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Keenan Kelley's For The Culture NFT Project Was Designed Specifically With The African Diaspora In Mind

A Black developer has crafted a project intended for the culture! Keenan Kelley is the founder of For The Culture, created to encourage the Black community to take root in the ever-growing world of Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs) and take back ownership of their traditions. Kelley was compelled to release the collection after recognizing there were very few Black pioneers in the Web3 space. “When I came into the space last year, I did not see a lot of representation from us. Not only do we not have as many artists and developers building out these projects, [but I also] noticed that there was a lot of cultural appropriation and undertones of racism in some of these projects that were coming out because there was a lack of Black representation,” Kelley told AfroTech. Kelley is now creating a pathway to diversify the NFT space and the founder encourages more Black creators to control their narratives on the blockchain. For The Culture honors Kelley’s stance through its 2,021 unique profile...

Apr 18, 2022

Black Creator LeSean Thomas Lands His Anime Series Starring LaKeith Stanfield On Netflix

A Black-led anime series starring Oscar-nominated actor LaKeith Stanfield is making its way to Netflix this week. Netflix’s “Yasuke,” which tells the legendary story of the first Black samurai in feudal Japan, follows the titular character — voiced by Stanfield — as he navigates life following his violent past, until he is tasked with bringing a mysterious child who’s wanted by dark forces back to safety. According to Complex, the series is inspired by real-life samurai Yasuke, who many believe to have traveled from Africa to Japan back in 1579. In an interview with the outlet, the series’ creator LeSean Thomas — credited for animated series such as “Boondocks” and “Black Dynamite” — detailed his sentiments about creating and leading the charge for this revolutionary project. Photo Credit: Courtesy of Netflix “There is a serendipitous nature about this project, how an African-American man goes to Japan to live and work amongst the very best in Japanese anime to create an anime about...

Apr 27, 2021

D’ART Shtajio is Japan's First Major Anime Studio Owned by Black Animators

Black creators are versatile in every way both inside and outside of traditional Black culture. Two Black background artists, Arthell and Darnell Isom, alongside animator Henry Thurlow, founded D’ART Shtajio — a 2-D animation studio in Tokyo — making it the “first major anime studio created by Black animators” in Japan, CBR reports . The three animators created their studio infusing American culture with Japanese anime, and in the process have worked on some huge anime projects. According to CBR, prior to opening the studio, Arthell Isom worked under animation studio Ogura Kobo as a background animator on shows such as “Bleach,” “Gintama,” “Black Butler,” “Lupin III: The Woman Called Fujiko Mine and Naruto.” He also worked with his mentor, Hiromasa Ogura, known for being a background animator on “Ninja Scroll” and “Ghost in the Shell.” Thurlow worked as an in-between animator and key animator previously, but always expressed his frustrations never having his creative input taken...

Jun 10, 2020