Storyteller: Hasani Claxton
Hasani Claxton is a visual artist, author, and educator from St. Kitts, West Indies. He initially studied business at Morehouse College (1999) and Law at Columbia University (2003). While working as an attorney in New York, he began taking evening classes at the School of Visual Arts. In 2005, he decided to pursue his passion full time and enrolled in the Academy of Art University in San Francisco, receiving a BFA in illustration in 2009 and an MFA in studio art from Towson University in 2017. He currently teaches drawing and illustration at Bowie State University and resides in Baltimore, MD. His artwork has been exhibited throughout the US and in the Caribbean, including the National Gallery of Jamaica. His work has appeared in Spectrum: Fantastic Art, Creative Quarterly, and on Afropunk.com. He has been writing for over 10 years and was selected for the Futurescapes Writing Workshop in 2019 and 2020. He is represented by the Emerald City Literary Agency.
On writing for children:
“I am a single father of two young girls (11 and 13) and when they were younger, I became extremely frustrated with the lack of children’s books with Black lead characters. This inspired me to write those stories myself.”
What was the most valuable or memorable experience of AMPLIFY for you?:
As a Black creative, I’m often the only person of color in the room. Simply being able to engage with so many talented Black writers and artists was a welcome respite from that loneliness.