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The List: DeRay McKesson


“The List” is our bi-weekly series that highlights select artists and the various, random things that they’re currently into and inspired by. Ranging from all creative facets, this series shall serve as your go-to for all things visionary and artistic.

While he is known to many as one of the protestors who spent a large amount of time documenting the numerous movements against police brutality and injustice in areas like Ferguson and Baltimore, DeRay McKesson is also an educator, and he masterfully utilizes social media platforms, largely Twitter, to inform and connect followers to what has come to be known as the #BlackLivesMatter movement. He is also one of the incredibly dedicated activists involved in the platform Campaign Zero.

As a creative, DeRay holds various muses for his creative palette. From visual art to novels, see DeRay’s list below:

Alice Walker and Colm Toibin Interview

The story of Alice and her brother, and what she chooses to carry with her will always be with me. Read the story in full here.


Toni Morrison’s Eulogy for James Baldwin

I re-visit Morrison’s eulogy of James Baldwin often, as it is as much an ode to the love in friendship as much as it is to Balwdin himself.

toni morrison

Kim Drew (@MuseumMammy)

Kim Drew’s intentional curation of black art pushes against the artificial boundaries of whiteness in art history by highlighting the rich tradition of art in blackness, via @MuseumMammy & the Black Contemporary Art Tumblr.

Drew deftly reminds us both that “blackness is a technology in and of itself,” and that blackness has identity independent of its proximity to whiteness. She invites us on this journey to see the art of the world with her. I hope to meet her in-person one day.



The Dot by Peter Reynolds

The Dot’s message is simple: make your mark on the world. I was given this book as a gift years ago, and I re-read it often for inspiration and perspective.

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I’d never had a gif app until I downloaded Ebroji, the gif recently launched by Jesse Williams and his wife Eryn. It’s amazing.


Tiger Lily (Peter’s Last Letter) by Jodi Lynn Anderson

SPOILER: “Tiger Lily” is the story of Peter Pan from the perspective of Tiger Lily, Peter’s first love, before Wendy. I think of this book often, but find myself reading Peter’s final letter to Tiger Lily every few months. You know by now that Peter and Wendy end up together, but Tiger Lily and Peter never stop loving each other. I’ll never forget Peter’s final letter to her, years later.


Devin Allen’s Photography

Devin Allen is one of the most talented photographers of our generation, as his work is breathtaking in its honesty, a visual example of his commitment to rendering visible the lives of those photographed.

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Kashmir VIII’s Art

I found Kashmir’s art on Tumblr on a quiet Sunday morning months ago and I’ve loved it, and her, ever since.


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Christon Gray’s “Hello or Goodbye”

I found this song via Spotify’s Discover Weekly playlist and I’ve been playing it on repeat ever since.

Be sure to revisit Solange’s list here where she shares a few of her creative inspirations.

Photography Credit: Geoffrey Black

By | 2016-02-03T04:03:28+00:00 January 27th, 2016|Featured, What's Pop'n|Comments Off on The List: DeRay McKesson
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