melanistic L IF E I N B LA C K
Gail Mookie MEETS
A MO DERN LO VE S T O RY
our matriarchs MELANISTIC C O N VE R SA T I O N S
VOL.X · SPRING 2022
WHAT IS REIKI?
melanistic TABLE OF CONTENTS
5 6 8 10-11
EDI T O R'S W E L COME I N T HE K NO W 2K22
T O P 5 T I P S F OR S ELF -C ARE ART S & CUL T UR E S OJI JOS E P H
ME LAN IST IC M A GA ZI N E VOL.10 Publisher Greg Davis Editor Taneya Rogers Media/Sales Director Nigel Williams Artistic Director JoAnne Pearce Marketing Director NiLo Public Relations Robert Tyndale
CON TRIB U T O RS
Nigel Williams, Kyle Smith, Sherol Leslie, Tamika De Gannes, Merlin Uwalaka, Janelle Austin, Chard Joseph, Rasheal Charles, Oluyinka Marcus Cover Photo: PixelBlue Photography Special thanks to: Brew and Bloom Café and Floral Studio, Vignettes, Mock-Ups Mocktails
CO NT ACT: firstname.lastname@example.org www.melanisticmagazine.com
TH I S I S S U E M A DE P O S S I BLE BY
ME L A N I ST I C C O N V E R SA T I O N S: WH A T MA MMA N E V E R T O L D ME
H E ALTH & WELLNESS: T H E BENEFI TS O F R EI KI
A CHANCE ENCO U NTER : A M O DER N DA Y LO V E STO R Y
KEEP ‘EM TA LKI NG: HO W TO CO M M U NI CA TE WI TH YO U R TEEN
TECH TALK: NFT’S A ND BLA CK A R TI STS
SU PPO R TI NG M EN DU R I NG M AR I TAL BR EAKDO WN
M ELANI STI C SI PS: CR U SH GR O O V E
F OR U S, BY U S: THE SANKO FA A RTS & M U SI C FO U NDA TI O N
ME LANI STI C A C TI V I TI ES
R ESO U R CE GU I DE
“Black Moms Connection helped me gain financial literacy skills that have made a huge impact on my life and family.” — Odessa Anderson Member, Black Moms Connection
Black Moms Connection helps Black women navigate motherhood and improve their financial literacy skills by providing them with culturally relevant resources and education. We’re proud to support Black Moms Connection through the TD Ready Commitment. Learn more at td.com/blackexperiences
®The TD logo and other trademarks are the property of The Toronto-Dominion Bank or its subsidiaries.
ED ITO R ’S W E LC O ME
Taneya Rogers The transition from winter to spring is a mixture of uncertainty and promise as Mother Nature rebalances Herself to facilitate new life and growth. The dynamics of our relationships can follow a similar pattern, whether it be our romantic interactions, our parental engagements, or even our relationship with ourselves as we aspire to be more enlightened and in tune with our purpose. In this issue we are exploring just some of these themes; the beauty of new love, the lessons we wish we had before forming our own partnerships, shifting our perspective around our men as they manage separations and learning about health practices to keep our energy aligned. We hope that through reading you find a few Melanistic nuggets that have a positive affect on your relationships.
I give to my community. With Vancouver Foundation, my giving lasts forever. Get started at vancouverfoundation.ca/give.
In the Know 2k22
BE IN THE KNOW
With 2022 moving so fast you would think that she has somewhere to go; it’s been difficult to choose just 5 things - but alas - here are 5 of the newsworthy events from the second quarter of 2022
1 2 3 4
Quest Love became one of a few Black Directors to win Best Documentary with his Documentary Summer of Soul.
Men’s National Soccer team qualifies for the 2022 FIFA World Cup.
In an un-televised ceremony Samuel L. Jackson is awarded a lifetime achievement Oscar. Deborah Cox becomes the first Black woman in the Canadian Music hall of fame. Justice Kentaji Brown becomes the first Black Woman on the United States Supreme Court.
Together we’re out to develop a deeper understanding of the biggest issues and challenges facing our city and collaborate on how best to address them.
top 5 4 3 2 1
tips for self care
Without the opportunity for proper respite in the last few years, many of us are carrying physical and emotional loads that we haven’t been able to escape from. As we move forward there is a need to care for ourselves so that we can maintain good physical and mental health. Here are 5 things you can do to decompress and raise your endorphins.
FLOAT Float studios have huge bathtubs with lots of salt that not only helps to cleanse your body, it also relieves pressure by giving your body a weightlessness experience. stretch There are many videos online if you’re too
shy for a studio. Having a good stretch on a regular basis helps with blood flow and reduces inflammation throughout your body.
walk Just going for a walk at your own pace for 30 minutes helps to increase serotonin levels in your system, and improve mood. DEEP BREATHING Take 10-20 mins, lie on your back, and deeply inhale through your nose and exhale through your mouth. Think about your breath and when your mind starts to wander - focus back on your breath. Deep breathing helps to lower anxiety, increase energy, and lower stress.
GET A MASSAGE Massages are often thought of as luxury experiences, and they should be a regular part of your regimen, and massage schools help to make them affordable. Massages help with circulation of blood and lymph and help to increase immunity.
With funding from Edmonton Community Foundation and Edmonton Arts Council, award-winning poet Knowmadic enriches the diversity of Edmonton’s arts community by bringing together the individuals and organizations that inspire our city’s reputation as a unique and outstanding cultural centre. Donations to ECF inspire hope, create opportunity and enhance the Edmonton lifestyle. We work with our donors to give, grow and transform. ecfoundation.org is poetry in motion.
Charity begins at Home.
Image Courtesy of:
Arts & Culture
the artist’s artist
by: Merlin Uwalaka
Soji Joseph is an Afro-fusion artist who is passionate about healing through music. Inspired by the African music he grew up listening to, he makes music for true music lovers. He loves performing live; he can feel the energy in a room, be more expressive and connect deeply with his audience. He enjoys sharing the stories of himself and others in his music. His latest project “Me to You 2.0” is a versatile and multi-genre album featuring songs about heartbreak, acceptance, neediness, healing, and everyday struggles to get to the finish line. Soji Joseph spent 8 months in the heart of the pandemic crafting this project. It is important for him to create regardless of perceived limitations. He sees himself in the future inspiring other artists to get out of their shells, chase their dreams and achieve without the fear of failure or judgement. For Soji Joseph, it starts and ends with the people that listen to his music. Instagram: @sojijoseph 11
HAJI Live in edmonton-decore ? Buy a $10 NDP Membership
Vote Sharif Haji email@example.com www.sharifhaji.ca
Authorized by the Sharif Haji Campaign
DATING WHILE BLACK
Story: Nigel Williams Art: Kyle Smith
Eh bwoi... Now that the snow gone, you gonna freshen up for 5 Artists 1 Love?
Oh I do my luv. But is an ALL BLACK GALA, dress fi impress vibe...
You have a point...
I thought you liked the scruffy man ting?
YOOO... That new joint from Meg the Stallion hit different, and did you see what she was wearing!!?! (everybody)
But you know Cardi ah go hard from day one my guy! (everybody)
LATER THAT EVENING...
Sorry baby luv! I had to find flowers to shine like you. Nah man. Which part him deh? He’s not one to be late.
With Errol Scott
Making Offers in a Competitive Market You’re a first time home buyer or one of the many who are making the move to Western Canada. You are prepared to make your first bid, and your realtor advises that you’re in competition: there are multiple offers being made on your dream property. What do you do?
Here are some tips that may put you in the best position for success. 1.
Ensure that you have an effective
business days in a normal market
and agile mortgage broker. What that
scenario. If you are able to condense
means is, when you are in a position
this to a 5 day window, your offer
to make an offer on the property that
appears more appealing.
you have identified, they are able to have a shorter financing condition
Consider increasing your deposit.
window for you. This makes your
Typically a buyer would aim for a
offer more attractive to sellers.
5% deposit- this equates to $20,000 on a $400,000 home. If you are able
Select a reputable home inspector
to make a higher deposit, which is
ahead of time that can get into the
refundable, it allows you to stand out
home fairly quickly. Typically for
against the competition.
conditions, one can anticipate 7-10
When you are with your agent,
for $415,000.The likelihood that
carefully analyze the offer based
the home would sell for the asking
on what the seller may want.
price is quite low in a multiple offer
For example, if you learn that
scenario. Consider pitching your
the seller is hoping for a 15 day
offer above the list price, closer to
possession date and you are able to
the comparatives which is a better
accommodate this, it may place you
reflection of the market’s average.
in a better position for the win. Give the seller what they want. 5.
Carefully look at what the comparable homes are selling for. A home may be listed at $400,000 however your agent identifies that comparable properties have sold
Follow me on IG @Hardbodyrealtor Connect with me 780 -271-1114 www.errolscott.com
CONVERSATIONS With MATRIARCHS What Mamma Never Told Me
With Taneya Rogers
n many Black households children are kept sheltered from indepth conversations around marriage, sex and relationships. We tend to experience the relationships of our parents as ‘outsiders’ looking in, absent of any context as to how the dynamics of those relationships came to be, the process of building an even semi-functional home and without direct conversations that may offer learnings. Our exposure to these conversations relies heavily on our parents’ appetite for openness and our cultural and religious backgrounds. Particularly among younger women in new relationships and with growing families, we’ve heard the phrase “I wish my mother told me ‘this’”. The Brew and Bloom Cafe provided the perfect backdrop for our conversation with four beautiful ebony matriarchs. With delicate flowers cascading overhead, and delectable deserts on hand, these powerhouses took time to reflect on their younger selves and speak on matters of love, relationships, personal evolutions and
“Particularly among younger women in new relationships and with growing families, we’ve heard the phrase “I wish my mother told me ‘this’”. 16 MELANISTIC
Images Courtesy of: NiLo
From left to right: Dr. Zita Williams, Ms Wanda Akili, Dr. Beatrice Ghettuba and Dr.Martella Montague
the things that ‘mamma never told them’ making lived experiences their tutor. At the table were, Dr. Martella Montague, our Jamaican Empress, exuding as much royalty as the title suggests; Ms Wanda Akili, a descendant of Alberta’s first Black settlers and a soft-spoken yet passionate speaker, author and dedicated educator. Dr. Beatrice Ghettuba whose words of self determination are drizzled in a soothing, melodic Kenyan accent and finally, Dr. Zita Williams, or ‘Mamma Zita’ to her inner circle, whose gentle yet commanding spirit seemed to set the pace for the engaging discourse. The ladies were asked to reflect on the conversations with their own mothers that they had around sex, relationships and coming of age. The question immediately spurred giggles and agreement, Mamma Zita condensed her coming of age lesson: “Once I got my first period, my mother warned me not to ‘interfere’ with those boys”. Dr Martella also recounted an equally abrupt lesson but adds “In Jamaica they taught us about the ‘birds and the bees’ as far as biology, however they never taught us exactly how babies came’. This gap in learning had an impact; she became a mother at only 15 years, confused as to ‘what’ caused it. Dr Beatrice acknowledged “While my mother was quite liberal about many things, culturally there were things that we simply did not speak about…. I knew a lot of things but I was not prepared for marriage”. She, too, found herself a mother ahead of time. Ms Wanda who echoed the sentiment of the group found 18 MELANISTIC
protection as it were in her very small community, “We were all ‘cousins’ so the opportunity for sex or dating simply was not there”. Her lessons from her mother came indirectly - seeing her mother struggle with multiple children, she simply decided that this would not be her fate.
“While my mother was quite liberal about many things, culturally there were things that we simply did not speak about.” They each noted that specific conversations with their eventual husbands around expectations for marriage, intimacy or roles within the home never took place. That said, the theme of education among the four was particularly strong. Driven either by the matriarchs in their lives or by their own desire to escape the limitations of their living situation, the pursuit of higher education is shared. While it was not a trait that they deliberately contemplated when choosing husbands, two of our panelists acknowledged that the support of their partners was critical in their ability to move further in their education. Specifically, their partner’s willingness to cover the ‘traditional’ duties of childcare and keeping the home, permitted them the time needed to 19
concentrate on their studies. Dr Beatrice expounds on her relationship, “I studied, worked and traveled and would leave the children with him (her husband). As much as our life was very dysfunctional, he really was there; in our generation we needed to prove that we didn’t need to be given leeway because we were women”. Perhaps an accidental learning but one to be deliberately passed on to our future daughters as they seek life partners. As a counterbalance to this circumstantial learning, Wanda Akili noted that the matriarchs in her life reinforced that she did not ‘need’ a man. This messaging 20 MELANISTIC
“In our generation we needed to prove that we didn’t need to be given leeway because we were women.”
coupled with the memories of her mother struggling with multiple children with little support, Akili found her drive independently, “I was brought up and had my degree, I had a good job, I had traveled and had money in my pocket before I met my husband; so his contribution to my growth was none”. This open conversation with these four matriarchs took bravery; acknowledging where their mothers / parents could have done better to prepare them for the role of a wife/partner, but also accepting that relationships generally demand on-the-job
learning. Merging two lives, with differing experiences and beliefs is no easy task. What we do honor however is growth and evolution; each generation ought to be a better reflection of the last. For this quartet, their parenting styles were adjusted to be more transparent than what they experienced in the hopes that their own children would not repeat similar mistakes and enter partnerships more self assured and aware. Thanks to Brew and Bloom Insta: @brewandbloom
JULY 30 - AUG 1, 2022 HAWREL AK PARK heritagefest.ca
Health & Wellness THE HEALTH BENEFITS OF REIKI BY: JANELLE AUSTIN
Reiki is an ancient holistic form of hands-on healing which engages our universal life force, also known as energy, Qi, Ki, Prana or the Holy Spirit to some. This divine practice has the power to heal and influence our lives by stimulating a person’s own natural healing abilities. Each Reiki session will be unique to your health and wellness journey.
The practice recognizes seven main energy centers in the body known as Chakras. Each Chakra is responsible for supplying energy to specific parts of the body. When these Chakras are blocked or clogged, illness and disease may fester. A practitioner channels the energy to assist you with unblocking your Chakras and clearing your energetic field. The work centers on bringing your mind, body and spirit into a state of balance. 25
ENCOUNTER A MODERN DAY LOVE STORY By: Tamika de Gannes
The process of healing from a toxic relationship and being open to new love can be challenging but for Gail-Ann Wilson and Derrell Mitchell, their love blossomed into a Black modern fairytale. The Edmonton couple haS been together for 18 years and are set to be wed on August 7, 2022. Gail is a Cultural Diversity Education Consultant and Derrell is a 2016 CFL Hall of Fame inductee and team leader at a residential home for Indigenous youths. The two met in 2004. At the time, Gail was a divorced mother of three girls and Derrell fathered a son. As expected, they were forced to navigate hurdles associated with dating while being single parents and blending their families. Gail shared: “I kept the mentality when I was raising them (her daughters), whatever I did, they came first.” With time and persistence, they overcame those challenges by taking things slowly and building a solid friendship. Beyond these rudimentary steps, Gail also needed to heal from the years of damaging comments about herself from her ex-husband that she internalized. With Derrell’s help, she was encouraged to appreciate and love herself. Tenderly she shares, “Derrell was the first person who told me that it was ok to like who I was, exactly as I was.” 26 MELANISTIC
Images Courtesy of: PixelBlue Photography
Previously being in an interracial relationship with a White man, Gail realised that it was starkly different from being with Derrell who is an African American. Gail commented. “The fact that we appreciate each other’s skin colour, we appreciate each other’s heritage, we have the opportunity to talk about slavery for example and our association to that. We have the opportunity to talk about language that is only used in the Black community.” As for societal pressures, Gail, a Trinidadian native, said she was surprised to discover the stereotypes surrounding dating a successful Black man. One of the shocking sentiments surrounded the belief that infidelity would plague their relationship. Some expressed the view that a woman of another race could replace her, reinforcing an already infamous notion that successful Black men prefer partners from different ethnicities.
“We appreciate each other’s skin colour, we appreciate each other’s heritage” However, their love and trust surpassed society’s expectations. More importantly, Gail and Derrell bonded over sensitive topics from their shared experiences. Gail said: “I can come home and tell Derrell things that I don’t have to explain or put context [as] to why a person reacted this way.” On the other hand, the retired pro league footballer touted his mother’s influence as a key component 28 MELANISTIC
in the success of his relationship. Derrell said his mom taught him to value and respect all women, having been a single mom herself. He also noted that he believes in open and honest dialogue with one’s significant other. As such, he advised young couples to communicate and “always be honest even if it hurts the person”. Theirs is a story of hope and this power couple has proven that Black single parents can overcome negative stereotypes and past trauma to find love again. The Melanistic magazine looks forward to Gail and Derrell’s Soca-themed wedding and wishes them a lifetime of marital bliss.
Ready for a breakthrough? Empowering others! Accessing their potential! Impacting on the world! Reach out to us! E-mail
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It is no news that Canadian Imperial Advantage, a community, and economic development organization in Alberta is making new waves and breaking new barriers in positioning Black businesses including startups for greater socio-economic opportunities, with a focus on building institutional capacity through business advisory support and access to capital. ‘CIA’, as they are fondly called, is led by a team of seasoned professionals and business leaders who are at the forefront of fostering an inclusive business ecosystem for black entrepreneurs to thrive without systemic barriers. To further its mission, CIA’s Black Business Advancement Project (BBAP) was recently acknowledged for federal funding by the Government of Canada through the Black Entrepreneurship Program’s National Ecosystem Fund and has since, birthed new businesses within the community and delivered capacity development training for entrepreneurs. From their distinctive and quarterly held CEO Roundtable Event that connects industry leaders with entrepreneurs and/or business owners, to their first of its kind 12-week ‘HER-conomy Initiative Program’ that has accelerated and empowered over 15 female-led businesses in Alberta, CIA continues to support businesses and the community with programs and initiatives that promote an inclusive ecosystem. Nadine, the founder of Ross’s Catering services and one of the beneficiaries of CIA’s credit advisory services told our team at a community event “CIA is the one-stop-shop that most Black-owned businesses including start-ups need to thrive; they successfully helped us with insightful tips to access funding for expansion”.
Go to www.imperialadvantage.ca to learn more about their training & programs. Start your registration with CIA’s Launchpad now!
Talking By: Oluyinka Marcus
As a woman of African descent, a professional counseling psychotherapist and a mother of two adult children, I have found that most children did not experience open conversations with their parents, especially around the topic of ‘sexuality.’ Sexuality is simply described as the ways in which people experience sexual feelings; that is, all human beings have that capacity for that experience. According to research, there is no specific age too early to discuss sexuality. When children watch movies or TV ads with sexual and relationship content, they may require clarification. When children ask, they deserve to know. Responses however must be tailored to their level of understanding. Maintaining regular conversations from a young age will help children better understand healthy sexuality as they grow older. Conversations around sexuality with children can be awkward at first, but it needs to be viewed as a normal practice. When speaking about sexuality, there is a tendency to project our feelings of ‘embarrassment’, triggering us to use euphemisms (using words like ‘private parts’ to replace words like vagina and penis). Some experts believe in using the real names from the get-go, however, parents can start where they are most comfortable. Age appropriateness in these conversations will be quite crucial. For instance, responding to the question about where babies come from will contain less detail to a five-year-old than to a ten-yearold. The conversations should start as soon as the child begins to differentiate genders. This is usually at about the age of three. From this age, children need to learn to name these ‘private parts’ and not leave things ambiguous. An important part of this process is to teach children how to respect their ‘private parts,’ and other children’s. 34 MELANISTIC
“When children ask, they deserve to know.” 35
The idea of ‘seize-the-moment short talks’ helps eliminate the embarrassment and allows normalcy to build around the topic. For instance, when relationship content appears in an advertisement or show, ask open ended questions such as ‘what do you know about that?’ or, ‘what do you think about that?’. The ‘sitdown-let’s-talk’ style of conversations are always impactful, but can become too formal creating suspicion and discomfort. When they ask questions about sexuality, ask, ‘what do you already know about that’? or ‘what have you heard about it?’ or ‘what does your friend say about it?’. When they start learning about human bodies in school, ask ‘what did you learn in school about it today?’ or ‘what do you understand,’ ‘what are your thoughts about it?’. When they are older, they will be open to discussing dating, crushes and ‘going out.’ The important aspects of this process include: • • • • •
Do not bombard them with questions Don’t shut down conversations Avoid any shaming or judging Do not belittle their understanding Avoid giving a whole ‘lecture’.
Allow them to talk, just listen, and fill in the gaps for them. Keep discussions short and precise. This will strengthen 36 MELANISTIC
your relationship with your children as you continue to build trust. When children can trust you, they will be free to ask questions about sexuality and relationships. These regular short talks enhance openness and freedom of self-expression. When you already have challenging relationships with your child and they are not open with you, how do we repair? It is rewarding to have those hard conversations. I work with parents and their children on repairing the relationship by helping parents to ask the right questions and to apply good listening skills. Whether or not you think you did the right thing raising your child, you need to be willing to listen and apologize (or ask for forgiveness) when the child expresses the hurt you caused them. During this process, the parent needs to keep in mind that this is about their child becoming better in healthy self-expressions, it’s not about being right as a parent. You did what you knew best to do and it is not about shame. Humility and deep compassion are great assets for great repair and sustenance of healthier relationships. The active listening ear is needed when you decide to have the hard open conversation. And you will try hard not to judge, criticize, or give advice. Starting a conversation with their perception of love will be a great way to get them to talk. Then, ask, what does it mean to feel loved? Another question to ask your child
is; ‘what happens when you don’t feel loved? Once they are done talking, ask for examples. If they don’t give examples from your relationship with them, give them some examples of when they might have been hurt by some things you did. Talk about it with them without justifying your action, reactions or your words. Then, apologize or ask them to forgive you. Hold them in a hug.
Check BlackMomsConnection.com for more information about upcoming dates for the BMC FinLit Summit.
Tanya Hayles Founder, BMC FinLit
What began as a search for sunscreen... ...led to a small group of 15 friends building a support system that grew to an international group of 4,000 Black mothers offering one another support and advice on Facebook. Founder, Tanya Hayles, quickly realized that she had an opportunity to provide culturally relevant resources to a group who had struggled to find them. She refers to the Canadian Government’s online budgeting tool only allotting $20 per month for hair care. “I realized that no one I knew, no one that looked like me could spend only $20 per month on their hair.” Tanya wanted tosupport women by creating a resource that would help address the trauma of poverty and help build generational wealth through financial literacy. The FinLit Summit was born in August 2017, and was based on information that group members wanted to see and learn themselves. Through sponsorship from TD Bank Group, Tanya was able to provide culturally relevant resources and support for attendees. The BMC FinLit Summit focuses on topics like investing, wills, trusts, and building generational wealth, without leaving out cultural savings tools like ‘SuSu’ or ‘Partner’. The event was built with accessibility in mind, charging between $5 - $10 for the day which includes food, child care, literacy booklets and handouts. Since its inception, the BMC FinLit Summit has become one of Black Moms Connection’s signature events, helping to make generational changes one mom at a time. The program has evolved into the premier financial summit by, and for Black communities.
TECH TALK BY CHARD JOSEPH
HOW NFTS HAVE IMPACTED THE CAREER OF BL ACK ARTISTS?
Bee-Bop, Flying through Clouds By: Vanessa Anthony
At the beginning, NFTs were only used as a digital piece of art. The underlying asset only held subjective value and was only used as a means to show off. In recent years, NFTs have evolved into utility tokens. The underlying asset of utility NFTs (uNFTs) aren’t just used as a means to show off, instead they offer functionality as well. Here are the common underlying assets of uNFTs: Gaming Items Exclusive-Membership Governance Rights
NFTs have made a positive impact on the life of Black artists. Before we talk about how NFTs have made a huge impact on the life of Black artists, let’s define NFTs. The word NFTs stands for NonFungible Tokens. These tokens are used as a digital ownership for the underlying assets. The most common asset turned into NFTs is art, but literally anything can be turned into an NFT. It could be an illustration, picture, signature, tweet, or even a shadow (as mind-boggling as it sounds, it’s true).
Now that you’re familiar with NFTs, let’s talk about how they’ve impacted the career of Black artists. Being an artist is difficult, and being a Black artist is much more difficult. The majority of art galleries simply aren’t interested in the work that replicates Black history or culture. Therefore, monetizing work as a Black artist is incredibly challenging. This is where NFTs make a difference. Black artists don’t need the permission of an art gallery to showcase work that replicates their culture and history. There are numerous NFT art galleries that focus solely on Black art.
FASHION FOOD BEAUTY
The NFT art galleries have made it much easier for Black artists to gain exposure and monetize their work. Here is what Vakseen (one of the biggest Black NFT artists) has to say about the impact of NFTs. “There are so many hurdles and obstacles involved with gaining any sort of recognition within the art world as a Black man, as a man of color or as any person of color. The NFT space is changing that, and the exhibition is giving us an opportunity to be seen.”
Bee-Bop, the Robot_On the Beach By: Vanessa Anthony
Bee-Bop, Flying through Space By: Vanessa Anthony
As of now, these NFT art galleries are helping Black artists build profitability through their work. What’s even better is the number of such art galleries are growing at a rapid pace. WWW.LONDONDERRYMALL.COM
JULY 21 - 31, 2022 TASTEOFEDM.CA CHURCHILL SQUARE
Great Food, Local Music
IN THE WINDOW OF
REJECTION COPING WITH AND SUPPORTING MEN DURING MARITAL BREAKDOWN By RASHEAL CHARLES
he pain of rejection is no easy feat for a man, even more so for a man that has lived his life in a world that views him as having tendencies to not be successful, or highlights stereotypes as norms; this is the disadvantage of racialized groups. The Black man that has experienced marital challenges causing separation from his life partner and from his children, and placed him in a tumultuous situation, finds himself in the middle of the window of rejection. This ‘window’ is oneway; where he looks in and others are challenged to see out. As a Mental Health Therapist, only few Black men have embraced the support that can be offered through psychotherapy. Some would argue that it is the inability to access support, or the stigma that mental health carries, or even the lack of understanding that these feelings of rejection can be tied to poor mental health or emotional disruptions that require intervention. Nancy Boyd-Franklin in her book, Black Families in Therapy (2013) makes a strong correlation between the roles that Black men and women take in the
family unit. She highlights to the reader that different obstacles are related to a changed sense of identity. One of the chapters explores the concept of the “head of the household” identity and how losing that may or may not produce role confusion due to the new family dynamic (p. 112). Power differentials associated with caregiving are most often given to the women. Society still reinforces the “mother’s love” narrative, leaning towards maternal care over paternal. As family dynamics deteriorate, men contend with this equation (essentially viewed as less than); access and influence to their family is eroded, shaking and redefining the ‘head of household’ identity. In the book, “Uncomfortable Conversations with a Black Man” (2020) the author details that a common emotion of anger can and should be dubbed for grief. Isn’t that revelatory? Our men experience grief due to this separation; a nuance that is not widely accepted. We must be aware of this new position in the window - one filled with sadness, not blame. Men ride the weight of 45
the loss and the isolation that follows, compounded by feelings of depression. Our Black men in particular often carry all of these emotions alone but are still expected to perform and provide, while his vantage point feels hopeless. The journey forward is daunting, while attempting to remain connected, relevant and supportive. While it is easy to move to the common default of fault finding initially, the shift is accompanied by emotions of ambivalence and a lack of confidence as men strive to regain balance. Too often, Black men are left tackling the emotional remnants without support and education. Resources such as positive selfregard, supportive family/ friends, a faith community or community of support is necessary for effective problem solving and decision making during times of personal family crisis. Let’s not look through the lens of scrutiny; rather, let us engage empathy and encouragement. Our Black men are strong and resilient and have to be courageous in this window of rejection in order to overcome. References Acho, E. (2020). Uncomfortable Conversations with a Black Man. United States: Flatiron Books. Boyd-Franklin, N. (2003). Black families in therapy : understanding the African American experience. New York: Guilford Publications.
Sips Crush groove
BY: BY SHEROL LESLIE A romantic blend of lychee and fruit juice paired with Anohka Tempest Dry gin. A botanical gin which has a redolence of floral mixtures and guaranteed to satisfy your curiosity.
Ingredients Orange juice Lychee Drink Rose Grenadine Small watermelon (garnish) Small melon (garnish) Cucumber (garnish) Mint (garnish) Lemon (garnish) Canned lychee (garnish) Anokha gin
Image Courtesy of: NiLo
METHOD In a blender mix 6 cups of orange juice 6 cups of lychee drink. 4 oz Gin 3 sprigs of fresh mint ¼ cup grenadine 2 melon balls 2 water melon balls 3 slices of cucumber Add 3 cups of ice or adjust amount to your preferred texture Pour into cocktail glass Serves 4
GARNISH Cut off the skin of the cucumber in a spiral motion as well as lemon. Pop out melon balls: green and watermelon On bamboo toothpick slide the following: 1 of each melon 2 Lychee (from can) 1 sprig of mint Add cucumber spiral on side of glass add mint and lemon spiral SERVE IMMEDIATELY
August 5-7, 2022
LONG TIME It’s been awhile (in more ways than one), and we are excited to be returning to Churchill Square for 2022!
Proudly supported by:
SANKOFA ARTS AND MUSIC FOUNDATION Music and art remain universal languages transcending cultural barriers and generational gaps. Access to programs that expose youth to music and arts can be impactful catalysts for their creativity, growth and even healing. The Sankofa Arts and Music Foundation focuses on creating access to these opportunities for youth across the Calgary region. The organization boasts both a summer camp and a music program that gives participants flexibility in learning. The non-profit relies on the support of donors and volunteers, working collaboratively to empower young people through the arts to eventually become agents of change themselves. To encourage a broader worldview, the foundation is built on themes of equality, inclusivity, diversity and social justice.
To engage with or support the Sankofa Arts and Music Foundation visit http://sankofayyc.org
MEL A NIS T IC
love is in the air: good habits for good relationships 1. OENP MOCOTUANNIICM 2. YMAECK 3. VLEO ELGSAUGAN 4. SAINPREHTPR 5. ETERCSP 6. COUSPLE SIIACETVTI 7. ACVETI GSTIILNEN 8. OCMMON SALOG 9. REAOIBSNDU 10. EFSL LEVO
FOR ANSWERS TO OUR LAST ACTIVITY, CHECK OUT MELANISTICMAGAZINE.COM 52 MELANISTIC
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Azury’s Jewellers 10072 Jasper Ave Edmonton AB T5J 1V8 (780) 271-7272 www.azurys.ca
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RETAIL A Yah Mi Deh Caribbean Groceries 4433 118 Ave NW Edmonton, AB T5W 1A8
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Bindy’s Caribbean Delights 1 Forks Market Rd Winnipeg, MB R3C 4L9 (204) 942-8409 www.bindyscaribbean.com
Nancy Boutique Winnipeg, MB www.nancykboutique.com
HairyCary Salon 353 2-212 Henderson Hwy Winnipeg MB R2L 1L8 204-816-9156 www.hairycarysalon.ca
K&S Island Grill 2069 Portage Ave Winnipeg, MB R3J 0K6 (204) 415-5550 www.kandsislandgrill.com AKIN’S West African Restaurant 570-a Sargent Winnipeg, MB R3S 1A9 (204) 786-8400 www.akinsrestaurant.com
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Lola’s Beauty Gallery & Supplies 567 Portage Ave Winnipeg, MB R3B 2G2 (204) 772-3506 www.lolasbeautygallery.ca Roots Salon 259 Vaughan Street Winnipeg MB, R3C 1T8 (204) 415-3112 www.rootssalon.ca
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Join us in launching Edmonton’s Black Community Fund
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