Ooh, goin’ up, goin’ up, motherland, motherland drip on meldbeyonce, black parade
We are in the thick of Black History Month and yet I’ve been feeling underwhelmed. Since 1976, every U.S. president has officially designated the month of February as Black History Month but this time it’s falling flat for me and maybe even you too.
Maybe you’ve been trying to put your perfectly manicured finger on what it is too, Love. You may even feel guilty. This feeling that you haven’t done enough. I was feeling like that too
This is typically a time when folks take a surface-level dive into Black people who have made contributions to America or have engaged in some extraordinary feats. All of which should be learned, celebrated, and revered. On the other end of the spectrum, there is also a heavy focus on learning about the abhorrent treatment and history of Black people in America.
However, when is the last time we’ve taken a dive into just the everyday lives of Black people, When is the last time you’ve spent celebrating yourself, Love? The beauty and nuances of Black culture? Hardly ever.
Being a Black woman is often presented as though we are mysterious creatures who pop in and out of history. In an interview with Gayle King, Cicely Tyson described an encounter she had with someone who watched one of her films. The interviewer was amazed that Black children referred to their fathers as ‘daddy’. It was at that moment that Cicely realized her calling. In the interview, she stated, “I realized that they didn’t even see us as human”.
Ooh, melanin, melanin, my drip is skin deep, like Ooh, motherland, motherland, motherland, motherland drip on meBeyonce, black parade
The dots are starting to connect, Love. This Black History Month ain’t Black History Monthin like all those before because you’ve realized that you’re tired of having to be superhuman and even more tired of only hearing about acceptable Black superhumans for 28 days each year.
Love, this year celebrate your Blackness and the Blackness of those you love in the way you choose. Consider it a celebration rather than a commemoration. If your celebration happens to include indulging and shopping, here are 10 of my favorite Black-owned shops. (FYI, I don’t have any affiliate links or sponsors, these are just my personal faves!)
- Cloth + Paper
If you are into stationery, planners, and organization this is one of my faves. All of their designs are chic and minimalist and I love the black box that it comes in. They also have a great blog and offer great tips. To learn more, check them out at www.clothandpaper.com
- Artby Keebs
I was gifted a really gorgeous print of Malcolm X by this artist. Once I received the image and saw the quality of the work, I became hooked. I recently ordered a limited edition collection of alter candleholders featuring three of my all-time favorite Black women; Audre Lorde, Nina Simone, and Angela Davis. To find more about this beautiful artist, visit the Etsy shop at https://www.etsy.com/shop/ArtbyKEEBS
- Whitney Austin
Yall, this artist is amazing. I ran across her studio in Charlotte, NC in 2019 and I have now added two of her paintings to my collection. In addition, my sister also bought a piece. I absolutely love the depictions of Black men and women in her work. I highly recommend following her on IG as she posts videos of her creations and the creative process. It’s truly amazing. Check her out on IG at whitney_austin.
- The Honey Pot
I love Target. I just do. In early 2020 I learned about Honey Pot products from a friend and these products have helped me tremendously. They offer feminine hygiene products that are infused with natural herbs and oils. You can find their products in Target but also order directly from their site. As a bonus, they send the cutest text messages. Check them out by visiting https://thehoneypot.co/.
- Pardon My Fro
If you can’t tell by now, I love art and beautiful visuals. Pardon My Fro offers home decor, art, and so much more. (Two of my friends purchased the travel duffle bag and carried them to BVI with us and they got numerous compliments.). I have a total of 5 digital prints and have gifted quite a few. If you’ve been on a Zoom chat with me recently you’ve seen two of her images in my background. Check them out by visiting https://pardonmyfro.com/
- Uzo Art
This artist is local to me and is located in Maryland. She has the absolute best customer service and I’m obsessed. Recently she added some new products and created a 2021 calendar and planner and it’s absolutely gorgeous. I also have three additional art pieces. Visit https://uzoart.com/ for more details and to take a look at this beautiful work.
- Dope Coffee
If you drink coffee and love candles, you should definitely be checking out Dope Coffee. The coffee is delicious but then they gave me a bonus by offering coffee scented candles. Ahhhmazing. Learn more about their products by clicking https://www.realdope.coffee/. (Confession, I was sipping their coffee while typing this.)
Speaking of smell goods, this company is a staple in my home. I love incense and candles when I’m working. OK, I love them any time. I learned about this small business in a group on Facebook and have proceeded to make 3 purchases already from the Etsy shop. Don’t take my word for it, visit this wonderland yourself,https://www.etsy.com/shop/Funkincense.
- JRC Sisters
So I was introduced to this lovely company through a friend who sent me some of their goodies as a gift. The nostalgic smell of cucumber melon in a whipped shea butter made my inner teenager happy and my elder millennial skin joyful. They also have these cute satchels to place in your closets and drawers. Look them up on Etsy, https://www.etsy.com/shop/JRCSISTERS.
- Black Girl Magic Wine
I’ve always enjoyed some wine and relaxation and was delighted when I was finally shown a Sponsored ad that I actually loved. My Twin gifted me a box with three bottles; riesling, red blend, and rose. Needless to say, I’ve made countless trips to my local wine and spirits shop and may or may not have purchased all they had in stock. They are also in Total Wines and are expanding their reach. You will not be disappointed so visit https://www.mcbridesisters.com/Black-Girl-Magic.
Happy celebrating, resting, self-caring, laughing, releasing, and shopping. Remember, this Black History Month is a turning point. We are reclaiming the celebration and doing whatever we choose.