The world watched George Floyd be laid to rest yesterday. Millions of us tuned in to pay our respects to a man whose life was snuffed out by the very police who were sworn to protect him. Our hearts broke all over again as the relatives of Trayvon Martin, Eric Garner, Michael Brown, Pamela Turner, Botham Jean and Ahmaud Arbery stood up to be recognized, serving as grim reminders of just how often this injustice occurs.
In the weeks since George Floyd’s murder, we’ve been reminded of some very important lessons. First, we can’t stay silent and still call ourselves real allies so let’s start here: Fuck Racism, Fuck Police Brutality and Fuck the Systemic Injustice that has allowed these cancers to fester for as long as they have. It’s time for all of us to show up and do the work to break that system down and find a better way.
Black Lives Matter, not just now, but always.
Second is acknowledging that while saying this is important, just saying it the easy part. The hard part is really understanding how we as white people, even if it’s unwittingly, perpetuate this racism if we don’t turn these words into actions. Goldteeth & Co. does not currently represent any artists of color, and we recognize that just because black voices haven’t been intentionally excluded, it doesn’t mean that we aren’t part of the problem.
Representation Matters and we have to get our house in order. We believe in the vision and talent of all of our artists but we also believe that this lack of diversity in our ranks makes us incomplete. We’re committing to do more to help amplify Black Voices, and we’re doing it publicly because we want to be held accountable by our community. Our artists demand better from us as their agents, and we’re going to demand better from our clients. As image makers, we all play a part in shaping how we see each other, and that’s a responsibility we have to take more seriously if we want to bring about lasting change.
In the coming weeks, we’ll be working with our artists to develop a manifesto outlining the commitments we’re making as an organization to eliminate racial and gender inequalities from our work spaces and beyond. These will be the guiding principals for our staff, our current artists, and our future artists, to make our industry more equitable and inclusive. This manifesto will be available to the public so you know what we stand for, and hopefully it will inspire other members of our community to stand up and do the same.
We can all do more.
Rest in Power George Floyd, your legacy is going to change the world.