HC Black Music and Arts Association emerged in November 2019 from the collective efforts of People of Color at Taste of Bim, in Eureka, California. The group meeting was recorded and facilitated by Valetta Molofsky, a Master of Social Work graduate at Cal-Poly Humboldt. She wanted to help the movement of Africans and peoples of African descent in the community restore Afrocentric heritage, music culture, and Black Excellence. During community reconciliation, pre-covid, Valetta observed narrative storytelling, gathered anonymous qualitative surveys, and used a restorative approach towards cultural starvation. In 2020, Molofsky coined the word cultural starvation.
Cultural Starvation refers to a lack of culturally identified resources, traditional programs, and reciprocal connections. The impact of cultural starvation impedes personal growth and professional goals. It affects one's identity, ensuring mental health and wellness decline for Black Indigenous People of Color (Molofsky, 2019). Five components that prolong cultural starvation are:
- Environmental displacement
- Race-based traumatic stress
- Western colonial approaches in education settings
- Limited cultural competence from service providers
- Cultural appropriation from agencies and community members
Molofsky's research noted that as melanics struggle to retain identity and heritages, structural, institutional and environmental barriers still disrupt the methods of Ubuntu recovery.
The need for change agents representing African Diaspora culture was apparent; thus, the alliance with the National Association of Negro Musicians, Inc, a 100-year-old Black organization, was formed. Later, HCBMAA partnered with the Black Mental Health Alliance and the Greater Los Angeles · National Association of Black Social Workers. To continue supporting Black sovereignty, a community circle took place with HCBMAA, Black Humboldt, the Eureka NAACP, and B-Black to promote Black wellness, equity, policy and reform, and cultural connections for POC in Humboldt County.