african descendent

That thing about how cats think humans are big kittens is a myth, y’know.

It’s basically born of false assumptions; folks were trying to explain how a naturally solitary animal could form such complex social bonds with humans, and the explanation they settled on is “it’s a displaced parent/child bond”.

The trouble is, cats aren’t naturally solitary. We just assumed they were based on observations of European wildcats - but housecats aren’t descended from European wildcats. They’re descended from African wildcats, which are known to hunt in bonded pairs and family groupings, and that social tendency is even stronger in their domesticated relatives. The natural social unit of the housecat is a colony: a loose affiliation of cats centred around a shared territory held by alliance of dominant females, who raise all of the colony’s kittens communally.

It’s often remarked that dogs understand that humans are different, while cats just think humans are big, clumsy cats, and that’s totally true - but they regard us as adult colonymates, not as kittens, and all of their social behaviour toward us makes a lot more sense through that lens.

They like to cuddle because communal grooming is how cats bond with colonymates - it establishes a shared scent-identity for the colony and helps clean spots that they can’t easily reach on their own.

They bring us dead animals because cats transport surplus kills back to the colony’s shared territory for consumption by pregnant, nursing, or sick colonymates who can’t easily hunt on their own. Indeed, that’s why they kill so much more than they individually need - it’s not for fun, but to generate enough surplus kills to sustain the colony’s non-hunting members.

They’re okay with us messing with their kittens because communal parenting is the norm in a colony setting, and us being colonymates in their minds automatically makes us co-parents.

It’s even why many cats are so much more tolerant toward very small children, as long as those children are related to one of their regular humans: they can tell the difference between human adults and human “kittens”, and your kittens are their kittens.

Basically, you’re going to have a much easier time getting a handle on why your cat does why your cat does if you remember that the natural mode of social organisation for cats is not as isolated solitary hunters, but as a big communal catpile - and for that purpose, you count as a cat.

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BAKAY DIABY shot by ENZO ADDI for DEDICATE MAGAZINE

styled by EDEM DOSSOU assiqted by HANS DJOUROU

hair by RIMI URA make up by AYA FUJITA

This story is inspired and dedicated to all great african-descendant men that had a positive economical, political and spiritual impact around them, like Nelson Mandela, like Aimé Césaire, like Thomas Sankara, like Abdourahmane Cissé.

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There are more descendants of Africans who speak Spanish or Portuguese than English.

Brazil has the largest population of Blacks in the world second ONLY to Nigeria!

The Caribbean was often a stop in the transatlantic slave trade to “break” the African before being sold to the Americas.

Haiti was the first BLACK independent nation in the Western Hemisphere , defeating Napoleon and others from France, with the power of Voudon (Voodoo). As a result, Haiti ,was punished by all of Europe through tariffs, taxes and other ways!

You want a White History Month? Okay. Let’s plan the curriculum.

Let’s talk about European nations acting like they already own the rest of the world, and thus dividing it up in trade negotiations. You get to pillage this part of Africa for gold and slaves, I get that part.

Let’s talk about how enslavement of African descendants is still happening, we just call it mass incarceration instead of slavery.

Let’s talk about millions of Indians kicked out of their own homes, because white people decided to intentionally divide India into an obviously conflict-prone situation by creating Pakistan.

Let’s talk about the even more war-torn region of Israel and Palestine, which only exists because white people decided that the best way to deal with the Jewish problem was to ship them off to a new country, in a place where a country already is.

Speaking of the Jewish problem, let’s talk about the holocaust, not as the worst event in history that magically occurred of its own volition, but as one of many equally horrid actions willfully enacted by a predominantly white nation, because being racist helps you win elections.

Speaking of the holocaust, let’s talk about eugenics. Let’s talk about how the United States did it first, testing the waters by killing disabled people and gay people, which a group of white people called the Nazis then copied.

Speaking of the United States, let’s stop talking about the fictional scientific explorer named Columbus and start talking about the actual genocidal conqueror named Columbus.

Let’s talk about the Founding Fathers following that act with “all men are created equal” which not only doesn’t include women, it somehow doesn’t include African men or native American men either. Enslave and kill all you want, and that goes for both. White people did that.

Let’s talk about that time a white man gave the order to drop a nuclear bomb on a city of millions of people, then after witnessing the devastating effects of this previously unseen type of weapon, ordered the military to drop a second bomb.

Let’s start writing in the history books right now that even most white women voted for Trump. Hitler and Jackson were democratically elected too. Guess what color their supporters were.

Are you seeing the pattern now? There is no White History Month because white people themselves don’t want to talk about white history.

I have a bit of a rant about the human zoo thing in Steven Universe

So, some people didn’t like that certain (episode? Clip?) because it reminds us, or at least us as in black people, find it distasteful or just all around bad because of the actual history of Human Zoos that were made for black people and African descendants that Europeans kept our grandparents in. Yes, grandparents. Some of our own family members remember that and lived it when it happened. (Even if it was for a short while)

And we have every right to feel that way. If it did make you feel uncomfortable, disappointed, or feel disgusted, then you can.

I’d just like to point out that this is an example as to even if Pink Diamond was “"beloved”“, ”“kind”“, or even the classic ridiculous argument that ”“"she treated the humans well”“”, she was still evil and her intentions of destroying the earth and keeping humans like animals, pearls like servants, and everyone not having the capability of having a choice as to who or what they want to be COMPLETELY overpowers her so-called kindness that she had.

The last argument I pointed out made me think about how some of these slavery-apologists like to claim that slavery was beneficial back then and “slaves were treated well with food and shelter”, as if you can just gloss over the horrible things that happened at that time. The Diamonds did, and still do horrible things to earth and I’m quite sure other planets like it.

And Pink Diamond reminds me of how a lot of people (including my own fucking teachers, mind you) would say “Not all slave owners were bad”, because there were “some kind slave owners” that PROBABLY didn’t beat, rape, sold children, and/or murdered slaves. Even go as far as to say that slaves didn’t want to be free. (as if we had a choice)

And people are being empathetic to Blue who’s doing the same thing Pink did? Collecting humans from their home, their families, their planet because she thinks they “belonged” to Pink????

Pink, Blue, all the Diamonds are still terrible, and to me they can never be forgiven for what they’ve done and are planning on doing (as much as I’d like to see an up side to it, deep down in my heart I don’t. But let’s see what the Crewniverse do next)

For those who are confused about race/ethnicity. “Black” is a race with several ethnicities. The arrows above demonstrate the migration of enslaved black people from Africa to other parts of the world. 

Black line = African Americans = descendants of enslaved blacks in the USA

Red lines = Afro-Latinxs = descendants of enslaved blacks in Latin America (Central America, South America, and some of the Caribbean-Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic, etc.) 

Blue line = Afro-Caribbeans = descendants of enslaved blacks in the Caribbean (ex: Jamaica, Haiti, Trinidad, etc.) 

Africa = Africans 

All of these people are black. But not all black people are African American. 

Famous black people
Africans: Nelson Mandela, Barack Obama, Iman, Idris Elba
African Americans: Michelle Obama, Oprah, Beyonce, Jay-Z  
Afro-Latinx: Celia Cruz, Gina Torres, Zoe Saldana, Laz Alonso 
Afro-Caribbeans: Bob Marley, Rihanna, Nicki Minaj, Wyclef

*I should mention there are black people in other parts of the world as well (Afro-Palestinians, Afro-Iranian, etc.) 

**I made this in a hurry, let me know if anything is off 

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The history of enslaved Africans and their descendants is more than being docile and obedient. Throughout the history of enslaved Black people FIGHTING BACK was always an option for many! We poisoned food and water, we stuck sewing needles in the heads of White babies, we ran away for freedom, only to return for our loved ones or incite rebellion, we used the Bible, Islam and African based spirituality to guide and empower us………
WE ALWAYS FOUGHT BACK!!

Letter to the Ankhs, Hoteps & Fake Deeps

Dear Ankhs, Hoteps & Fake Deeps,
Alkebulan is not the original true name of Africa. The name Africa was not given by the enemy to make us forget or destroy our history.
You should also know that Egypt is not the only country in Africa and with that being said, Africa is neither one country or one nation. Africa is a continent with 54 beautiful countries with over 2000+ languages, over 3000+ tribes and a huge amount of different cultures. Please respect the diversity of this vast continent. Also keep in mind that Egypt was not the only place in Africa where advanced ancient civilizations once existed or where Kings and Queens ruled. There is therefor no need to always and only mention or uplift Egypt because as you know or may not know, majority of the victims of the trans-atlantic slave trade came from the west & central parts of Africa so basically you’re most likely a descendant of African people who came from those areas.
Please do not spread false information about Africas history or cultures just because it screams pro-black and when you are called out for spreading misinformation on social media, do not block, delete comments. There is also no need to be rude. Just read your history correctly and always have sources to back up your facts to avoid such things.

Do not post pictures with captions like “A Black Queen should…” It is not your position to demand, command or advice women on how they should act. Your point of view or standards does not equal everybody elses.
Also, most of us black women are not like the women in the pictures you constantly post or repost. We are not all half naked, walking oil lamps with a tight curved body with gold painted on our butts and titties.
Please understand that the black female body is not yours to use for your sexist captions, memes, quotes, and misogynic thoughts and behaviour that you hide behind your so-called consciousness.

Homosexuality was not introduced to black people by the white man nor was it introduced to black people to whipe out the entire ‘race’. Babies are still being born within the black community so do not panic because maybe the only reason you did not realize that the black LGBT community is big might because you were not bothered to care that much before you became “woke”.

Respect other indigenous beings and their history, land and cultures! Just because the first of the human mankind appeared and came out of Africa does not mean that we are entitled to claim other groups, appropriate cultures and remake their history.

Every so-called unconscious black person are not coons, whitewashed, Uncle Toms, Massa’s puppet, house negroes or negropeans. The reason you call yourself woke is because you too were once at sleep, remember that.
So instead of spending your days online on social media bashing and insulting other black people for not being down with revolution or not being woke, try instead to understand what lies behind it.

Last but not least, demanding people to unite and build when you are most likely not doing the same is very hypocritical.

-Sincerely, tired black woman from the African continent.

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Capoeira (/ˌkæpuːˈɛərə/; Portuguese pronunciation: [kapuˈejɾɐ]) is a Brazilian martial art that combines elements of dance, acrobatics and music, and is usually referred to as a game. It was developed in Brazil mainly by West African descendants with native Brazilian influences, probably beginning in the 16th century. It is known for quick and complex moves, using mainly power, speed, and leverage for a wide variety of kicks, spins, and highly mobile techniques.

The most widely accepted origin of the word capoeira comes from the Tupi words ka'a (“jungle”) e pûer (“it was”), referring to the areas of low vegetation in the Brazilian interior where fugitive slaves would hide. Practitioners of the art are called capoeiristas.

Also, I don’t see why people can’t get actual African-Americans to play slaves in these historical pieces. People will bring up, “Because your ancestors looked more authentically African than modern-day descendants!’ You do know there were mixed race people on plantations. They worked in fields and had children with other black slaves. Even those darker. What makes you think their offsprings didn’t come out looking “lighter brown” (which people associate with African Americans) with “water-downed” features? What makes you think there are native Africans who don’t look just like us? Since African-Americans are so “mixed,” don’t you think it’ll make sense to have characters looking like us, and I don’t mean those who are “m*llatos” or “q*adroon” either. As in slaves with two black parents? Are you meaning to tell me there are no African-Americans who know their history enough to play themselves? 

So Hamilton fans, I haven’t seen any posts on this yet but has anybody else looked up Hercules Mulligan? Cuz I was like, OK, I am a big history nerd but I don’t know who tf this guy is.
The character in the play is clearly a combination of the historical Hercules Mulligan, an Irish immigrant and popular NYC tailor who was an invaluable spy for the Sons of Liberty, and his African-descended slave Cato, who did a lot of the dangerous work of running messages. (Partly because, as a black slave, he was below the notice of the British, who repeatedly let him through barricades and such because they assumed he couldn’t possibly be a spy.)
Both Hercules and Cato risked their lives and were tortured and imprisoned for it, and were viewed with suspicion by both sides. Until the end of the war when Washington, who had foiled several assassination plans because of their information, made a point of dining with Mulligan promptly upon his entry into the city.

Anyway it’s fascinating, and the play’s decision to combine the characters into one and have an African-descended actor play the part is an interesting touch.
And as a history nerd: I don’t ever remember learning about Mulligan, but I remembered Cato. I think because even before, I was aware how often POC get erased from stuff like this, and thought it was cool we even still knew the guy’s name.

(I’m sure someone has posted about this! I just hadn’t seen it. So I figured I would.)

Finding Joy as Resilience and Resistance

-Professor Tinson

Dedicated to the memory of our beloved colleague Chike McLoyd

To exist as an African descendant born in the Americas is to constantly face down antiblack forces designed and reproduced to extinguish the joy of living. Finding joy is a daily practice of survival.
 
Each day, I wake up with a short prayer, ancestral acknowledgment, and a whispered promise of making the most of the day, embrace its challenges, and keep open to its possibilities.
 
Having a job where I can talk about and think with Du Bois, and Assata, and Ida B., and Robin D.G., and bell, and Baldwin, and Fanon, and Carter G., and Callie House, and Robeson, and teach reparations and epistemology, all day, every semester, every year, is joy personified. For me, Black History Month never ends and Africana Studies is one place where Black Lives have always mattered.
 
Everything begins with music. My audio “soundzcaper” rotates Anderson Paak’s “Malibu” on my way into work. Solange’s “Seat at the Table” or Kendrick’s “To Pimp a Butterfly” or “Untitled,” accompany me as I leave the FPH parking lot in the early evening. These come closest to inspiring the feeling I get when I hear the opening phrase of Coltrane’s “Blue Train.” Listening to “Blue Train,” while reading “Before John was a Jazz Giant” to my son before bed at night completes the cipher.
 
I enjoy beaches in the summer—who doesn’t? A beautifully prepared salad that tastes, and is as healthy and good as it looks. Spending family time binge-watching old episodes of The Wire, and annual visits to the Golden State or to the Caribbean.
 
I enjoy a 7am pot of coffee and a neat desk that is orderly though stacked with student papers and articles arranged left to right in order of priority. To-do lists with all of the entries checked off. The relief of the last eval uploaded onto the Hub. A random note from a former student checking in to tell me that something happened that reminded of our time together.
 
I enjoy painting and assembling images and other handiwork of the imagination. Nag Champa or Frankincense accompanied by massage. A warm shower at the end of a long day. The time to sit and read for pleasure. Postcards from distant loved ones. Used-books stores and random archival discoveries. Gil Scott-Heron records. Opening a box of new kicks.
 
I enjoy working towards justice. Daily affirmation, prayer, and meditation. Knowledge of the divine. Inviting my students to deeper study, reflection, radical compassion, and revolutionary love.
 
As a professor, teacher, mentor and basketball coach, and the son of educators, I relish the time I spend with the young people I meet in and out of the classroom. I consider it a gift and privilege to get up in front of students and plant seeds in thirsty minds and able, hungry hearts. Aside from teaching, coaching my son’s basketball team—“Go Thunder!”—has been one of my most treasured activities. As a lifetime athlete, I find joy in working out and weekly basketball runs at the YMCA. At this age, I can still get a jumper to splash or get to the cup when necessary.
 
bell hooks reminds educators of our role in her book Teaching Community when she states:
 
Committed acts of caring let all students know that the purpose of education is not to dominate, or prepare them to be dominators, but rather to create the conditions for freedom. Caring educators open the mind, allowing students to embrace a world of knowing that is always subject to change and challenge.
 

At the close of his 1926 black arts essay, the activist, Harlemite, and poet Langston Hughes wrote: “We build our temples for tomorrow strong as we know how, and we stand on top of the mountain free within ourselves.”
 
These two statements, affirming and calling forth the strength of spirit, inform my classroom practice and worldview. They are what I like to call mirror-maps, offering both direction and reflection. These freedom dreams, radical imagining, and visions of a liberated future are what I strive towards every day. And this undoubtedly brings me joy. 

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Wooden Afro Picks by Kindred Combs on Etsy

The Aromatic Red Collection will be restocked with just a few more combs by tomorrow, May 10th.

There will be a much larger restock of the Brown Collection later this month.

The Styles available in Red are:

The Diasporic Heart:

This heart symbol was inspired by Sankofa, which would become a symbol of remembrance and history of the tragedy and effects of the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade.

The Comb of Geb:

The Egyptian Waterfowl design was inspired by the sacred animal of Geb, the god of earth. Geb is commonly depicted with a goose on his head. Therefore, when one wears the comb in their hair, they become an impression of the ancient god. 

Plain:

For those with a different taste we gladly offer something more simple. 

About Kindred Combs and the History and Culture of Black Hair:

Continuing my mission of connecting people with the history Black hair, I made these afro picks out of wood to make the experience little more real for people. These combs each have a story that has been rehashed from African history and cultures. Be my guest, and get your own comb to use, give as a gift, or have as a keepsake.

Feel free to ask questions about the combs.

Kindred Combs on Etsy

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A Shared History at Carnival with @waynelawrence

To see more of Wayne’s images from Brazil and beyond, follow @waynelawrence on Instagram.

“I remember as a youth, finding a photo spread on Brazil carnival in one of my mother’s magazines,” recalls Wayne Lawrence (@waynelawrence). The documentary photographer, who was born on the Caribbean island of St. Kitts, was instantly fascinated. Now based in Brooklyn, New York, Wayne is back for his third trip to Brazil for an ongoing personal project that explores the diverse communities of the African diaspora. Brazil is home to the largest black population of any country outside of Africa. “For people living in the tropics, Carnival is engrained in the DNA of who we are as descendants of African slaves,” says Wayne, who has been photographing scenes at Carnival over the past few days. “I wanted to make the connection between our shared history.”

Yemoja (yemaya) - meaning (one who’s children are like fish) is a water deity//spirit of the Igbo religion and African diaspora (direct descendants of African ancestry relating to slave ships). She is the great mother who lives and rules over the seas and is typically depicted as a mermaid figurine, (half human-half fish). Another variation is her occasional depiction with the caduceus (snakes and spiral rod) symbolising both her divinity and healing associations. As water is essential to life, without yemaya, life on Earth wouldn’t be possible. Although she’s maternal and nurturing, she’s also fierce and her punishments can be terrible. She is also associated with stars and the full moon. Yemaya is the patron of pregnant women, and she also acts as a spiritual mother to all those who feel lost and lonely. She’ll always listen and offer maternal love to anyone who needs a mother. Across the diaspora and as languages have changed/developed, there have been variations in her names. Ghana - mami wata. Brazil - yemanja Portuguese - lemanja. Her name and concept is also vastly similar to that of the Dogon tribe who believed that a sea-like creature who rules the earth brought them sacred knowledge emme ya. #spiritual #ancientreligion #yemaya #africa #writer

#DearWhitePeople

Dear White People,

I write this post with no intent to point fingers, with no intent to blame, but simply to educate White America on what is happening in our country right now, as my fingers furiously hit the keys of my laptop.

Over the past two years, this country has been faced with more racial unjust than I would like to admit.  We stand here, asking why.  Why is it that Trayvon Martin, Sandra Bland, Eric Gardner and countless others couldn’t live?  Why were their lives ended so soon?  And in the aftermath of their deaths, and the blatant disregard for the lives of Black Americans, what do we, as African Americans (descendants of Black people forcefully brought to this country centuries ago) what do we do now?  Haven’t we fought this fight before?  Why are we being called into the ring for another round?

White America, Black folks are tired.  We are tired for fighting this fight.  We are tired of constantly defending ourselves, begging for fair treatment in the workplace and on the street.  We are tired of being denied the basic rights that you, yes you, White America has been granted since you stole this country from the Native Americans.  We are tired!

White America, I want you to image just how tired we are.  Try placing yourself in a room, this room has no doors, just windows.  The windows allow you to see the world around you, the world that you are unfairly separated from.  Imagine that you see this world, you yearn for what you see outside your window; people riding their bikes, smiling, frolicking down the street, eating ice cream, taking in the sun, and the sweet air.  You see this, and you want it.  You want it more than anything.    You just want out.  So you start working on the walls, you punch, you kick, you make dents in the walls, because you know that if you work hard enough, you can break that damn wall down and join the world outside your window.  But see, this wall is a fickle bitch, and it takes you a long, long time to break her down.  You may discover some tools in this room, a spoon, a sharp object, something that helps you break down the wall, but it’s hard White America, it’s really hard.  

And when you finally break out, feel the sun on your skin and smell the air, no one is there to congratulate you or welcome you to the new world.  Instead everyone asks why it took you so long to get out.  They tell you they were wondering when you would break free, they make fun of because you were the idiot who didn’t figure out how to break free.  

White America, being Black in this world is a constant conversation on why we haven’t “broken free.”  It’s a constant battle with the rest of the world on why we haven’t hacked life, why we can’t succeed when the rest of the world fails to acknowledge that you started off alone, in a room with little resources, trying like hell to get out, when everyone else started off in the sun, frolicking, eating ice cream, and enjoying the sweet air.  

Black folks have fought, we are the Muhammad Ali of this game.  Black women have marched for equal rights with White women, only to be disrespected and misunderstood by them.  Black folks have marched hand and hand with you for equal and fair economic treatment and political reform. But when the marching is over, and your agenda has been fulfilled, you return to the suburbs, and we return to the cities that are hit the hardest by unjust economic policies.  

White America, as tired as I am, I will use this voice, this gift and love of words to fight and speak out against injustice.  I want this world to treat my sisters, my nephew, and my future children fairly.  I don’t want my family and friends to fear a simple drive on the road, a run to the corner store, or a ride on the train.  No one should fear for their life while running an errand or simply being out on the street.  

White America, you may think that Black folks love to complain, and that we love to point fingers, but realize and remember that room.  We are born with no, ABSOLUTELY NO, fighting chances.  We are born with the expectation to be subset citizens of this country.  We are born with little chance to prove our worth.  Please stop telling us who we are, and what we should be, because we have done a whole lot to get out of the that small ass, lonely room.  We are warriors, because we are forced to get up every time you push us down….every damn time. 


Sincerely,

Nina Carey Marie Young

(A tired, educated, middle class, Black woman from Detroit, who just wants her slice of the fucking American Pie.)

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I grew up with the idea that I had to bleach my skin to feel/look beautiful, that the darker my skin was the uglier I was, and it’s been 2 years since I started to develop some confidence in my skin tone, I finally LOVE it I’m so proud to be BLACK so happy to be born in this skin 😄😉👌🍫💕 (I’m sorry if I miswritten something Spanish is my first language I’m from Costa Rica and I’m a Jamaican descendant) Nuff love ❤ IG: jdns03 Twitter: @PanNelson

Afro-Latina Midwife in the Bronx (fluent in Spanish and English) -

My work is guided by a strong connection to spirit, an analysis and awareness of mental attitudes, a growing emotional intelligence and commitment to healing body as the vehicle for manifestation. As a midwife and doula, I am holding the space for a woman to do the work necessary to birth her child. I view birth as a natural part of life. I trust the wisdom in women’s bodies and understand the transformative nature of taking this journey.

My womanist African-centered position on my own life, actions and journey in this world informs my midwifery/doula practice and philosophy. Womanism is a term that Alice Walker coined. She defines a womanist as a woman of color who is pro-women – appreciating and preferring women’s culture, emotional flexibility and strength. Womanists are committed to the survival and wholeness of an entire people.

I am aware of the profound impact of the Transatlantic Slave trade and on-going effects of atrocities inflicted on African and Afro descendant people. The intention of my work is to dismantle the generational effects of the enslavement, striving to help women and families break cycles of trauma in violence on a local, national and global level. I acknowledge how much the history of those who came before us affects us in contemporary times. I believe that healing the foundation of community, women and families, will put our painful legacy to rest and provide future generations with a new inheritance.

I believe pregnancy is a special opportunity in a woman’s life to transform. It is an initiation into cultivating herself for the optimal health of her child(ren). Pregnancy changes a woman’s priorities, sense of self and expands her heart immensely. I am an advocate for mental hygiene and support prenatal, intrapartum and postpartum work with mental health resources. I view a woman’s lifetime reproductive health as a dynamic process with significant milestones that deserve support, shared knowledge and qualified, compassionate care. I value the empowerment of women in all aspects of life and particularly as that strength is realized during pregnancy, birth and thereafter.

I believe that every individual has the right to safe, satisfying health care with respect for human dignity and cultural variations. I further support each person’s right to self-determination, to complete information and to active participation in all aspects of care. I believe the normal processes of pregnancy and birth can be enhanced through education, health care and supportive intervention.  

I believe birth is the creation of not only a new chapter in a woman’s life but also for her partner. My work encompasses creating the space for the woman, her partner and family to change and understand the transformation taking place. I am supportive of maintaining the primary relationship strong during pregnancy, labor and childbirth. As a midwife, my responsibility is the medical well-being of mother and child while keeping the partner informed and involved. As a doula, I provide information and support for the birthing unit; I am not replacing the birth partner familiar to the woman but rather enhancing and strengthened them.

I encourage realistic expectations of childbirth by women within their own society, with the minimum expectation that no women should be harmed by conception or childbearing. I provide care for women and childbearing families with respect for cultural diversity while also working to eliminate harmful practices within those same cultures.

I value the acceptance of death as a possible outcome of birth. The focus of my work is supporting life rather than avoiding death. I value the art of nurturing the intrinsic normalcy of birth and recognize that each woman and baby have parameters of well-being unique unto themselves.

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This collection is meant to capture the spirit of exercising a right to freedom. The ‘I have a dream’ earrings have Martin Luther King’s initials on the back. … The 'Full bloom’ earrings come from the idea of dreaming and blossoming into that dream. 'The 'Freedom to Speak’ earrings exemplify exactly that as she wears freedom across her mouth. My empress used the Black Liberation Flag or the Pan African flag colors very often in this collection. For her it’s a reminder of a freedom we as a people have worked on and should continue to work towards. The 'Black liberation-Africa Unite’ earrings send a message from front to back. She’s done the 'Boho medallion’ in other colors but for this collection she chose red, black, green and yellow to go with the theme of the Pan African flag, which appears again on the Africa shaped earrings. The back of those looks like splatter paint simply because Africans and their descendants are all over. She couldn’t do this collection without a Black Power fist particularly in light of past and recent protests. The back says 'no justice, no peace’ repeatedly. The last pair are a sophisticated blend of black and white. All the earrings are hand painted on wood except for the 'black and white bohemian’ earrings which are made from textured paper and card stock. They are very lightweight. You can add a little flare and a message all at once to your style. Visit https://www.etsy.com/shop/EmpressBohemia for listings and prices.