This year at Dance Africa, I found so many great things I want to share with you. As you know, Dance Africa is an annual event that happens every memorial weekend at BAM where Brooklyn locals celebrate Africa in all its glory through performances, amazing food and vendors. This year I bought so much cool stuff that I’m so excited about:
Tribal Print Dress
Besides the beautiful tribal print, what I love about this dress is the pockets and the racerback. It’s such a well-made dress and I never want to take it off. Price: $20
I’ve wanted Fulani earrings since 2011. Finally, I found these rare finds from Mali and put them on as soon as I bought them. They’re a dream come true. Price: $20
Shea Butter & Black Soap
These two necessities speak for themselves. I haven’t used Shea Butter in my hair since 2014, so this is a real treat and my hair loves it. As for the black soap, I am hoping it performs miracles on my dark spots. ($3-$5)
- My Vision Board Party
I think having a Vision Board party in January set the tone for an amazing year. I still get comments from my friends saying their vision boards helped them check off goals on their list that they probably wouldn’t have done without the help of their boards reminding them. My board is still something that empowers me when I look at it. I am encouraged to remain strong-willed and grounded.
That glitch fare on Christmas day last year allowed me to go to Dubai for only $200. What a blessing that was. Dubai’s desert was probably my favorite part. That vast landscape of beautiful sand and horizon is something that will forever be embedded in my heart.
Continue reading “My Top 15 Moments in 2015”
Four years ago I graduated from college. Unlike my peers, I was not happy about this accomplishment. During my senior year, I applied to Teach for America and did not get in, which wasn’t much of a surprise. Teaching was not in my destiny in this context (I later became a Sunday school teacher which was more aligned with my purpose), but what the application process of Teach for America did reveal to me was how much debt I accumulated during my four years of college.
When I saw all those zero’s, I couldn’t believe it. I cried, screamed, yelled, and resented my degree. I resented everything it stood for because the knowledge that I gained in undergrad wasn’t worth that kind of money. I wrote to President Obama because the government was also on my angry list. I couldn’t believe we lived in a country where education, to ultimately make a decent living could be so expensive, especially when there are countries like Sweden, Denmark, and even Germany that sponsor their citizen’s college education. The President responded but clearly, there was nothing he could do.
When I walked across the stage I reluctantly took my degree. A few days later, I packed my bags, got settled back into my apartment in Brooklyn and began to search for jobs. I felt like I was carrying the weight of the world on my shoulders. I only had until December to figure out my life or else I would be in big trouble with those loan sharks. I applied to jobs daily. I was desperate, willing to take on anything, but what I noticed was that a lot of these positions wanted people with 1-3 years of experience. Immediately, I felt like I hit a wall. Finally, I decided to put my life in God’s hands. I prayed for miracles, started going to church, and lived my life by taking advantage of this time off. I started to volunteer. I worked for Catholic Charities for 2-months until I was offered a paid position there. My starting salary would be $26k. I remember being so excited when they gave me my offer letter. I called my mom and told her my volunteering efforts landed me my first job. Continue reading “Four Years!”
First Saturdays are when a large majority of Brooklyn locals flock to the Brooklyn Museum for a night of entertainment and culture. Black masculinity and the socialization of black men in America were themes in some of the popular exhibits of the night. I’ve been hearing rave reviews about Kehinde Wiley: A New Republic so I decided to go.
I discovered Basquiat’s Notebooks before heading to Kehinde Wiley. I am so happy this happened. The exhibit just opened the day before and it was a very high profile one. Everyone wanted to get a glimpse into the mind of Basquiat. As you walk in you are graced with a video of Basquiat working in his element of street art and graffiti. I became entranced as I watched this video of a young artist spray painting words that obviously had a deeper meaning behind it- THE WHOLE LIVERY LINE BOW LIKE THIS WITH THE BIG MONEY… He had on a long trench coat and wild natural hair. He looked modern, like someone I would meet in the Lower East Side today.
I walked into the exhibit and noticed that, as the name details, this exhibit would be a display of his notebooks throughout the years. I rubbed my head trying to figure out the depth behind his words. Was it to be analyzed or were his notes just like any other person jotting down things he viewed in the world. How was his notebook’s art? His words were simple; some were poetic. He obviously appreciated his heritage and wanted blacks to be the focal point of his art–the heroes. He also wanted us to pay attention to the words he crossed out. According to him, “I cross out words, so you will see them more. The fact that they are obscured makes you want to read them.”
Continue reading “A Lesson in Culture and Black Masculinity”