The Black Aesthetic – Diversity Through Data by Jason Burke
I remember my cousins fondly calling me Dr. J, when I was young.
I remember on summer vacations travelling to New York City and Los Angeles where I was exposed to hip hop culture and skateboarding. I remember growing up idolizing Michael Jordan and experiencing how his on and off court style brought multiple segments of Youth Culture together.
I remember discovering GQ Magazine, Nike, MTV Raps, Sports Illustrated and The United Colors of Benetton clothing. I remember how these brands introduced me to the notion that Social Justice through Art and Expression was an effective way to connect with sub-culture and communities of individuals who rejected mass advertising and traditional norms.
Planning for Social Justice is a lot like building a wardrobe in an era of change. Cultural and technological change keep happening at warp speed. We’ve evolved, we demand exceptional experiences, and we expect to be treated as individuals. It’s this intersection of Art, Big Data and Expression, that Digital Transformation when layered with The Black Aesthetic, is poised to be precisely the cultural catalyst of change required to eradicate Anti-Black Racism in Canada.
“Hip Hop gave young African Americans a voice to let their issues be heard. It also gave people a chance for financial gain by “reducing the rest of the world to consumers of its social concerns” – Wikipedia
I often think that Sneakers Saved My Life, because when I started publishing my vision of The Black Aesthetic at snkrbox.com, it quickly became a platform for me to showcase my style, connect with the public and target the right people, at the right time and the right place. For example, within the scope of The Black Aesthetic, I’ve learned that special populations protected by human rights legislation continue to be marginalized, for example women, LBGTQ, the various religious doctrines, people with disabilities and the social classes. Thus snkrbox.com has become a platform for me to connect, engage and share with these communities openly.
The learnings derived from engaging with these communities have helped me to understand different points of view as if I had deconstructed the canvas made from the cotton gin hanging in colonial institutions around the world. I am now able to demonstrate empathy, practice inclusion for other marginalized communities through literacy in the form of my Major Research Project and explore possible solutions to grow both personally and professionally with Big Data as my “North Star”. This is much like an underground railroad that could ultimately lead to cultural empowerment and diversity and inclusion for all Canadians.
Digital Transformation has accelerated the gap between the exclusive nature and weight of historial power structures. It also illustrates how through a Visual Aesthetic, and in the case of this study, The Black Aesthetic, is a cultural catalyst for Social Justice through Art and Expression, including on the Path to Purchase.
Thus through The Black Aesthetic, Big Data and Human Rights Messaging , this MRP intends to galvanize public awareness and engagement of Anti-Black Racism, with the goal of addressing racial discrimination across Canada.