Shadow Spotlight: Three Black Contemporary Artists Already Rising

Shadow Spotlight: Three Black Contemporary Artists Already Rising

February 12 / 18

Hey! Hope everyone had a great weekend. A new week is beginning so let’s start off with Shadow Spotlight. Black History Month is here and this month we are going to be putting the spotlight on Black Contemporary Artists that have been on the rise. Again, I rather let the work do the talking…


Nathaniel Mary Quinn

Nathaniel Mary Quinn

Here is a guy that went through a lot, but that didn’t stop him to achieve the goals he wanted to reach in life. In this interview below, Quinn talks about how his family abandoned him and how he was able to accomplish success in his art career. The works you see reflect that. There is another part of this interview. To see more of his work, go to





Shantell Martin

Shantell Martin, with her artwork.

Known for her whimsical stream of consciousness drawing and light perfections, this British artist has already made a mark in the art world.  She’s been plenty busy with projects all around the world. I’ve featured her on this blog site a few years ago and it’s really good to see where she is today. Go to for more of her work.



Rahiem Milton

Rahiem Milton

I first became acquainted with this man’s work through Instagram. Let me say that he’s already becoming a creative force in the black community. His works have the ability to grab your attention. With the use of light, darkness, or color, Milton has created a wide set of portraits that have beauty, strength, vulnerability, and power. Want to see more? Go


Hope you enjoyed this spotlight today. We’ll be celebrating more Black History through creativity. Enjoy your Monday, be blessed!





Image source: Chicago Magazine,,

Black History Focus: Octavia Butler

Black History Focus: Octavia Butler

February 6 / 18

Morning everybody! As I’ve stated, Shadowboxerinc is celebrating Black History Month by putting together a collective group of people who have put a creative mark. Today we have the late Octavia Butler.

I discovered her works sometime last year. Now I’m beginning to know a bit more about this legendary gem of a storyteller. Here is a small snippet from Goodreads about this writer…

Octavia Estelle Butler was an American science fiction writer, one of the best-known among the few African-American women in the field. She won both Hugo and Nebula awards. In 1995, she became the first science fiction writer to receive the MacArthur Foundation “Genius” Grant.

To Kindred, Fledgling, the Xenogenesis trilogy, Parable of the Sower, and the short story collection Bloodchild and Other Stories, Ms. Butler has left an incredible mark in science fiction. Found a video of Ms. Butler on Charlie Rose published on YouTube nine years ago. It was a great and interesting interview. Hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

Want to know more about this author? You can click on this link

Enjoy the rest of your Tuesday, be always, always blessed.



Image source: African American Literature Book Club



Editor’s Note February 2018

Editor’s Note February 2018

February 1 / 18

Vol 6 / #2

Hello February! This month will be busy. We’ll be focusing on in the creativity of love and let’s not forget…it’s Black History Month so you’ll see creativity in African-American culture. It will be a packed filled fun month!

Association of Writer’s & Writers Conference & Bookfair 2018 will be here soon, so I’m already on the look out for this event, also trying to find out about any updates for the AWP Conference & Bookfair, then Artexpo New York, photography contests, and a lot more.

This month is slightly short with new music. Justin Timberlake‘s smoking new album, Man of the Woods will arrive tomorrow, along with Simple Minds, and Son Lux. It’s a short month for music festivals in the US. Monsters of Rock Cruise 2018 and Noise Pop 2018 are on the list. Since this month is Black History Month, why not put the focus on upcoming African-American artists for this month’s Shadow Spotlight?

@ the Event is continuing its tour through the state of Texas and we’re heading over to Austin. Great things to do while your over there.

Two superhero films are coming to digital soon. Can you guess what those films are? Lastly, Shadowboxerinc is adding another social media account in the form of Snapchat.

Ready to dive into February? Bye JanuaryHello February!






Image source: Strange & Charmed &


Shadow Spotlight: Pat McGrath

Shadow Spotlight: Pat McGrath

Feb. 13 / 17

Hey there! A new week and there is a lot to cover, so let’s get started. Pat McGrath is this month’s Shadow Spotlight and perfect for Black History Month in fashion.

Vanity Fair

Vanity Fair

Vogue magazine has called this makeup guru the most influential makeup artist in the world and she deserves that right. Born in Northampton, England to a Jamaican immigrant mother, McGrath always had a love for fashion and makeup. That credit goes to her mom. Known for her colorful and out of this world makeup looks, McGrath is the one designers call for when fashion week comes.

McGrath had no formal training in either fashion or make-up. The closest to training was the completion of an art foundation course at a college in Northampton. In the early 1990’s her career breakthrough came when she worked with then fashion editor of i-D magazine, Edward Enninful. She has worked with photographers such as Steven Meisel, Paolo Roversi, Helmut Newton, and Peter Lindbergh. Designers such as Prada, Miu Miu, Comme des Garcons, Dolce & Gabbana, Jil Sander, John Galliano, and others round out the list.

In 1999 she designed a cosmetic line for Armani. By 2004 Proctor & Gamble chose McGrath as the global creative-design director, in charge of Max Factor, Cover Girl, and other brands. She’s also known for her wide range and inventive use of materials.

By 2013, McGrath was named MBE (Member of the Order of the British Empire) for services to the fashion and beauty industry. McGrath debuted her very own make-up line in October 2015, which Sephora began carrying, bringing her line mainstream. Not bad for a lady from Northampton.

You can visit her website

Here are a few videos, one from three years ago….




It’s good to see a woman of color doing her thing! Makes me proud to be a woman of color….Enjoy your Monday, be blessed.



























featured image: Jones Magazine

Black History in Literature….Magdala Compere

Black History in Literature….Magdala Compere

Feb. 6 / 17

In honor of Black History Month, Shadowbox will feature all forms of creativity from the minds of past, present, and future African-Americans, who continue to inspire us.


The Color Black (Black Pride) by Magdala Compere

As I was looking for a poem to show my pride
I saw some things that made my black skin want to hide
They take the proud color of black and turn it into lies
With the junk that fills our people’s minds

Black is the color of blindness
In which my dark path seems
Black is the color of darkness
In which I may not see

Black is the color of a blood sucking crow
And it is a color most people don’t know
Black is a color of an evil panther
And that’s the color of my ancestors

Black is the color of coal
A substance that is worth as much as gold
Black is the color of the night
In it I see the stars to bright

Black is the color of power
Black is the color of my desire
Black is the color that set us free
Black is the color of my beauty
Black is the color of my skin and
Black is the world I believe in
Black may be the color that gets you down
But black is the color that makes me proud

featured image: WallpapersCraft

Reflections: Keeping Black History Alive

Reflections: Keeping Black History Alive

February 26 / 16 

Hello! February is winding down and it’s time to reflect. I’ve decided to this with poems. Poems always reflect what the poet is saying. They are writing from a place of experience, a place of pure emotions and letting the reader know their story. I think I’ve said this before, this generation and the next generation need to know what our ancestors went through for us. How we are able to vote, to speak, to get the best education, the jobs…..we have our ancestors to thank for that and I want future generations to see that as well. Here a few poems to reflect on Black History….enjoy your Friday and be blessed.


On Liberty and Slavery


Alas! and am I born for this,
   To wear this slavish chain?
Deprived of all created bliss,
   Through hardship, toil and pain!
How long have I in bondage lain,
   And languished to be free!
Alas! and must I still complain—
   Deprived of liberty.
Oh, Heaven! and is there no relief
   This side the silent grave—
To soothe the pain—to quell the grief
   And anguish of a slave?
Come Liberty, thou cheerful sound,
   Roll through my ravished ears!
Come, let my grief in joys be drowned,
   And drive away my fears.
Say unto foul oppression, Cease:
   Ye tyrants rage no more,
And let the joyful trump of peace,
   Now bid the vassal soar.
Soar on the pinions of that dove
   Which long has cooed for thee,
And breathed her notes from Afric’s grove,
   The sound of Liberty.
Oh, Liberty! thou golden prize,
   So often sought by blood—
We crave thy sacred sun to rise,
   The gift of nature’s God!
Bid Slavery hide her haggard face,
   And barbarism fly:
I scorn to see the sad disgrace
   In which enslaved I lie.
Dear Liberty! upon thy breast,
   I languish to respire;
And like the Swan unto her nest,
   I’d like to thy smiles retire.
Oh, blest asylum—heavenly balm!
   Unto thy boughs I flee—
And in thy shades the storm shall calm,
   With songs of Liberty!

For My People


For my people everywhere singing their slave songs
     repeatedly: their dirges and their ditties and their blues
     and jubilees, praying their prayers nightly to an
     unknown god, bending their knees humbly to an
     unseen power;
For my people lending their strength to the years, to the
    gone years and the now years and the maybe years,
    washing ironing cooking scrubbing sewing mending
    hoeing plowing digging planting pruning patching
    dragging along never gaining never reaping never
    knowing and never understanding;
For my playmates in the clay and dust and sand of Alabama
    backyards playing baptizing and preaching and doctor
    and jail and soldier and school and mama and cooking
    and playhouse and concert and store and hair and
    Miss Choomby and company;
For the cramped bewildered years we went to school to learn
    to know the reasons why and the answers to and the
    people who and the places where and the days when, in
    memory of the bitter hours when we discovered we
    were black and poor and small and different and nobody
    cared and nobody wondered and nobody understood;
For the boys and girls who grew in spite of these things to
    be man and woman, to laugh and dance and sing and
    play and drink their wine and religion and success, to
    marry their playmates and bear children and then die
    of consumption and anemia and lynching;
For my people thronging 47th Street in Chicago and Lenox
    Avenue in New York and Rampart Street in New
    Orleans, lost disinherited dispossessed and happy
    people filling the cabarets and taverns and other
    people’s pockets and needing bread and shoes and milk and
    land and money and something—something all our own;
For my people walking blindly spreading joy, losing time
     being lazy, sleeping when hungry, shouting when
     burdened, drinking when hopeless, tied, and shackled
     and tangled among ourselves by the unseen creatures
     who tower over us omnisciently and laugh;
For my people blundering and groping and floundering in
     the dark of churches and schools and clubs
     and societies, associations and councils and committees and
     conventions, distressed and disturbed and deceived and
     devoured by money-hungry glory-craving leeches,
     preyed on by facile force of state and fad and novelty, by
     false prophet and holy believer;
For my people standing staring trying to fashion a better way
    from confusion, from hypocrisy and misunderstanding,
    trying to fashion a world that will hold all the people,
    all the faces, all the adams and eves and their countless generations;
Let a new earth rise. Let another world be born. Let a
    bloody peace be written in the sky. Let a second
    generation full of courage issue forth; let a people
    loving freedom come to growth. Let a beauty full of
    healing and a strength of final clenching be the pulsing
    in our spirits and our blood. Let the martial songs
    be written, let the dirges disappear. Let a race of men now
    rise and take control.

In Memoriam: Martin Luther King, Jr.


honey people murder mercy U.S.A.
the milkland turn to monsters teach
to kill to violate pull down destroy
the weakly freedom growing fruit
from being born
tomorrow yesterday rip rape
exacerbate despoil disfigure
crazy running threat the
deadly thrall
appall belief dispel
the wildlife burn the breast
the onward tongue
the outward hand
deform the normal rainy
riot sunshine shelter wreck
of darkness derogate
delimit blank
explode deprive
assassinate and batten up
like bullets fatten up
the raving greed
reactivate a springtime
death by men by more
than you or I can
They sleep who know a regulated place
or pulse or tide or changing sky
according to some universal
stage direction obvious
like shorewashed shells
we share an afternoon of mourning
in between no next predictable
except for wild reversal hearse rehearsal
bleach the blacklong lunging
ritual of fright insanity and more
deplorable abortion
more and

American History


Those four black girls blown up
in that Alabama church
remind me of five hundred
middle passage blacks,
in a net, under water
in Charleston harbor
so redcoats wouldn’t find them.
Can’t find what you can’t see
can you?

The African Burial Ground


They came as Congo, Guinea, & Angola,
   feet tuned to rhythms of a thumb piano.
      They came to work fields of barley & flax,
livestock, stone & slab, brick & mortar,
   to make wooden barrels, some going
      from slave to servant & half-freeman.
They built tongue & groove— wedged
   into their place in New Amsterdam.
      Decades of seasons changed the city
from Dutch to York, & dream-footed
   hard work rattled their bones.
      They danced Ashanti. They lived
& died. Shrouded in cloth, in cedar
   & pine coffins, Trinity Church
      owned them in six & a half acres
of sloping soil. Before speculators
   arrived grass & weeds overtook
      what was most easily forgotten,
& tannery shops drained there.
   Did descendants & newcomers
      shoulder rock & heave loose gravel
into the landfill before building crews
   came, their guitars & harmonicas
      chasing away ghosts at lunch break?
Soon, footsteps of lower Manhattan
   strutted overhead, back & forth
      between old denials & new arrivals,
going from major to minor pieties,
   always on the go. The click of heels
      the tap of a drum awaking the dead.
Sometimes I think about Great-Uncle Paul who left Tuskegee,
Alabama to become a forester in Oregon and in so doing
became fundamentally white for the rest of his life, except
when he traveled without his white wife to visit his siblings—
now in New York, now in Harlem, USA—just as pale-skinned,
as straight-haired, as blue-eyed as Paul, and black. Paul never told anyone
he was white, he just didn’t say that he was black, and who could imagine,
The siblings in Harlem each morning ensured
no one confused them for anything other than what they were, black.
They were black! Brown-skinned spouses reduced confusion.
Many others have told, and not told, this tale.
When Paul came East alone he was as they were, their brother.
The poet invents heroic moments where the pale black ancestor stands up
on behalf of the race. The poet imagines Great-Uncle Paul
in cool, sagey groves counting rings in redwood trunks,
imagines pencil markings in a ledger book, classifications,
imagines a sidelong look from an ivory spouse who is learning
her husband’s caesuras. She can see silent spaces
but not what they signify, graphite markings in a forester’s code.
Many others have told, and not told, this tale.
The one time Great-Uncle Paul brought his wife to New York
he asked his siblings not to bring their spouses,
and that is where the story ends: ivory siblings who would not
see their brother without their telltale spouses.
Here a poem tells a story, a story about race.

The Slave Auction


The sale began—young girls were there,
   Defenseless in their wretchedness,
Whose stifled sobs of deep despair
   Revealed their anguish and distress.
And mothers stood, with streaming eyes,
   And saw their dearest children sold;
Unheeded rose their bitter cries,
   While tyrants bartered them for gold.
And woman, with her love and truth—
   For these in sable forms may dwell—
Gazed on the husband of her youth,
   With anguish none may paint or tell.
And men, whose sole crime was their hue,
   The impress of their Maker’s hand,
And frail and shrinking children too,
   Were gathered in that mournful band.
Ye who have laid your loved to rest,
   And wept above their lifeless clay,
Know not the anguish of that breast,
   Whose loved are rudely torn away.
Ye may not know how desolate
   Are bosoms rudely forced to part,
And how a dull and heavy weight
   Will press the life-drops from the heart.

Miz Rosa Rides the Bus


That day in December I sat down
by Miss Muffet of Montgomery.
I was myriad-weary. Feets swole
from sewing seams on a filthy fabric;
tired-sore a pedalin’ the rusty Singer;
dingy cotton thread jammed in the eye.
All lifelong I’d slide through century-reams
loathsome with tears. Dreaming my own
It was not like they all say. Miss Liberty Muffet
she didn’t
jump at the sight of me.
Not exactly.
They hauled me
away—a thousand kicking legs pinned down.
The rest of me I tell you—a cloud.
Beautiful trouble on the dead December
horizon. Come to sit in judgment.
How many miles as the Jim Crow flies?
Over oceans and some. I rumbled.
They couldn’t hold me down. Long.
My feets were tired. My eyes were
sore. My heart was raw from hemming
dirty edges of Miss L. Muffet’s garment.
I rode again.
A thousand bloody miles after the Crow flies
that day in December long remembered when I sat down
beside Miss Muffet of Montgomery.
I said—like the joke say—What’s in the bowl, Thief?
I said—That’s your curse.
I said—This my way.
She slipped her frock, disembarked,
settled in the suburbs, deaf, mute, lewd, and blind.
The bowl she left behind. The empty bowl mine.
The spoiled dress.
Jim Crow dies and ravens come with crumbs.
They say—Eat and be satisfied.
I fast and pray and ride.

__________ my loved blacknesses & some blacknesses I knew


especially the rarest kind / or the kind named Priscilla G & not drowning
in bleach cream / creamy spin / but spinning blades on a black Nina
gunship in the gargantuan ghetto / not killing & maiming my brothers & potential
husbands / when the working mothers give up & when they do not
& when boys in their mad survivalist tactics
want a movie sex parade / silk-edging their sweaty fists in 30 watt lit basements
just because / death switch of a future /
none of that has to do with any kind of blackness or a crazed horizon
in the plumed summers of Los Angeles wherein television reenactments of real
fathers didn’t occur enough for news sidebars / but more than generally believed /
they showed up to dailiness / cash in hand but as the school year revved up
the rest of the madness had nowhere to hide / ballooned horizon /
chemical concerns / fire up the blue turbines / fire up
unconscious intention plus the acne of ignorance / on the city’s glittery filth façade
but not because of blackness / not for me /
when I would get home sometimes there might be food
sometimes just blackness I could live on / which I love
If you love poetry, you can go to this website:
photo cred:

Celebrating Black History Month / Music: A Look in the Present

Celebrating Black History Month / Music: A Look in the Present

February 22 / 16

Hello! We’re now into the final leg of celebrating Black History Month. We’re getting into Music, but I’m not looking to the past, I’m looking in the present, those that are getting our attention now. Here are a few that have already or about to break into the music scene….


Anderson Paak

Janelle Monae

Johnny Rain

Lianne La Havas

Kenzie May (site may be hacked…)

You can find their music on iTunes, Spotify, Tidal, and other music stream services.

I hope you enjoyed their music as much I did listen and putting this post together. Enjoy the rest of your Monday, be blessed!

photo cred: glenford nunez for,,,, and

Celebrating Black History / Literature: Toni Morrison

Celebrating Black History / Literature: Toni Morrison

February 15 / 16

Hello….Monday is here, Shadowbox is continuing its celebration of Black History Month. Now we’re looking at literature and who better to represent than Toni Morrison.


  • Born Chloe Ardelia Wofford. According to an interview, She received the baptismal name of Antony, which became the basis for her nickname Toni, when she became a Catholic at age 12.
  • Her best known novels are The Bluest Eyes (1970), Sula (1973), Song of Solomon (1977), and Beloved (1987) to name a few….
  • Commissioned to write the libretto for Margaret Garner, a new opera performed in 2005.
  • Won the Pulitzer and American Book in 1988 for Beloved.
  • Received the Nobel Prize in 1993 and the Presidential Medal for Freedom in 2012.
  • She also wrote a few children’s books with her late younger son, Slade Morrison, such as The Tortoise or The Hare, Little Cloud and Lady Wind, and The Big Box.
  • Her latest novel: God Help the Child.

If there is a book that you want to read, but it hasn’t been written yet, you must be the one to write it.
I hope you enjoyed this post. Enjoy the rest of your Monday and be blessed!
photo cred: and