All posts by Taji Mag

About Taji Mag

Taji Mag is the physical embodiment of the positive Black experience. Our brand embodies the traditional and modern royalty of Pan-African people via our quarterly print and digital publication and live events. While reclaiming OUR narratives and imagery, Taji offers our readers quality advice to assist them economically, healthy options to maintain a happy lifestyle, think pieces to test the societal norms that are not meant for us, #BlackLoveConvo to increase the self and communal love in all aspects, and beauty and fashion inspiration to sustain the legacy of our Black artistry.

03Oct/17
Fragmented Afrika

Poetic Justice | Fragmented Afrika by Ogechi Anokwuru

Fragmented Afrika

A continent of immense wealth and stealth

What caused this great continent to lose its health?

The motherland stripped of its beauty and glory,

How did the leaders turn out so bloody and gory?

This story is not just a folktale, this is history,

A continent of many countries with many great states and empires

Overthrown by greedy dirty devil vampires.

We call it imperialism, the greed, the hate,

The constant elimination of genetic and social annihilation of this great continent,

The rulers seem ever so blind to their incompetence.

The colonists knew what they had in mind,

Made a race blind,

They were never so kind to the evil that awaits within the supremacists’ mind.

It was all a great find easy pickings for them,

Hard labour pon di plantations, building up a whole new nation

After a genocide and massacre of a previous nation.

Robbed and stolen from the motherland Afrika,

Tears of bloodshed that lay among the dead, which were hardly fed

While the slave master lay comfortably in his bed.

Gun to the head,

While some slaves fled,

Terror runs through their head as they don’t wanna end up lynched and left for dead.

Oh fragmented Afrika, divided an conquered

Left to be dishonoured,

My land was a piece of cake and these fat devils just sat and ate

And continued to take and make

And had the cheek to bring us Christianity as a means to save humanity!

Can’t you see the fallacy, the lies and the travesty?

This indeed was a great tragedy,

The second holocaust

After the 1st holocaust of the Native Americans,

Let’s not forget they were the true Americans.

The third holocaust was the Jewish holocaust.

The 4th holocaust is the Palestinian holocaust…

Tragically we just watch and see the same what was inevitably done to you and me.

Afrika needs to unite and fight like how we used to be, kings and queens of our own destinies.

Justice and free for all, fair wage, free schools and universities built for both rich and poor.

Our own African bank, we have our own military tanks, decline western ideology and say thanks to the people of the revolution.

Kwame Nkrumah said it best – are you ready to fight?

Fragmented Afrika

by Ogechi Anokwuru, an Igbo (Eastern Nigerian) residing in London, England.

30Sep/17
Nanii Acosta

Afro-Latino Nanii Acosta Releases Her Single “Sittin Sideways”

Nanii Acosta is an Afro-Dominican singer/songwriter based out of Brooklyn. She has released her single “Sittin Sideways” that is an interpretation of everything that she is – a woman of strength, bilingual tongue, and a strong inclination to music and spirituality. All of which have been cornerstones of Black culture.

“Growing up I had always struggled to maintain an identity to be proud of my Afro-Latino heritage. Because I didn’t fit the mold of what a “Latina” person looked like I was always told “you’re not Dominican, you’re black”, or  “you’re lying”. Unknown to the ignorant ones, Black people come in all different shades and speak a spectrum of languages. We are creators of life and therefore our culture and variants of it can be found in every corner of the globe.

Those comments and ones similar formed deep cuts that lead me to dislike myself. There were instances when I wanted to sit in bleach or pray to God that my hair would be straight and long. The emergence of black culture across the internet and media has been a godsend and a form of healing. I am not only proud of my bronze skin and thick coils but also the excellence that my people represent.”

Nanii’s song can be found on iTunes and Spotify!

28Sep/17
identity crisis rhisa parera

Identity Crisis : Road to Unapologetic by Rhisa Parera

My parents told me when I was born I was so white the hospital thought they gave my mother the wrong baby until my father was called in to prove he was my dad. Growing up I was the only Black/Hispanic girl in the neighborhood. I remember the small block parties we had. My mother worked Saturdays so I’d be with my dad and the other kids with their fathers. Everyone knew when my mother was close to home because she would come flying down the street blasting her Gilberto Santa Rosa through the windows. At the time, part of me felt embarrassed to be the mixed one but deep down I felt this sense of pride to be different from everyone else having this mom who made an entrance in the neighborhood. I couldn’t put it into words how I felt about my mom. She was fierce and strong and held her head high. I wanted to be just like her but I was scared to stand out more than our Black skin already did.

The white men in the neighborhood would tell me how gorgeous they thought I was and that I should be a model. They would touch my hair and sometimes hug me a bit too tight for my liking. My elementary school was probably 95% white. The Black kids were known as the troublemakers. They were in a different class then I was and I never understood why. They would call me a white girl for not being in their class. I wasn’t sure where I belonged or why I was kept so far away from people who looked like me.

My Mom said, “We are not Black, we are Puerto Rican. Y ciento por ciento Boricua and don’t forget de pura sepa! (100% and pure)” Then one day this kid asked my dad why he had a Black child and in my head, I’m over here thinking, “I’m not Black, I’m Puerto Rican!” My father responds, “because her mother is dark skinned” as if it was a mistake or something. “She’s Puerto Rican but she’s Black.” That sentence haunted me for years.

In junior high, I remember being bullied by other Black girls. I was confused as to why the girls who looked like me didn’t want to be friends with me. I went into a phase of fearing Black people even though I wanted to be part of the group. I longed to be like them after being in a school with no one who resembled me, but I felt like an outcast again. I went home one day, took a knife out of the kitchen drawer, and put it against my wrist, wondering if I sliced it straight across would I die instantly or would it take a while. I didn’t know much about suicide and, honestly, I don’t even know how I knew that, all I remember is my mom opened the front door and I threw it back in the drawer.

In high school, I wore a Puerto Rican flag every day, whether it was a bandana, a book bag, shirt, purse, whatever! It was my way of not having to explain what I was when people asked or having to give them a history lesson of Black people in Puerto Rico. I started to speak Spanish more and part of me didn’t even want to speak English. I just wanted to be surrounded by Latinos who understood me. Or anyone who understood me at that point.

I remember having a discussion in college and saying exactly what my father said about my mother’s skin tone and a professor asking me, “what do you mean, BUT she is Black?” He told me that I didn’t have to apologize for being Black. I’m about 20 or 21 sitting there like, “wow I knew I was Black!” It may sound stupid but it’s true…

From that day on I began to identify as Black and not feel the need to explain that I am half this or that or why I’m Black or how the hell we became Black or what fuckin ship my family came on or how they ended up in PR. I was negra and it made me feel proud, the way I did when my mom drove down the street in the whitest neighborhood ever in Staten Island with her salsa blasting.

Written by Rhisa Parera
Facebook  | Instagram

25Sep/17
Abyssinia

Black Beauty | Abyssinia

Sexy, fun, sophisticated. Abyssinia.

Abyssinia Abyssinia

Abyssinia

Royal | Abyssinia Campbell
IG @abyssiniacampbell

Photographer | Joey Rosado
IG @islandboiphotography 

MUA | Marshalle C
IG @bellisima81

Stylist | Abiodun Dosu
IG @abzstylz 

Creative Director | Devena Smith
IG @ _devena_ 

Designer | Queen E Collection
IG @queenecollection

25Sep/17
Kashif Boothe

Kashif Boothe is Producing Black Documentaries & Series through Our Voice

Kashif Boothe produces short films, web series’ and documentaries based in the UK under his production company Kashif Boothe Entertainment. In the summer of 2015, he began producing a docu-series on relationships. In Spring 2016, he released the documentary ‘Being Light Skinned’. It was selected for the 23rd Annual African American Film Marketplace and S.E Manly Short Film Festival Showcase in Hollywood. It was also screened at the event forum ‘Afrocentrikal’ and featured on various websites including ClutchMagazine.com and TrueAfrica.com. In September 2016, Kashif released the docu-series ‘What Is Good Hair?’ that was screened at the Voices of Colour event in November 2016.

Kashif BootheIn November 2016, he premiered the comedy web series ‘Nate & Jamie’ which has been featured on numerous websites including britishblacklist.co.uk. Nate & Jamie is a comedy series starring Joshua Samuels and OgaSamuel Williams. The show is set in London and centered on the antics of two mischievous young adults Nate (OgaSamuel Williams) and Jamie (Joshua Samuels). The first season follows Jamie and the ups and downs of his new relationship with Michelle (Lauren Douglin). Nate gets into a lot of situations he’d rather avoid; he has good intentions but ends up in getting caught in tricky situations. There are 6 episodes in this current season. Season 2 will premiere in Spring 2018.

This past spring, he released three short documentaries covering cultural appropriation, the stereotype of the angry black woman, and the controversial article that Black women are physically the least attractive. ‘How Do We Define Cultural Appropriation?’ covers Whoopi Golberg’s controversial comments on ‘The View’ that black women who wear weave are culture appropriating white culture, Marc Jacob’s Fall fashion show 2016 which featured models with locs, and MTV UK calling cornrows, ‘boxer braids’. It highlights the difference between cultural appropriation and cultural appreciation. About the documentary ‘Black Women Are Too Tough To Handle?’, Kashif stated, “The representation of Black women within the media industry is very negative; they are seen as strong, loud, opinionated, scary or someone who is objectified, sexual and animalistic. The women shown on screen in movies, TV shows, and magazines don’t represent the women in my family or my friends. Where does this negative connotation come from? There is an element of truth in everything; the perception hasn’t been plucked out of nowhere, but why is it the main depiction of black women? There have been some new representations which are on screen that are showing black women to be young, quirky and sophisticated like ‘Tracy’ in Michaela Coel’s sitcom ‘Chewing Gum’ and ‘Issa’ and ‘Molly’ in Issa Rae’s comedy/drama ‘Insecure’. But there is still room for improvement. I wanted to produce a documentary highlighting this issue and for audiences to get a better understanding as to why this perception is shared amongst black men and the media.”

 

Kashif Boothe

When speaking on ‘Black Women, Least Attractive?’, Khashif said, “I wanted to produce this documentary after seeing the treatment of Leslie Jones in 2016. The comedian Leslie Jones was branded as a gorilla in July 2016 when the movie Ghostbusters premiered and was bombarded with racist tweets because the remake of the original 80s film featured an all-female cast. Serena Williams, the greatest tennis players of all time, is called ugly, a monkey, and a man. Serena has dark skin, has full lips, a curvaceous and athletic body, her appearance is unapologetically Black. But is branded as ugly, why? Beauty is subjective; someone who I find attractive, someone else might not. To brand an entire race as physically the least attractive confuses me.”

Be sure to subscribe to Kashif Boothe Entertainment on youtube and check out the documentaries and series. Let Kashif know what you think!

17Sep/17
Chidinma Obinnakwelu

Poetic Justice | “Hair Me” by Chidinma Obinnakwelu

“Hair Me” submitted by Chidinma Obinnakwelu

What exactly is wrong with my hair?

Do you not realize you are in the presence of an African Queen?

My crown defies gravity

Reaching for the skies to high five the gods

My crown is handcrafted by the

Sweet goddess Ala Herself

Each coil twisted in such sophistication

Each coil in love with one another they intertwine

Again I ask

What exactly is wrong with my hair?

My hair is not limp and lifeless

For it embodies the spirit of the African goddess

There is absolutely nothing wrong with my hair

There is absolutely everything wrong with

Your perception of what

You think my hair should look like.

 

16Sep/17
Terri New

Poetic Justice | “Humility” by Terri New

“Humility” by Terri New

My misinterpretation of the word humble
handcuffed me.
The keys were inside of me.
I swallowed it, along with the words:
“I can do that”
Instead I told myself:
Sit down child.
Be quiet.
Just act like you don’t know.
Be teachable.
My humility humiliated me.

 

Terri New is a Ghanaian living in Pittsburgh, PA | IG @terridiaries
01Aug/17
braids beauty vol 12 taji mag

Taji Vol12: Braids and Beauty

Release Sep 7 2017 | Vol12 of Taji is packed full of Black Beauty & Culture fulfilling it’s theme of Braids and Beauty! This volume features professional model Marsha Larose. Gracing the pages are the Editor’s Pick: Ites Int. – Designer Devoted to Indigenous Textiles, Positive Vibes, and Flow; the Community Spotlight on International I Love Braids Day; Hair Feature by Debra Hare Bey of OMhh Beauty Oasis; “Yemaya” by II-Kaya Ises; “5 Things You Could do That Are More Meaningful Than a RIP Post After a Suicide” by Tajh Sutton; The Men of Sigmafied; the elegant soaps, scrubs, and body butters of TheCelestineCollection; “The Science of Black Love” by Afica Jackson; “#BlackLoveConvo: “How Black Love Stole the Show at the ESPYs” by Dapper Dr. Feel; our Health & Fitness Advice Column with Trainer Clint & Vegan Fun with Delliz the Chef – “Falafel Patties”; Featured artist Will Focus; Must Have Graphic Novel: Therians by B. Van Randall; and more!!

Purchase your copy now at ‘Purchase Taji’!

braids and beauty

Purchase Taji Mag | Vol 12

Taji Mag is a Black Beauty & Culture specialty publication highlighting the artistry of our essence.

30Jul/17
International I Love Braids Day

International I Love Braids Day 2017 Was LIFE!

International I Love Braids DayInternational I Love Braids Day (IILBD) 2017 was all things braided godliness! This July 29th, the Queens came to make a statement, and that they did! From traditional styles with ancestral meaning to modern spins on staple techniques, these hair styles left everyone in awe. They proved that braids can be worn by anyone for all occasions, at all ages and stages in life. Your royal can be clean and simple or adorned with cowry shells and jewels, whatever makes you strut and walk with your head held high. This inaugural celebration made history.

International I Love Braids Day

Debra Hare Bey with International models Diandra Forrest & Mari Malek at International I Love Braids Day 2017

International I Love Braids Day received it’s official Proclamation on July 21, 2017 by the Brooklyn borough president’s office to the founder of IILBD, master hair braider Debra Hare Bey. Debra has been styling natural hair for over 30 years in Brooklyn. Her current salon, OMhh Beauty Oasis, is located at 407 Lewis Avenue, Brooklyn, New York. At the salon she services clients with a multitude of natural hair styles, but she specializes in braids. Debra is the originator of the style Nu Locs, most popularly worn by “Maxine Shaw” on the television series Living Single. Go ahead, question it. You thought Erika Alexander was rocking locs back then? Nope, those were yarn braids done by Debra. Debra also has a line of nourishing vegan hair and body care products that smell so good you’ll never want to stop using them. Fall in love with all things Debra Hare Bey and OMhh at www.OhMyHeavenlyHair.com.

International I Love Braids Day

Some of the other participating stylists were Ayana Card of Kinky Rootz, Shaquora Bey and her daughters Fajr and Suhailah of Sophisticated Loc Salon, and Ngone Sow of Soween.

International I Love Braids DayIf you slacked in your mackin’ and slipped in your pimpin’, check the images here to see what you missed. Be sure to mark your calendar for July 29th next year for International I Love Braids day and follow @internationalilovebraidsday on IG to be notified of the #BraidLoveBK celebration for 2018!

 

 

14Jul/17
brandy butler

Brandy Butler and Her video “Gentle Beating Heart” Are Soul Food

brandy butlerWith “Gentle Beating Heart,” the latest video from Brandy Butler’s 2017 release “The Inventory of Goodbye,” the vocalist/songwriter continues her collaboration with Nicole  Pfister the director and illustrator who created the sensual short for Brandy’s slinky track,  “Spell” earlier this year.
The video is an abstract visual essay shot in South Africa, which welds the rumbling atmospherics of Ms. Butler’s “Howling” to the mantra-like proclamations of “Gentle Beating Heart.” With the repeated phrase, “Oh your gentle beating heart opens up the sky at night,” Pfister’s short forgoes conventional narrative to visually play upon the theme of emotions so powerful that they transcend the physical realm and impacts the forces of nature itself.
As the camera explores the cliffs, sand and sea of the African coast it also discovers the still bodies of the beach’s inhabits. It observes the obscured tensions that lie within these bodies and beneath the landscape’s surfaces as well. And when the vibrations between these human figures and the land fall into sync, their forces come crashing together with vivid, metamorphosing power.
Listen to and discover more about Brandy Butler on her website.
Both musical pieces “Howling” and “Gentle Beating Heart” are from Brandy Butler’s 2017 release “The Inventory of Goodbye.” A collaborative short film between the musician/performance artist Brandy Butler, and the director and creative being Nicole Pfister.

 Credits:
Written / Directed / Edited NICOLE PFISTER
Music/ Additional visual inputs BRANDY BUTLER
DOP EBRAHIM HAJEE
Assistant Camera JESSE JAMES HARRIS 
ABDUL MALIK MASOET 
Hair and Makeup  DALE M. TITUS
Assistant Director CÉLINE-NIARA SAKHO
Runner STANSY KAWASA
Dancers SEEFLEX THE ARTIST / SHAMI SHAMROCK
Models LUCY MBIOLA / ROX KIM LO / RACHID POATI
Clothing Models 2BOP / YOUNG AND LAZY
Clothing Brandy Butler MALIKAH HAJEE / BETH DITTO
Thank you SHANE COOPER / ANTHONY SMITH / LUKE DOMAN / LUKASZ POLOWCZYK/ POPKREDIT
Photo credits: Ebrahim Hajee