Tag Archives: black culture

28Jul/17
richard sherman

Richard Sherman Comments on His Locs at the ESPYs *Video*

richard shermanWhat is a great way to grab the attention of a NFL star on the red carpet at the ESPYs? Just take time to compliment them. That is what happened when Taji Mag stopped Richard Sherman to ask him about his locs. When asked how he keeps his locs well conditioned against the strenuous conditions of football he simply relies on lifestyle as mentioned in the video below.

Sherman showed much humility engaging with many around him and sporting an equality pin on his fashionable jacket for the ESPYs, expressing that he believes in allowing people to be themselves and not conform to what society thinks. He has spoken out against the NFL about taking away the individuality and the freedom of players, ultimately affecting the play of the players and the ratings of the NFL.

Richard Sherman is always a class act and a true display of being a positive Black man. Not only is he a pro bowl cornerback for the Seattle Seahawks, but he is also a graduate from Stanford. His education and charismatic personality have helped him dispel any negativity placed on his character from the media. Most notably is the situation with Patriots Quarterback Tom Brady, where he was called a “thug” after passionately asking Tom Brady “Are You Mad Bro?”. He let the media know how offended he was being labeled a thug and eloquently explained how it is comparable to the N-word.

There are other times that Sherman has been vilified but he finds ways to defy them and he also shows compassion with his acts of kindness. During a #BlackLoveConvo twitter chat, we discussed how he recently paid the tuition of a Virginia high school student. He met her at a charity dinner in Richmond, VA and made an agreement with her that if she was able to bring up her grades her senior, he would pay her tuition.

Hopefully Richard Sherman will continue to inspire and contribute to society, allowing for the Black community to have yet another positive role model.

Link to video

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Woman Gods, NayMarie Photography

Woman Gods They Don’t Want You to Know About

They do not mind telling you of Santa and the Easter Bunny and Kwanzaa…
The fables of angry and jealous gods.
They erased all of our power from the books.
This is a list of Woman Gods that I have been compiling. It is BIZARRE how many names are on this list that are never mentioned as a source of POWER, Relief or Hope in our day to day musings.
Why are women whores or helpers or the failure of man in the Bible?
Where did our stories go?
We were GODS and respected as such. Now we are Queens and Princesses and bad bitches … so on
It’s like mourning a death I never knew happened.

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Woman Gods (Africa)

woman gods

Photo by Joey “Islandboi” Rosado

Abuk – In Sudanese Dinka mythology, she is the first woman. She is the patron goddess of women and gardens, and her emblem is a small snake.

Aja – This forest goddess is honored by the Yoruba of Nigeria. She instructs her followers in the use of medicinal herbs found in the African forests.

Aje – A Nigerian Yoruba goddess of wealth.

Akonadi – An oracular goddess of Ghana.

Akwaba – This goddess symbolizes welcome and is always placed above the door. Maidens receive her image from an elder mentor as they come of age, welcoming them into their motherhood role in the tribe. In Togo, a giant Akwaba always precedes the chief in tribal procession, signifying that the Mother and reverence for Nature are the foremost communal values.

Ala -She is the earth and fertility goddess of the Ibo people of Nigeria, as well as a goddess of the underworld. She is the daughter of the great god Chuku and is considered to be the mother of all things. In the beginning she gives birth, and at the end she welcomes the dead back to her womb. In Nigeria, where she is still worshipped, she has temples situated in the center of the villages, where she has a statue surrounded by the images of other gods and animals.

Agwe – Mother of the sea in Benin. She is affectionate and nurturing to humans who honor her.

Aha Njoku – This popular goddess is worshipped by the Ibo people of Nigeria. She is responsible for yams, a central ingredient in the Ibo diet, and the women who care for them.

Aida Wedo – In Benin and Haiti she is the snake companion to Damballah-Wedo, the most popular god, who is also in snake form.

Aje – Yoruba goddess of wealth in all its forms.

Akonandi – (Ghana) An oracular goddess of justice.

Amirini – An early goddess of the Yoruba of West Africa.

Anansi -The spider goddess of Ghana, she is considered the creator’s chief official, and a hero of many tales.

Asase Ya (Asase Yaa) Ashanti earth goddess. Ghanian creator of humanity, and wife of Nyame. She was also the mother of the gods.

Ashiakle – Goddess of wealth of the Gan people of Ghana.

woman gods

Photo by NayMarie Photography

Atete – Fertility goddess of the Kafa people of Ethiopia.

Ayabba  – Hearth goddess of the Fon people of Benin.

Azeman – A name given to a female vampire or werewolf in Surinam folk belief. At night, she transforms from human to animal form and travels around drinking human blood. According to belief, the best way to stop her is by sprinkling grains or seeds about, so she will be compelled to stop and pick them up. Another way of stopping her is by propping a broom, which she won’t cross, against a door.

Aziri – The goddess of possessions.

Bayanni- (Yoruba) Sister of Shango. She was sacrificed to make her younger brother, Shango, a stronger god.

Bele Alua -(Ghana) Tree goddesss

Bomo Rambi – A moon Goddess of Zimbabwe.

Bosumabla – A sea goddess of Ghana, one of the minor deities.

Buk (Sudan-Nuer) She is the goddess of rivers and streams and the source of life. Her children are Deng, Candit and Nyaliep.

Bunzi – A rain goddess of Zaire, depicted as a rainbow-colored snake. She took over her mother’s duties as rain goddess when her mother was killed.

Buruku – She is a creator goddess of Ghana, associated with the moon and sometimes considered male.

Candit -The goddess of streams in Sudan.

Dewi Nawang Sasih – In Sudanese myth, a celestial nymph who taught people how to cook rice. The myth says she gave the women a simple recipe; place one grain of rice in a pot, boil, and wait until it sub-divides again and again until the pot is full. Her one restriction was that no man ever touch a woman’s cooking utensils. The people feasted fully, and easily, following her instructions until one king who felt above all others deliberately touched a cooking implement. The goddess in disgust departed the earth, and since that time it takes a whole bunch of rice to fill a pot, because although the grains swell up, they no longer divide and reproduce.

Dziva -The generally benevolent creatrix goddess of the Shona people of Zimbabwe. There is, however, an awful aspect to her nature.

Edinkira – An African tree goddess.

Egungun-Oya  – Another form of the Yoruba goddess of divination.

Eka Abassi – The creator of life. Her son and consort was Obumo (god of thunder and rain)

Enekpe – Goddess of the family and guardian of destiny. One story relates that when she saw that her tribe was losing a battle, she offered herself as a sacrifice to save her people, and was buried alive on the battlefield; her tribe was saved.

Eseasar – An earth goddess married to the sky god, Ebore.

Fatouma – She was born in a village near a lake in Mali that was inhabited by a virgin-devouring dragon who each year claimed a village virgin as payment for the use of the lake’s waters. The day came when Fatouma was the only eligible virgin remaining so she was left on the shore for the dragon to eat. Along came a hero named Hammadi who slew the dragon, married Fatouma, and lived happily ever after with her.

Gbadu- The daughter of Mawu. She is the goddess of fate of the Fon or Dahomey people of Benin, and she is saddened by the fighting among her mother’s mortal children.

Gleti- The moon goddess of Benin. She is the mother of all the stars (Gletivi). An eclipse is said to be caused by the shadow of the her husband when he comes to “visit”.

Gonzuole -The first woman of Liberia. Without a mate she gave birth to many beautiful daughters; they lived together in a village without men for many years. Eventually some men nearby trapped them all and Gonzuole, fearing for her daughters’ safety, agreed to give them in marriage to the men.

Hyrax -The wife of the creator god I Kaggen (praying mantis) revered by men of the western bush.

Ilankaka – The sun goddess of the Nkundo of Zaire was trapped by a man who was hunting during the night. She begged to be released and promised him much wealth for doing so, but the only wealth he wanted was her, so she agreed to marry him. Soon pregnant, she refused to eat anything but forest rats. Because it was known that a man had to provide for any whim of a pregnant woman, the man was kept very busy trapping for her. One night, however, she awakened to realize she was no longer pregnant. Shocked, she discovered the baby had slipped out of the womb and was already eating meat. He grew up to be the hero Itonde, who captured the heart of the Elephant Girl Mbombe.

Inkosazana – A female spirit of the Zulus who makes the maize grow. The deity of agriculture, she is venerated in springtime.

Lissa – The Dahomey mother goddess. Mother of the Sun god Maou and the Moon god Gou. Her totem was the chameleon.

Mami Wata – A water-spirit, sometimes described as a mermaid figure, who can found throughout the western coastal regions and into central Africa. Mami Wata is described as having long dark hair, very fair skin and compelling eyes. Although she may appear in dreams and visions to her devotees as a beautiful mermaid, she is also said to walk the streets of modern African cities in the guise of a gorgeous but elusive woman. She is interested in all things contemporary: some of her favorite offerings include sweet, imported perfumes, sunglasses and Coca-Cola. Nonetheless, the spirit appears to be related to other water spirits (known in Igbo, a language of southeastern Nigeria, as ‘ndi mmili) who have a much longer history on the continent. Mami Wata’s colors are red and white. Those she afflicts with visions and temptations, and who experience her as an obsession or an illness, may wear the red of sickness and dangerous heat. Others who have a more positive orientation towards the spirit may show their blessings by wearing white. Most devotees wear a combination of red and white clothing. Mami Wata is also said to have a number of avatars on earth- mortal women who have the same look as the deity and who act as her “daughters.” Mami Wata may give wealth to her devotees, her “daughters” or to her (male) spouses, but she is never known to give fertility. Some Igbo stories suggest that the fish under the waters are her children, and that she uses them as firewood. Mami Wata is sometimes seen as a metaphor for modern African conditions — having the knowledge of global wealth and the desire for large-scale consumption, but lacking the actual wealth or access to the world’s wealth that would enable Africans to participate in that system.

Mamlambo – The Zulu goddess of rivers.

Marwe – A Chaga folktale heroine.

Massassi – The maiden created for Mwuetsi, in the mythology of the Makoni tribe of Zimbabwe. She bore to her husband grasses, bushes and trees.

Mawu – Mawu is the Creator/Moon Goddess known among the people from the Dahomey region of West Africa, the female aspect of the divinity Mawu-Lisa. She is associated with the moon, night, fertility, motherhood, gentleness, forgiveness, rest and joy. The cosmology of the Fon has the Earth as floating on the water, while above circle the heavenly bodies on the inner surface of a gourd. The son of Mawu-Lisa, Da (Danh) the cosmic serpent, helps in ordering the universe; he had 3500 coils above the earth, and the same number below. Together these coils support Mawu-Lisa’s creation. After creating the earth and all life and everything else on it, she became concerned that it might be too heavy, so she asked the primeval serpent, Aido Hwedo, to curl up beneath the earth and hold it up in the sky. When she asked Awe, a monkey she had also created, to help out and make some more animals out of clay, he boasted to the other animals and challenged Mawu. Gbadu, the first woman Mawu had created, saw all the chaos on earth and told her children to go out among the people and remind them that only Mawu can give Sekpoli – the breath of life. Gbadu instructed her daughter, Minona, to go out among the people and teach them about the use of palm kernels as omens from Mawu. When Awe, the arrogant monkey climbed up to the heavens to try to show Mawu that he too could give life, he failed miserably. Mawu made him a bowl of porridge with the seed of death in it and reminded him that only she could give life and that she could also take it away.

Mbaba Mwana Waresa – A beloved goddess of the Zulu people of Southern Africa, primarily because she gave them the gift of beer. She is the goddess of the rainbow, rain, harvest, and agriculture. The story of her search for a husband is well known, and recently appeared in a beautifully illustrated children’s book.

Mboze – Mother of the Woyo people of Zaire, and mother of Bunzi. When her husband found out he was not the father of Bunzi, he killed Mboze.

Mebeli – In Congo, she is the mother of the race of man (given life by Massim Biambe) with god Phebele.

Moombi  – She is the creator goddess of the Kikuyu who mothered nine daughters by Gikuyu.

Mujaji – The rain queen of the Lovedu people of the Transvaal.

Musso Koroni – The goddess of disorder among the Bambara of Africa and the first woman to be created. She is the daughter of the Voice of the Void, and wife of Pemba. She planted Pemba in the soil, but disliked his thorns and so forswore the god. Now she wanders the earth, causing sadness and disorder among mankind.

Nambi – (Buganda) The first woman.

Nana-Bouclou  – (Benin) Primal god of the Ewe people of the Dahomey, both male and female, who created the twins from whom all the Voodoo gods descended.

Nana Buluku – (Nana, Nan Nan, Nana Baruku, Na Na Baraclou, Boucalou) As Nana Buluku she is the primordial creator goddess of the Fon Nation of Benin (Dahomey). As Nana Buruku she is first Grandmother to all the Divinities and first human woman in the religion of the Yorubas. It was of Nana that the Cosmic Twins Mawu and Lisa were born. From Mawu and Lisa came the Cosmic Egg, and the Cosmic Seed that germinated the Egg. This egg was formed about the center of Ashe, the realm of Ikode Orun. From this egg hatched the Great Irunmole. So Nana Baruku is the Womb of Olodumare, Mawu is the Cosmic Egg, and Lisa is Olodumare’s Seed. Once set into motion, they are the creation of all that is, was and ever will be.  When the Orisha called Obatala formed the first human head upon the face of the earth, it was Olodumare who came down from the great Adobe of the Spiritual Realm, and breathed life into it. It was through the mysteries of the breath of Olodumare that Nana Baruku first came forth and took up residence within a clay figure, becoming the first living soul. Thus Nana Baruku was both Great Divinity, first of all ancestors, the great Grandmother of the Divinities, but also the Ancient Grandmother and progenitor of the human race. In human form Nana Buruku was known by the name Ayizan. Ayizan, (Nanan) is envisioned as an ancient black grandmother, her face covered with palm fronds in honor of the palm trees which she used to create shelter upon earth. In her arms Ayizan carries a woven basket containing bark, roots, and herbs. Ayizan was the first human herbalist, sacred to her is the mandrake root, which resembles a human form and is a symbol of her human husband Osanyin. With her vast knowledge of herbs she attracted the attention of the Orisha Osanyin, whom took form and became known as Loco. In life Ayizan lived in a marshy swamp, she was a powerful ancestor who was unsurpassed in the knowledge of herbs and root magic. Sacred to her is quicksand, which surrounded her home and protected her from wild animals.

Oboto – The goddesses of serenity.

Oduduwa – A creator deity and earth goddess of the Yoruba.

Oshun  – (Osun) The Orisa of Love and Sensuality. The Yoruba peoples of Nigeria brought Oshun to the New World via Brazil and Cuba. She is depicted as an old wise woman sad at the loss of her beauty. Alternately she may be shown as tall, light brown-skinned and with the sensuality of a prostitute. She is patroness of rivers and the bloodstream, and wears seven brass bracelets. She wears a mirror at her belt to admire herself, is companioned by the primping peacock and cricket, and carries river water in her pot. Powerful spells are worked through this lady of opposites. Love and sensuality are the domains of Oshun. Tall and brown-skinned, she is patroness of rivers and the bloodstream, always carrying her mirror. Powerful love spells are worked through this Lady. Oshun, the Yoruba Goddess of Love and Life-Sustaining Rivers, is the Goddess of all the arts, but especially dance. Beauty belongs to Oshun and represents the human ability to create beauty for its own sake, to create beyond need. It is also said that she is the knitter of civilization, since great cities have been founded, for the most part, along rivers in order to supply water to their populations.

Oya -The Yoruba warrior goddess of the wind, the primeval mother of chaos, the mother of nine children (the nine tributaries of the Niger River). She creates change of fortune, and her power is associated with lightning, tornadoes, earthquakes and other storms, cemeteries and death. Her motherly strength inspires us to embrace change and learn from it. Using her machete, or sword of truth, she cuts through stagnation and clears the way for new growth. She does what needs to be done. She is the wild woman, the force of change; also the queen of the marketplace and a shrewd businesswoman who is adept with horses. As the wind, she is the first breath and the last, the one who carries the spirits of the dead to the other world, which is why she is associated with cemeteries. Oya is tall, stately, and fierce in battle. She is the orisa of creative power and action. They say every breath we take is the gift of Oya. The other two Ancient Mothers are Osun and Yemaja.

Pamba – The creator and sustainer of life in Ovambo mythology. The Ovambo, a matrilineal people, declare that ‘the mother of pots is a hole in the ground; the mother of people is god.’

Yemayah –  (Yemaja, Yemoja) She is one of the great goddesses of the Nigerian Yoruba. The Orisha of the Ocean and Motherhood, Yemayah was brought to the New World by the Yoruba people of Nigeria via Brazil and Cuba, where she has been venerated for centuries as Protectress during the middle passage of slavery. She was the sister and wife of Aganju, the soil god, and mother by him of Orungan, god of the noonday sun. She was said to be the daughter of the sea into whose waters she empties.  She is also an avatar of Mama Wata, the mother of waters. Even as she slept, she would create new springs, which gushed forth each time she turned over. The first time she walked on earth, fountains that later became rivers sprang up wherever she set foot. Sea shells, through which the priestesses and priests could hear the voice of the universe, were among her first gifts to the people. She is known by different names in many localities; As Yemoja (Yemayah) she is the power (orisa) of the ocean and motherhood. She is long-breasted, the goddess of fishes, and wears an insignia of alternating crystal and blue beads. She has a strong, nurturing, life-giving yet furiously destructive nature. She is considered the Great Witch, the ultimate manifestation of female power.  As Yemanja (Imanje) in Brazil she is ocean goddess of the crescent moon, as Ymoa in West Africa she is the river goddess who grants fertility to women. In Cuba she is known as Yemaya (Yemaya Ataramagwa, wealthy queen of the sea; Yemaya Achabba, the stern goddess; Yemaya Oqqutte, the violent goddess; or Yemaya Olokun, the dream goddess). She is known as Agwe in Haiti. She is also referred to as Yamoja, which is a contraction of the the sentence “Iyamo eja”, meaning “our mother” or “my mother of fishes”. Among the Brazilian Umbandists, Yemaja is the goddess of the sea and patroness of shipwrecked persons. In Santeria, Yemaja (Yemaya) is the equivalent of the Catholic saint Our Lady of Regla. The river Ogun is associated with her, because the water of this river is considered to be a remedy for infertility.

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Woman Gods (Various Regions)

Aphrodite (Greek) – The beautiful Goddess of love and fertility. No man could resist Aphrodite when she wore her magic girdle.  Her name means foam born or raised from foam as she was birthed from the churning sea.

Arianrhod (Celtic) – Goddess of fertility, rebirth and the weaving of cosmic time and fate.  The last aspect of her nature is contained within her name which means “silver wheel” or “round wheel,” suggesting her importance in the cycles of life.  Other common spellings of her name are Aranhod and Arianrod.

Artemis (Greek) – An independent spirit, she is Goddess is of the hunt, nature and birth. There are several different theories about the origin of her name, one school of thought says it comes from an ancient word for “safe” and another argues that it means “strong limbed.”   Either way the suggestion is that this maiden Goddess has the strength and ability to protect herself from any unwanted attention.

Athena (Greek) – Goddess of war and wisdom and domestic crafts. Plato believed her name meant “mind of God” whilst others suggest it comes an ancient word meaning “sharp.”  Both these words point to Athena’s great intellectual ability to see the true nature of a situation and to develop successful strategies.

Bast (Egyptian) – The famous cat Goddess, she protected pregnant woman and children. Bast was a very sensual Goddess who enjoyed music, dance and perfume.  Her name comes from the bas jars used to store perfumes and ointments.  Other versions of this Goddess names include: Bastet, Baset, Ubasti and Pasht.

Ceres (Roman) – This Goddess of agriculture and grains name comes from the Indo European word root, ker meaning “to grow.”  In turn her name has become the origin of our modern word cereal.

Cerridwen (Celtic) – Goddess of moon, magic, agriculture, nature, poetry language, music, art, science and astrology. She was also keeper of the cauldron.  Her name means “chiding love.” Ceridwen, Caridwen, Kerritwen, Keridwen, Kyrridwen are other variations of her name.

Demeter (Greek) – Goddess of the harvest who possessed great knowledge of the best way to grow, preserve and harvest grain.  She was also the devoted mother of Persephone.  Her name reflects her nurturing personality as it means “earth mother” in Greek.

Diana (Roman) – Goddess of the hunt and wild animals.  She later took over from Luna as the Roman Goddess of the moon, responsible for fertility and childbirth. Her name means  “heavenly divine,” reflecting her celestial role.

Eirene (Greek) – This Greek Goddess name means peace in her native language, expressing her diplomatic nature.  Her name also often appears as Irene.

Eos (Greek) – A sunny natured Goddess whose name means dawn.

Epona (Celtic) – Protector of horses, donkeys, and mules.  She was also an ancient fertility Goddess.  Epona’s Goddess name comes from the Gaulish word epos meaning “great mare.”

Ereshkigal (Sumerian) – Goddess of Attalu, the land of the dead and ancestral memories. Her name translates as “great lady under the earth.”  Irkalla is an alternative name by which this Goddess is identified.

Freya (Nordic) – Goddess of love, beauty, fertility, war, wealth, divination and magic. Her name comes from the ancient Norse word for lady or mistress.  There are several variations of the spellings of this Goddess name including: Freyja, Freyr and Freyja.

Frigg (Nordic) – Goddess of marriage, childbirth, motherhood, wisdom, household management and weaving and spinning. Her name means “beloved” in ancient Norse and is derived from fri “to love.”  She is also known as Frige, Friia, Frija and Frea.

Gaia (Greek) – Goddess of the Earth and prophecy. She is the primordial mother and a personification of Mother Earth. She gave birth to the Titans. Her name is also spelt Gaeo.

Hathor (Egyptian) – This heavenly cow’s areas of influence included music, dancing, joy and fertility. Her name translates as “house of Horus”.  Alternative names for this Goddess are Het-Hert, Hetheru, Mehturt, Mehurt, Mehet-Weret, and Mehet-uret,

Hebe (Greek) – Hebe’s name literally means youth or in the prime of life. She was one of the daughters of Zeus and Hera.  Her role was to serve the nectar and ambrosia to the Gods and Goddesses that prevented them from aging.

Hekate (Greek) – Goddess of the wild places, childbirth and the crossroads. She is closely associated with magic and witchcraft.  Her name is said to be derived from the Greek word hekas meaning “far off” describing her unworldly, shamanic nature.  Also known as Hecate.

Hella (Nordic) – The fearsome Goddess of the Nordic realm of the dead.  Her name is derived from the word kel, meaning “to conceal.”  There are numerous spellings of her name including Halje Hell, Hel, Helle, Hela and Holle.

Hera (Greek) – Queen of the Olympians and Goddess of marriage and birth.  The meaning of her Goddess name has been lost.  One historian claims her name could be connected to the Greek word for seasons “hora,” suggesting she is ripe for marriage.

Hestia (Greek) – The domestic Goddess of the Greek Pantheon, she rules over the hearth and home.  Her name comes from the Greek word estia meaning “she that dwells or tarries.”  This reflects the importance of the role that the ancient Greeks attributed to this Goddess in sacrificing her position as an Olympian to guard the fire and maintain a happy home.

Inanna (Sumerian) – Goddess of love, war, and fertility. Inanna was the personification of the morning and evening star.  Her beautiful name means “lady of the sky.” This Goddess is closely linked to Ishtar and Nin-anna.

Indunn (Nordic) – Goddess of youth and springtime.  Her name means she who renews and has several alternative spellings including Indun, Iduna and Idhunna.

Iris (Greek) – Goddess of the rainbow and messenger to the Gods. Her name means rainbow in her native language.

woman gods

Photo by NayMarie Photography

Isis (Egyptian) – This famous Goddess has so many different aspects, her most important roles are as Goddess of life and magic. Isis’s name comes from the Egyptian word aset and means “she of throne” in other words the Queen of the Goddesses.

Juno (Roman) – Goddess of marriage, pregnancy and childbirth.  She protected the finances of the citizens of Rome. Her name is mystery, it speaks of a contradictory role for this Goddess, before her alignment to the matronly, Greek Goddess, Hera. This is because her name is derived from the root yeu meaning “vital force” indicating a more youthful, maiden Goddess.

Lakshmi (Hindu)- Goddess of abundance of material and spiritual wealth.  Her name is derived from the Sanskrit word “laksya” meaning aim or goal

Maat (Egyptian) – Goddess of truth, justice and balance.  She prevented the creation from reverting to chaos and judged the deeds of the dead with her feather.  This Goddess name stems from the word Mayet meaning “straight.” This reflects her unbending nature in upholding what is right and just.

Minerva (Roman) – Goddess of wisdom, medicine and crafts.  Her name is linked to the Latin word mens which means “intellect,” suggesting the intelligence and inventiveness of this ancient Goddess.

Morrigan (Celtic) – The terrifying crow Goddess associated with war and death on the battlefield.  She was queen of phantoms, demons, shape-shifters and patroness of priestesses and Witches.  Her name means “great queen” in the old Irish language. Morrigan was also known as Morgane, Morrígu, Morríghan, Mor-Ríoghain and Morrígna.

Nephthys (Egyptian) – Goddess of death, decay and the unseen.  Her name speaks of her priestess role as it means “lady of the temple enclosure.” Other variations of her title include Nebet-het and Nebt-het.

Nike (Greek) – This Greek Goddess name means victory, she represented success especially in the sporting arena which is why her name was chosen for a famous brand of sportswear.

Ostara (Germanic) – The spring Goddess whose name is linked to the East and the dawn. The early Christians took her fertility symbols of eggs and hares and incorporated them into the Easter celebrations.

Parvarti (Hindu) – Goddess of love and devotion, her name means “she of the mountain.”

Persephone (Greek) – Daughter of Demeter and Queen of the Underworld.  She was also none as Kore reflecting the Maiden aspect of this Goddess.  Other variations of her name include Persephoneia, Persephassa, Persephatta and Pherepapha

Pomona (Roman) –Protected fruiting trees and gardens.  Her name is derived from the Latin word pomus, meaning “fruit tree.”

Rhea (Greek) – The ancient Titan Earth Goddess, responsible for the fertility of the soil and women.  The name is most likely a form of the word era meaning “earth”, although it has also been linked to ‘rheos’ the Greek term for “stream.”

Selene (Greek) – Selene was the Titan personification of the moon, unsurprising then that her name means moon in Greek.

Seshat (Egyptian) – The great scribe and librarian Goddess who was responsible for accounting, architecture, astronomy, historical records and mathematics.  Her Goddess name means “she who scibes.”  It is also appears as Safkhet, Sashet, Seshata, Sesat, Sesheta and Sheshat.

Themis (Greek) – Goddess of divine justice, order and customs.  She also had the gift of prophecy. Her name simply means “law of nature” or “divine nature.”

Venus (Roman) – Goddess and love and beauty.  Her Goddess name has become synonymous with her role as the woman who all men desire.

Vesta (Roman) – Guardian of the sacred Flame.  Vesta’s name and function is derived from the Greek Goddess Hesti

Chela Noldon | Twitter & Instagram  : @hollysaucy

Featured photo courtesy of NayMarie Photography

 

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10Sep/16
Fifty Shades of Duku

“Fifty Shades of Duku” is a Must Have for Headwrap Lovers

Ofentse “Princess Ofee” Maluleke is the CEO of Taji Holdings and author of Fifty Shades of Duku. Taji is a Swahili word for CROWN. The company is focused on manufacturing and distributing natural hair and skin products while teaching Queens how to take care of their crowns. She also has a relentless love affair with head wraps and began teaching others how to wrap in 2013 on her Youtube channel.

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Ofee was born and raised in Empangeni  (Kwa-Zulu Natal), South Africa, ensuring that she got an all-round South African experience and that she could speak at least 5 languages. Her love for entrepreneurship began in high school where she was nicknamed “the popcorn lady” as she sold popcorn during break times for pocket money. She continued to sell other items such as beaded jewelery and muffins all the way through to university.

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The way that African women wear their duku’s is significantly different to the way other ethnicities wear theirs.  Instead of tying the fabric below the chin or at the nape of the neck African women tie it on the crown of the head or on the sides and tuck in the fabric in the wrap leaving the face and neck exposed. This ensures the head is puled upwards and the features of the face  are highlighted. In other words, an African woman wears her duku as she would a crown.

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“My life purpose is to inspire, heal and help African Queens to look and feel beautiful and be their authentic selves for God’s glory through my products, seminars, blogging and vlogging online.”

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In this book, Ofee will showcase 50 different ways to tie a Duku step-by-step.

Headwraps (Duku) hold a significant role in the history of African women all over the continent and the diaspora. The tradition has been passed through the generations and has never gone out of fashion. Duku’s have been historically worn by both men and women of all races but, in recent times it has become associated almost solely with women of African decent.

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Among other incredible works, she also sells locally produced organic body, lip and hair products.

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Many thanks to:

 @FlashingLitesPhotography

@TajiShop

@Marabouess

@papi9525

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09Sep/16
https://tajimag.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/images-26.jpg

Lindi Roaming the Streets in Celebration of Our “Imbokodos”

In this edition of Lindi Roaming the Streets, Lindi celebrates our “Imbokodos” (Rocks/Women)!                                                                   

“Take a girl to the dance Campaign”

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Because every girl is a princess, they deserve that one night to celebrate their hard earned work. Rapunzel is a bit more relatable than the other princesses, especially because she doesn’t even know that she’s a princess until the very end. I like to think of her as the bohemian princess, as she’s barefoot and living in a tower. She paints and reads… She’s a Renaissance woman.

We are earnestly persuading all of our loving Queens out there to donate their matric dresses, and make someone’s prom night one they never imagined. This initiative gives education a meaning in rural and underprivileged communities, as they can only dream of nights like this.

This campaign runs from  01 August 2016 to 01 August 2017, in honour of all the hard working princesses that never gave up despite the obstacles that barred them from all angles, for they are our future QUEENS.

Imbokodos

                                                                  “Let’s take a girl to the dance, shall we?”

Please contact details below for more details and assistance.

Your donations are highly appreciated, and many thanks in advance.

IG:@muhlez

FB: Lindiwe Lee Tshitlho

Email: lindi@tajimag.com

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11Apr/16
Slave Stories

10 Reasons I Will Never Get Tired of ‘Slave Stories’

In the wake of WGN’s newest hit show ‘Underground’, which premiered last month starring Jurnee Smollett Bell and Aldis Hodge and follows a group of slaves attempting to escape a Georgia plantation through the Underground Railroad, I want to remind the nay sayers of the value these stories still have all these years later. Just because the ignorant choose to believe Black history started with slavery does not mean we cannot honor our foremothers and fathers by keeping their struggle alive through various art forms and reminding ourselves the stock from which we come. From soul food to head wraps the very fiber of our being, just like this country’s, was built on the backs of slaves and there is no shame in that. We should embrace our ‘slave stories’.

Here are 10 reasons I will never get tired of well crafted books, movies and television shows where the plot includes slavery.

10. I KNOW MY HISTORY

Some Black folks get wind of a movie about slavery coming out and immediately get upset. “Damn! Another slave movie!” And I get why. Slavery is not the beginning of the history of the African Diaspora nor is it the pinnacle of our existence in North America. Why can’t movies be made about our Kings and Queens? Why hasn’t a movie about Black Wall Street or The Move Organization been made? I agree with that sentiment. I do wish a wider range of our stories made it to the silver screen. HOWEVER- because I am a seeker of knowledge and information I don’t REQUIRE others to show me my people in a positive light and I don’t EXPECT them to. I do that for myself. And WE must do that for OURSELVES. For those who haven’t noticed, our images in the media will never be what we want them to be unless we are controlling them. And when we cannot control what someone else is passing off as ‘Blackness” we must provide the world with alternative interpretations of our multidimensional selves.

9. YALL STILL RACIST OUT HERE

How could I ever be upset about present day proof of the barbarism and hypocrisy of this country and where it all started? We still have men shooting down men, women and children in cold blood simply for being Brown skinned and getting away with murder because the system is rooted in the very thinking that made slavery acceptable for centuries. How could I not be a fan of knowing the truth? Plus it’s nice to be reminded how far we’ve come, but more crucially, how far we still need to go in order to achieve a truly equitable and accessible society.

8. SLAVE IS JUST A WORD

I think part of the aversion Black people have to movies about slavery is an association with slaves because they are Black. They don’t want to think of themselves in that situation and they don’t want to witness their people being subjugated. That is understandable. But what we have to understand about slaves is that they were people first. They belonged to their mothers, wives, tribes, and children long before outsiders deemed them property. It is just a word and no slave was ever “just a slave.” They were people like you and I and I am not ashamed of my ancestors. If anyone should feel shame it is the descendants of the slave holders, NOT the descendants of the slaves.

7. OUR PRESENT IS DIRECTLY EFFECTED BY OUR PAST

When you look at a slave movie, and you watch the interactions between slave master and slave, between the slaves from different African countries, between the dark skinned and bi-racial children born into slavery and treated differently because of their hair texture and complexion, you understand the root of a multitude of modern day ills effecting the Black community. There are many different types of slavery. Think of the woman with locs who had to cut them to keep her job because someone somewhere with bone straight hair decided dreads are “unprofessional” and it became unwritten law. Think of the youth killing each other in the streets because they can’t see eye to eye simply because they live in different housing developments. Think of how many times on social media you see the phrase team light skin or team dark skin. These are all modern day manifestations of century old foolishness meant to keep us separated from each other while trying to assimilate into a culture that wants nothing to do with our authentic selves.

6. THEY’RE TRYING TO ERASE SLAVERY FROM HISTORY

Did you hear about the board of education in Texas changing the name of slavery to ‘the transatlantic triangular trade’ in its text books in the first of many steps toward erasing US slave trade from the history books altogether? Cause it happened in 2012. And its happening all over America. In addition to white-washing our characters in film, excluding us all but completely in history, misrepresenting and/or continually trying to discredit our leaders in the public sphere and picking and choosing whom to celebrate based on who posed the slightest threat to the status quo, they are straight up trying to erase slavery from the collective conscious of America.

5. I WILL NEVER FORGET AND YOU SHOULDN’T EITHER

The erasure of slavery from American history would not only be an insult to the memory of the millions of slaves who were bought, sold, starved, raped, beaten and dehumanized before our time, but it would also make the current situation of Blacks in America a mystery. If you understand that Africans were deemed only 3/5 of a human being at the very same time the U.S of A was fighting for freedom and autonomy from Great Britain than you can comprehend why the Trayvons, Jordans, and Rekias of the present day cannot receive justice.

4. NO FORM OF SLAVERY WAS AS BARBARIC AS THE TRANSATLANTIC SLAVE TRADE

When discussing the brutality of the TransAtlantic slave trade people often argue that slavery was everywhere, since the beginning of time, and that some Africans sold their own people into slavery. Since this is true, some believe what happened to the Africans traveling through the middle passage and arriving in the colonies can be lumped into all the other forms of slavery throughout history. That is a cop out and an insult, not only to the memory of the human beings who lived through slavery, but also to those after them who lived through the Jim Crow era, lynch mobs, the KKK, and those after them who were beaten, jailed, attacked by dogs and sprayed with high power water hoses during the Civil Rights era not even 50 years ago. If you take a good hard look at not just slavery, but its short and long term ramifications, there is no way a comparison to anything else could be legit.

3. HISTORICAL FILMS ARE IMPORTANT

Film and literature enable us to travel to places and times we may never get to actually experience. In the case of films about slavery I think it’s important to relive that pain and anguish. Not to be overcome by it but to understand the greatness from which we come. We survived this. The strength, determination and resilience of our people is showcased by the simple fact that we are still here. After centuries of subjugation we are still fighting to be seen as human beings by some members of society, and yet we live as students, artists, doctors, lawyers, entertainers, educators, politicians, engineers, authors, athletes, and the list goes on. Knowing our history helps many of us strive for excellence in the present as a way to pay homage to those before us.

2. YOUNG PEOPLE LIKE UPDATES

If you ask someone under the age of 15 whether or not they have seen ‘Roots’ the answer will most likely be no, but if you ask them whether or not they’ve seen ’12 Years a Slave’ you might be surprised how many of them would be able to discuss it with you. It’s very important for young people to stay current and they often shy away from anything deemed ‘old (with the exception of vintage/thrift clothing which is now trendy.) Contemporary films about slavery keep dialogue on the subject open and give young people the option of simply watching a movie to learn more about the time period.

1. I HAVE MY OWN BRAIN

Black people are often made to feel as though they are wrong, rude, sensitive or delusional when they take a stance on racial issues. Some have opted out of having an opinion altogether and simply keep quiet in the wake of blatant racism or they will purposely take a self destructive stance so they don’t seem ‘butthurt.’ I think that kind of thinking has a lot to do with the sharp rise in numbers of people who are all of a sudden tired of slave movies and being very vocal about it. Part of my pride in being who I am comes from knowing where I’ve been and how people like me have persevered so I don’t mind being reminded of one particular part of our long, glorious and GLOBAL history of ingenuity, courage and uniqueness.

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09Dec/15
Messiah Ramkissoon

Messiah Ramkissoon | Poet, Artist, Activist

Messiah RamkissoonThe Twenty-First Century has indeed been full of trying times. Despite tons of intentional division and propaganda imagery, there has also been a banding together and a notion that we, as a people, must foster our own growth and progression. It is said that in the midst of turmoil, the air is ripe for the likes of a prophet; one who can ingest the struggle and obstacles of the time, and in return paint a portrait of a prosperous future. It is no easy task to be able to rise from police brutality, genocide and institutionalized racism, while still being able to see Nirvana and rouse others to do so as well. Insert: Messiah Ramkissoon.

A spoken word artist by way of Trinidad, this young man has accepted elevating the collective as his life calling. He started writing as a young child, and with the support of his family he has honed his skills. Idolizing the likes of Muhammad Ali, he has chosen to also use his skills to improve the world we live in. Thrice a ‘champion’ of Showtime at the Apollo, he contributes his successes to consistency. Much as his name suggests, his efforts truly reflect his desire to enlighten and uplift.

En lieu of enlightenment, he has gifted us with his latest work, a mixtape named ‘The Reminder’. A grail of sorts, Messiah intends for his work to ‘restore awareness’ to where we have been, where we are, and where we need to focus our efforts for the future. He addresses everything from recalling the loss of our civil rights heroes to rallying pride and unity in combat of recurring oppressive forces. In his own words from the mixtape, “As a collective, we are much more effective/ Kill the social contraceptive/ To live and let live is the ultimate incentive.”

When it comes to uplifting the collective, Messiah takes an approach even more personal. He has dedicated much of the past 8 years to prison outreach in Washington, DC, Baltimore and NYC. Coming face to face with our incarcerated males, he chooses to stand in where, often enough, there has been no one. A major part of the process is in fact within his ability to articulate conversation. In giving the young men a platform to express and reflect upon all aspects of self, true progress is made. His worlds often tie together. On ‘The Reminder’ he has dedicated a track to the late 16 year old Kalief Browder, who took his own life following wrongful imprisonment. In another case, a young man by the name of Asad Giles spent two and a half years in prison for a crime he did not commit. Upon his release, Messiah continued to provide support and resources. Asad is now employed and due to start school in 2016. He says of his philanthropy, “My goal is to empower each young brother I encounter… not only making change but taking the… example back to our own to duplicate this process of progress.”

An Artist in his own right, Messiah has not only chosen a life of dedication, but it seems to have chosen him. “I would like to leave a legacy as someone who loved his people, was passionate about his work, exuded excellence with each opportunity and [was] fearless… Fearless enough to accept any challenge which may arise on the road to providing true liberation and a better lifestyle for the babies! That would suffice.” Ashe, Messiah, Ashe.

Show him your support by following Messiah on IG & TW at @AllMessiah and www.facebook.com/messiah.ramkissoon. Visit his website, www.AllMessiah.com, for more on Messiah’s endeavors! Shine on King!

Written by Lola Valentine
Photo by NayMarie Photography

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Black Fashion: Model Kavan McCambry

 

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“Wall Street”
Model: Kavan McCambry (Model King) | Photography: Brittany JoRae’ With Ravish Beauty of Topeka Kansas | Blazer: Jermiah Hayden, Owner and Creator of MultiBlazer
“This photo was a vision was created by a blazer designer. A man’s blazer can give you the level of natural confidence you have always wanted. No matter what profession your in, you will always come out on top when you put on a classic blazer.”
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