Category Archives: Blackademically Inclined

A Poem for Black Lives


Today, this poem is all I have.


© 2016 Kelene Blake, All Rights Reserved


Expecting Black Artists To Be Activists

If you’re a Black artist, do you need to speak about Black issues? Do you need to make “Black art” or art specifically about Blackness? Some would say we cannot afford to make art just for the sake of art. Some of us expect Black artists, particularly successful and well known Black artists, to “use their platform” and speak out about political issues or social injustice. You hear more criticisms about artists not speaking up about Black Lives Matter than we hear about politicians staying quiet about the same thing. Continue reading Expecting Black Artists To Be Activists

Emotional Abuse in Academia

Academia can be a wonderful experience of learning and growth for some. However, for too many, it is an experience that leaves them damaged. Academic environments, much like relationships, can be toxic to those who are vulnerable, who do not know how to (or realize they have to) set boundaries, and do not have a support system that understands what they are going through. Emotional abuse is not uncommon in higher ed. institutions. Professors and advisers can be manipulative, abusive and sometimes bully their students with little to no recourse for those on the receiving end. Continue reading Emotional Abuse in Academia

Representation Matters

Tonight people everywhere were watching the Golden Globe awards. The film world rewards its storytellers in glitz and glamor. But what about those who do not even get to enter the room, much less sit at the table (or stand at the podium)? I have spoken in the past about the necessity for Black people/African diaspora to have our own media. The fact is, Black people/African diaspora, as well as many other underrepresented groups in mainstream media, do have our own media – we have filmmakers making films all over the world. We have storytellers telling stories everywhere. We have vibrant and growing film industries in developing nations around the world. Continue reading Representation Matters

5 Things I’ve Learned In 2015

1. Abuse Can Come From Anywhere

This year I experienced quite a bit of emotionally abusive and toxic behavior from unexpected sources. When I found myself recognizing emotional abuse in a professional environment, and controlling behavior from someone have known all my life I learned that abusive relationships are not only romantic. You find it in professional settings, academic environments, Continue reading 5 Things I’ve Learned In 2015

The Complications of “Black” Identity

“Black” is a loaded word. It has come to be associated with such negatives as death and mourning (wearing black to funerals), rejection (black sheep), being tarnished (black spot on one’s record). It has also come to be associated with a racial category – those who appear to have ancestry or distinctive phenotypes (physical features/appearance) of the African diaspora. Black, is a loaded word. Being considered a Black person, is a loaded experience. There is so much context – history, present, ideas, and stereotypes – associated with being Black. Continue reading The Complications of “Black” Identity

10 Ways to Support Artists (& 2 Ways Not To)

Being a professional artist (trying to make a living from your art), takes courage. Especially for people of color and those who do not have a social or financial safety net, art can be risky business. One challenge of trying to make a living as an artist is one simultaneously has to become an entrepreneur – and entrepreneurship is not easy. Artists may be creative and talented, but may not always have Continue reading 10 Ways to Support Artists (& 2 Ways Not To)

Respectability Politics: The Overseers Speak

9 tenets of Respectability Politics

1. We are Black. We probably know white supremacy is a force pushing against us and our success in this world. We are in a system that is not made for us. We will work the system to achieve our success even as it leaves millions of our less fortunate brethren struggling. Our intentions are Continue reading Respectability Politics: The Overseers Speak

White Privilege Says: Cookies

Trigger warning: if you suffer from white fragility this is going to hurt. Please feel free to step outside for this one. Your feelings are not safe here.


I’m starting a new series called “White Privilege Says” because I’ve been having to deal with it and maybe explaining some things very clearly in a way that can be referred to as needed might be helpful and save time. Continue reading White Privilege Says: Cookies