, “The New American Revolution,” curated by Pharrell Williams, actress Yara Shahidi went back and forth with the remarkable Angela Davis about youth activism and dismantling white supremacy.

“One of the strategies of white supremacy is to take away the potential of the Black imaginary,” Yara says. “We’re in a moment right now of world-building—in which it’s time to build a world not based on precedent, or even in reaction to the systems that have been set up, but truly independent, based on these values of equity.”

With November’s presidential election approaching, Yara says this is “an opportunity to reclaim our space for imagination.”

Meanwhile, Black-ish’s Kenya Barris says, “Why can’t we tell our stories?” during a sit down with Grammy-winning artist Tylerthe Creator about various narratives within the black community.

Barris said it’s “counterintuitive,” but he still has to “ask for permission to do stories about my people.”

“White people get to tell [their] stories ad nauseam, however [they] choose,” Barris explains. “You get so many versions of whiteness. We get five stories: crime, slavery, the hood, “I don’t have a man” and “I’m trying to get out the ghetto.'”

Tyler adds, “When people don’t allow you to use your voice, you make your own way. That’s what I did.” He mentioned he enjoys seeing Black kids copying his style of “orange hair and paint on their fingernails.”

Barris praised Tyler for being “part of birthing is an acceptance of diversity and diversified ideas” and carving “a lane where kids can just be themselves.”

“It’s a problem that we cannot expand beyond what people are used to seeing us in,” the #blackAF Creator says. “That’s the whole purpose of my career—to push the conversation and the culture forward.”

By Rachel George
Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.