It feels like Miami has been brewing with micro-communities as of late, but the BLCK Family said this isn’t anything new.
The BLCK Family is a Miami-based collective conscientiously creating community through mobile performance art show installations. Their main event, a familial style dinner is centered around culinary, visual, and social arts.
“It was less about filling a space for other people and more like bring artists and wanting to create for other people,” Co-founder Najja Moon said. “ We have a group of skill sets and experiences that likened themselves to producing shows, and it’s evolved now to being creative and figuring out how do we put these things together in a way to make people want to love each other.”
The idea is simple: bringing together different communities in an environment built to encourage collaboration, foster creativity, and manifest love. Rashaud Michel, the group's other founder said he thinks of the BLCK Family as a platform house, and just like a family in a house, giving is encouraged.
“These events allow individuals to tap into another side of inner creativity- allowing things to pour through them. Not necessarily to be artistic, but to be of service because artists should serve some type of agenda,” Michel said. “As an artist, you should want to pour yourself into your art. And the vibes that come out when you perform and you serve is reflected in the guests that are there, and they become a part of the piece."
Currently, they are exploring more programming and have been hosting their dinners for over a year and continue to do so on a monthly basis. Although they are ever-evolving BLCK Family said there’s something special about breaking bread with others.
What’s in a name?
Moon and Michel both agree that as artists their duty is to create intrigue, and they began by doing so with their name. They stress that the BLCK Family has nothing to do with race and everything to do with image.
“As Rashaud said, as artists our duty is to provoke thought, but maybe for the viewer in an introspective way you’re asking yourself all these questions with what we presented to you,” Moon said. “It’s not even a color it’s B-L-C-K instead of calling ourselves an artists collective we called ourselves a family, and our family is called BLCK.”
“But this is a safe zone, and it’s needed even to ask if it’s Black, and the safe zone to say yes it’s Black but for everyone and Black is an abstract painting, it’s jazz, and thriller films and these are all things we have experienced before through Black,” Michel added.
As part of their gatherings, there is also an emotional element to be had. When putting together different people from diverse cultures and experiences, everyone is coming in with their worldview. Michel said he'd noticed the breaking of barriers, conversations unpacked and social stigmas released when people are given the space to exist and humans putting love first.
“Now I can’t walk into any room without hugging a male counterpart. They see that I’m comfortable to hug and greet and to be affectionate to another male, this is about absolute intimacy, men being gentle-men and that’s not prevalent in males of African descent."
They both agree that the BLCK Family is about creating a free space and giving people time to express themselves how they wish, sometimes conversations are about religion, sex, politics and range but always with a mutual understanding that the idea is about growing with others and internally.
“There’s a sense of poetry that happens at these gatherings and if you thought people couldn’t come together from all walks of life- here’s proof,” Michel said. “If you thought a male couldn’t hug another male- here’s proof. If you thought we couldn’t revert to goodness and vulnerability- here’s proof. If you thought this couldn’t exist here’s proof you just have to be open to receive it.”
If you go:
What: The BLCK Family dinner
Where: A secret location released the day before the event
When: Sunday April 2 at 6:00 p.m.
Cost: For tickets visit http://theblckfamily.com/whats-for-dinner/
To stay in touch with the BLCK Family follow them on Instagram @TheBlckFamily