change of plans

w2n2

My sister and I were supposed to debut our all natural desserts this weekend at the Simmer Down Picnic, but you know. Weather. We thought we’d be up all night Friday, prepping and baking and taking turns washing dishes, but we were informed that the event was rescheduled -_- [for Sunday, September 13th if you wanna join us!] We had already kicked into overdrive, had our minds ready to take on the day and it all came to a screeching halt. Bummed for a minute, but thankful that they didn’t have us chance it knowing the weather would probably be pretty unpredictable [gloomy af]. Plus our business cards hadn’t arrived yet so it would’ve been kinda bad for business.

So instead of carrying out that women’s work or sulking, we went to the closing reception for Windows to Nowhere 2. This exhibition featured works of local artists Miya Bailey and Corey Davis + their art is pretty dope so you know I had to share.

w2n2

w2n2

w2n2

I touched this before I saw it was priced at $2000.

w2n2

my favorite by Miya Bailey

Orgasm, my favorite of Miya Bailey’s

w2n2

w2n2

Queen of Tears, my favorite by Corey Davis

Queen of Tears, my favorite by Corey Davis

w2n2

The Notch8 Gallery is a cool space too.

w2n2

I’d wanted to check out this exhibition [which was open for about a month I think], just never made the time to. And I would have missed it altogether if we’d been shaking and baking all night. So it all worked out, as things always do. We went to look at art instead of creating it, which was a nice, necessary restorative.

to see more of their work, follow and purchase:

Miya Bailey | twitter | instagram 

Corey Davis | instagram | facebook

Black Every Friday: Fiveology

So I used to [barely] know Andrew Tyree from the masterful spoken word group Fiveology back during my mini “modeling” stint, hanging out at Cal State Dominguez and living in Inglewood. [It’s ok to namedrop now that they’re officially famous, right? haha!] I’d met him at a couple talent shows and then again at The Savoy. My roommate at the time was also a poet and fan of Andrew, so we kept in touch [as well as famous people can with us regular folk] via social media. He’d post videos and his performance schedule and we’d show up and show some [non-groupie] love. And now, Andrew, along with the other four members Fiveology, has opened for Jill Scott and performed on The Arsenio Hall Show and Verses & Flow. Bruuuh.

The point of my braggy backstory? I watched Andrew grow into such an inspiring artist. I mean he’s always been amazing with great stage presence and an  emphatic voice, but now the world knows. Spoken word is such a lovely art form and I admire anyone who possesses the power in their delivery to make you feel what they feel. And with a touring team of dynamic poets having equal amounts of delicious, thought-provoking talent, Fiveology is a force to be reckoned with. A band of brothers spreading good vibes and light and love. They speak on real issues, make you think and it’s obvious they really love what they do. I hope they have a long long loooong career.

I know Fiveology has had a very busy last couple of years, but I dunno what they’re up to these days. You can read more about them on their official site and see them in action.

[feature photo cred: wearefiveology.com]

week 34 \\ 2015

kinda riding the same wave from last Wednesday’s word..

Short story made shorter for the sake of blogging: I have a friend who is also an artist. She’s been making jewelry since before I knew her and it’s lovely. Anyhoo, she posted this:

If your friend has a business, you should be the first customer. If you friend has an idea, you should be their #1 supporter. And if you’re not, then you’re not a real friend. 

I compleeeetely agree with this! And I love her work, but realized the only piece of hers I own she’d gifted to me [as opposed to me seeking her out + making a custom request.] So, naturally after this realization, I got some of her shit! Duh. I’ve had friends with some dumbass ideas. Crazy, sideeye, illogical crap ideas. I took the time to hear why they wanted to do this or that. And even if the mess still didn’t make sense after the explanation, I had their back. It’s their life, after all. Not mine. So I was right there with my pompoms and megaphone rooting them on. That’s what friends do.

For one, it doesn’t cost a damn thing to show support. If you’re an artist as well, swap a piece with your artist friend. Utilize your social media account[s] to expose their idea/project/brand to your subscribers and followers. Blog about it. Ask how it’s going or how you can assist. Be there. Word of mouth goes a long way, too.

It’s baffling how “friends” brag about their new $20 MAC lipgloss, know every move Rihanna makes or posts the latest scandals in pop culture, yet suddenly become deaf or disappear when you bring up a new goal. Granted most people are not real friends. Some never were. Others just don’t love themselves enough to ever be a good friend. But appreciate and hold tight to those who are; you’re lucky to have them. And support those who you may not consider a friend [or even know personally] if you follow their vision and want to see them grow + succeed.

P.S. You can hit up my jewelry-making magician friend on instagram and Facebook

herman

I caught Herman’s House one afternoon on World Channel [a local channel where I am so I’d check my local listings before paying to watch it.] I almost took a pass because the opening scene broke my heart; I was in a pretty decent mood and just didn’t feel like stirring any glum emotions. Plus I remember hearing about Herman’s story a couple years back and it had tugged my heartstrings then. But as a human with a soul, the film captivated me. There is just no way you cannot feel for this brother and his unjust situation.

Without giving it away completely-in short-Herman’s House is a documentary following the story of a Herman Wallace, a former Black Panther and one of the Angola Three, who’d remained in solitary confinement in Louisiana State Penitentiary [aka Angola] for most of his life-more than 40 years. There is little [or no] evidence to prove his guilt of being involved with the killing a prison guard, yet he lived in solitary with just one hour a day outside of his six by nine foot cell. Artist Jackie Sumell is enraged by his story which provokes her to create #76759: Featuring The House That Herman Built, a true-to-size replica of Herman Wallace’s cell.

Being very aware, I’m almost always in a calm enragement as well-enraged for Herman and all of my brothers and sisters caged in solitary confinement, wrongfully imprisoned, beaten, poisoned and murdered. To be treated like a rabid animal for your entire existence because of a crime you committed is not rehabilitation. Most likely the opposite, in fact. Solitary is a disgusting abuse of power that should be obliterated. While pedophiliacs and Wall Street sharks are protected, have their wrongdoings disregarded or given a slap on the wrist, innocent souls [innocent meaning they’re paying the ultimate price-the crime (if any) doesn’t match the punishment] sit in solitary confinement and it is one of the many systemic methods killing our people.

We need to keep talking about it. It’s frustrating but it’s necessary. It’s heartbreaking but it’s real. Reality for so many of us. Too many of us. Knowing the facts about how amerikkka was designed to see us fail is extremely disheartening. I often read and watch and think there is nothing that I can do. But, If nothing more, it’s imperative to stay informed and spread knowledge and not let these stories be ignored or swept under the rug.

I love that Herman remained so positive and hopeful. Without the love and support of his sister and Jackie, I know with an unsparingly honest outlook, he could have easily broken down. Let me know if you saw the film and what you took from it.

[photo cred: nytimes]

Black Every Friday: Black Women, Don’t Get Bamboozled

Black Women Don’t Get Bamboozled: White/Non-Black Hair Companies Are Now Trying to Peddle Black Women Natural Hair Products.

I’m so disappointed with Carol’s Daughter! I used this brand religiously when I returned natural and now.. I just can’t. L’oreal tho? Really?!

Oyin HandmadeShea MoistureKinky-Curly and Thank God It’s Natural are a few of my favorite Black-owned hair care brands that are easy to find and don’t break the bank. There are tons of others out there so there is no excuse not to support our sisters and brothers when caring for our hair.

week 33 \\ 2015

We should all benefit from relationships. You learn. You grow. You laugh. You teach. You love. You venture, you enjoy each other’s company. These are all wonderful, beautiful, essential things and, imo, are how all real relationships are defined and maintained..

But that’s not what I’m talking about today.

I have learned [and am often reminded] that many people suck. Many. Let’s face it: They may not know you well but still hope you fall. They want you to do well, but not better than them. [I know you’ve read that before]. They want you to be happy, but not seemingly happier than them. And often only want to engage with you to their benefit. Seat fillers waiting for you to unleash your potential just so they can tell everyone they know you and ride your coattails.

I’m talking about the people that pop up whenever their emotional baggage gets heavy and they need to unload. Yet -poof!- like magic, when you need an empathetic shoulder, this same crying fool is nowhere in sight.

I’m talking about the people that give you a spotlight interrogation on the ways you choose to live your life instead of trying to see things from your point of view, learn and enjoy the ride with you.

I’m talking about acquaintances who barely know you but don’t want to see you flourish.

I’m talking about folks who smile in your face with their fingers crossed behind their back, sticking around to get a front row seat of your trips and bumps.

I’m talking about the so-called friends and loved ones who don’t clap when you win. They wish you the best until you claim the victory you’ve been working toward. And now that you’re winning, you’re a threat.

With common characteristics of self-absorption and insecurity, these people are. The. Worst.

We know I’ve touched on this topic a couple times and please believe me when I say I’m not bitter, nor do I allow these types into my inner circle or let them take up too much space in my thoughts. [Neither should you.] The point I’m making? Just be aware of these kinds. Learn to weed them out. Don’t allow them to take up too much of your time or energy. Continue to emit good vibes and the right minds will take notice. Love yourself. Accept yourself. Don’t give others the power to discourage. Surround yourself with people who love you unconditionally, encourage you and like what you stand for. And even when they don’t cheer or clap or smile, know that all the approval you need lies within you.

When you choose happiness, recognize your greatness, love yourself and are truly comfortable with who you are, no one can touch that. Not even naysayers, Debbie Downers or leeches.

We could do this every weekend.

nb

After several pretty trying days, this weekend’s activities were much needed! Before the evening ended with a red cup house party, I spent the afternoon basking in the sun at Naturally Beautiful [mentioned on the last Black Every Friday]. It was just as the title entails: naturally beautiful. Lots of gorgeous brown skin, natural hair, great artwork and stimulating conversation with magical minds.  The event was hosted by 50 Shades of Black and Loc Livin at Knight Photography Studio inside Atlanta’s Studioplex. Naturally Beautiful featured photographers Dex R. Jones and Joey Rosado who spoke on the importance of glorifying their love and appreciation of Black people, Black queens in particular. 95th St Tacos provided the delicious eats, The Good Hair Shop brought natural health and beauty products and demonstrated loc styling while God Is From pressed custom tees on site.

nb6

20150815_162311

nb2

It was pretty magical.

nb0

nb4

nb8

And Ego Death was on rotation the whole time. These people know me!

nb3

Everyone was so positive and real and loving and inspiring! Please get familiar with and support these beautiful Black-owned companies! They’re doing great things for the people and their communities.

nb5

BEAUTIFUL IN EVERY SHADE

Island Boi Photography 

The Good Hair Shop

Knight Photography

Dexter R. Jones

95th St. Tacos

God Is From

Loc Livin’

Art. Good conversation. Food. Music. Laughs. Dancing. Hangover. Leftover food.

Balance is restored.

nb6