A Conscious Blog

22 Oct 2017

#BlackHistoryMonth | Soul of a Nation Exhibition | #LAM

Happy #BlackHistoryMonth
This afternoon I made my way over to the Tate Modern for 'The Soul of a Nation:  'Art in the Age of Black Power' exhibition.  The critically-acclaimed exhibition showcases over 150 pieces of artwork and the pieces were created by Black artists from 1963-1983, at the height of the Civil Rights Movement. During this period Black people were fighting for equality, in all institutions and social spheres. These Black heroes and artists sought for their voices to be unsilenced and heard by the masses, despite the whitewashing and force-feeding of Eurocentrism.

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The quest for freedom was not unique to the political sphere but also the art world, and I think you it is clear to see these sentiments echoed in the art. The political masterpiece is very thought provoking, and made me question:

What is art?
What is Black art?
Can art be art just for the sake of it or must it always have purpose?

With themes of Black power, strength, unity, freedom, strength, the exhibition was truly remarkable. Words do not really do the exhibition justice, but for those of you who weren't able to attend, check out the collage and my Insta for a taste of the event!

As always until next time, stay blessed and beautiful dolls. LAM xoxo

20 Oct 2017

#BlackHistoryMonth | Zionly Manna Vegan Restaurant | #LAM

Since the Veganism movement, I can honestly say that I'm very conscious of my meals, and how much meat I'm eating and why. I've mananged to go meat-free for 40 days for Lent a couple of years back. I've tried veganism last October but only lasted for 8 days. One of the main reasons why I gave up, was the fact that I my meal options seemed limited, plus trips to vegan restaurants left me hungry, unsatisified or unhappy.

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Recently, I happened to take a trip down memory lane and spotted this lil beauty right in the heart of Peckham. Zionly Manna Vegan Restuarant, is a vegan 'rastarant' situated in Rye Lane Market.

All food is freshly cooked and DE-LICIOUS! And no, I am not just saying that. I actually thought I didn't like quinoa until Jason's and that's saying something. I think the thing that sets his food apart from other Vegan restaurants is the flavours. Jason is a seasoned chef, and we can deffo see this reflected in his tasty meal options. I can recommed the rotis filled with chickpeas and spinach + the hot pepper sauce. Jason, the owner is super friendly and very knowledgebale on healthy food options. For him veganism, isn't just a diet, but a lifestyle.

The portions are decent and the price is affordable £6-10. (A tenner will grab you a main & dessert/drink).

If you're down in Peckham, deffo give this gem a visit. You won't regret it, I promise :)

As always until next time, stay blessed and beautiful dolls. LAM xoxo

8 Oct 2017

#BlackHistoryMonth | Why I don't use Dove products anymore | #LAM

Why don't I use Dove products anymore? I used to be a big fan of Dove products, most especially the soap and lotion due to their fragrance. I was legit obsessed. My holy grail item was the Dove lotion, which was apparently "moisturising" and supposedly good for "dry skin." I always found that it never truly moisturised my skin as my skin still felt dry after using it. It was like after my skin absorbed the cream, my skin still somehow managed to be dry, which seemed mind-boggling for me. Yet still, stupidly I refused to divorce myself from this unhealthy and unfulfilling marriage to my beloved Dove cream.
Copyright & Image Credit: @NayTheMua

In the ad (pictured above) we see a Black woman appear to turn White after using Dove soap. What is Dove trying to imply here?

Why don't I use Dove products anymore? I don't use Dove cream anymore, because I have very sensitive and delicate skin. My skin gets offended easily and I am allergic to their bullsh*t. I can't, don't and won't condone nonsense. 

I'm sorry but do you really mean to tell me that all those execs, PR experts, and marketing team specialists sitting in their boardroom actually OK'd this ad and thought it was acceptable? And yes, I am aware that Dove has slogans like "Beauty for all" and has previously done inclusive beauty campaigns and commercials.  
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But no, this isn't the first time Dove has missed the mark and I can guarantee for as long as we continue to support (either through purchasing Unilever products or being passively silent in these situations) it won't be the last. And yes, I can see they've apologised but sometimes an apology just isn't good enough. But no, I haven't missed the irony of the coincidental timing of this ad's release and the fact that it's #BlackHistoryMonth. Wake up and smell the coffee people.

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Credit: Makon 

However, the fact that they could do something like this shows me they can't come to the cookout. This ad shows me that Dove and its parent brand Unilever don't think highly enough of my skin to consider my thoughts and feelings. I on the other hand, think and care way too highly of my skin to put a product on it that would cause it so much irritation. Therefore, there is no space on my beauty cosmetics table or in my bathroom for them as I have washed my hands off Dove and its parent company Unilever.  

#SayNoToRacism #MySkinMatters #LAM #BHM

In the spirit of #BlackHistoryMonth and the fact that it's #Blogtober I've decided to blog more frequently this month.

*This post has been UPDATED since original posting.

1 Oct 2017

Happy Black History Month | #LAM

Happy Black History Month! Happy 30th Anniversary for UK Black History Month. Happy Nigerian Independence Day to my fellow African sisters and brothers too :D

What is the purpose of Black History Month (BHM)?
BHM was created to celebrate prominent Black heroes, historical achievements and remember the Black struggle. The first UK BHM was held in London and organised by Ghanaian analyst and special projects coordinator: Akyaaba Addai-Sebo.
Akyaaba Addai-Sebo
It's roots can are founded in Negro History Week, which sought to re-address the fact that Black History was not taught in mainstream schools and the contributions of significant Black people (Forgotten Heroes) were not given their due recognition. 

Due to state-sanctioned murders of Black people (read police brutality) *eyeroll* in America and in the UK, the continued need for #BlackLivesMatter and BHM becomes all the more pertinent.

So no we won't be renaming or repurposing Black History Month to 'People of Colour Month,' or 'Black and Multicultural Awareness Month,' or 'Black and Minority Ethnic Group Month' or any such variation. Black people worldwide had to fight long and hard in order to get BHM recognised and institutionalised. 

Do we still need Black History Month (BHM) in the 21st century?
'I understand all that, but that was in the past. Now we are in the 21st century. BHM is so unnecessary. Where's White History Month?'

I can hear some of you asking in genuine confusion or feigned ignorant bliss where White History Month is (in the name of racial equality, right)? White History Month is everywhere always. Open your eyes and ears and you'll see it's never too far. It's in the National Curriculum (read KS2-KS4 History). It's in English too; didn't you realise that the literary canon was purposely non-inclusive despite the fact that we live in a supposedly multicultural society? 
Black history has been strategically removed, ignored and white-washed. It's not yet taught properly in all UK schools, and when we do here about, it's very reductionist and just focuses on the enslavement of Black peoples. So yup, for those of you who didn't hear me in the back, we still need BHM. For as long as Whiteness in all its elusivity continues to remain culturally ingrained in society, the need for BHM won't go anywhere.

Despite the fact that we are living in the 21st century we unfortunately still have a long way to go before we banish racial inequalities. Can searching our roots offer give us the much needed insight we need to move forward?
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Copyright: www.cobainc.com/sankofa_definition.php

I believe it can. The Ghanaian adinkra symbol 'Sankofa' of the bird with its head twisted backwards to receive an egg is often associated with BHM. Sankofa means 'to go back and get/fetch/take it.'  This visual representation reminds us to go back and get it. The word is taken from the Akan proverb which reminds us that it's not wrong to back and take something we've forgotten. Sankofa therefore reminds us that in order to move forward, we should look back (not to live in the past) but to see how our history, roots and heritage have contributed to our present and what this could mean for the future.

Sankofa badges are being sold this month. Help support slavery remembrance. By remembering our past, we can move forward. 

Stay beautiful, blessed and woke folks!

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