Data is important, especially when it showcases challenges that should be addressed. As we grow our pool of freelance talent, my cofounder, Antonio and I have been thinking about the creative industry and Black contributions. We found essential information about Black freelancers that need to be discussed. If you want to expand your horizons, keep on reading.
There are fewer Black creatives and freelancers
Historically, there has been a racial division in the creative economy where African Americans held only 8.5% of class jobs in the United States. While there are 57 million freelancers in the US, a survey done by Statista on Freelance workers in the United States in 2019, only 12% of African or African descent stated that they freelanced. Contrary to 62% of white freelancers.
Remote work feels safer for Black people
Working remotely is not new for freelancers, but COVID showcased how virtual work allows Black workers and minorities to feel safer. In fact, according to Bloomberg, Remote Work Has Vastly Improved the Black Worker Experience, and people of color feel more comfortable and can have a more flexible schedule. Freelancing allows creatives to control their careers and even create a work-life balance. In that sense, they are not only their own boss working in a comfortable place, but they also feel like their success is determined by the quality of their work, not the color of their skin.
There is a Black creatives network
Melissa Kimbler is a writer and the creator of Blkcreatives, a network with job opportunities for Black creatives. She created this space "to keep smart, talented and skillful Black creatives from giving up on themselves." Their resources and content on their website and social media are super insightful and valuable.
You can find resources for Black creatives
Ida Harries created a document on Black-Led Residencies and Fellowship Every Creative Should Know About in 2019. The managing editor and Chief Rocka of Madamenoire include opportunities such as The Gordon Parks Foundation, LA Maison Bladwin Writer-In-Residence, and Black Rock Senegal Residency. Creatives such as writers, artists, and photographers can use these resources to grow.
Hiring Black freelancers means having diverse perspectives
While for some people it is better to have a lot of "yes people" in the room, it can make some feel empowered, that is not the ideal scenario to grow as a person or a company. We are not talking about having Black workers as tokens; we are talking about being intentional with the people you bring to the table, the decision-makers, and contributors. A diverse perspective allows you to connect with a broader audience.
To sum up: If you even want to grow as a company, hire a Black freelancer
As a creative person, I can vouch that the only way to create better and more innovative ideas is by having a diversity of mindsets and vast representation. A lack of representation means a shortening of your opportunities. On the contrary, having multiple ethics and contexts would make your work more holistic.
At Buzzzy, our vetting process is mindful of biases; that is why we remove race-related information during our portfolio and resume review to ensure we are giving everyone the same opportunities. Still, if you are pursuing the ability to grow as a company, make sure you bring culture adds instead of culture fits into your projects. If you need resources to add value to your company from the get-go, click here to hire a freelancer.
Image Source: Ketut Subiyanto