The SexEd x Black Women Animate
Name two things that are not talked about enough, but should be. Yes, that is right, there are literally a million combinations to choose from to answer that question. A prominent coupling that comes to mind for me is Black women, women of color, and nonbinary artists, along with a positive conversation around sexual health and wellness. Both of these undoubtedly powerful and rad topics are often shrouded by stigma and discrimination, however, a company, "Black Women Animate", and a podcast, The SexEd, is aiming to turn up the volume on these areas of self-expression. Black Women Animate is working to change the world of animation by amplifying the work and voices of Black women, women of color, and nonbinary artists, and The
SexEd is working to create a safe and current space for talks about sexual wellness and health. Together, they are augmenting voices and concepts and sharing these voices and concepts in a really cool, rad, fun, and funky way!
Black Women Animate is a production company founded by Taylor K. Shaw. As
an instrumental voice in conscious content, media, activism, and empowering women, Shaw founded BWA with the goal of strengthening and increasing the voice and representation and simply the existence of Black women in animation, which is an industry largely dominated by men, and white men at that. Shaw found it challenging to create a team of Black women animators for one of her own projects, so she joined forces with Creative and Activist JLove Calderón to create BWA, “a chance to help black women, women of color, and nonbinary artists of color in the world of animation obtain visibility and job opportunities.” Black Women Animate" has provided vivid, creative, and highly unique and individual illustrations for various companies
and projects, including Cartoon Network, and recently, The SexEd, aiming to make a difference and change a narrative.
The SexEd is a podcast founded in 2018 by Liz Goldwyn that aims to provide informed and inspiring conversations about sexual wellness through various resources in addition to their spoken recordings, while perpetually noting that sexual wellness should be, and IS, an integral part of personal wellness. Their topics are wide-range, including talking with Dr. Jocelyn Edwards about her optimism of the future of sex education, Ashlee Marie Preston, the first trans person to run for state office in California,
and recently and perhaps most notably, Alessandro Michele, Gucci’s Directive Creator. There is an incredibly diverse group of individuals, occupations, life stories, and histories covered weekly. Notably, Black Women Animate design the cover art for each and every episode The SexEd releases; all brilliant and all unique.
All of the SexEd’s podcasts are enlightening, humorous, special, and utterly and
unapologetically themselves, however, the one featuring Alessandro Michele and his
discussions of Rome being mistress, moving beyond confining modes of masculinity; and acknowledging his passion for dressing like a 1950s granny (do not want to spoil this whole episode- it is too wonderful for words!) seems to be the most groundbreaking for the already groundbreaking and candid podcast itself is the three poignant worlds it brings together: sex, high fashion, and Black women. Black Women Animate providing the visuals to a SexEd a podcast about fashion star Alessandro Michele is nothing short of a visual, audible, and conceptual epitome of how the world should be changing today, and how marginalized voices can and do have a place in high fashion. A conversation circulating around sex and high fashion all tied together with visuals made by immensely talented Black women, women of color, and nonbinary artists the emergence of, quite literally, three very important facets of pop culture. Not only are Black women and women of color being featured in art, but their art is also being utilized to discuss sexual health and high fashion; areas of conversation where they are also often left out of as well. The icing on the cake is the success of this podcast, which is known and recognized by its stunning graphics in beautiful and vibrant colors; that is all work of Black Women Animate.
Other brands and companies should surely take note of the SexEd’s partnership with Black Women animate, as it is not only bringing one-of-a-kind content and visuals into the world, but it also contributes to including and having Black women be the forefront in and conversations about art and sexual health.
By: Emily Goldberg