11Dec/17
Alvin Ailey

Art Affecting Humanity: Alvin Ailey ‘Shelter’ to address Homelessness

Affected. Something that we, as citizens of the globe, often feel that we must be less of in order to survive. However, Alvin Ailey is reviving ‘Shelter,’ a piece choreographed by Urban Bush Women’s Jawole Willa Jo Zollar, and aims to make us feel just that; affected. Originally performed in 1992, ‘Shelter’ is a “work that frankly addresses the pain and isolation of homelessness,” says the choreographer. The all-female piece reflects not only the struggle but the resiliency of those who are chronically homeless, she notes. Resiliency that, I feel, is part and parcel of the human spirit that we all share. Just as homelessness affects us one and all.

‘Shelter’ is set to debut for the renown dance troupe’s current season in NYC, a place where blatant homelessness is rampant and it is customary to turn a blind eye. As per inspiration for the piece, Zollar remarked that upon settling into NYC in the 80’s she “realized that as a coping mechanism [she] had stopped seeing the people who were homeless… that was [more] dangerous because it was a loss of humanity.” Humanity being all facets of experience, whoever and wherever you may be. I am currently in Barbados, and homelessness is too. While in the city, I had a stranger point out a characteristically homeless man, explain that they went to University together and that he used to be a lawyer. Perhaps knowing the man forced the strangers conscious to acknowledge him, whereas the other people on the street simply passed him by without a glance. I would then ask: must it directly affect us for us to take part in affecting it? A resident New Yorker myself, I have found that turning a blind eye requires us to repress our Souls. To repress the constant call for sympathy as well as the underlying fear of relating. However, the issue and relevance of homelessness cannot be ignored into non-existence. Whether through dance, art, outreach or otherwise, it begs of us to be constantly addressed through awareness and action.

I send energy to the notion that we are not powerless in this matter. Not in aiding those who are afflicted nor in preventing it for ourselves. But our power lies in our ability to give. Not speaking solely of our money or our time, but of our attention as well. In giving our attention to and, therefore, shining a light on the very things that we wish to push into the darkness, the threat of darkness itself disappears. As opposed to our hearts having to do so instead. Especially if Ms. Zollar and the Alvin Ailey Dancers have anything to do with it. So as audiences pack into the plush seats of City Center’s theater, they will be reminded of the transiency of ‘having’. It is indefatigably important to foster contact with our humanity as often as possible; especially to the experiences that we may feel are not applicable to us at the moment. This is exactly what will be accomplished, yet again, with ‘Shelter’. As James Baldwin said ‘…the Artist knows, and must let us know, that there is nothing stable under heaven.”. So yes, it could happen to you. Perhaps it has happened to you already. May there be continuous attention given and inspiration found to address such a prevalent affliction. May we be led to fostering a future where it does not exist. It is possible.

Alvin Ailey 2017 Season happening now.

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31Oct/17
Vol13 Virility

Taji Vol13: Virility

Release Dec 7 2017 | Vol13 of Taji is packed full of Black Beauty & Culture fulfilling its theme of Virility! This volume’s cover feature is musician, actor, and model Daniel Jones. Gracing the pages are the Editor’s Pick: StockOnyx, premier royalty-free stock content from Black creatives; the Community Spotlight on the elegant soaps, scrubs, and body butters of The Celestine Collection; Sankofa Community Empowerment; our highlighted Hair Feature; “Solo Travel: The Step Before Step One” by D. Carrie; “Spiritual Teknowledge: Intersource” by Jashua Sa’Ra; New Panther: A Call for Action; The Nola D. Collective; “#BlackLoveConvo: “AJ Andrews: Lady With a Golden Glove and Heart” by Dapper Dr. Feel; “Clarifying Credit… the Quick Fix” by NayMarie, our Health & Fitness Advice Column with Trainer Clint & Vegan Fun with Delliz the Chef; Featured art piece by Will Focus; Must Have Graphic Novel: Ayanmo Stigmata by Tyrone Jackson of Sovereign Comics; Black Business Highlights; Taji Mag Model Contest Winners; and more!!

Purchase your copy now at ‘Purchase Taji’!

Vol13

Purchase Taji Mag | Vol 13

Taji Mag is the epitome of the positive Black experience. Our brand embodies the traditional and modern royalty of Pan-African people via our quarterly digital and print publication and live events.

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28Oct/17
K is for Kahlo

New Children’s Book ‘K is for Kahlo’ Spells Out Excellence: Taji Mag Book Club

Making Art as easy as ABC’s: Literally.

Can you name 26 influential international Artists? Well, thanks to the new children’s book, K is for Kahlo by Dr. Tamara Pizzoli, we’ll all have the chance to learn.

Presenting artists from different disciplines, each is introduced within the pages of the book as a placeholder for a corresponding letter of the alphabet. Depicted in the bright color and simplicity typical of a children’s book, the illustrations done by Howell Edwards Creative are anything but typical. See for yourself. Available in hardcover and paperback from Amazon (and paperback on her website),  the book is described as ‘An artistic tour of the alphabet featuring notable artists from all around the world’. No stranger to accolades, author Dr. Pizzoli is best known for her critically acclaimed previous book, ‘The Ghanaian Goldilocks’, which received several awards. Recently released, her new book is already receiving praises, including a nod from the likes of Afropunk, which is known for lauding black excellence.

K is for Kahlo(image sourced from Afropunk)

This book is definitely going to be in quite a few of my holiday gifts this year. (Insert Oprah GIF here) You get a book. YOU get a book! EVERYBODY GETS A BOOOOOK!!!! Here’s why.

As essential as it is to teach our children the fundamentals of learning, such as the ABC’s, it is also our responsibility to inspire them. Dr. Pizzoli has dedicated herself to enriching the lives of children for years as a teacher and, now, also as an author. It is said that creativity fosters creativity and I believe this applies to life, not just art. The system in charge of educating our children outlines an overwhelmingly narrow path to success that often does not foster individuality nor artistic gifts as a mainstay. So efforts that successfully bring these elements together are worth noting. Talk about #Winning. This book puts into form the notion that we should be encouraging our children to take stock of their abilities and use them to create a life that is rich in texture and depth. It is never too early to show a young mind that it can dream in its own color.

Actually, all of her books encourage kids to live out loud. As an artist and someone who also works with children, I am so here for this! Using what we know to capture their bright-eyed attention, we can begin to mold together their emerging sense of self with their imagination. Not to mention the bonding that comes with reading to a child (cuddles. am I right?) and the fulfillment we get from knowing we are giving them wonderful tools for life. Honestly, I’ll be buying one for myself as well, just as much for myself as to share with the children I care for. You’re never too young, or too old, to be captivated and inspired by Art. Besides, you never know: you might just find out you’ve got a Baby Basquiat on your hands. You’re welcome.

Check out this book and 8 other titles from the Author here.

Social Media Links for the Author:

Instagram: @tamarapizzoli | @theenglishschoolhouse

Facebook: The English Schoolhouse

Twitter: @engschoolhouse

Until next time, keep reading ya’ll.

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25Oct/17
Crysta Wicks Taji Mag

Crysta Wicks is Empowering Women Around The World

Crysta Wicks is a Chicago native and the CEO of The Boss Wife Enterprises Inc., a multifaceted company consisting of real estate acquisitions, self-development, apparel, and social networking events. Her current publication, “Everybody Is Not Made For This”, was written as a self-help book to empower women in every aspect of juggling life. She was inspired to put together a collaboration of her own personal experiences, trials, and life mastery. She created a book that was more than words but a tool that could be used to compose the best version of oneself in an easy to relate to guide. In writing her book, she became the change and value that she wanted to see in the world.

Crysta’s Wise Advice: Decide on who you want to be and do what it takes to become her!

Crysta currently has written three self-help books, one of which is self-published. Her current audience is full of women that share some of the same titles as her – wife, mother, current and aspiring entrepreneur. In most cases, women wear many modified hats which makes it easy to attract and maintain an audience of women.

As she developed her passion and expertise, Crysta fell in love with self-development books. She believes that no matter what level in life people are at, they should always be teachable. One of her favorite quotes is: “When the student is ready the teacher appears.” When I am ready to take things to the next level, I seek out the self-development genre and the teacher appears.

Her future goal is to, with exceeding faith and hard work, turn her masterpiece writing into an unforgettable box office movie hit that her audience will remember with great admiration and appreciation for her skills, talent, and multi-faceted gifts.

Support this amazing woman on her website as well as www.thebosswife.com and on social media! Facebook and Instagram: @authorcrystawicks @thebosswife; Twitter @iamthebosswife.

Crysta Wicks Taji Mag

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24Oct/17
As You Should Taji Mag Shallah Tiara

As You Should

I guess this one is for the ladies. I got the fellas later.

You ever find yourself not lowering your standards, but suppressing your self-worth in order to keep someone else up? Dimming your light, to keep someone else’s light bright?

I was in a situation where someone was intimidated by the fact that I loved myself, that I gassed my own head up. That I know I am a good woman, and I was well worth it. I felt like any time I would start feeling myself, they would either find a way to tear me down verbally, or be like “alright chill, that’s enough”. It’s not the fault of the other person, but rather just an eye-opener for myself to know that I was in fact too much for that person at the time. I reached a level where I enjoyed my own company, and I liked what I saw I the mirror, beyond the physical, I was happy with myself and my accomplishments. Some people don’t understand how long it took to get to that place, shit, I’m proud of myself. As I Should Be.

Ladies, do not ever let any man, or woman, make you feel like you can’t embrace the woman you are in total. If someone can’t take you loving yourself and speaking on yourself in a positive light, they should not be given the luxury of sharing your energy. You know yourself, you’re the shit and they don’t need to be taught that. Its either they get it, or get out. Do not water down the queen that you are for anyone. Chase that bag, get that degree, start that business, travel, party, influence, love, laugh. Do whatever it is that you want to do for you.

That’s another thing, don’t let people make decisions for things that impact your life. Whether it be a relationship that’s romantic or not. You have a say, you have a voice, and it should be heard and respected just as much as the other party. I’m just learning this now, but some of us women don’t know the power that we have when we love ourselves and speak positively about ourselves and our fellow queens.

When you love yourself, and the people around you, its only natural for others to gravitate towards you and reciprocate the same energy that you’re giving off. You the shit baby girl, don’t let anybody tell you otherwise. Don’t let anybody trivialize your worth. Big up ya’self, as you should.

As You Should Taji Mag Shallah Tiara

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17Oct/17
Saliyah Itoka Taji Mag

Saliyah Itoka Lives a Duel Life as a Singer & Model

Saliyah Itoka Taji MagSaliyah Itoka was born and raised in Queens, NY but currently resides in Albany, NY. She’s been singing since she was really young, but she didn’t start taking her music career seriously until January 2015 when she also started modeling.
Saliyah has been writing since she was 11. Her creative passions come from working with other artists sharing in their positive energy and learning from them. She has collaborated with other singers and rappers on her project and is very excited to hear the results. Her debut project is in the works and the name that she’s chosen for it is “The Stoop Sessions: Part I”. She’s inspired by singers from the 90’s and early 2000’s such as Aaliyah, Chris Brown, Beyoncé, Toni Braxton, Anita Baker, Tank, Rihanna, Brandy, Whitney Houston, Drake, and The Weeknd. In full light, she wanted to create a project that represented her on all levels. One of her favorite songs on her new project is called “Loving You”. It has a Tevin Campbell sample and has that feel good vibe that she loves about R&B.

Saliyah Itoka Taji Mag

She’s done 8 shows since she started her music career, but her most memorable experience as an Artist was her very first showcase because it was the first time she had ever performed her original music. She was nervous but it felt good knowing that people really liked what they heard. As a model, she performed at the February 2015 Atlantic City Fashion Week. It gave her that boost of confidence that she needed to confirm that she was runway model material.
Saliyah is working really hard to complete her project and make it perfect. In her modeling career, she just finished a show during NYFW and she’s just grinding and pushing for the next show and next casting. She just wants to continue to pursue what she loves to do and prove her doubters wrong.
Saliyah Itoka Taji MagFor both music and modeling, contact Saliyah at: saliyahitoka@gmail.com
Check her out on Facebook at Saliyah Itoka and Instagram @saliyah_itoka.
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07Oct/17
NY to Paradise

NY to Paradise Podcast is Inspiring Entrepreneurs

Business owner, Coretta Ryan shares her podcast series titled, NY to Paradise: Creating Your Own Success. Launched August 31st, the monthly audio series highlights various entrepreneurs from around the world who haven’t been afraid to reshape their daily experiences by taking risks, staying true to their personal stories and living their lives intentionally.

NY to ParadiseThe show was created and co-produced by Coretta Ryan to be used as a tool to motivate aspiring and fellow entrepreneurs in their journey. The idea behind the concept is in finding out the “WHY”. The reasons behind why entrepreneurs may create businesses or the source of the passion they have for their work. Coretta says “I wanted to share the process, the thinking behind what shapes the ideas that develop into businesses.”

NY to Paradise can be found onlinePodbeanSoundcloudApple Podcasts and across social media at @crprllc with the hashtag #nytoparadise.

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07Oct/17
Love Afrique

Love Afrique Launches, Offering Unique African-Inspired Accessories

Love AfriqueNew company Love Afrique launches their line of African-inspired head wraps, handbags, and jewelry. The new brand works to help women feel great and express their culture through their collection. “We aim to have women of color glamorously and unapologetically reflect their roots,” said the Love Afrique team. Via their website, customers can peruse and purchase the full range of Love Afrique items. Customers can receive an exclusive discount on their first order when they sign up for the Love Afrique newsletter.

Visit their website for more information!
Love Afrique
Instagram: @love.Afrique

Love Afrique

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07Oct/17
Deeper Than Travel

It’s Deeper Than Travel Inaugural Event

Deeper Than TravelOn September 20, 2017, It’s Deeper Than Travel (IDTT) hosted the first ever Pan African Party with a Purpose. The purpose of this event was to kick off IDTT’s event series in Philadelphia, celebrate, and support a cross-cultural partnership that is doing it #fortheimpact. Guests experienced the sights, sounds, tastes, smells, and feel of Ghana as we highlighted the African Bike Contribution Foundation and the Ghana Bamboo Bike Initiative. Proceeds from the event helped to raise funds to sponsor bamboo bikes for students, farmers, and healthcare workers in Kumasi, Ghana.

Deeper Than TravelFounder, Inez A. Nelson shared that the goal of It’s Deeper Than Travel is to create harmony, cross-cultural exploration, and partnership between African, African American, and Caribbean leaders. IDTT will host a series of experiences including culturally-themed events, co-working meet-ups, and voluntourist travel excursions to unify Pan African leaders and increase positive impact internationally.

Special thank you to everyone who came out and those who supported via donation! We raised over $1400 and connected leaders from 10+ local organizations and businesses. Now that is a success! If you are a leader of a U.S. business or organization that has partnered with an international business or organization #fortheimpact shoot us an email with details. Your cause could be the next one we highlight and support! If you are a Pan African leader with a vision to expose your members to new cultures, provide access to atmospheres of ideation and innovation, or host your members on immersive travel excursions, we want to hear from you as well! Make sure to email us!

If you missed us this time, don’t worry. This was the first of many experiences to come and we need you to experience all of them. Why would you miss out?! Make sure to subscribe to our mailing list at www.itsdeeperthantravel.com to be the first to know what we are up to next!

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