Kevin Stephens

Alkebulan: Black-Creative Ecosystem

Alkebulan is the worlds first full-spectrum creative-directory curating exclusively black talent products & services

Alkebulan is a creative ecosystem exclusively empowering black creatives. Emphasis will be placed on rehabilitating the impact of racism on the black creative community. This is a multidimensional platform dedicated to exclusively black curation, community unity, and economic reinvestment. This will materialize as digital platform to provide a web-shop, a physical pop- up marketplace, and a directory all spotlighting black creative-community shareholders as well as proving opportunity to build wealth without it being tainted by an integration tax.

Challenge

Racism inhibits the acquisition and accumulation of equitable ownership within the black creative-community of the culture it’s members produce. At its root, racism is an economic issue that requires an economic solution. There is a lack of reinvestment back into the black community as well as an exploitation of black creators and appropriation of their cultural contributions. Lastly, people are unsure where to find black-owned businesses to support or that racism needs to be contested economically. The challenge was to find an outlet to address these issues and contest the effects of racism on the black creative-community.

Outcome

Despite being the biggest exporters of popular culture, there is an insufficiency in equitable-reinvestments within the black creative community even among its own members. There’s an oppressive discrepancy between the amount of equitable ownership held by entrepreneurial black cultural-creatives compared to white-owned companies. This project utilizes empowerment strategies to enrich and rehabilitate the black creative-community/ industry.  This prototype will eventually launch at a beta stage with enough participants after testing more iterations/ gathering more user feedback. Our outcome enables equity ownership ensuring wealth building, curation of steak-holders, and promoting unity within the black creative-community. Skills, passions, products, services, and more will all cycle through a strong network of Black users, dismantling age-old oppressive disadvantages and reconstructing foundations necessary for economic self-sustainability/ independence.

Parsons School of Design has offered students innovative approaches to education since its founding in 1896.  Today we’re the only American art and design school within a comprehensive university, The New School, which also houses a rigorous liberal arts college and a progressive performing arts school. Our undergraduate and graduate programs, offered through Parsons’ five schools, immerse students in focused training, interdisciplinary inquiry, and practice-based collaborative learning. Here creators and scholars master established art and design fields and advance emerging ones while studying a range of university disciplines.

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