On and On an’ On and On: Afro Spiritualism and black millennials

In the January Vogue Erykah Badu will be unleashing a spread that has been long fermenting among black millennials – return to Afro Spiritualism.

In the article released before the hard print, Erykah is photographed kneeling in front of her altar that is covered in crystals, gems, and idols. Her face is serene as her eyes are focused on the crystal she is holding in her hands- looking at this I can feel the connection between the two and her Goddess presence.

There is a meme of this picture sparking a conversation among Afro spiritualist Practicers, that after this January release there will be a wave of crystal toting black magic girls dabbling in spiritual practices making it 2018’s first pop culture trend. The cynical tones about this are concerning since as we all know that have a spiritual practice- that there is enough space for all who want to explore and experience new ways of connecting and spiritual awareness.

There is enough crystals, sage, palo santo, candles and rituals for every black person that’s ready to begin their spiritual practice with it. This is not an erasure of those of us who have been on this journey for a bit longer, more so highlighting that we here and are growing in numbers.

I see this more as an introduction to those who have maybe not been exposed to it or seen it presented in this way, a way that they now feel is something they can actually participate in.

It wasn’t until this past year that I began learning and incorporating more practices that center my ancestry, heightening my own appreciation of myself and my own journey. Learning more about spirituality outside of religion opened worlds of consciousness and connections that I had no idea I had been blind to.

There is a mythology in the black community about African Spiritualism – mostly stemming from Christian religions- that it is “demonic” or carries negative/ dangerous powers. I know this to be true because from my religious upbringing I was taught to never experiment with any of this. For a long time I had harbored feelings of fear and curiosity towards it, until I began to find out Afro Spiritualism truth. It journeyed over the Atlantic in Slave Ships practiced, taught, and preserved by generation to generation to find me here- the power, love, and connection felt from that can’t be compared.

Afro-Spiritualism has always been around, ready to reveal itself to those who are ready to experience it. I hope this spread does inspire people to not only talk about spiritualism but, also experience it in a beneficial way.

Cover art :Erykah Badu at home in Dallas, Texas

Photographed by Mark Borthwick, Vogue, January 2018

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Salon Talk Podcast One Year Anniversary Celebration !!(Review)

Over 20,000 listeners, 46 episodes and many special guests later, (one of which is our very own Rhonda Lowe in episode 16!) the past year has been eventful for the ladies at the Salon Talk Podcast and definitely worthy of celebration! 

This one year anniversary podcast party took place at the 9th Ward at Babeville, a snug venue with exposed brick walls and intimate seating around a low platform stage. Dj Mr. Illmatic kept the party flow going before and over the course of the night’s show. 

Kicking off the celebratory live anniversary episode, Yolanda Smilez, comedian and past podcast guest, opened with a raunchy comedic set. Her set was engaging and hilarious take on her own sexuality, the audience’s , and her relationship with the podcast had everyone reeling in enthusiastic laughter. 

When Arica and Fee took the stage the energy was high and emotional as they both took turns recapping their first year together and the success it has amassed . They praised those who have been supportive of their growth and that played huge roles by honoring them with gifts and shout outs.

 

The Salon Talk Live podcast episode featured some the the podcast’s iconic conversations starters with the addition of audience engagement. They addressed popular culture topics like Insecure’s #TeamIssa and #TeamLawrence debate (#TeamIssa over here!) and theories on what will happen next on Power. 

The open conversation with the audience remained after special guest and musician Mickiee Moscoto took the stage from the the icebreaker question to the visuals of her an impromptu twerk lesson with Arica – which was a definite bonus! 

Salon Talk represents blackness in its fullness while highlighting the growth and success within the local black community here in Buffalo. Salon Talk’s one year anniversary is the celebration of black Womanhood: our life, beauty, and sexuality. 

I feel so privileged to have been apart of this celebration and look forward to listening to new episodes every Wednesday! 

Venzella Joy Joins the Big Screen! [FILM]

venzella

Venzella Joy takes her rightful place on stage as she joins the cast and crew of Pitch Perfect 3! The Buffalo native is already well-known as the drummer for Beyoncé, but now she’s expanding her talents to the movie screens as well! There’s a lot of buzz surrounding what PP3 is about, but either way fans are excited to see Venzella shine in every way possible. Break a leg Ms. Joy! (Or don’t…? That saying is tricky…)

Follow Venzella on IG to keep up with her progress and future projects! Wish her luck and check out this article for insight on PP3!

Drea D’Nur – Break Me Down [Trailer]

At her performance last Sunday, September 27th, 2015 in Buffalo, NY, Neo-Soul singer Drea D’Nur premiered a 1-minute trailer of her new visual to accompany her track “Break Me Down,” which will be released officially on October 23rd, 2015.   

According to Drea “This video (directed by Wale of Odua Productions) highlights the Spirit of Resilience of our people as personified through powerful dance and rebelling some of the most heartbreaking stories of this past year.”

Photo courtesy of Nathyia Jackson
Drea singing at the Tralf 9/27/15. Photo courtesy of Nathyia Jackson

Watch the trailer below and check out Drea performing later this month in Buffalo, alongside VERSE for their Neo-Soul Tuesdays at DBGB’s on October 20th!

Visit: http://www.officialdreadnur.com

PREVIOUS: Around BuffaLowe – Vibe Fest featuring Drea D’Nur, Truey , Toney Rhodes and more! – Buffalo [7.18.15]

ALSO: Drea D’Nur – Unplugged CD/DVD Release [4.10.15]

Forealists – SuperZero [TRAILER]

The Foreally Reals, better known as the Forealists drop a trailer for their upcoming visual “SuperZero,” shot by BNVLNT.
 
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Catch these cool cats rocking out tomorrow, October 18th at: Buffalo Iron Works! Also, keep your eyes open to the upcoming full release of SuperZeros SOON!
 
Visit: www.forealists.com for more from the band!
 
 

Flagrant City Spotlight: Introducing Aneesa Strings [VIDEO]

I have had the devout pleasure of meeting this beautiful young lady last summer in LA, as I took trips from NorCal to SoCal on weekends where I wasn’t working.  Aneesa Al-Musawwir, born in Oakland, CA currently studies at the University of Southern California, and is an intense bassist, vocalist and ambitious soul.

neesa

As she embarks on the next chapter in her life, she introduces herself to the world.  A Shift In Paradigm will be her first solo, studio album, which will be available for purchase in June of 2014.

For more from Aneesa, please be sure to follow her on Instagram and Twitter at: @AneesaStrings or her website: aneesastrings.com