Womanifesto [ WOOM-MAN-UH-FES-TOH ]
A Womanifesto is a public declaration of self love that is rooted in our truths and affirmed by our community. It is a proclamation that is to be made by people of all races, genders, sexualities, and creeds but namely acknowledges the diverse experiences of black people that explore depths beyond what has been shown to us. It engages with the evolution of people and understands that the caterpillar must still do the emotional and physical work to become the butterfly. A Womanifesto is imperfect, breathing, and is committed to those who are invested in living as their most authentic selves.
TABLE OF CONTENTS 07 09 14 15 17
EDITOR'S LETTER HOT TAKES WITH TEJAY I AM READY POEM SEAZXN INTERVIEW HOW TO SEE THINGS YOU IMAGINE
20 25 27 29 35 39 45 48 52
YOU ARE EITHER COMPLETELY LOYAL OR NOT LOYAL AT ALL MAGIC EXISTS BEYOND HOGWARTS FIRST I HAD TO LOVE POEM KIMANI ROSE CREATIONS AT THE MERCY OF MOJEKWU MISS JONES PHOTOGRAPHY WAYLOR TECH ETHAN LYLES PHOTOGRAPHY MOON STRUCK POEM 3
CONTRIBUTORS ALYSSA CUFFIE
VERONICA WILLIAMS- HALL
IDA B. FAILS
DANIELLE K. JONES
Photography by Destin Mcmurry @destin.realm @ameerimage_
EDITOR'S LETTER I am a womanist. And in the footsteps of Alice Walker, I acknowledge and advocate for the ability of black women to be three dimensional and I vow to protect them in that journey. We are not just a pretty face or favorable waist but continue to be the back bone of the United States. This magazine is a love letter to black women and the children they've produced who continue to make the world better. With this in mind, I have very talented friends who deserve the world, but at the very minimum deserve to be seen. I wanted to curate a space for black creatives to showcase their work and share their stories in a medium that used to be a staple for news and entertainment for the black community. So I did it. All work featured in this issue is produced by young black artists whom I've had the pleasure of connecting with over the course of my life. I hope you enjoy.
Alyssa Cuffie @alWHYssa @WomanifestoMag
Photography by Tejay Echols @echotejay @tejay.jpeg
HOT TAKES WITH
An interview with Milwaukee born and New York City based multidisciplinary creative, Tejay Echols
WHAT INSPIRES YOU?
I love telling stories and anyway I can tell a story, visually, written or auditory makes my blood boil. Storytellers that have especially inspired me are masashi kishimoto, childish Gambino, the cartoon avatar the last airbender, and the cartoon adventure time
HOW DO YOU USE THAT IN YOUR PHOTOGRAPHY? I plan my photography through mood boards
WHAT ARE SOME OF YOUR FAVAloof/ “MOODS” TO USE? dreaminess, being lost, looking for something, imbalance, and weirdness
HOW CAN MOODBOARDS HELP OTHER CREATIVES? Moodboards help give you a list of necessary material you want to capture as well as provide inspiration for what you can potentially do with some creativity.
I don't want to feel those metal clouds
I do everything like my shirt extra large
Swim good Art by Alyssa Cuffie @alWHYssa
I Am Ready Blackity, Black girl Who do you think you are in the world? Didn't you know this your modeling track? You can run, sing, rap, love AND clapback How fantastic is that? See, we wear many hats Sometimes they pile on and our head feels heavy We walk on track with our head down Thank God, our crown never touches the ground As soon as we see it tippin', we lifting' back up We remember our ancestors supporting us along the way They say "Chile, don't you know what we gave for you?" "Don't you rememba when they hung us until our face turned blue?" "How we kept it going and moved through?" "You were right thea too, right in my heart, Chile" "I thought about you for a while, you kept me pushing though." "See that's Spirit in you baby girl" "Don't let this world get you down, you already got the crown." "In our land, we don't know what a frown is, you better show them the Spirit you're made of." "This Spirit of Love" Blackity, Black girl Talks with our ancestors go like that They remind us, they got our back Their strength is our strength Their sense is our sense Their love is our love We come from above Blackity, Black girl Don't you know you stand above the world? Poem by Veronica Williams Halls The world rests at YOUR feet www.linkedin.com/in/veronicawh Are you ready for this track meet and greet? @peaceloveronii What's your name? @soulshipconnection Read the title of this piece.
Photography by Destin McMurray @ameerimage_
SEAZXN DISCOVER YOUR
With Oye White @SEAZXN
WHAT IS SEAZXN?
"Today Seazxn is a streetwear brand building a portfolio based on inspirations from futurism, video games, anime, comics, superheroes. While there is an emphasis on designs for women, Seazxn can be worn by anybody and will continue to create and reference design cues from the inspirations. While many people start clothing brands to make money, firstly and more importantly in my mind this brand is one big fashion art project that will continue to grow and evolve."
INTO THE FUTURE
"Ultimately, I see Seazxn as a streetwear brand that becomes well sought after through innovative designs. Whether it's reflective material like the light screen hoodie or future projects I wish to keep secret at this time (time will tell) I plan to create clothing you can in a sense interact with"
"I’m huge fan of Kanye. One of his more recent interviews he was talking about how God created this world and the earth and if you look around and check out his color ways for his shoes and clothes they’re literally colors, of nature. The mountains, the sky, water. Earth tones are what they’re called. I thought that was just so unique to relate the color ways to something spiritual like that. It definitely makes me think what kind of hidden messages or ideas I can implement in my designs. I know in one of my more text based designs my mothers birthdate is in there somewhere." THE WORLD IS YOURS
"The world is yours is just a metaphorical meaning for having the self esteem and drive to do whatever you want in this world, in your life. Its something I try to live by when I feel unmotivated or even when I’m motivated. I think it also gives other people that same drive working on what they are working on."
BE ABOUT IT
"I would just say if you’re going to be about it be about it. Like don't let it drive you crazy and stress over it but let your passions be your passions. If you’re passionate about something you might be up late working and waking up early...working. Expect sacrifice, expect failure, expect uncertainty and expect slumps. I’ve had so many hang ups and lulls and I still do but personally I find if you expect whats expected and unexpected you’ll do just fine."
By Alyssa Cuffie
HOW TO SEE THINGS YOU IMAGINE
When the saint Solange said, “I saw things I imagined”, I felt that.
My whole life has been seeing things I imagined and speaking my wildest dreams into existence. From major internships, creative opportunities, and more- seeing the things you imagine can sometimes be
for many people because it is a practice in repetition, focus, and has the same benefits of the point above. The key is to write things in the present tense as they already are using the SMART framework. So instead of writing, “I want a new car”, write “I have a new 2019 Honda Accord with a low car payment!” 4. Speak it into Existence- Not everyone will
the hardest part. Some people know
agree with this point, but I believe in telling
exactly what they want in the long term
errrbody what you want because you never know
and others can barely visualize what they’ll
who will help you get it! There is life and death in
have for dinner. Check out some ways
the power of the tongue, so sharing your goals
below to manifest your best and speak things into existence. 1. Have SMART goals- They should be specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and timed. If you just ask for money, the universe might mess around and let you find a dollar on the ground when you know you needed a couple hundred. Dream big, but be conscious of exactly what you want otherwise it might come too you in a less than favorable way. 2. Write it down- For my Christian friends, the Bible says “Write the vision; make it plain on tablets.... If it seems slow, wait for it; it will surely come; it will not delay” (Habakkuk 2:2-3). Writing down the vision makes it tangible and something you can actually see. Even the activity of writing it down embeds it into not only your mind, but your muscle memory. This relates to the next point as well.
out loud, even if it’s just to yourself in the mirror, helps attract them to you. 5. Get Ready- Lastly, be continually preparing yourself for the opportunity you want. Get your license if you want a new car and continually be working on your craft if you want creative opportunities. Because when the time comes to see things you imagine, there is nothing worse than having to let them pass by because you’re not ready. It is okay to pass on opportunities as you continue to build up your skill sets, but at a certain point, you have to get comfortable with the uncomfortable and dive in. You never know where it will take you. I hope 2020 is the year you see things you imagined and challenge yourself to dream bigger. There are no limits on where this life can take us, and soon, your dreams will become your standard of living rather that a distant ideal.
3. 3 x33 Manifestation Method- In many spiritual circles, the 3x33 Method is one of the best ways to manifest the goals you’re looking for. All you have to do is dedicate about thirty minutes a day for three days to writing the same affirmation 33 times consecutively without stopping. This works
Manifest your best A playlist to attract the positivity you deserve
YOU ARE EITHER LOYAL COMPLETELY, OR NOT LOYAL AT ALL By Ida B Fails A former 2020 presidential campaign organizer shares their story of putting morals over money
Earlier this year, I was working for a presidential candidate to gain some extra experience in the field. During my time there, pieces of their past continued to be exposed to the public. This included comments and policies that hurt numerous communities that I belong to and/or an ally for. After working on the campaign for a few weeks, several videos were leaked of this candidate stereotyping black men. The way the candidate spoke about my people made me sick to my stomach. Another video was released of the candidate supporting policies that kept certain races of people in certain areas. My great great grandfather fought against redlining in the 1940’s here
in Milwaukee. Why would I work for a candidate that would be interested in the erasure of his work? When discussing how to react to these terrible things said by the candidate, I was told that “the main goal was to get Donald Trump out of office” from the White House, and all other issues should be put aside. I was disgusted. First of all, the goal is not to defeat Donald Trump, the goal is to dismantle white supremacy. Secondly, it was almost as if the person disregarded the fact that my people have been putting our issues on the back burner for DECADES for the greater good of this country. After the individual said that, I packed up everything the campaign gave to me, returned it, and quit. I love my people too much to support someone that has only, and will continue to oppress them. The candidate was paying an absurd amount of money to their organizers, and it was a lot of money to walk away from, but I would definitely do it again. I cannot be bought, and there is not a dollar amount that you can put on me selling out my people. If my great grandfather was able to risk his entire career to speak up for his people, I ain’t got no business working a temporary position that would hurt those same people.
Photography by: Evan Valentine @Valentinezwaaay Model: Shayler Richmond @ShaylerRichmond
Magic exists beyond Hogwarts A RETROSPECTIVE ON FINDING THE MAGIC IN OUR LIVES
By Shayler Richmond of Rich Mag @ShaylerRichmond @RichMagDigital
"Our greatest magic comes from pain, so be patient and tough through adversity because one day your pain will be useful to you." A rendition of words from two brilliant authors; J.K Rowling, a British novelist and Ovid, a Roman poet. But greater than their words is their messages and the feelings they can evoke. We shouldn't have to hurt to reach our highest potential, but life's pressures have a way of squeezing humanity into it's purest form; the place where magic exists. The holy spirit is alive and it manifests daily in pockets of joy and confidence we experience; it allows us to tap into our magic.
Some high strung saints shy away from the term magic, but any joy we experience stems from God; the central source, so our belief in magic doesn't negate our belief in Jesus, but affirms it. Therefore, I use this term liberally in tandem with every other phrase that affirms all that is good and special inside of us: #BlackGirlMagic, #BlackBoyJoy, and everything in between. J.K. Rowling wrote a story, developed characters and created a world where we could believe in magic before some of us were of age to realize that We Are Magic. She brought us along on Harry, Ron and Hermioneâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s journey; we
were their fourth friend to make their trio a quartet. (I still am.) We love Harry Potter because Rowling took us to a new world. She created a home away from home for us. In the wizarding world we can be anything and do anything; in reality we don’t have wands but we do each have our own power that separates us from one another. We are special. As long as we remember we are a vessel we are allotted grace to know ourselves deeply and get in tune with our magic. The more we believe in ourselves the more special we become. Growing up I traded reality for the wizarding world and left the muggles behind at night when I was on punishment stuck in my bedroom in the dark reading Harry Potter by phone light, or on a road trip,
or all through elementary school when we were required to log reading hours, and there were and will be many more times and more places I read. Rowling showed us family, nobility and undying friendship. Before the movies, we didn’t need a television, all we needed was the dope cover art, J.K. Rowling’s words and our imagination. As we grow and adult we get inundated with life and sometimes it takes so much for us to notice and appreciate the simple joys and triumphs of life. One easy way to soften your heart is to believe in magic.
"In the wizarding world we can be anything and do anything; in reality we don’t have wands but we do each have our own power that separates us from one another." SHAYLER RICHMOND
Rich Mag is a digital journal featuring blog posts, interviews, vlogs, and more. ShaylerRichmond.com
I had to learn to love my mother He smiles sweetly Teeth like perfectly placed plastic, His lips made of malleable rubber, This man here lights a fire between my thighs, Roars my ego, Makes my highs go low and my lows go high His eyes are sorta kind, Like the ones that lay you down at night and look away in the morn, His features are kinda fine, Like the ooh I want you, but you ain't worth my time, His intentions are lame... yeah his intentions be lame, But sad to say if it kept the fire going I'd probably do the same, I had to learn to love my mother, For there is no such thing as a non relative brother, These men are not our brothers, They do not shield you from pain or look out for the other, these men be broken, Like the way his heart was left in his chest for the first time, They are glitches, perfect prototypes re sculpted and forced straight, My love be selfish, my love be pure, I had to learn to love my mother Because this man does not have my health in mind, He does not sit stagnant and pass the time-- thinking of me, and mine His eyes don't tear at the sight of my pain, His smiles and kisses never meant to be went in vain, They are purposeful, not like the efforts of your mothers love, Who holds and guides you, rain or sun, Shine, bright, like her smile They do not 27
I learned to love my mother, These men are not our brothers, They have been plucked young, spread thin, wound and pressed through the rim They have no heart for us... they have no love for us Their love don dried, and wafted in the summer heat, Flying amongst dozens until gone Clean sheets, This man does not deserve the love I give my mother, His pockets won't go empty for my smile, he won't dare love my child, He won't dare spare his last His arms are not far reaching and vast Just for me and my love I have learned I'd rather love my mother Who's back broke for me, Hips widened and spreading, Aching in her womb, Heart heavy at my movements, Love everlasting, Her eyes brightening at my smiles, I've learned id rather not love, unless it's like the love of my mother To not see a vulnerable situation as an excuse Powerlessness By Xaviera Wood @Xavisxw 28
By Kimani Rose @KimaniRose @KimaniRoseCreations
By Kimani Rose @KimaniRose @KimaniRoseCreations 34
AT THE MERCY OF MOJEKWU A REFLECTION ON THE ART OF NIGERIAN AMERICAN ARTIST, OSORANNA MOJEKWU
Osora Mojekwu is a man
line and material provides
filled with hope. As if they
who wears his heart on his
insight into what its like to
are going through hardships
sleeve only to spill it on the
grow up between two
now but can see the light at
page. He is a hard worker, a
worlds. It tells the story of
the end of the tunnel. And
perfectionist, and strives for
being a rolling stone as a
the broad strokes are
excellence- almost to a fault.
young man trying to find
expressive and carry the
Perfectionism often comes
his place in the world.
weight of two countries on
with growing pains and he addresses this in his work. Mojekwu beautifully
Especially being a teen while having painted many
its back. Overall, Osora Mojekwu is
of these, his perspective
an extremely talented artist
illustrates the duality
tells the story of his
who manages to make you
between being an evolving
childhood. He may have
feel for the figures while
person and trying to achieve
leaned on female figures
contending with your own
ones ultimate form as well as
for leadership or identify
ideas of the diaspora. It
growing up between
with the pain they may
makes me wonder where we
Chicago, IL and Lagos,
experience. The large,
fit into the gray and if we
Nigeria. The diverse use of
beautiful eyes feel sad yet
even have to.
ART BY OSORANNA MOJEKWU | @OSORANNA | @ART.MOJEKWU
By Danielle K Jones @missjonesmusic
Waylor Tech, the New Wave in "Quirky" Style AN INTERVIEW WITH FOUNDER TEYLOR HARRIS ON HER UNCONVENTIONAL CREATIVITY
What is the
My whole life people have described me as being “quirky” and
inspiration behind outgoing. And for as long as I can remember, I've always looked for
Waylor Tech? different ways to express myself creatively. One of the ways that has continuously left a lasting impression on people are my “eccentric”
tech accessories. It’s been an incredible experience being able to not only connect with, but strike the curiosity of total strangers and have them be in complete awe simply because of my phone or AirPod case. I want to share that same feeling with the rest of the world and inspire them to be just as shameless in expressing themselves through their own devices. To embrace their boldness and dare to show the world a glimpse of their personality with their Waylor Tech case.
What does creativity look like for you?
I wouldn’t consider myself to be artistically skillful as far sketching or arts & crafts go, but I’ve always found beauty in novelty treasures. Anything that’s doesn’t look what it’s “meant” to be has always intrigued me. I love bold vibrant colors and whimsical designs. Betsy Johnson is actually a huge inspiration for my playful taste.
Who else would you consider an influence?
Definitely the company Fred & Friends ! They sell very quirky and whimsical products, you’ve probably seen some in home-goods type stores. But they contributed to me realizing just how possible my dreams actually are for Waylor Tech. No matter how wacky or weird the idea seems.
So what’s been the
EMBRACING STRUCTURE! Learning how to balance the fun &
hardest part about
creative process, while also being effective and tactical in my goal
following this dream?
setting. Making sure I’m constantly staying organized and executing my goals efficiently. Starting off it was so easy to overindulge and get lost in the craft. But overtime, I’ve completely done a 180 and started creating systems in place and delegating certain tasks in my schedule so I’m not overwhelmed. Definitely made me a lot more enterprising.
"YOU WILL NEVER WIN UNLESS YOU’RE WILLING TO CONSTANTLY BE TAKEN OUT OF YOUR COMFORT ZONE. ALWAYS DO THE HARD WORK FIRST, IT’LL PAY OFF LATER WHEN YOU USE YOUR PEAK MOMENTUM TO YOUR ADVANTAGE. VISUALIZE CONSTANTLY. STOP YOURSELF FROM FANTASIZING AND ACTUALLY CREATE A VISION BOARD/BOOK THAT YOU CAN DAYDREAM ABOUT WITH THE FUTURE LIFE YOU WANT. PLASTER IT ALL OVER THE PLACE, PHONE SCREEN, COMPUTER, ON MIRRORS , ETC SO YOUR MIND FOCUS AND ATTRACT ONLY WHAT YOU WANT IT TO. NEVER FORGET... IT’S ALL A MIND GAME. YOU’RE IN CONTROL." -TEYLOR HARRIS
PHOTOGRAPHER @LIVINGLYLES ALIVINGLYLES.COM
I often imagine myself up there with you I often imagine myself up there wit I often imagine myself Asking questions about what goes on up here I often you I oftenI of imagine myself up I’d fancy myself as a lover of all you entail
I often imagine But I find that I’m quite terrified of what that means I
When I was young I often imagine myself up there with you I often imagine myself up there with I often imagine myself up there We’d speak I often
imagine myself up there with you But I can’t remember any fine details I often imagine I often imagine Fuzzied out details that make no sense I often
imagine I often imagine myse with you I feel like I’ve been down here so long often imagine myself up And yet nothing feels quite right I often imagine
myself up there with Most days I feel fine I often imagine myself up there with imagine myself up
imagine myself up there But there are days
Where I feel particularly stuck I often imagine myself up there with you I
often imagine myself I often imag In a body that feels slightly too mortal I
often imagine I often imagine It occurs to me that my mind feels quite lofty I often I often And my limbs feel too long I often imagine myself up I often
imagine myself up there with you I of Is my soul still stuck up there with you? often imagine myself up there with you It doesn’t feel quite fair I often im
That you’re up there I often imagine myself up there with you I often imagine
myself up there I often And I’m down here I often imagine myself up there witI often imagine cvvebfdbdfbd myself up there with you Paying bills
Moon Struck By Tehira Nash @justmeherandthestars
In Loving Memory of Jonathan Evans 9/11/2000-1/29/2020