Category Archives: Culture

30Jul/18
International I Love Braids Day

International I Love Braids Day 2018 Was Beyond this World!

International I Love Braids DayInternational I Love Braids Day (IILBD) 2018 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 hairstyles 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

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 hairstyles, 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, Fajr of Sophisticated Loc Salon, Ngone Sow of Soween, and Thema Taylor.

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 @internationalilovebraidsdayblc on IG to be notified of the #BraidLoveBK celebration for 2019!

 

 

08Jul/18
Toree Alexandre

Actress Toree Alexandre Talks Playing Young Mariah on Luke Cage

Toree AlexandreWhen it comes to bright new talent in entertainment within the Black community, many of these creatives can be found at or have attended the American Black Film Festival in Miami. I found myself attending the film festival and I wanted to hear from Mr. Black Panther himself director Ryan Coogler speak about his journey to the being one of the hottest directors. While there I experienced the positive vibes from being around all of those in attendance. It was euphoric and energizing, Black excellence at its finest. There were many activities going on for attendees to partake in, one of the most entertaining was the HBO comedy competition hosted by Yvonne Orji aka Molly from Insecure. Before Yvonne’s comedic talents slew the audience, I happened to meet two actresses; one very charismatic Amber Jones and a very shy, jovial Toree Alexandre. We spoke about projects and exchanged business cards, little did I know one of these actresses played the younger version of the villainous Black Mariah on season 2 of the hit Netflix series Luke Cage

Dapper Dr. Feel: How did you get into acting?

Toree Alexandre: My mother was a ballerina in England, and she put me in dance classes growing up, so I was performing in dance recitals from a young age. The turning factor, however, was when I played Johnny Appleseed for a history assignment in my second-grade class. When I put that metal pot on my head and got up in front of my class to perform, I knew I wanted to play Mr. Appleseed in a feature film one day.

DDF: What was your reaction to getting the Black Mariah role?

TA: I was at my desk at work and I screamed (internally), and cried a little! People at work already see me talking to myself daily, whether it is to memorize lines, or just a friendly convo with me, myself, and I – so they didn’t think anything of my strange behavior.

DDF: You mentioned you love classical theater, what made you get into it?

TA: The juiciest part of getting to know my characters is text analysis, and many classical pieces give you tons of text to sift through. From the metaphors to the parallels to the allusions to the rhymes to the symbolism to the imagery, it all gives you an inkling of how the playwright created the truths of the characters you are portraying, and how you as the actor can then insert yourself into the mix and do justice to those fully-realized characters. The depth, backstories and the intelligence of the Shakespearean characters are absolutely enthralling. I write poetry and am working on a few scripts, so I definitely take notes from great writers!

DDF: What was your process of preparing for the role?

TA: I watched the first season of Luke Cage, studied Mariah and her habits, imagined all of the things Mariah would do if she were on vacation in Jamaica, looked deeper into her relationships with Mama Mabel and her Uncle Pete, and how that played into her interactions with people and her hopes and dreams for the future of Harlem… also, dissecting what snapped inside her head for her to pitilessly pulverize her cousin to a pulp was a trip and a half… Ms. Woodard was captivating in that scene; I loved it!

DDF: What is the difference between theater and film?

TA: It’s just a different medium, so the scale is changed and you make adjustments accordingly. There is no real difference; it’s all acting! It really depends on the style of the show itself, that is part of what informs an actor’s choices.

Toree Alexandre

Actress Alfre Woodard as Mariah Dillard on TV show Luke Cage

DDF: Did you get to meet Alfre Woodard (Adult Black Mariah) or any of the main cast?

TA: Unfortunately, I didn’t get to meet Ms. Woodard (yet), but I was so grateful to have met LaTanya Richardson Jackson, Curtiss Cook, Jayden Brown (and his granddad), Chaundre Bloomfield, Mehki Hewling, Shannon Harris, and Jeff Auer. A lovely group of people!

DDF: How does it feel to be apart of a series that celebrates Black women?

TA: Black women are an integral part of how and why we are all here today. I celebrate Black women daily, so Luke Cage fits right into the puzzle! It feels like I am honoring the influential women in my life, so if I can honor them and pursue my passion simultaneously, what could be better than that?

DDF: What are your goals short term and long term?

TA: I am going to be a full-time actress and writer. I will be on stage and on the silver screen! I will travel the world. I will go back to school to study medicine, or mathematics, or both! My ultimate goal is to be of assistance to those in need.

DDF: What is your advice to young women in entertainment?

TA: Wah fi yhu, cyaan unfi yhu, as my grandmother would say. In other words, what’s for you is for you. Be your best self, work hard, be happy wherever you are and in whatever you are doing, and God and the Universe will take care of the rest.

Make sure to follow Toree Alexandre as she makes her way towards stardom in Hollywood and theater.

21Jun/18
Luke Cage

Luke Cage Celebrates Juneteenth in D.C.

Juneteenth is a day that pays tribute to the freedom of slaves and their opportunity to establish themselves as respected people. What better way to celebrate Juneteenth than spend the evening at the Kennedy Center (Washington, D.C.)  watching one of our greatest Black fictional heroes, freedom fighter Luke Cage, a bulletproof Black man who fights for Harlem’s people. Netflix and Spotify hosted an advanced screening with an afterparty filled with old-school hip-hop, jazz, and other genres of music featured in the Luke Cage series.

Luke Cage Season 2: The Screening dived into the mysterious past of Luke and other characters like main villain Mariah which turns out to be intricate in the development and existence of the characters. The new villain this season, the Bush Master, has been featured in the trailers and looks to be a challenge to Luke Cage both mentally and physically. As we discover his connection to the city of Harlem and Mariah, he looks to be a foe that will have Luke Cage teaming with the antagonist Mariah. In this case, the enemy of my enemy is my friend, really holds true in this season.

One of the major themes in season 2 is self-reflection – what are the true identities and morals of Luke and some of the other characters. It is something that we all can relate to as we partake in this journey called life. I think that by the end of the season, we will truly be able to see growth and self-discovery in the characters. We may also be able to see the facades of these characters finally be revealed. With all that said, Luke Cage season 2 will definitely keep audiences engaged. Beware, you may be tempted to binge because of all that this season has to offer!

The Teacha: KRS-One

Luke Cage

KRS One

Followed by the screening of Luke Cage, the infamous and rhapsodist rhymer KRS-One gave a short concert that provided energy to the crowd with his flows and hype freestyle. His words consisted of knowledge, influence, and support of the unified people. KRS-One covered oppression, deportation, and strengths of unity. KRS-One showed that he is not only a lyricist but a teacher as he went into the some of the backgrounds of deportation and illegal immigrants. To sum it up, no human is illegal which many in the audience agreed is a valid statement. By the end of his concert, he showed why he is a major part of hip hop culture. He provides entertainment that is laden with substance and quality content.

Midnight Hour at Harlem’s Paradise

Luke Cage

Midnight Hour

While watching Luke Cage, some of us fans dreamt about exploring the Marvel world in real life. Well, Netflix did just that by recreating Harlem’s Paradise in the Kennedy Center’s Atrium. Decorated with purple and red hues with white decor, copies of the Notorious B.I.G painting that can be seen in Mariah’s office were placed around the space. The mood really set the atmosphere as if Mariah herself was watching us network and dance with her lover/partner ‘Shades’ at her side.

Luke Cage

Joi

The entertainment was opened by the music group and soundtrack directors the Midnight Hour, a group consisting of producer Ali Shaheed Muhammad and composer Adrian Young. They performed jazzy tunes that bring back the feel of Digable Planets with a hint of Wynton Marsalis. During the show, they brought acts Joi, known for her unique and groovy tunes under the Dungeon Family and talented guitarist, aka B.B. King 2.0, Kingfish.

The night ended with a surprise guest no one expected, Mr. God MC himself, Rakim. When he got to stage the crowd erupted and the evening was set for another explosion of hip hop culture fun. From his hits ” I Ain’t No Joke” to ” Paid In Full,” his lyricism echoed, what seemed to be, across all of DC combined with the crowd that rapped in unison. Well, close to it anyway.

One of the best lines from the night came from KRS-One. He said that bulletproof Black men do exist and those are the ones that are intelligent, educated, and not doing negativity in the streets. As we watch Luke Cage fight for his Harlem people in this next season on Netflix, let’s fight for each other in a positive way.

Check out Luke Cage Season 2 on Netflix June 22, 2018!

07Jun/18
Stächa Huis

Stächa Huis is an Ode to Surinamese Enslaved Women

Alida was very beautiful and one of the slaves of White Dutch slave owners.  Her master, duPlessis was known to be the most vicious slave owner in Suriname at the time.  According to the legacy, the wife of the slave owner, Suzanne duPlessis, thought her husband was sleeping with Alida. Out of pure hate and jealousy, she cut off one of Alida’s breasts and served it to him on a silver chafing dish.  Alida survived and the slave master gave her a position in the house as a ‘misi’ or mistress.  He also gave her a three-legged table inlaid with precious metals.

The ‘Jealousy Chair’ is an important part of Surinamese history; in particular that of the Black Surinamese woman.  The slave women created the Koto dress, which is made up of many layers including a jacket, shirt, skirt, and headwrap, to hide her body and that of young girls, from the predatory eyes of the slave masters.  The ‘Koto Misi’ derives from the story of Alida and Black Surinamese women, until today, honor her legacy by taking photographs sitting in the ‘Jealousy Chair’ in their Kotos with plants or flowers sitting on a three-legged table.  They also celebrate her legacy by having Koto Misi contests in both Suriname and Amsterdam.  Black Surinamese women celebrate the Legacy of Alida until this day for her courage, resilience, and strength during a time when she and Black women like her throughout the Caribbean and America were the innocent victims of cruelty, hate, heinous sexual exploitation and more.

The Stächa Huis brand embodies the culture of generations of Surinamese women in the family of designer Stacey Filé.  Her debut lookbook takes you through traditional Surinamese culture juxtaposed with distinct silhouettes, hand painted batik, rich colors and more.  The memory of Alida mirrored with imported and gilt embellished textiles, this collection tells the story of the women of Suriname who represent Chinese, Javanese, African, and Indian ethos.  The gold in each garment represents in-laid with precious metals in Alida’s chair.  The garments themselves are the opposite of Kotos; they are meant to be freeing and in a sense showing off the female form of the wearer. The story of Alida and so many women like her from the sugarcane plantations in the Caribbean to the cotton plantations in Mississippi allow us to remember the power of our voices, our rich history of revolution and remind us that we are the embodiment of the Black woman, no matter our background.  The Stächa Woman is a symbol of feminine empowerment; she is the definition of the women who came before her and the blueprint of the women to come.

www.stachahuis.com

 

 

Photo Credits:

Models: Fabienne Hankers and Denisha Gough
Hair and Makeup: Fabienne Hankers
Jewelry: Megan Gilchrist
Photography: Kevain Delpesche
Written by Stacey Filé
20May/18

Confidence is Key with Tiera Deberry

Tiera DeberryTiera Deberry is from Wilson, North Carolina. She’s an administrative assistant during the day, a CNA at night, and a Model 24/7. She inspired herself to start taking her modeling career seriously this year though she wishes she could say that she has been modeling for a while. She’s only been in one fashion show but that was enough to spark her passion for fashion and make her dedicated to establishing herself as a serious model.

Tiera’s been wanting to model since she was a teenager, but she shared that she didn’t feel she had the confidence. She didn’t feel like she would fit in, if she was pretty enough, or that she would be accepted in the modeling world. The more mature she became the more confidence she built and now she understands that modeling is what she wants to do and she’s not stopping until she gets where she wants to be in the industry.

If “you want to model for real, make sure that you are dedicated. Don’t let one “No” deter you from your dream. Learn from all your criticism so it can build you into a great model…”

The ability to offer advice, self-reflect, and learn can go hand in hand. The modeling industry can be a peculiar place but she explains that she wouldn’t change anything about it. She feels like every aspect of modeling is a growing process. As a model, she does feel she needs to work on being more sociable with other models. She says sometimes her shyness gets the best of her. She can become a little standoffish if she doesn’t know a person and that’s one thing she needs to work on.

Fun Facts & Other Creative Talents

  • If she could do a photoshoot with any Top Model in the world, she would choose to work with Tyra Banks. She has paved the way for Black models all over the world with her runway, TV show, books, and guest appearances on talk shows.
  • The other creative talents she was given are dancing and writing. Her writing was inspired by dealing with personal problems in life so she just wrote down all her feelings. It turned into poetry, music, and a passion over time.

Social Media Contacts

FB: Tiera La’Shaunda

FB Model Page: Tiera Βαмβι Deberry

INSTAGRAM: Exclusivelydivine

TWITTER: iCheetah_

13May/18

The Mourning Moms Katina Nish, Latativa Robertson, and Others Unify for a Tribute Photo Session

On March 25, 2008, Katina Nish found herself holding her son’s lifeless body. She visually struggled with that image for six long years and the only way to express her broken heart was through pictures and stories. She and her personal photographer at the time, D Mayfield, collaborated every week creating images. This inspired her to pursue a stronger modeling career and took her to great places. While enjoying her journey, Katina realized that she equally wanted to write and had neglected my duties to do so. “God told me to create a national movement edifying and encouraging women. He told me as long as I forever centered my pursuits with this platform, He would supply the needed liquids to my thirst.” This was the birth of The Mourning Moms. The Mourning Mom is national movement dedicated to mothers who have lost a child. Whether it be pregnancy loss, stillbirth, or infant or child loss, the goal is to keep you encouraged and hopeful.

On this Mother’s Day of 2018, Katina has collaborated with angel mom member Latavia Robertson (formerly of Destiny’s Child) and three other women of child loss for a special Mother’s Day tribute photoshoot with international photographer Sidney Conley. With May being known for Mother’s Day and Mental Health Awareness Month, they wanted to express a brighter side of child loss as they stand in unity, showing power over their circumstances, and choosing liberty over our lives while acknowledging the slightest existence of their children. Mother’s Day is a challenging day for mothers of child loss and mental health is extremely important to keep these Mom’s going. Let’s all join in together in wishing them a happy Mother’s Day.

If you’re a Mourning Mom in need of support or want to support The Mourning Moms, connect with them on Instagram!

03May/18
ArinMaya Thank You

New Song “Thank You” by ArinMaya is Musical Soul Food

“Thank You” is ArinMaya’s newest offering that explores issues of self-love, momentous endings, relationship redemption, and freedom all at once. Directed by actor and screenwriter Chris Greene of Truth First Productions (The Night Of; 7 Seconds), the video portrays an introspective ArinMaya looking for inspiration and self-healing in the pages of O Magazine and Together We Rise, the book written and published in commemoration of the Women’s March. An inaugural member of the Resistance Revival Chorus, which was born from the Women’s March, ArinMaya first wrote “Thank You” as mantra in an act of self-love.

ArinMaya Thank YouInspired by a relationship turned disappearing act, ArinMaya came up with the refrain, “Thank you for setting, setting me free – Thank you for letting me be me – Thank you for setting, setting me free,” after realizing that her sadness over the relationship’s ending should actually be joy.

She begins telling the story of love gone wrong, taking lyrical assistance from her bandmate and energetic emcee, BD3. Produced by Edson Sean, the third and most versatile member of ArinMaya’s musical collective The Experi3nce, “Thank You” is a crowd banger. Shirazette Tinnin (Hugh Masakela; Alicia Keys) is the song’s secret ingredient, whose percussion adds a special layer to the song’s already upbeat feel. Replete with a memorable baseline and a clean and vibrant horn arrangement – also played and arranged by members of the Experi3nce – “Thank You” is a song for everyone, as both men and women will find themselves in this powerful, relatable message and melody. Song + Music by ArinMaya featuring The Experi3nce Directed by Truth First Studios. Click here to purchase the track. For more information, visit her website.

 

01May/18
Taji Mag Vol 15 Eclipsed Beauty

Taji Vol15: Eclipsed Beauty

Release Jun 7 2018 | Vol15 of Taji is packed full of Black Beauty & Culture fulfilling its theme of Eclipsed Beauty! This volume’s cover features the #SlayBells of Stewella Daville. Gracing the pages are the Editor’s Pick on Loc’d Queens @loclivin, @mzladylox, @killadoesthat; Community Spotlight Weeksville – A Historically Black Community; our highlighted Hair Feature by Debra Hair Bey; “Solo Travel: How I Decide Where to Stay” by D. Carrie; “Your Food Might Be Eating You” by Jashua Sa’Ra; Chit Chat with Andrea Rachel; “The Creator’s Lawyer™ – Ticora Davis” by Fiat; Stächa Huis is an Ode to Surinamese Enslaved Women; “#BlackLoveConvo: “When Family Passion Inspires Art: Kenadi Johnson” by Dapper Dr. Feel; “Cayden Cay Consulting” by Fiat; “How Group Economics is Rebuilding the Black Community”; Vegan Fun with Delliz the Chef; Featured art piece by Will Focus; Must Have Graphic Novel: Kubadilisha The Manga Series; Black Business Highlights; Taji Mag Model Contest Winners; and more!!

Purchase your copy now at ‘Purchase Taji’!

Purchase Taji Mag | Vol 15

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.

24Apr/18
First Ladii

The Business of First Ladii

First LadiiHer name is Briana Barksdale, but she is known in the entertainment industry as First Ladii Briana B. She is originally from Greensboro, NC but she lived in Virginia for two years before relocating back to North Carolina to the state’s Capital, Raleigh.

Goals: A future goal that Briana sees for her financial literacy business is to help one thousand new clients gain financial freedom by the end of 2018.  

Bet You Didn’t Know!: If she could work with any top name in the entertainment industry she would choose to work with Oprah because she views her as the most successful woman of all time!

She has attended several schools – A&T, Columbia School of Broadcasting and is currently studying Entertainment Business at the Los Angelo’s Film School – and during her time at the previous schools, she majored in business, media, and broadcasting. It has always been her passion to help others achieve their goals or to motivate them to be “One Day closer to their Dreams.” She is very blessed to be working every day in her field of work and changing the financial lives of all people daily.

Her mother inspired her to start her own company. In growing up, her mother was an entrepreneur and she always had several side gigs. Her daughter studied her tactics and it inspired her to want to grow and achieve all that she could during her life. She currently maintains an established Credit Consulting franchise and specializes in Credit Restoration and Financial Literacy. She also owns a multi-production PR business called First Ladii Productions.

Life with The Company 

As a CEO, the qualities she feels are most valuable consist of leadership, tenacity, perseverance, and confidence.  Her credit restoration franchise offers services that mentor in the field and financial literacy services to help repair and retain all things financially related.

The biggest challenge she had to overcome when starting her business was the ability to overcome after failure and/or denial. In her position, she had to juggle so many companies and these tasks are sometimes difficult, but in situations of that nature, you have to reorganize your priorities.

Success is always around the corner! The contribution she made to her community through her success is of great importance. She was recently recognized by her partner company for reaching milestones in her credit literacy program. She also hosted a red carpet event with her production company that sponsors individuals with epilepsy.

First Ladii

Inquiring Minds Want to Know...

Are there any CEO boss ladies’ who are internationally known that you admire?

The CEO Boss Ladies that she admires are Issa Rae and Beyonce. She admires Beyonce because she has been consistent in her business ventures. She admires Issa Rae because she created a similar platform as her and her success is something that she models.

Are there any other creative talents that you have, that your audience doesn’t know about?

Barksdale shared that she has plenty of talents.  One of which is being a mother. She’s a mother of a two-year old. In addition, she writes and produces a radio show as well as a talk show entitled Goal Diggers. The show features and highlights individuals successfully chasing their dreams.

She can be reached through social media on the following platforms:

Personal:

@iamBrianaB (Facebook, Snapchat, IG, Twitter)

Business: (Facebook and IG)

@CreditBrianaB

@GoalDiggersShow

@ShayStarDOTcom

Her Websites:

www.FirstLadii.com

www.GoalDiggers.tv

www.ShayStar.com

www.myfes.net/BBarksdale

24Apr/18
Derrick Jaxn

“You Are Attractive, but Are You Good For My Mental Health?” with Derrick Jaxn

Derrick JaxnThere is a reason that the online dating industry makes over $3B each year since 2010 according to IBISWorld.com. Most of the population is looking to find a partner to share our lives with. Along with that comes the difficulty of learning people and what we can deal with. One of the biggest hurdles to overcome in a relationship is the mental aspect of love and, in some cases, it’s difficult and, sometimes, scary. This is why oftentimes we ask ourselves “Are you good for my mental health?” whenever we find a possible suitor we deem attractive. Taji Mag interviewed author and self-love/relationship advocate Derrick Jaxn about his thoughts on love, dating, and mental health.

Taji Mag: There is a quote circulating on social media that says “You are attractive, but are you good for my mental health.” What does that mean to you?

Derrick Jaxn: I think it is adult and a mature way to look at it. While dating we focus so much on instant gratification that we forget what happens on the back end and we end up paying for it in the end in a lot of instances. A lot of people need to take that approach. It’s kinda like when you get food, it may look good, it may smell good,  but what is the nutritional makeup.

Taji Mag: In terms of maturity level, is there any noticeable development in judgment while dating that you have noticed with yourself?

Derrick Jaxn: It’s kind of like the bible verse (1 Corinthians 13:11) When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me. In our youth, we are products of our environment but when you grow up, you no longer have that excuse and so now, as an older version of yourself, you are a product of your experiences. Now I have experienced women on a different level, more than what they can do for me sexually or whatever way I can use them. I know that’s a dark description of how we can objectify women, but we have to grow to see them as more valuable because society does not condition us that way.

Taji Mag: Can you give a good example of what you are talking about?

Derrick Jaxn: If you have a mom and dad that are both good influences, the media will inundate with images of women that are strictly for our consumption in the perspective of a man. On the other side of that attractive woman is a heart and a lot of trauma comes when you break that heart. It creates damage when you manipulate the mind and I have grown to know that especially now that I speak on behalf of relationships. A lot of times, it is women who are asking me to speak on their situations and it’s a sobering reality to hear about the things we put them through so casually.

Taji Mag: Sounds like you take to heart what women say and it’s very concerning what they go through.

Derrick Jaxn: I am very passionate about what I talk about because we have to change that culture. We can’t wait until our daughter is 16 about to go on a date to pull out a shotgun to care about women. We have to do our part now and shape things into the way we want them.

Taji Mag: How can you identify when you are in a mentally unhealthy relationship?

Derrick Jaxn: I have my bouts with mental health that I don’t play with. I am married now but, while I was dating, whenever situations blurred the line of toxicity or compromised my mental health, I made sure to nip it in the bud. I can’t afford to be played with because I already have a daily struggle. If you know anyone that struggles with mental health, they don’t always feel in control of their thoughts, moods, or emotions. You don’t need another opponent when you have that daily challenge. For me, I have never been in an unhealthy relationship, if there were situations where I felt whomever I was dating was playing with me or my emotions it got nipped in the bud real quick!

During the journey to find love it is important to listen to your heart and seek emotional tranquility than to fall ill to mental toxicity from another. It is easier said than done but that is the beauty of life, to learn as we go and discover what makes us happy.

“Unlike many other journeys, when it comes to finding self and matters of the heart you’ll swiftly find yourself lost if you follow someone else’s” – Rasheed Ogunlaru