For starters, the first issue of Homegirl Magazine goes to print THIS MONTH!
Transparency moment: To make this happen, we’ve had to dial our communication way back. We’ve had to reevaluate what support means and where our time & resources go. We’ve had to set kinder deadlines and firmer expectations. We’ve had to recommit to our why, which is to share meaningful media.
American poet, performance artist, and activist best known as Founder of The Nap Ministry, Tricia Hersey, reminds us that rest, especially for Black people, is resistance. Homegirl Magazine aims to share meaningful media that celebrates and centers the lifestyles and experiences of Black women. But we ain’t doing all this at the expense of our well-being. We will rest.
Homegirl is on social media hiatus and we didn’t send any newsletters in May. Why? Because putting out a print production takes a certain level of focus. We were closer to completing the first issue that we realized but we didn’t know that because we had so much other stuff going on.
But the keyword for Homegirl Magazine is meaningful. Meaningful being defined as an adjective having a serious, important, or useful quality or purpose. While things with meaning require introspection and time, y’all will be the first to know when we’ve submitted the issue to print.
In the meantime, Homegirl Magazine needs immediate help with the following roles:
Are y’all outside? Homegirl Magazine is stepping out to see BLOSSOM, the Trinidadian Princess and esoteric R&B jazz singer-songwriter in Portland this Thursday at new outdoor venue, THE LOT AT ZIDELL YARDS.
Tickets available while supplies last.
In the event you’re not local to Portland, or are in need of a vibe check, check out Blossom’s latest music video - What They Say [Official Music Video].
There’s something alluring about people with the name “Idris”: Idris Elba, Damson Idris, and afro futurism artist, Idris Veitch.
Jamaican-born artist who works around digital collage Being half-Nigerian with very little familiarity and knowledge of that side of his family, he began an intentional line of inquiry into those neglected facets of his life during the research process for his graduation collection.
This curiosity sparked a methodology of cultural collaboration, allowing elements from both Japanese and African histories to coalesce in the final garments.
Works featured in order of appearance ‘You Open the Door and I’m Running Through to You’, ‘Yemaja’, and ‘The Thinker 2021’.
This time in his life marked a turning point. Not only was he able to find a distinct voice and message, but he also discovered the process of collage as a form of self-expression.
Nelson Mandela said, "May your choices reflect your hopes not your fears." And I think deep about not only the personal choices I make but the ones we make collectively.
In 1996, I made a promise to the Earth that I would never be a “litter bug” and I would recycle, reduce, and reuse. Here we are, twenty-five Earth Days later and this personal pact is just a natural part of my lifestyle. I’m not the most eco-friendly homegirl on the block but my recycle game is on point and I don’t litter, so I’ll toast to that.
Because big changes start with small choices.
Choices are complex and may seem like change is impossible. Even when the outcome is what you hoped, as it was with George Floyd’s murder trial. We’re learning the verdict, guilt on all counts, while simultaneously learning about Makhia Bryant, another child murdered by the police. This is one week after the police murder of Deaunte Wright, and the released body cam footage of police killing a child: 13 year old, Adam Toledo.
Black folks are painfully close to the song of police brutality and likely have their own remixes which play out the extra barriers white supremacy places in your path to catch you slippin.
If you are Black, you don’t have to actually be caught slippin, you can just be perceived as such and it’s enough to punish, criticize, or end your life. It is exhaustive and incessant grief. On one hand, we encourage mistakes as part of life learning, but on the other, those mistakes (real or perceived) are justification for Black death.
Black people deserve the freedom to choose their paths without the projection of fear at the hands of white terrorism. I just want to see Black people live through their arbitrary choices, be it at a traffic stop, in the workplace, or recycling.
Erika Ellis is editor and creative director of Homegirl Magazine creating meaningful media and celebrating Black womanhood. Follow Erika on Twitter or connect at iamerikaellis.com
Where are the resources for surviving Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion resources while Black?
Professional and personal development resources need to be mindful of the stakes Black people face in the workplace.
How do you show up to work the day after the police kill another Black person?
The answer is both “you don’t” and “you don’t have a choice” because: capitalism.
Diversity, inclusion, and equity resources are all oriented around packaging up white guilt into a performance that’s acceptable. Meanwhile, Black people are still not advancing into positions of ownership. At the center is very much still the *feelings* of non-Black people. [It’s those feelings that] are extensions of the human resources mandate to keep employees in line for the company (and we know how HR do).
I just want us to be honest. D[iversity, Equity, and Inclusion] ain’t it. Being a working class or white collar worker that is Black and not a man means you’re gonna be gaslit by every means available to these systems. Black equity is anathema to them. Literally bad for business. Please. Working class white collar workers. Let us be honest with each other.
It’s not even about showing up or not showing up as your authentic self or using the right pronouns or flagging micro aggressions. It’s about gritting your teeth through their meetings and getting your work done before your dental insurance runs up and you get pushed out.
It’s about documenting every single interaction, task, project, accomplishment, email, and meeting so you don’t end up gaslighting yourself when things go sideways.
It’s these things that no career development resource covers.
They tell you how to get in and get out, so you can get in somewhere else, not how to stay sane when the white woman in marketing across from you “yaaas queeens” her way to a promotion all with “she/her” in her Slack bio.
Where are those resources?
That’s my rant. I’m still the Only Black Woman on my team. Still maintaining. Let me know if you know of any resources that are addressing the extra labor of being Black at work or if you’re interested in building one with me.
Not all of us are going to run businesses. Most of us are going to be Black and employed and you know what? There is dignity in our labor, too.
Ann Daramola is a writer, software engineer, and digital worker creating web-based tools for people who use stories to make liberation possible. Follow Ann on Twitter or read more at anndaramola.com
“There is something about "START WHERE YOU ARE" that seems to exclude people like me.
I couldn't put my finger on it before, but It was easy for a person like me to feel...invisible. Talked over, talked around. Ignored. When I sought comfort from writers and speakers that claimed to be motivational mindset shifters capable of changing my life for good, I'd leave with nothing because they were not writing for or talking directly to me.”
Start Ghetto is about embracing the unideal as a part of your success story.
Each page meets yourself in honesty about the circumstances preventing you from doing 'the thing'. Start Ghetto addresses real-life blockages you may be facing without the excessive positivity you're used to enduring in response to real-life obstacles.
Start Ghetto asks the questions that reveal the source of inaction or slow action with relatable, digestible, and applicable activities. Build your own meaningful and soothing self-talk required to set goals. Learn to plan with your unique odds and stop working against them.
Start Ghetto is over 200 pages of pulling your own card and meeting yourself where you are, however ghetto.
Hogoe Kpessou is luxury and hand crafted handbags, apparel, and accessories. Named after the 22 year old West African designer from Togo, the name Hogoe Kpessou was often responded to as: “ Well I’m going to butcher this one.” followed by a slow gaze and awkward attempt.
Hogoe Kpessou is using the name pronounced: “HO” “GO” “EH” “ K” “ PEH” “ SUE” or just Hogoè for short, to build a stunning fashion brand.
Black women routinely adapt, adjust, and edit themselves to fit into a world that doesn’t always understand or value their uniqueness. It’s a frustrating to have lived through but is a narrative that I believe to be actively changing.
I’ve been told I don’t look like my name.
Erika Ellis, which translates to ever powerful and benevolent leader, often felt like a name that belonged to someone else. Whether it is from the look of shock and surprise when they see a name or heard a voice that did not match the melanated face in front of them. Often it would boil down to something as simple as spelling.
Maybe it’s a clerical error like Diana Ross, who was named “Diane” by her mother but the typo resulted in her name being recorded “Diana” on her birth certificate. She’s even listed and introduced herself as Diane during the Supremes earliest years. Diana Ross is still “Diane” to her friends and family. Such simple duality is both a gift and a compromise.
I have admittedly been close to or intimate with people who’ve spelled my name wrong. It felt rude to correct someone. Instead, I’d wear the transgression like a silent betrayal.
Is it just that some people don’t care much for detail? My name is in my email address, so how can you spell it wrong when you address me?
Besides, Erika with a “c” is the most common spelling and those who are unsure typically opt for a “ck” spelling to cover their bases. It is such a simple act of visibility whenever someone asks for the correct spelling of my name. act of care when someone asks which spelling.
Last week, British Vogue shared May 2021 cover with actress, Thandiwe Newton, and my first thought was the butterfly effect because I would have KNOWN if there was a “w” in Thandiwe Newton. Wearing fashion that represents her Zimbabewan and British heritage, Newton is embracing her culture, and that includes her name.
"The W of her name drifted inward, out of sight and earshot, in a futile hope to make her feel less different," Diana Evans wrote for British Vogue.
Like many Black girls with names that feel bigger that the world wants for them, Newton took to modifying in order to make herself more palatable. I can’t help feeling this more or less reflects a lack of imagination by the majority. And I’m inspired by the shift we’re seeing with more people, particularly Black women, owning the parts of them that force them to take up space.
All future works will be credited Thandiwe Newton. "That's my name. It's always been my name," she said.
United States of Rihanna: Is Street Style Making a Comeback?
The blogs could not stop talking about Rihanna rocking vintage Tom Ford for Gucci feathered jeans that sold out before they were in stores. Janet Jackson, Madonna, and Lil Kim all for a pair. Most famously worn by Lil Kim on the cover of The Notorious Kim album and shot by David LaChappelle.
Back when sporting a look could get you captured on the lenses of great street style photographers Bill Cunningham and Nabile Quenum, seeing Rihanna step out in such strong serves really reignites a zest for getting dressed and not waiting for a special occasion to bust out the statement pieces.
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