Gabrielle Richardson: Identity

Gabrielle Richardson is an Instagram innovator best known for her work as a curator of the Art Hoe Collective. Constantly working to raise the voices of youth of color, Gabrielle impacts thousands on a daily basis. Lithium editor, Olivia Ferrucci, asked Gabrielle a few questions regarding the pride in being an adolescent of color and the struggles she has endured.
Lithium: Did you struggle in finding and appreciating your identity as a child?Gabrielle: I think as a child I definitely struggled with appreciating my identity. As a black femme, I was always told I wasn't enough. I was told I was exempt from good traits due to my blackness. I was "pretty for a black girl", I was "smart for a black girl", and that I was so cool people didn't even consider me to be black. Being told such things, especially at a young age, by other children was nearly impossible not to internalize to a certain extent. My parents went above and beyond to make me love myself and my blackness, but it's hard not to have issues when you are told from every corner that you are not enough, and if you are, you're an outlier of your race and gender.
Lithium: Has social media empowered you and assist in admiring yourself to a greater degree?
Gabrielle: Social media helped me connect with other black people and people of color who have suffered similarly to me. I saw all the nuanced and beautiful ways black people are different and the same to each other. We could be anything we wanted to be. I also had a huge resource for learning about other people and the ways in which they lived. I learned more about feminism, race, and gender and learned so many thing about others and myself. My eyes were opened.
Lithium: What has been most beneficial for you in working as a curator for the Art Hoe Collective? 
Gabrielle: I love being able to help other young people of color display their work. As a brown artist, it's hard to find myself represented as something other than a one dimensional muse. We create, assemble, and want to represent ourselves. If I know I can validate one young brown child about their work and their passion, then that's all I need.
Lithium: What steps would you advise for young teens of color seeking to find pride in themselves?
Gabrielle: I would want them to know that they're worthy. We hold so much and do so much. People always tell us that we create nothing when we are constantly materializing cultures. You are amazing!

No comments

Post a Comment