Culturally Rich Things To Do In Lancaster PA This Summer That I’m Involved!

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The Cite Aka Mic Bleed

For the community and spectators who seek an enriching experience “lyrics appreciation” #micbleed aims to provide a safe space for thorough entertainment complete with cultural purpose and vibrant energy.

For the artist/ performers cultivating their crafts the cite’ #micbleed aims to provide a safe space for thorough performance where artists are encouraged and inspired to present their finest visuals, truest audios and most pure spirituals. #ayeg #lyricsappreciation #micbleed #openmic #pavaartists #pavaagallery

Follow @pavaagallery @travelingfam on Instagram                                                    Visit their website for more: pavaagallery.com

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Imani Edu-Tainers African Dance Company

Imani and featured invited guests present an evening reflecting traditional West African culture. Two exciting 45-minutes segments rely on traditional drum, dance, and song to represent significant contributions of West African culture to American society

Visit their website for more: http://www.imaniafricandance.org

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Music Friday

Pavaa Gallery will be one of the “Music Friday” locations for summer 2018. Starting each 3rd Friday in June, DJ Gerri will be spinning the best in afro/world beat/drum/dance from 7 to 10 PM. No cover! 21+ BYOB. #artgallery #culture #dance #gerrimccritty #music #musicfriday #musicforeveryone #pavaartists #pavaagallery #shoplocal #thingstodoinlancaster #632nchristianstlancasterpa

Follow @pavaagallery on Instagram                          Visit their website for more: pavaagallery.com

Follow my personal pages @girlrillavintage and @girlrillavintagewears on Instagram

Mamas Nurture Grew My Love

Fully realized 😍! Thankful to the healthy first beginnings I shared with my young mother. How she (begrudgingly breastfed, cuddled, hugged, and sweet talked me) as I developed. The language was love in a less than favorable environment. A language, I translated to cultivate my own love experience. And no matter how the foundation bottomed out, the love she passed along did not. Gace face. Sharing for you mama. Rest well lady.

-TheeAmazingGrace

#afrikanculture #ancestry #girlrillavintage #nurturegrewmylove #nofilter #smilingformama #wcw

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Art Always Finds It’s Way Home

I remember my brotha @phototheft calling my home a mini art museum because of the introspection, the look, the way it felt. He went on to call me Ogeechie, as if there was something special about my past. Made me nostalgic of my college days, the way people seemed enamored and terrified of my freedom all at the same time lol! Made me feel that perhaps I was in fact born fully realized after all lol! Art that is meant for me always finds its way home. Meet mama Kenya and mama Bessie Smith two of my newest. Both wildly vintage. Both starkly beautiful. Timeless. Women crush. Both thrifty in price. Having been a conscious collector for about 25-years, I collect art for the way it makes me feel and for the stories behind it.

BF520EC0-E263-4AB1-A925-681D81E821A1.jpegMama Kenya…

Came to me from an online resource in rural York County PA about a month ago. The person that owned the piece of art spoke of it as an inanimate object that had no meaning or value. Said that it had been in his basement covered in cobwebs & dust for 35-years. He continued to share a story about his girlfriend back then that worked as a missionary in Nairobi Kenya, East Afrika. He described how cool it was when she came back with all these sculptures, the shield and a spear. As you likely can guess the relationship didn’t last and in time the shield aka Mama Kenya was forgotten. I asked him why NOW did he want to get rid of the art piece. He told me that it frankly didn’t go with his current motif, plus he was married with children, LOL!

It’s funny, in a weird way, the way it all happened because he had no way of knowing the cultural significance the “dusty” old shield from Nairobi Kenya meant to me. How, my life’s work is literally to love and liberate my Afrikan cultural identity and those attached to it. How, I had just completed my Afrikan DNA test through africanancestry.com, the day before. How, I was in the process of making Afrikan inspired shields for Imani Edu-Tainers African Dance Company’s 23rd Annual recital coming up in June 2018. When we made the exchange of money and goods I beamed inside and hurried into my car before he could change his mind. I thought, what a gift I was just granted. He thanked me for being the one. I welcomed mama Kenya home!

Mama Bessie…

She appeared to be waiting for me at the corner of Woodland Ave and Chester Ave. My family and I went over to the Uhuru Flea Market in Philadelphia that day, the first one of the year, last month. There she was, a profile, beautiful like the black behind a starry nighttime sky, leaned up against an old dilapidated vendor table. She was the first portrait in a stack of about 10 other portraits and profiles. I fell in love with how she wore Afrika on her skin and in the depths of her eyes.

Interestingly, I remember learning about her in 4th grade at Samuel B. Huey  Elementary School in Philadelphia and again while in undergraduate school at Lincoln University in PA, but never took the time to really know her story, her music, her legacy. That night I submerged myself in her brief bio on Wikipedia. I gleamed at the way she lived such a vibrant and full life. I cried at the way her life ended at age 43. How racial discrimination of the time lead to her death. How racist white doctors and ambulance drivers refused her entry into their white hospital near by. How the image of  her broken body going into shock from the blood loss. How time wasn’t on her side and they left her there to die in route to the black hospital, hours away.

I was moved by ancestors to smudge. I smudged everything. All of the air, her picture, mama Kenya, mama Bessie’s terryfing final moments. I smudged it all away and asked for their permission to uplift their memories. Their vibrant memories. I believe the acceptance came when the wind blew calm and warm.

I’m always grateful  to love my people through all of our stages through life, death and in-between. To hold space for these ancestral artifacts in my home and in my heart is more than art collecting, its my birth right of passage, an honor and a privilege.

In awe of their stories.

-TheeAmazingGrace

 

#afrikanface #africanart #artistsoninstagram #bessiesmith  #girlrillavintage #mycollections #ngunihide #uhurufleamarket #vintage #warriorsheild #wcw

Allium Sativum: the Next Generation

Be garlic. In a world of vampires. Now I understand why my gram wore ropes of it underneath her dresses, cooked with it, and rubbed it on our chests and backs when sick. It’s power.

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7D77469F-3F9B-4587-B048-1BDD9D8D22E9.jpegAncient Kemetian Afrikans were the first to teach us of the sacredness of Allium Sativum (garlic). After all, garlic cloves were found in the tomb of King Tut. Sacred. Is. in. Our. DNA.

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FB14386A-D7D9-419A-90C2-1CEA279ADCCB#afrika #afrikanface #ancientkemet #ancestortones #dna #garlic #girlrillavintage #gelewrap #girlrillavintageofcultchaᙠeforetheboat #healthiswealth #kingtut #mindbodyspirit #protection #sacred #selfiesunday #sarees #tag #theeamazinggrace

My Sweethoney Glistening

Quote

“It’s a hell of an honor supporting self reliant, little black girls and boys. Those who love themselves, or need extra support, but allowing them to love themselves nonetheless. Building self-confident, self-assured, aware, #blackchildren without fear, without burdening them with the worlds problems, or with our own needs and problems, without expecting them to fulfill all the things we didn’t, is a feat, that we’re working through. Shout out to all of the beautiful, black mamas and papas (to include loved ones of my own, doing it right now), raising RAD ASS, capable ass, black humans! It can be a difficult road, yet it’s not an impossible journey. Keep up the fantastic work. You got support! We got this!”

Had the privilege of spending a few hours with my 7-year old goddaughter, this afternoon. Her mother went on a job interview (that she scored, on the spot, by the way 🙌🏾)! I was asked to spend time with her until mama finished. We went to my goddaughter’s favorite store, or perhaps, favorite for most children her age, Toys-R-Us. As we walked through the maze of toys, she kept asking for things that I didn’t have the money to buy lol! Its a thing convincing a 7-year old that you’re not rich and barely have money to pay your rent, but knowing she’s still a child I decided to contribute to her experience the best way I could. I snappped photos of all of the items that me, I mean, she wanted, so we could show them to her mother (a big kid like me can dream right 😜 lol?!) She told me that I could show her mama the pictures, but that Santa 🎅🏾  was really the one to tell, since he did all the hard work on Christmas. I didn’t want to burst her bubble about Santa not being real, plus she was at a vibratory frequency, so elevated that I didn’t want to destroy a moment so pure.

I listened instead of talking at her. It seemed therapeutic for us both, the experience of walking through what I call a real live toy jungle #toysrus. We used the time to catch on previous weeks. She was rambunctious, yet mildly subdued while showing me her favorite toys, behaving almost well enough, so that I might buy her something (wishful thinking kid lol)! At any rate, she especially liked the #shopkins, some grocery store item toys and other funny things like that. She told me about doing well in school. I asked, what her favorite part was. She replied, “I loooooooooove reading #chapterbooks!” I asked, why? She told me a story about being able to read them really fast and that she likes all the big words. She went on to tell me that she wants a hundred chapter books to read. Talk about AMBITIOUS, you go girl 🙌🏾🤓🤪!

We walked around most of the store before my feet started to hurt lol! Before leaving, she suggested that we go over to the dolls section. Part of me was nervous because from my view, there was little representation of any dolls that looked like us. I had to trust her though. It’s something about trusting our children in their ability to lead, at least in that moment. Immediately, she gravitated to the few dolls that looked like us #blackandbrown. I was like, I’ll be damned lol! Not that I was surprised-it was more a refreshing feeling, if that makes since? I was beyond happy to know that she was intuitively paying attention! She asked me to take a picture of the first doll she liked. Talk about honored, I was! Photo below

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I captured the brief moment on video, perhaps two seconds too late because she raved on and on about this particular doll, or maybe I was right on time because she still got the point. The moment she chose a doll that had the same hair texture and complexion as her. She didn’t shy away from the familiar. She didn’t shy away from how she really felt. She was in awe of this inanimate objects reflection of herself! It was so much bigger than that. She exclaimed, she’s so pretty!” Here is the short video link from my Instagram page @girlrillavintage ⬇️

She went on to choose, several more dolls of color that she liked. She payed a compliment to her mother by showing me a doll that she said, “looked pretty like her mama”! She asked me to take more photos of dolls that she wanted for Christmas. Here are some of the photos I captured in those moments. I’m so pleased at how at age seven, she hasn’t yet been damaged by our society’s anti-black messages in that way. How inspiring it is to witness her mother, my best friend, raising, three, thriving black daughters. And to witness how the women in her family encouraged her sense of self (from her Nana, to aunties, to her older sister) all who wear their hair #natural and funky other styles!

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What an awesome experience to have had with her! How, I used the opportunity to empower the power within her. How, she sought a reflection of herself in that store. How, I watched her #fallinlove with her beautiful #afrikanface, despite, us being underrepresented in that moment. How AWESOME, witnessing her compliment the black girls in her life. How, she recognized the beautiful familiar in those dolls, and embraced the same within herself. God-mommy win of the year lol! Safe return to the little black girl inside me, living vicariously through her, and all those cool #toys lol! And although I never got to be a playful, little #blackgirl like her, look at how beautiful it is that she gets to be. Sweet honey, glistening! 🍯 ⭐️ 💫 🌟

 

Oh yes and after I showed her mother all the photos and video, she urged me to share this with the world on social-media because it made her proud too, so here we are with permission lol!

Warmest,

#TAG AKA #THEEAMAZINGGRACE AKA #GRACEBERRY #DJBOODESTANK AKA #SLEEPY AKA #MIKE AKA #BROWNSKINSKINNYKID

Beyond the Seven Letters In Forever

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I keep pulling memories from my follicles, little bro. Wish you had left here a little easier. A little softer. Calmer. A bit more peace left behind. A little less dramatic. But shit, it wouldn’t be you. You remind me. You remain, the deepest love I’ve ever known. My brother. Missing you on this day of your death. Shoutout, to my loved ones for showing me today! ♥️

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On the eve of your departure, little bro. Post-up In the mirrored halls we’ve spent so much time. Time being #queer #young AND #black lol! I peak over my shoulder, only to see you there. Missing you beyond the 7-letters in #forever. #tribesgiving #belvedere #mybrothersswag #agingmakesmeknowit #magicalspirit