Black Herstory: Refocusing the Unrepresented

In light of the recent debuts at the National Portrait Gallery of commissioned pieces of President Obama and First Lady Michelle ( done by the amazing Kehinde Wiley and Amy Sherald), let’s take a look back at black people’s traditional involvement with portraits.

This post highlights a series of portraits from the early 18th and 19th Centuries. During these times, families of wealth, who were more often than not slave owners, would have their portraits done to make explicit their prestige and place in society.

In these paintings, these men would show off specific clothes with exquisite fabrics, wear their hair in ways to solidify their stature. Another way to display their wealth was to show the presence of a slave. Sometimes slaves’ faces would be strategically staring up at the colonizers’ in a submissive way, but maybe just their hand, or blurred face would be visible in the background.

A possession. A piece of property. An object.

This piece is to bring light to the unrepresented in these portraits.

To reclaim this piece of our history, honor many of our ancestors, and shift the focus of each portrait.

~ Stoney SPICE ~

 

Viewing Tip - To see full image & gain full respect for this piece, click on each photo <3

 

Lady Elizabeth Keppel - Joshua Reynolds 1761

 

Lady Grace Carteret Countess of Dysart with a Child - John Giles Eccardt 1738

 

Lady Elizabeth Murray (w/ Dido Elizabeth Murray,)  - Johann Zoffany 1779

 

Charles Stanhope 3rd Earl of Harrington - Sir Joshua Reynolds 1782

 

Elihu Yale; William Cavendish, the 2nd Duke of Devonshire; and an Enslaved Servant - Unknown Artist 1709

 

A Lady Holding a Mask -  John Raphael Smith 1795 & 1800

 

A Young Girl - Bartholomew Dandridge  1725

For more information on these pieces and more like these, click here.

Mystic Marijuana: New Moon Solar Eclipse in Aquarius
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Check yourself, rising Kundalini, you're in direct contact and living proof of the karmic resolution ‘bout to take place. Also check the ambassadors of spirit in human form you keep in your tight circle. 

The beauty of a coven:   

  • Reshapes your creativity, with so much magic to go around.
  • Reevaluate each other’s spells—what worked and what didn’t. 
  • Reconstitutes the demand of a physical presence. 
  • We work gradually with our prayers towards no motion at all. Reset tomorrow; remember our intentions. 
  • We dig into fear until we dig out of ignorance. The very treasures we rely upon are outside of those holes and the wonders of our lives lead us to greater shifts. 
  • Witches may drag across the muddy waters of no hope, but never crawl into its destruction. Witches only see reflection when water is still, not running. 
  • We do not seek unimportant tasks— our secrecy, manifestations in motion; our words open doors to enchantment; and our hustle opens doors of truths. These are a few out of the many twists of great fortune. 
  • A coven follows magic. Magic is the unseeable, yet believable. A coven is network of womxn dedicated to the practice of magic. A coven motivates one another to practice, believe, and dedicate energy to magic. 

When motivation comes and goes, whether it’s fleeting or powerful, remind or reset your mind. Dedication—she is there every god damn day. She is a sister to the muse, love her company. 

A coven is another language. Put that on your alter, for we are all goddesses at once. 

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Forever young and wise witch, whenever you're situated next to absence, drink the sky in great gulps. Open your legs wide, place your feet to touch, as a basin, under wet trees. Cry songs that sailors and mermaids sing. No more half-naked truths. Swear on your dreams, you'll remain vulnerable. 

~J-NASTY~

Sunflower Cyn’s Brunch for the Soul
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You know those fancy, Pinterest-worthy events you see photos of on Instagram? Ya know, the well-lit photos of white women dressed in their cutest brunch attire, drinking mimosas and all appearing to be best friends?

Everytime I scrolled past photos from one of those brunches, blogger meet-ups, mixers etc., I often found myself secretly wishing there were more events like them where women like myself were not only invited, but felt valued and appreciated.

After binge-watching The Great British Bake-Off and watching more cooking documentaries and TV shows than I could count, I decided I wanted to cook for a group of people. At first, I didn’t know what I wanted to cook or who I wanted to cook for, so everytime an idea came to me, I jotted it down on my white board. Before I knew it, I had a name, menu, audience, and purpose.

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I didn’t just want to cook for people. I wanted to inspire them. And not just people...women. Specifically, women of color. I wanted not only their stomachs to be full, but their soul.

When developing the idea of Brunch for the Soul, I wanted to offer a meaningful event for women to make real and lasting personal and business relationships with other growing women. I envisioned a monthly to bi-monthly event where women could get dressed up, drink, eat, laugh, grow and connect.

Now, with the third Brunch for the Soul on February 24, I can happily say my vision has come to life. At this chapter of Brunch for the Soul, we will be celebrating Galentine’s Day in the best way possible. From bottomless rosé mimosas and a brunch buffet to girl boss guest speakers, I couldn’t be more excited.

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Purchase your ticket and find out more about Chapter 3 of Brunch for the Soul here (Louisiana). 

~ Sunflower Cyn ~ 

Review: Purple Lemon Haze

It’s that time of the year again when the word *love* is thrown around frequently, casually, and often superficially. True love needs no holiday, although I’m definitely one to rework a tradition to my own advantage, and love is definitely to my advantage. I invite all the lovers out there to reclaim this day/week/month to center yourself in love and cultivate habits that allow those strong feelings of pleasure, sensuality, and love (platonic, romantic, sexual, and familial) to flourish all year long.

photo: Adrian Estrada

photo: Adrian Estrada

I will be spending the 14th the same way as I spent the 1st, 5th, and 7th of the month...doing the most luxurious self-care rituals all for no other reason than to enjoy myself. Let me walk you through one of my nights, and take note of what you like, how you might alter (add or substitute) practices to fit your own lifestyle...

Exercise and physical movement always help to bring me back to my body, and recently I have been getting back to my athletic roots through regularly running in addition to hot yoga sessions. I start my sensual evenings with a run or yoga class to get my heart pumping, muscles flexing, and get those endorphins or runner’s high. Still reeling from the feeling of accomplishment and damp with the glory of my sweat, I'll roll up a blunt (and maybe have a snack or light meal first).

I've discovered purple lemon haze to be the perfect sativa-hybrid strain for "getting in the mood." Coupled with the natural euphoria from movement, this strain both heightens physical sensations and gives you a decided "happy" feeling versus a subdued, relaxed feeling (which has equal, though definitely different, attributes for sex & love). Breaking down the sweet and floral bud is a dream as it is the perfect texture to crumble between two fingers. Despite its name, it doesn't really appear purple at all or have a citrus profile like we might expect, however nothing about the bud disappoints with about 23% THC. Rolling up the blunt, I add dried rose petals to the mix to enhance the floral taste, and as the ultimate symbol of love, the rose helps me to call that energy to myself.

collage: J-Na$ty/ Kenya Ku$h

collage: J-Na$ty/ Kenya Ku$h

I love to smoke and dance in the mirror with my favorite music playing—this designated time for "vanity" is crucial to setting the mood for me. While the smoke furls and the THC and terpenes do their thing in my brain, I set aside time to admire my body, noticing little things not available when clothed or with other people. "Damn girl, your booty jiggles in a dope way when you dance like that...yes, girl your masks have your skin glowing....that run really accentuated your leg muscles...you are a work of art" are thoughts and positive affirmations generated from the visual self-loving.

Once the blunt is done, or I otherwise feel complete in the mirror, I'll take a highly-sensual shower, taking time to appreciate how the water forms beads then rolls off my skin, how the pressure relaxes my muscles, and spiritually (as well as physically) rid myself of old energy and toxins. If you've ever taken a shower or bath high, you know the feeling.

Once your purification is complete, head back to the mirror and massage and moisturize yourself with body oils or butters. Coconut oil is my go-to all seasons of the year for the moisturizing properties, fragrance, and multi-task abilities (coconut oil can also be used as a great natural lubricant, barring any nut allergies, pun intended). Following the same loving affirmations as before, become aware of how your touch feels; notice the oil melting on and then into your skin, show extra love to sore muscles and other places of tension. Admire your exercised, blunted, showered, oiled up sensual body, now totally receptive to love and pleasure.

photo: Adrian Estrada

photo: Adrian Estrada

If you are expecting company in your bedroom, think of this as the "getting ready" phase: maybe after massaging yourself you put on something that makes you feel sexy, maybe queue up your slow jams playlist, clean and sage your space, light some candles, and roll another blunt for when your partner arrives (or you call them back in). If you are planning a solo night, you're already in the best position to have some fun-- grab some extra coconut oil and have a wild time with yourself (maybe still in front of the mirror)! If you attended any of our Smoke +  Stretch workshops at Babeland, this is a good time to practice some of the sex magic we learned about and/or use some of the discounted toys you purchased. 

Doing multi-step self-love rituals is great to integrate into your weekly/monthly routine to set aside time to come back to your earthly temple and discover its endless pleasures—we're only in this skin once, take advantage! I would definitely recommend this strain for all love and sex rituals to heighten sensations and bring out curiosity and self-appreciation!

~ Kenya Ku$h~

PS If you follow this, and have a baby, I want an invite to the shower!