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Expressing Change Through Art: Black Lives Matter Hollywood Peaceful Protests

It’s been a revolutionary week in modern day America, as the people in this nation have brought forth a new era of concrete progression in terms of equal black rights and justice due to police-committed crimes. Although it’s been an ongoing controversy that’s been happening for decades, the people have decided that enough is enough. 

People from all over the country have continued to voice themselves through peaceful protests and have taken to parading the streets. 

Hollywood, CA is the epicenter for creatives to make a living through different mediums. Creatives found ways to integrate their passion into the mass movement in one of these peaceful gatherings on Saturday, June 6. 

Music is known to be transformative — it finds a way to transcend an important message to society, especially during times like these. One protestor was filming a music video in the middle of the march down Hollywood Boulevard, performing a live homage to hip-hop and rap. 

His devotion for change seeped through his facial expressions, paired with raw words on the matter and hand gestures that displayed just how invested he was in his art. 

Photography by Henry Curi

Music genres like hip-hop and rap are arguably the biggest platform for black artists to share their thoughts, visions and ways of life to a mass audience. Its historic roots originated in Bronx, New York back in the 1970s and have taken the world by storm through the decades.  

A plethora of non-black artists have emerged as successful rappers, pulling inspiration from the black community, who is responsible for such a worldwide phenomena. If it weren’t for the black youth of New York making strides to redefine music back in the day and create a space for themselves, white rappers would’ve pivoted to adopt other genres in order to make a living. The proliferation of hip hop culture shows just how influential this type of music can be in attracting different people from different races and being a platform that voices can use to address the problems that need to be fixed in this country. 

Another individual in the Hollywood march walked with a backpack that had dolls sticking out from the pockets. The figures held signs that said,“We did not come to play,” “Queer Black Lives Matter” and “#createableworld: gender-inclusive dolls.” Protesters have found ways to express themselves uniquely in the marches, and #createableworlds shows the magnitude of the protests that have been taking place these last couple of days.

Photography by Henry Curi

People are trying to create a new world, one that can rid itself from injustice and discrimination. In a world where people are trying to show more sympathy and compassion, dolls help with doing just that. This is especially true for children since they  grow close to their dolls and care for them as if they were real people. Dolls have been able to instill this caring trait to the youth indirectly, as there are no rules or guidelines on how to handle them. Children are free to make their own way with them, just like in real life.

People assume they are free to treat others how they want, resorting to mistreatment to justify that notion. Similarly, the police feel justified in their actions against the black community, completely ignorant to their own hand in systemic racism in America.

Racism is taught, no one is born with it. Therefore, these dolls are essential to teaching the youth how to treat someone (or something) the way you want to be treated, regardless of looks or skin color. 

Another protester expressed themselves through the creation of a George Floyd-inspired portrait by the means of a spray painted canvas with a simple “Why?” written across Floyd’s forehead.

Photography by Henry Curi

The artist shows a simple, yet powerful way to wrap up everything that’s going on in one word. Why are there people that prey on the black community with malicious intent? Why is there racial inequality in the first place when, essentially, we all bleed the same? No one is immortal. But for some reason, white supremacy thinks it is. 

Just like all things in this world, this must come to an end. 

People will fight for what is right whether it be through art, words or action. There would be no Hollywood or American culture if it weren’t for black influence and excellence, regardless of the racist groups that may neglect that concept. This country should know that.


Henry Curi is the 2019-2020 Sports Co-Editor. He can be reached at sports@newuniversity.org.