Womanifesto Mag 003

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Womanifesto [ WOOM-MAN-UH-FES-TOH ]

A Womanifesto is a call to action of agape love that is rooted in action and supported by community. It is acting on love, the verb, for ourselves and others with grace and compassion. It is a declaration that we want liberation for black women and all other people. Because until black women are free, noone is free. It is not knowing what freedom looks like but pursuing it tirelessly regardless while not forgetting to smell the purple flowers. A Womanifesto is flawed and raw but is constantly seeking to better itself for the sake of the world. And as we all seek to evolve our Womanifestos, we will evolve the world.

EDITOR'S LETTER Earlier this year, I asked a few men close to me what it means to be a man. Some cited how one self identifies, some cited the Bible, many cited a sense of responsibility. And while I can't give a definition for a man myself, I know that they exist in many forms. I know that black men have unique privileges and oppressions that I will never know but can empathize with. I know that they are extremely talented but often stifled with the weight of patriarchy even when it seems that it's doing them a favor. As a womanist, I call for the liberation of men from patriarchy. And my first step towards that is creating a space where they can be authentic and honest about their experiences together through art. This special issue exclusively features black men. From Cape Town to Chicago, from 19 to 50-something, the artists featured have powerful stories to tell. Enjoy.

Alyssa Cuffie

@alWHYssa @WomanifestoMag


pg 5 pg 10 pg 18 pg 24 pg 32 pg 40 pg 45 3





Photography by Desmond Stephen @_dsdphoto_


Poetry and Photography provided by Dorien Alexander Perry-Tillmon @dorienpt @ourstreetsluc

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Pure Wither Pure Wither Pure Wither Pure Wither Pure Wither Pure Wither Pure Wither Pure Wither Pure Wither Pure Wither Pure Wither Pure Wither Pure Wither Pure Wither Pure Wither Pure Wither Pure Wither Pure Wither Pure Wither Pure Wither Pure Wither

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By Touch

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IG: @noahvain


My words make You believe in god more than the pastor Been down a couple times now it's my chapter Beware of false prophets they usually ya idols that kept you from being suicidal Nobody's perfect I know When my time coming I hope they say I never ran from it I embrace death like overdue paychecks Living with regrets Cause my heart never running outtah things to say next Like....I know the 27 club wit Jimi & Cobain Prolly gotta a section just for the pain Where Janice & Amy reminiscing about they lovers That's ghosting in its purest form


A rose by any name would smell just as sweet. And as he says, Maurice is just sweet enough not to rot. Whether he's called Harold, Moe, Maurice, or anything else, he knows who we’re referring to. Maurice Chancellor is a frequency reader, pleasure seeker, light worker, educator, aquarius, and an african american, same gender loving man. These identities do not limit him, but allow him to transcend the physical and have intimate thought provoking relationships with all of those whom he comes in contact with. It can be risky for him to wear his heart on his sleeve like a medal of honor, but heavy is the head that wears the crown. His story could fill the pages of a chapter book but I hope to bring you just a few of his own words here. Harold On Hurt I wanted to be an educator because by the time I was 15, I had gotten a summer job as a teaching assistant.

I raised a lot of children.


grandmother taught me how to cook at ten and family just made me very independent so I used to make money by babysitting. Everybody said I was an excellent babysitter and I’d say yeah, it’s because I wanted to have 3-7 children. So what happened was the teacher told me, I need to talk to you. I was 15 years old and I was so proud of myself. She told me you're doing an excellent job with the kids but the parents think your gay. She said I don’t want you to quit or anything like that. But don't you know, I had blocked that shit out for years until the head injury. Because that hurt me so bad, I hated straight people. I wanted to sabotage everything they do when I worked with them. I didn’t realize that people think I’m straight. I just always assumed people knew because of that incident I had. At that time, I didn’t know anything about no sex or sexuality, I just knew it broke my heart.


Harold On the God Frequency I was a radio man in the military and they deal with satellites, radio bands and stuff like that. But what got me was that the field that I was in taught me about the hertz you know, different frequencies, but also the christ frequency. I was studying metaphysics and all kinds of stuff, whether it's numerology, Odun, Santeria. And somehow that 33 hertz came up after I had caught the Holy Ghost. So ever since, I see hieroglyphs, I see binary code, I see God. I see so much, because when you have a head injury it takes the veil off. So all of a sudden, a lot of my radio man stuff starts coming through. I've always studied Tesla, you know, energy frequencies and vibrations. I started going to church and one of the things I told God was, ‘God, even though I've hurt... I don't know what's going on, but I still want to be of service. But I also want to know who Jesus Christ is.’ See, I already thought I knew what the Holy Spirit was because it had been riding me as a child, but I just really didn't. I kind of knew Jesus Christ but I wanted God to tell me. Everybody else gives you an interpretation. And really, that was the prequel to 33 hertz. So within a year's time, he gave me a bonus, he saw me and he said, ‘Maurice, you are Christ, because Christ is an energy, there's not necessarily a figure.’ So then I started thinking. I just gotta look at myself as a bridge builder. The 33 hertz, you can use it as love or you can weaponize it.




Wyatt A N






Today, I’m wondering about Wyatt. Did he eat today? Write a new song? Steal a heart? To these questions, I do not have answers. But what I do know, is that Wyatt Waddell is an extremely talented artist on the rise out of chicago. With his r&b, pop, and funk sounds that encapsulate the emotions of being a hopeless romantic, Wyatt has found a formula that works. Having been to a countless number of his shows myself, his starry stage presence and the bands infectious energy keeps me coming back. Dancing to the break of ‘Cyber Eyes’ is how I spent many weekends in Chicago. But this time around, I got to talk to Wyatt one on one about his grandmother's piano, his synesthesia, love, and more. What was your introduction to music? I think the first way started when my grandmother started teaching me how to play the piano. It was at her house. And in the front room, there was this huge, grand piano. So since I was a kid, I was like, yo, that's my piano. nobody else's, you know? That, I guess, was the start. Maybe that or how one of my first memories was dancing to a James Brown song.

Speaking of James Brown, who are your inspirations? The Beatles are like my biggest. They're the ones that actually made me want to do what I'm doing right now. They're always kind of like the blueprint that I want for my career. But I know obviously, it can't have that because as an artist, you have to go through your own journey. I love the Beach Boys. Stevie Wonder. James Brown. Sly the Family Stone. Thundercat. PJ Morton.



When you're listening to these different artists what are you looking for? I look for a lot of chord progressions. Some songs that I like don't have a lot of chord progressions. But at the same time, I look for feeling and emotion and I mostly imagine myself performing some of those songs. Sounds like you do a lot of visualization. On top of that, I know you have synesthesia. So how does that tie into the music you make? It helps me to create the world that I saw in my subconscious. Like recently when I hear music, I either see a color or place. I see the album cover, I see the extension of the album cover, what different random pieces are in that album cover, shit like that. There are places where I've seen as a kid that I want to connect back to, you know, like there's certain feelings in certain songs that I listened to where it definitely encapsulates that world that I'm trying to make for myself.

Where does the inspiration for the lyrics come from? Is that experience or storytelling? It’s false, it doesn’t exist. I’m just joking, it comes from experience. Ironically, inexperience. I'm not really experienced in love. Because I've never really like been in a relationship. So I write from the outside looking in. This was what they were feeling or like, how I feel when I'm catching feelings for somebody. That seems to be on my mind a lot because I haven't experienced it and I really want to experience it. Can you tell me anything about the upcoming album? Right now, you'll just have to wait and see.

If you want to check out Wyatt Waddell's music, you can find him on all streaming platforms and follow him on instagram @wyattwaddellmusic


Drew Haynes, 2019 For Theirs is the Kingdom: Made in His Image/ God Perceived Derlict 22" x 30" DrewHaynes.com

Drew Haynes, 2019 For Theirs is the Kingdom: Big Red Luck Favors the Ambitious 22" x 30" DrewHaynes.com

Drew Haynes, 2019 For Theirs is the Kingdom: Pooh Happenstance 22" x 30" DrewHaynes.com

Drew Haynes, 2019 For Theirs is the Kingdom: OG/ Pops Insightful Precarious Hermit 22" x 30" DrewHaynes.com



I've been asked why am I so quiet, I’ve been askedWhy do you day dream in every class I see you in. I tell them I find safety in the memories I hold close to my heart Now don’t get me wrong Everything is not sunshine and rainbows in my life Behind this crooked smile and goofy laugh I’ve been through real shit That’s why I keep every memory locked away In the darkest part of my brain Each memory teaches me a lesson Like how LOVE is a woman that will stab you in the back 100 times over While she smiles in your face She is ruthless She will let you fall in love with her just So she can play kickball with your heart Now DEATH gives no fucks I remember him making me watch my brother die As I cried for him to stay Sadly he wasn’t the only one that died that night FEAR has been teaching me the longest He gives me reasons why I shouldn’t climb out the window Of my own subconscious He says can’t a lot and sometimes I believe him He is the reason why I stay quiet, He is the reason why LOVE stabs me every time I get near her He is the reason why I hide my disability and He is the reason why I cry at night Then there’s JOY She sees past all of it, She sees that Im not a bad person I just have damaged thoughts, She is teaching me to smile more, She is teaching me to forgive myself, She is teaching me to enJOY the little things in life and To live everyday like it was my last JOY is helping me move forward. 30

An open letter to black babies Being black is not a burden But to some It can be the difference Between life and death Between congratulations on your new position And welcome to cook county correctional facility But being black isn’t a burden I know you look in the mirror and wonder Am I supposed to be a threat Should I go out and make them see what they think they see Painting a picture that’s been on tv screens since inception of tv Race barriers that block perception from reality And left scars that even cocoa butter couldn’t heal But being black isn’t a burden I know it is a lot when you can’t pick your hair out Need to spray it with water so it doesn’t tear I know that having nappy hair is seen “unprofessional” Seen as “unkept” But it’s natural as the black skin on my black body And I’ll be damned to be alienated for being natural But being black isn’t a burden Being black is a blessing God only gives struggles to his strongest soldiers And being black is God’s way of knighting us We were molded in his image to lead the world We are not just a statistic We are not just a target We are not just another body in the street We are not a burden to society We are the ones who will bring change to the world The world that was created for us And we will lift up the worlds burden Because we are black Poetry by Jah Damm IG: Jah.Damm















OF FAX MACHINES AND MEN QuHarrison Terry @QuHarrison/ QuHarrison.com In 2018 I traveled to Japan for the first time.

say government offices prefer faxes

I’ve been fascinated by technology ever

because they generate paperwork onto

since I was a young boy thus visiting Japan

which bureaucrats can affix their stamps of

and getting to see the future of technology

approval, called hanko. Quora “Imagine a

live in person was a dream come true.

world without fax machines”, is a talking

However, it wasn’t the futuristic robot

point you’ve probably never encountered.

hotels that blew my mind, it was Japan’s

Wedged somewhere in the timeline

reliance on the fax machine.In Japan, with

between the telephone and the personal

the exception of the savviest Internet start-

computer, fax machines are a technology

ups or internationally minded

afterthought and are almost never

manufacturers, the fax remains an essential

referenced as an influential 20th-century

tool for doing business. Experts

technology among the ranks of the


automobile, the radio, and the computer. However, fax machines were an essential step in forming current communication behaviors. Without fax machines, we might not have been as open to the idea of email and instant messaging. Without fax machines, the personal computer (and thus the smartphone) may not have been well received. It’s 2020 and the fax machine has managed to survive in hospitals, law offices, and homes worldwide. However, 2020 will be the year we finally begin digging the fax machine’s grave where it will lay for eternity. "In July 2018, a Freedom of Information request (FOI) revealed that over 8,000 fax machines were being used by the NHS. This week, MP Matt Hancock, Health and Social Care Secretary, announced that from 2020 all fax machines in the NHS will be phased out, with a ban in place to stop trusts purchasing them. – Phee Waterfield, Forbes" There’s never been a better time to do a retrospective on the fax machine. To recognize the uncanny influence it had on the computer and smartphone. To credit it with playing a role in shaping the behaviors of the Information Age. And ultimately, analyze its life in hopes that it can inform us of the solution to one of humanity’s most pressing plagues: device addiction.

their radiofax printing machine to print the daily newspaper. Although it only ever caught on with a dozen or so newspapers in the 1930s and 1940s, faxpapers were our first foray into instant news. Unfortunately for faxpapers, the television would prove to be a more effective platform for real-time news. But, facsimile didn’t die in the 40s. The Xerox Corporation revived it in the mid1960s by replacing radio transmission with telephone transmission. This was a defining moment in fax machine history because it allowed anyone with a telephone landline to hook up to a fax machine. Flash forward a couple decades to the 1980s and the commercial fax machine is in its heyday. It became the go-to device to send memos, reports, and private info. But, it was more than a single function tool. It was a platform that allowed faxers to experiment with different communication experiences. One Manhattan restaurant, Piatti Pronti, created Lunch by Fax which allowed hungry faxers to send their lunch order to the restaurant via fax. Lunch by Fax was a more accurate order system than phoning into a restaurant, as their business went up 10% thanks to the idea. In many ways, Lunch by Fax was the first version of GrubHub and EatStreet, which are today’s standard in online food ordering. Fax machines were first to enhance the food ordering service.

The Life of Fax Pre-internet, the fax machine was a convenient and swift way to send large amounts of information at a distance. Every office worldwide and a vast majority of homes used this unsexy piece of technology to communicate. One of the early use cases of facsimile (fax), was delivering the news. Faxpapers were sent via radio waves, which consumers could then tune the dial on

Faxpapers made a small comeback for the Connecticut newspaper, The Hartford Courant. Learning from the

2020 will be the year we finally begin digging the fax machine’s grave where it will lay for eternity. 36

early faxpaper mistakes, they created a

Natural Cycle of Progress

subscription faxpaper service that delivered a one-page summary of the next day’s morning

Well, for the same reasons that fax gained

newspaper. 100s of businesses in the Hartford

popularity, is why fax eventually died. Email

area subscribed to gain this small competitive

proved to be a communication tool that was


cheaper, easier, and faster. To this day, chain emails entertain us. Email newsletters inform us.

In a 1990 article titled, Overwhelmed with Fax

Sales emails advertise to us. Email provided

Attacks, the Washington Post talked with faxers

people with many of the same experiences as the

that were using their fax machines to send in

fax machine except on a better platform, the

song requests to the local radio station. Some

personal computer. And thus goes the cycle of

used the machine to send a friend their birthday

emerging technology.

card or a funny comic strip (sounds a little like early social media). For the procrastinating type,

Even though the fax machine’s time in the

fax machines provided a great opportunity to

spotlight was short-lived, that doesn’t mean we

organize football betting pools while the boss

can’t learn anything from its existence. In fact, the

wasn’t looking. Even solicitors were using fax

fax machine’s rise to popularity was centered on

machines to send people Junk Faxes.

two simple truths – it was fun and easy.

Later in the article, the Post described the

There was something magical about dialing a

reasons for the fax sensation, “...fax is cheaper,

phone number and sending a piece of paper so

easier and faster than other forms of staying in

easily. And when you heard those distinct

touch. The mail takes days; a courier takes hours

“sending tones”, you knew that your fax had

and costs dearly. Fax moves in seconds. Unlike a

worked and a little burst of dopamine rushed

phone conversation, it can convey pictures,

throughout your brain. I remember the first time

charts, graphics, doodles, handwriting. Unlike

I saw my mom receive a fax. I was mesmerized by

telephone calls, it leaves a record.”

this mysterious event. Where did this come from? Who was on the other end? Why was my mom

It’s not hard to understand why fax was such a hit


throughout the 80s and 90s – reaching peak sales of 3.6 million fax machines sold in 1997.

In a time when personal computers were complex

However, the tool hasn’t lasted in the popular

and required hours of training, the fax machine

mass. Today, the multi-purpose fax machine is

was the cool older brother that everyone wanted

present in a meager 18.7% of U.S. citizens’ lives.

to be around. It was slick and simple. And that’s

Compare this to the mobile phone, which 86.3%

why it caught on.

of the U.S. population owns, and you see that the fax machine just isn’t a major tool anymore.

Smartphones: A Societal Crutch

Outside of lawyers and doctors faxing signed documents, you’d be hard-pressed to find an

When you think about intuitive technologies of

active “faxer.” Faxing has become an innovation

today, you cannot pass over the smartphone. As if

afterthought in nearly every facet of our lives.

it took lessons from its grandparent (the fax machine), the smartphone is easier, faster, and

So, why did we cast this piece of technology away

more fun to use than the personal computer that

like we do our empty coffee cups?

came before it.


However, unlike the fax machine and the personal computer, the smartphone has created a moat that will make it very hard to be replaced. The smartphone has brought together dozens of devices into one tool. The GPS, MP3 player, calculator, handheld gaming device, alarm clock, kitchen timer, calendar, and many more are all irrelevant devices thanks to the smartphone. Although combining all these devices into one has made the smartphone one of the most convenient tools available, it’s brought with it a set of consequences. You cannot deny that we are addicted to our smartphones. Ten years ago, losing a cell phone wasn’t a big deal. You probably had many phone numbers memorized and could just borrow someone else’s if you needed to make a call. Today, losing your cell phone means losing access to your lifestyle – emails about work updates, alerts between family and friends, and even your entertainment through social media, games, and videos. The smartphone is an extension of our being. Without it, it seems as though we cannot “be”. Contrast this against the fax machine, who nobody was behaviorally attached to. The smartphone addiction tells us a lot about our behaviors. Not only is the smartphone act as the door to the rest of the world, but it’s becoming a societal crutch. In the same way that my grandfather’s generation turned to martinis and cocktails as a societal crutch, we are turning to the smartphone. Our smartphones provide comfort and protection from all of life’s trials. But, it’s a pseudo-comfort and pseudo-protection. As we know about alcohol as a crutch, it’s artificial. The smartphone crutch shields us from pain, embarrassment, and loneliness. Instead of professing our identities and opinions in person, we save ourselves the chance

of embarrassment by hiding behind our digital voice. I have many friends that cannot stand the deep feelings of loneliness that surface before bedtime, so they fall asleep to the glow of their Facebook feed for distraction. When situations are awkward, boring, or nerve-wracking out come the smartphones. Go to a bar and notice how many people are wrapped in their phone, instead of interacting with strangers. The same goes for the boring bus or train ride to work. Who’s actually embracing life’s banal situations to inspire them to meet new people? Just like the popular crutch of the 20th century, the smartphone as a crutch is very dangerous. An alcohol hangover resurfaces whatever we tried to escape with drunkenness. The smartphone hangover amplifies our problems by disconnecting us from our own emotions. Smartphones are putting silence out of business and it’s in silence and solitude where we have those tough conversations with ourselves. How can you expect to “follow your heart”, “find your passion”, or “know yourself” if every time your heart tries to talk about your problems you turn to a screen? Our emotions make us real and blocking those feelings with a smartphone distraction makes you more artificial.

We cannot expect to grow as individuals if we continue to rely on the smartphone as a societal crutch.


Finding Harmony

We’re beginning to notice the Zeitgeist flowing in a positive direction. I’m hearing more and more

I’m not proposing we kill the smartphone. On the

people around me complain about their almost

contrary, I think it’s a fantastic tool to use. The

unconscious technology addiction, which means

problem is that many of us allow the smartphone

there’s a desire to make a change.

to use us. They allow Facebook to use hours of their attention for profit – distracted from

Just in the past few years, the term “digital detox”

personal progress. They allow Candy Crush to

has grown as a topic of discussion. Camp

steal time from interacting with friends.

Grounded – a digital detox camp for adults – was way ahead of its time opening in 2013. Today,

It’s imperative that we realize the gravity of this

there are dozens of these camps for kids and

situation. The rush of dopamine our brains

adults to help them beat internet addictions and

receive a couple hundred times a day from the

disconnect from the digital livelihood.

phone’s vibration in our pockets will have serious effects on us. The medical field has already

On a larger scale, in 2019 Vitamin Water launched

recognized Phantom Vibration Syndrome – a

a competition called the Scroll-Free Challenge

condition where we perceive our phones to be

that will award up to $100,000 to anyone that can

ringing/vibrating when they really aren’t. In

spend all 365 days of 2019 without using their

other words, we crave the feeling of being pinged

smartphone. In 2020 we witnessed Elana Mugdan

so badly that our brains will literally hallucinate a

win the challenge.

notification. Even legislators are getting involved. In New York This should be a major warning sign.

a Senator proposed a bill called The Right To Disconnect which proposed a human right

Michelle Drouin, a researcher that studies the

regarding the ability of people to disconnect from

psychological effects of social media and

work and primarily not to engage in work-related

communications technology, found that 9 out of

electronic communications such as e-mails or

10 undergraduates at her college experienced

messages during non-work hours.

phantom vibrations. And I would bet a large portion of smartphone users have experienced a

Even though there are small pockets of change

phantom vibration (I know I have).

occurring, this is no time to rest on our laurels. It’s an active change that must happen within us

Anyways, I draw the parallel to smartphone’s

all.We must strive for a symbiotic relationship

forefather, the fax machine because people used

between technology and humanity. When one

the fax machine in many of the same ways we use

overpowers the other, we lose something precious.

our smartphones – to communicate and connect.

Too much human-centeredness and we lose

But, using the fax machine didn’t take away from

progress. Too much technology and we lose our

our human identity. It didn’t replace our ability


to connect with others or even ourselves. We cannot expect to grow as individuals if we continue to rely on the smartphone as a societal crutch. The trend I would like to see going forward into 2020, is an honest search from everyone to find a personal harmony between their technology and healthy, productive behaviors.


Photography by Isiah Sheppard IG: ____isiah

WHAT IT MEANS TO BE A MAN BY MZWAKHE "TEDDY" TYALI IG: @TAYLORTED7 Growing up in a culture that thrives in patriarchy was very difficult for me because I was regarded as soft. No, I was not interested in slaughtering animals to prove my manhood and I was not interested in going to the mountain to become "a man." Those are the things that did not sit well with the older men in my family. I grew up the only boy at home surrounded by women: my cousins and aunts. Because I was taller I used to hang around with older guys. I was always the youngest but that did not stop them from taking advantage at times. So when they did, I'd call up my protectors- aka the women in my house... And yes they fought for me so the idea of a "weak woman" is an idea I am not familiar with. Due to the expectations that the family had for me it was not ideal for them that I do not partake in "manly" things nor was I interested in proving myself as the soon to be alpha male of the house. They used to tell me how I should be more like my uncles and to me they were not ideal at all. They were not my definition of success and the way they treated their loved ones didn't make me trust that their paths are the way to go. They were either alcoholics or criminals or even career driven people, but never there for the family. Only when something wrong happens and they’d control everything which didn't make sense to me all. Quite strange that people who weren't involved in the everyday ended up deciding what happens to the future of the family.

So I grew with the idea that my "manhood" will not be based on anything before me. I will remain soft and I will disrupt patriarchy every day. But, I didn't know I was doing that during that time, I only knew that I don't wanna be like the men I know. Even around the neighborhood, the identity of a man was in line with everything my culture said. This meant I had to be the outcast or the boring one or the nerd and I was okay with that. I was more of an observer really so it made sense to be detached. As I grew I started being able to see my path and who I was becoming more clearly. Growing up with these principles made the men in my family respect me- maybe because I joined the military and added some mass to my height. Just maybe. But I still remained myself with my softness, with my emotions and all which further stamps on the idea of what a man should be for me. And raising a daughter in this world is more of a challenge because you are constantly surrounded by men who don't want to lose their privilege. It gives them power and control and they know that, so they keep putting down women which as a human does not sit well with me. I keep learning to be a man and I think I'll never figure it out really. Mostly, I just wanna be a human being who treats others with kindness and love and everything that comes with that, that won't hurt them in any way. Obviously there will be mistakes along the road and I will continue learning from them. So to me, being a man is unlearning what society, culture and the world thinks what a man should be, but is learning to be.


BLACK Black is my everything Black is serenity Black is my therapy Black in my energy Black in entirety Black in sobriety I’m black in my mindset I’m black in my time yet I’m white in my voices I’m white in my choices So my mind is divided The traumas multiplied and I tried to just hide it Black is my trauma And Black is my drama Black is my father Black is my mamma Black is my everything Black is my heritage Black is my purpose I’m black in the flesh And I’m black in my spirit I’m black in my thoughts and they white with their shots Red is my blood and black is all that I saw When they shot Poem by Terrence Moore Jr. @prophet100nl