Tag Archives: Africa Jackson

29Aug/16
Chaz Pope

#MustLoveBeards Profile: Chaz Pope

Since GOD is everywhere, then THE MOST HIGH must be from where I’m from. #GodIsFrom

This week’s installment of our #MustLoveBeards series features Chaz Pope, “God Is From” apparel series creator. Taji Mag came across this king during our recent trip to Atlanta. We sat down with him at the Black owned business Boogaloo Lounge to find out more about this dope brother.

Chaz PopeThis Black man got into the habit of marketing when he was 13. Now at 38, he feels like he is in his groove. What most people don’t realize about him is that he taught himself how to screen print when he was 35. Most folks in their mid 30s are content to settle, but he was determined to step out on faith.

In his own words, “numbers don’t lie”. How did our #MCM get to this point though?

Once he got the idea that God is from everywhere, he reached out to a friend who owned a small corner store. The shirts sold out in an hour and he knew he had something special. He took his last $1,000 and moved to Atlanta to pursue his endeavors. After moving in with his uncle for a few weeks, his shirts quickly made that $1,000 back. He was printing bulk orders in his living room by the second month.

Once he came up with the term “God is from”, he searched for the trademark. Even with all the signs, he held on to the idea for all year before making any big moves. He started what he describes as all “shitty” website that stayed up for 7 months without really moving product the way he wanted. Then a big turning point happened. He met independent filmmaker Raxiel Sinz. From there, he met Big Tigger who got in touch via DM. Tigger, Keshia Knight Pulliam, Ludacris, Adrienne Joi Johnson, and a host of other celebrities started rocking his shirts. You can even catch our ongoing #WCW Da Brat in his “God is from” gear.

Aside from building a brand that speaks volumes, Chaz also teaches entrepreneurship to youth. He acknowledges the other Black entrepreneurs he has met over the years for motivating him to aim higher. Unlike a number of young business owners, Chaz believes that we have to work together to be successful. Thankfully, his ideology is one that is starting to trend among the Black Owned Business community.

17Jun/16
@AyeshaCurry

We Love you @AyeshaCurry

With all the unnecessary fuss over the tweet from @AyeshaCurry regarding game six of the 2016 NBA Finals and the general capitalistic nature of entertainment, I feel like we need to show this Black woman some love! In this June tweet, the famous Mrs. Curry defended her husband on social media.

ayesha-curry-deleted-tweet

She has nothing to apologize for. Ayehsa’s name is legendary. And since there are already a dozen stories out there about the tweet, we’re taking this in a totally different direction. Here at @TajiMagazine, we ADORE Ayesha and we want to celebrate her with the rest of the powerful Black women out there. Here is a list of 10 of the greatest songs featuring powerful Black women from the year Ayesha Curry was born: 1989. (They also happen to describe how we feel about her royal Curry-ness).

10. Aretha Franklin: Think

9. Janet Jackson: Rhythm Nation

8. Salt-N-Pepa: Expression

7. Anita Baker: Giving You The Best That I Got

6. Patti Labelle: If You Don’t Know Me By Now

5. Roberta Flack: Oasis

4. Jody Watley: Real Love

3. Soul II Soul: Keep On Movin’

2. Karyn White: Superwoman

1. Janet Jackson: Miss You Much

Of course, we couldn’t close out this list and neglect this classic honorable mention. That’s rigght, you guessed it. Another Bad Creation: “Iesha”

So Ayesha, for the moments when the money hungry machine known as the NBA aint your type of hype or you feel like the media is criticizing every little step you take, we love you!

01May/16
vol7

Taji Vol7: Afrofuturism

Release June 7 2016 | Vol7 of Taji is the “Afrofuturism” issue, packed full of Black Beauty & Culture! This volume features musicians and siblings Loumingou Night & Young Paris on the cover.Gracing the pages are sneaker violence opponents Fuggit; musician and actor Olutayo; rising star Sonyae Elise; web content producers The Village TV, written by Africa Jackson; “3 Tips for Lowering Your Grocery Bill” by Ñaomi Bradley; “The Immersion Excursion: Costa Rica” by Inez A Nelson; “Rape Culture 101: What Erykah Got Wrong & How We all Lose When Men Get a Pass to be Predators” by Tajh Sutton; our Health & Fitness Advice Columns with Trainer Clinton Walker & Delliz the Chef; the Taji Model Winners; and more!!

Purchase your copy now at ‘Purchase Taji’!

vol7

Purchase Taji Mag | Vol. 7

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

22Apr/16
Samuel L Jackson

That Time Samuel L Jackson Gave Me #BlackGirlMagic

In 1997 I was a skinny tomboy with a ghetto name at a predominantly white school in the midwest. I lived with my father – let’s call him Tom – and his white wife whose daily message to me was that my hair was unkempt. I was going through a somewhat punk\alternative phase because that’s what the other kids were going through, and I wanted to fit in. I wore those super wide leg pants with holes in them and a pocket chain. Revolutionary adult me would have been embarrassed by such fashion choices, but 90s awkward preteen me was just trying to make up for the fact that I was dark skinned. It was a lonely and depressing time.

And then there was Samuel L Jackson.

Wait… the dude who yells in all his movies? The slave from Django? The ‘motherf—er’ man? Yes! The very same. I saw the film Eve’s Bayou, written by a Black woman named Kasi Lemmons (Caveman’s Valentine, 2001; Talk to Me, 2007). Set in the deep south, featuring an all-star Black cast (Lynn Whitfield, Debbi Morgan, Meagan Goode, Diahann Carroll, and, of course, Samuel L Jackson), the story was not centered specifically around the issue of race. Rather, it followed the experiences of Eve, a budding clairvoyant who could communicate with spirits. Eve was Black, and close to my age, so unlike my response to Shirley Temple, whose movies were pushed on me by my step-mother, I found myself moved by Eve’s character. The mother, father, aunt, and older sister all had darker skin like me. Eve was light skinned from a dark skinned mother. That had an impact on me because it meant that I was just as beautiful as a light skinned girl. Eve saw her mother as gorgeous and so did I. Every shade of Black was represented in the movie which made me feel like less of a pariah. Eve was curious and insightful. She cared deeply about her family and her heart was heavy with compassion. Those were qualities I felt trapped by as a child because I was oftrn described as ‘too sensitive’ or weird. I was captivated by both the literal and metaphorical presence of magic in the film.

A Black female director had little to no chance of having her film financed ny a major company in 1997. Knowing this, Samuel L. Jackson not only starred in the film, delivering what I still consider to be his best performance to this day, but he also produced it. In fact, this was the first film he produced. Younger me had no idea at the time, but a producer is basically the person who pays for the magic to happen. So, in many ways, Samuel L. Jackson is partly responsible for the ways in which Eve’s Bayou changed the trajectory of my self-image. I went from wanting to perm my hair to embracing my natural kinks (both Eve and her aunt had thick hair like mine). I felt more confident about my non-traditional spirituality. This was the first time I saw Afrocentric, non-Christian beliefs valued. Seeing Eve and her aunt as these women connected so closely to God and so comfortable in that connection was empowering. I learned the importance of patience and research when making decisions, after seeing Eve reflect on her own decisions towards the end of the film.

When I celebrate the Black artists in theater who influenced me – and cringe at fair-skinned, Zoe Saldana being cast as Blackface Nina Simone — I think back to the time Samuel L. Jackson and Kasi Lemmons brought me Black girl magic in Eve’s Bayou. So, instead of complaining that the beautiful and talented Uzo Aduba should have been cast to play one of the greatest musical activists of our time, I realized that we can, and should, make our own films. Samuel L. Jackson did it. Nate Parker did it. Love him or hate him, even the big homie Tyler Perry did it. We have everything we need to create our own magic. More than that, though, we have a responsibility as creative intellectuals to embrace and celebrate our natural shade. Some caramel colored girl will see Zoe Saldana in Blackface and think less of herself. I think about 1997 me being confused and turned off by Blackface Nina. Hopefully no Black children will see the film and will instead write, direct, and star in their own art that features them falling in love with their melanin, no matter the shade.