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Ariel Robinson

Source: Courtesy of Ariel Robinson / Arial Robinson

In a society where imitation and assimilation are common practices, true creativity and ingenuity are golden assets. 

Creativity is what drives our world. And for decades Black people have been at the forefront of ingenuity. From creating new genres of music to creating the newest social media trend, our minds have been the driving force of this world’s creative innovation. There is a sense of power these creatives hold knowing that Black creators are vital to our society. 

“I think it’s important that we realize that there is a lot of power in us and in the work we are creating because it’s only one of us,” said Arial Robinson, a senior at  North Carolina A&T State University and one of the most creative minds in the HBCU community. “So for me whenever I’m creating something I have to realize like there’s never going to be another one of me. Individuality is super important. It’s important that we just do what we want because it’s our name, it’s our work, it’s our Legacy that we’re kind of building. “ 

Robinson, who is a multifaceted artist, has had her hand in creating music, visuals, books and articles. She was recently honored at the HBCU Met Gala in December, as the HBCU Creative of the Year. 



The Gala and Awards Show was put together by HBCU Tour and Unchained Inc. The outing was hosted by TV personality Terence J, and celebrated some of the top HBCU students in the country.

Robinson’s early success is inspired by her willingness to create art that tells a story. Take a scroll down her Twitter profile, you quickly see that she has a gift for creating content. But it’s her focus on the message of her art that separates her from most other young artists. She admits that the impact of her HBCU made her start looking at her work differently.


“So my HBCU experience has completely turned my thinking on his head in such a good way. Because before coming to college…I was just creating things to just post on Instagram for a few likes or because they were cool, which is still fun,” Robinson told MADAMENOIRE. “But Now that I go to HBCU, I realize that the things that are fun for me to create can also be stories that I tell, and they can impact people and make a difference. My work does not have to just live, for a few moments on Instagram.”

“It’s just taught me to be a better craftsman about the things that I’m creating, the way that I created them. I look at my art and other people’s art a lot differently, and I appreciate that because that has expanded my mind and then put me in the Forefront around all these people who can nurture me and cultivate me and I genuinely appreciate that.”

HBCUs have been a place for Black talent to grow and thrive for decades. Robinson is one of many who have graced the halls of these historic institutions with unique gifting. She says that it is time for our community to embrace HBCUs students and their work even more. 

“I think it’s important that we celebrate ourselves because we are the movers and the Shakers. And I can’t say how many times I’ve seen amazing projects, and their HBCU alums that are working on it or current students,” stated Robinson. “I think it’s important that we give each other our flowers now because that keeps people going, but it’s also just a reminder that the people who look like you are rooting for you.”

Moving forward, Robinson is focused on diving into her music and writing more. She is an example of what can happen when you believe in yourself and find a community that supports you. There is power in an immense level of power in Black expression especially when it is mixed with a spirit of community and camaraderie. 

“We’re individual people and our work is our work. Nobody can take that from us. These are our ideas,” said Robinson. “I feel a great deal of power when I’m creating something and I know that I’ve taken all these different recipes that I enjoy and I’ve created something new and now it’s to my name. There’s like a lot of power in ownership.”

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