nowhere be like Africa

No famine. No war. Just beauty-the parts of Africa media doesn’t want you to see.

multiplication

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“Whatever you give a woman, she will make greater. If you give her sperm, she’ll give you a baby.. If you give her a house, she’ll give you a home. If you give her groceries, she’ll give you a meal. If you give her a smile, she’ll give you her heart. She multiplies and enlarges what is given to her. So, if you give her any crap, be ready to receive a ton of shit!”

-Erick S. Gray

[originally spied on blackexperience]

Black Sunday

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I cannot lie, I thoroughly enjoyed spending time with fam last week on that one day. My dad surprised us by flying into town and we kept dinner small and intimate with my mom, sis, nephew, cousins and a couple family friends. I was invited to a “Feast of Gratitude” [basically a vegan potluck dinner to bring friends together that understand the crock that is Thanksgiving but still want to come together and enjoy some good eats] by a newfound friend here in the A, but you know. Mom. “Traditions.” Family time. Sigh. #sideeye.

I did whip up and deliver some peach cobbler cookies for my friend’s feast, but I would have much rather spent the day binging on documentaries and ordering some pizza in my pajamas.. No human contact would probably have been quite lovely. It was fun, but I’m glad it’s over. Now I’m impatiently waiting for Christmas to pass..

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Anyway, my sister told me about this real holiday she discovered on the Black twitter [yea, she’s one of those] and I did a little research on it to find out more so I could share with you all:

via Kwanzaa: Black Power and the Making of the African-American Black Holiday and Pride and Joy: African-American Baby Celebrations:

Umoja Karamu [Unity Feast] is a holiday that is celebrated the fourth Sunday of November and symbolizes unity within the family, community, nation and race. Umoja Karamu is celebrated through the presentation of food with narratives of African-American historical periods.

The host can read about and serve foods representing those periods. The first period Black people in Africa before slavery represented by black foods like beans or blackberries. Second period Blacks in slavery represented by white foods. Third period Black people after emancipation represented by red foods. Fourth period The Black family’s struggle for liberation represented by green foods. And the fifth period The Black family and hopes for the future presented by orange or foods gold in color.

 

[read more about it here]

Umoja Kamaru is basically a holiday of our very own that wasn’t birthed from a fairytale,  violence, disease, destruction, colonialism or genocide. Just a man who saw a need for his people to just say no to the misgivings of thanksgiving.

Like most holidays or anything truly amerikkkan, we’re usually only included and appreciated if it means spending our hard earned money, the permittance of wool being pulled over our eyes, getting killed or fitting a stereotype. None of that unity or happiness or empowerment or Black pride crap.

With this unity feast, we are not bogarting our way into something that clearly was not made for us. Implementing Umoja Karamu, holidays like it and rebuilding from within would be a great start to something bigger and better than all of us. And now that I think about it, I unknowingly celebrated by participating in another potluck last Sunday at the beautiful Nuba Palace Loft [with our famous vegan peach cobbler cookies in tow, of course]. It was with a fun group of Black vegetarians I’d never met in person, and although sis and I are not vegetarians, we were invited and warmly welcomed. And we fit right in. There were lots of laughs, good food and such a great atmosphere.

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If I can’t find myself relaxing on the warm sand of a beach this time of year, I really want to make this a thing. I want to dress in ankara prints and cover my table with a kente cloth and have everyone bring a theme-fitting dish. No talk of a job we hate or neighbor we can’t stand, only real issues that will matter in five to ten years. Maybe a group meditation followed by a game of Scrabble or two. And there must be a drummer and/or guitarist. A little Erykah and incense and dancing. And a palm reader.

Black people do not need the approval of the white community to celebrate our holidays.. and even if those Black people who did not participate this time will think long and hard about not participating on future days. Black people have tremendous power when we act in unison. -Carlos Russell, professor and creator of Black Solidarity Day

 

 

 

 

interior inspiration

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All photos by Cush & Co. Not sure how they got these pictures of my house tho..

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I really love Cush&Co’s Moroccan-inspired design. It’s clean and fresh yet warm and cozy. I love the contrast. I also believe your space should be your sanctuary, even it’s it’s just one room or corner.

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Follow them for fresh finds and inspiration.

.com | instagram | Facebook

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Color of 2014: Radiant Orchid

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The color of the year, according to the color gods at Pantone, is supposedly an inspiration for designer’s fashion collections[including interior designs and decor] and reflects the state of the economy? For example, if it were a yellow, we consumers need a pick me up. I think it’s a bit of a crock because I don’t remember seeing a ton of emerald last year..or maybe I missed it because I wasn’t shopping in Neiman Marcus or Barney’s? I saw a lot of neon green [maybe because it’s so dang bright lol..] and celestial/outer space prints.

Anyway, this year it’s radiant orchid- a beautiful, bold and bright pinkish purple hue. I’m not sure how/if it reflects our financial state, but it sure is pretty!

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Ahem, I’m ahead of the trend, already incorporating this color into my life with fresh flowers in my apartment, lipstick and nail varnish. Where has Pantone been?!

2014

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Small Business Saturday is a three year old tradition started back in 2010 to promote and celebrate small corporations the day after ominous Black Friday. Why should huge, multi-billion dollar brands get all the traffic and dough? Supporting local businesses not only boosts the economy but also helps your community. All the while, buying cool stuff you may or may not need.

The National Federation of Independent Business has a nice long list of small corps throughout the country participating in this weekend’s sales. Check it out!

Another easy site to find small businesses to shop this weekend is Pinterest. Just hit the link or search “small business” and voila!!

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If you didn’t have a reason to shop this weekend, this is a good one, especially if you have a long holiday gift list. If you don’t know where to go, ask around, search online or just go to the small businesses you frequent and see for yourself. As the years go on, I hope SBS continues to become more and more popular. And if you plan on shopping after stuffing your face with leftovers this weekend, don’t forgot about the little guys. Even if you have a honey glazed ham hangover and can’t get into some leggings and boots to step out, shop small from your sofa online. Please feel free to comment with information to find and shop your small business or a small business that you know will be participating in the sales for Small Business Saturday, November 30th.

Happy shopping!!

 

 

 

Bringing Africa Home

If you’re like me with big dreams of traveling the Motherland but can’t yet afford it, try the much cheaper route of bringing Africa into your home. It’s easy to do with simple, chic accessories that make a statement without turning your space into a museum. Many of the fabrics used are bright and graphic and will add a fresh, youthful vibe to your home.  Here are a few of my favorite things [via etsy, of course]:

African Wax Print, Maracuja $30, etsy

African Wax Print, Maracuja $30

"Nile Lotus" Throw Pillow $30, etsy

“Nile Lotus” Throw Pillow $30, OSxN

"Africa Clock" $30, castlehomeware via etsy

“Africa Clock” $30, castlehomeware

3/3 "Moroccan Fine Art Photos" $75, Sarah Franklin via etsy

3/3 “Moroccan Fine Art Photos” $75, Sarah Franklin

"Technicolor Tub Chair" $894 Ray Clarke Upholstery

“Technicolor Tub Chair” $894 Ray Clarke Upholstery

"Antique Africa Elephant Stool" $189, EastWestClassic1980

“Antique Africa Elephant Stool” $189, EastWestClassic1980

"Tribal Design Pouf" $75, Maria Vargas Design

“Tribal Design Pouf” $75, Maria Vargas Design

"Danish Mid-Century Chair" $1320, chezboheme

“Danish Mid-Century Chair” $1320, chezboheme

Senufo Stool/Side Table " $400, africanhouse via etsy

Senufo Stool/Side Table ” $400, africanhouse via etsy

Although authentic pieces can be pricey, a single article of furniture can completely alter a room, so it will be worth the investment. Pillows and artwork can help pull it all together without the commitment. Stay tuned for the clothing and accessories version of Bringing Africa Home. In the meantime, happy shopping!!