M.Y.M.Monday

Melanated Empath Candle Co. and Emporium

*Featured in the Thump in Thought giveaway boxes

https://www.melanatedempath.com/

WHYNOTus 

Some members (IG handles): @whyhnotduce @whynothauch @whynotneen @whynotflee @whynotgotti

WHYNOTus is a group of young innovators from Virginia. Their mission is to help their brand grow and to push the mentality of people to ask WHY can’t they be the next (superstar/doctor/model/artist/professional athlete, etc.) 

They have people in their group who have a strong passion for making clothes, music, designing logos, promoting, etc. 

Motivational words for you: You can literally do whatever you want to do in life. Continue to grind and nothing in life is guaranteed to you. Figure out what success truly means to you besides the riches and fame. 

Apparel available : https://whynotusva.bigcartel.com/category/tees

Phone: 804-467-2042

Instagram: @whynotusva 

Toffi Streetwear Clothing 

*WHYNOTNeen and WHYNOTFlee

In 2017, WHYNOTNeen began graphic designing for fun and ended up teaching himself how to make logos and cover art from YouTube videos. He end up creating the original teddy bear logo, but it was WHYNOTFlee that gave him the name, “Toffi.” At that point, there was no meaning behind that name, but it sounded dope and different so they decided to us it. 

Now that the brand has expanded, they decided to add meaning behind it, as originally they just wanted to wear clothing that they like. They weren’t planning on it being a big brand. 

That why they came up with:

(T)o

(O)ur

(F)riends &

(F)amily

(!)

They wanted to provide their own streetwear brand to their friends and family which has eventually extended to everyone (the Toffi family). 

Website: https://whynotusva.bigcartel.com/category/toffi-streetwear-clothing

Instagram: @tofficlothing 

The Wait is Over

I am proud and pleased to present to you, for the first time ever, my new line of Ancestrally Waisted waistbeads…

TENDAJI

These first 6 pieces were inspired by African Orishas: Elegua, Yemaya and Oshun, respectively.

Elegua

The Elegua design was influenced largely by the current racial injustices, political inequities, and many who have suffered and are suffering. This grounding string of waist beads can aid in strengthening your Root chakra, focusing energy into positive forces, opening the channel to divine love. The dualistic nature of the color pattern represents opposing forces of forgiveness, Garnet stones lend kindness and compassion to self love and self worth. Black Onyx are added to enhance inner strength, will power and discipline, as well as help to calm nervousness, ease anxiety and soothe tempers.

Yemaya

Yemaya waist beads are intended to protect energies by preventing others from tapping into and draining yours. The color and number pattern variation of beads represent nurturing and loving yet direct and frank energies needed to effectively remove obstacles and protect all things female. Ideal for rites of passage into womanhood and motherhood. The ocean is symbolized by the Sodalite beads. Sodalite heightens intuition, observation, creativity and mental ability. It also aids with stress and anxiety reduction, Labrodorite offers a portal into self discovery by activating your inner eye. Strength and unity can be drawn from these strands that hold together the interconnectedness of creation.

Oshun                            

Oshun beads represent mental clarity and intellect in matters of love, relationships, prosperity, wealth, and health. Reminding you to live life like it’s golden leaving a blaze of transformative, energy that illuminates from your strong core of confidence. Tiger’s eye stimulates the root, sacral, and solar plexus chakras; assisting with the remaining grounded, centered and balanced, no matter the conditions…internal or external. African Green Jasper aids to balance the Earthly world, spiritual wisdom and the sacred interaction of life in and with nature. It also is recognized for properties that help one heal and release obsessions and disease, drive away evil spirits and harmful thoughts and restore harmony and balance to your emotional body energy, making it an excellent sleep stone.

Please contact me to discuss these waist beads or any other waist beads that you may be interested in learning more about, or ordering. I love tailoring them for specific wants and needs as much as I enjoy connecting with you and creating what feels right. Your options are limitless when it comes to design, color, stones, intention and purpose.

Look for Ancestrally Waisted beads on Thump In Thought and Instagram until further notice. Prices range from $15-$30, depending on the types of beads and number of gemstones included. I am currently working to offer online purchasing options but for the time being you may message me here @thumpinthought, on my personal IG, instagram.com/truthizbeauty/ and instagram.com/AncestrallyWaisted/.

If you haven’t already, check out my Ancestrally Waisted (HEAL) post from July 2.

Thump Out!

Let’s Check-in:

As I was brainstorming what to write about this week, Courtney B. asked me two questions, 

“Where are you right now, as in mentally?”

-and- 

“What is something you’ve been thinking about often?”

So, here’s my response: 

I am actually in a great place right now. I’m surprisingly happy, excited and feeling empowered/motivated…mostly, but there’s the occasional anxiety, stress, and fear. However, the other emotions overpower the negative ones.

I say “surprisingly” because there are so many things going on in the world that are out of my control. However, I’ve decided to focus on the things that are in my control, and I just roll with the punches on anything else that comes my way. I’ve been working on not overthinking or stressing, and just living in every moment as it is. Nothing more, nothing less. That has given me a sense of peace. I am content. 

I’ve also found myself grateful for the small things more. 

Like a sushi date with my boyfriend on the back of his truck. 

Like being able to work outside while the sun is shining and  

Like being able to drive to my moms house whenever I want to (I haven’t lived this close to home since I graduated high school). 

But I’m also grateful for the bigger things that I took for granted before 

Like being able to pay all of my bills on-time 

Like being in good health 

Like having a strong support system. 

To the second question, I have been thinking about MANY THINGS! I’m thinking about new passion projects that I am very very excited to share with you all. I am thinking about ways to empower others and support our community, which is partially being done by showcasing and supporting black businesses on this blog and in real life.

Although we are in a very uncertain time, I am very excited for my future. I’m excited to see what’s to come for me, my family, my friends, and my community. I’m excited to see how far we’ll go. 

Because of this extremely determined state that I am in, I am the hardest on myself right now, so some days I have to give myself gratitude. You shouldn’t wait for praise from others. Give yourself the credit that you deserve. Pour all of the energy and love you give to others, into yourself sometimes, because you deserve it. 

Lastly, be kind to yourself. Something that I have been learning to be okay with is imperfection. If you are “perfect” at everything, you have no room to grow. There is no up from there. You have nothing to look forward to. Also, some days you are going to be at 100%, you are going to feel motivated, determined, and happy. But some days you are going to feel lazy, unproductive, and you’re just going to want to sit on the couch, watch movies, and eat pizza; and that is okay too. Self-care days and moments that you are working at a slow pace, are not signs of defeat. They are necessary in order to work at the speed you work at every other day of the month. 

Just don’t let those days keep you down. If you have 2 days this month where you’re “not-so-productive”, guess what? You have 28-29 more days to be on your sh** and that my friend is a win. You should feel proud of that. How much has that improved from last month? From the last six months? From the last year? Recognize that progression and applaud yourself for that. Keep growing, you are doing amazing! 

My two goals/self-care practices this month are: 

#2 : To read 30 minutes everyday for my pleasure. Right now, I am reading “We’re Going to Need More Wine” by Gabrielle Union. It is best paired with a glass of wine and a burning candle. I will be reading “Becoming” by Michelle Obama next month. I was also gifted her “guided journal for discovering your voice,” that I am very excited to start working in.

#2 : Complete the Toffi (I’ll explain more about what Toffi is in a later post) July 30 mile challenge. I was challenged by a friend to run a total of 30 miles this month. It is definitely holding me accountable. 

“Where are you right now, as in mentally?” and what are your July goals? Let me know in the comments!!

LIVE.LAUGH.LOVE yourself first. Until next time. Mwauh 💋 -Alex

F. F. T. (Food For Thought)

Creamy Garlic Butter Tuscan Shrimp over Salmon and Quinoa

About 2.5 years ago, I came across this Creamy Garlic Butter Tuscan Shrimp recipe on Pinterest and it has been my favorite meal to cook ever since! Shortly after that, I decided to try it with Salmon for my boyfriend and I’s first anniversary (I also found this recipe on Pinterest). I had each recipe over rice or noodles, but I preferred the rice. This meal is definitely a fan favorite, especially of Courtney B. and my boyfriend.  This time I made it, I decided to switch it up though and combine the two recipes. It wasn’t hard  to do at all. I cooked the salmon first and put it over quinoa (YUMMY!), and then followed the shrimp recipe.

After I completed the entire recipe, I poured the sauce over the salmon. I have not tried making it with the optional white wine yet, because the recipe amazes me without it, but I will include that addition in the future. I also like to add mushrooms in when I’m frying the onion. I highly recommend this! Try it out and let me know how you like it. If you are a seafood and alfredo lover, I promise you will not be disappointed! Also, let me know if you add any additional ingredients that you think makes it taste better!


Pretzel Salad

Ingredients Needed:

1 Bag a stick pretzels 

1 12oz container of cool whip 

8oz block of cream cheese

sugar

1 stick and a half of butter

Directions:

First mix the pretzel sticks, melted butter, and 1/2 cup of sugar. 

Next Bake in oven for about 7 mins, take out once sugar is crystalized on pretzels.

Let it cool down.

In a large bowl (glass, bamboo, or silicon preferably) #savetheEarth

beat cream cheese and another 1/2 cup of sugar together until creamy and smooth.

Next stir in the drained can of crushed pineapples and full 12 oz container of cool whip

Lastly mix in the the pretzel pieces, be sure to get the left over butter and sugar for extra flavor! 

Refrigerate for about and hour and it is ready to eat! 

If you have any recipes that you would like to share, please send them to thumpinthought@gmail.com to be showcased on the first Tuesday of next month!

M.Y.M.M. (Mind Your Money Monday)

Thump In Thought is dedicated and determined to promote and support businesses owned by people of color. As a business owner and a woman of color, I want to be an example and mentor for other entrepreneurs. We’re in this thing called “life” together and together we are GREATER. Let’s put cooperative economics into daily practice and be conscious of where we spend (invest) our money. I hope you visit the websites of the businesses featured. You may find what you’re looking for or better yet, you may find something you didn’t even know you needed.

Shayola, The Artisan

Shayola, The Artisan is a Brooklyn native who’s called Richmond, VA home for the last 20 years.  Shayola is a former mental health professional and home-bound teacher for the private and public sectors in Richmond.  January of 2000, Shayola began to transition back to a natural living lifestyle both personally & professionally and in 2015, created Holistic Alayé pronounced (ah-lay-yay) and meaning (living).  Holistic Alayé LLC was created to share Shayola’s vegan culinary talents and vision with communities throughout the DMV area.  Today Holistic Alayé offers nourishment to mind, body, spirit and currency (economics).  Holistic Alayé is the parent company of Mermaids & Muffins, which offers fresh Yoni Steam Blends, A Yoni Diary (7 part womb workshop), Sacred Woman Treasure Chests & Wombman support tribe.  As well as Return to Your Royalty, a gold exchange company, where we share the art turning paper dollars into an appreciating asset, which is GOLD!  Shayola continues her journey as a Sacred Woman Practitioner, Womb Yoga Dance Practitioner, Yoni Steam Practitioner, an enthusiastic Vegan Chef,  Emerald Green Practitioner, author of 5D Prosperity, A guide to a Light body through DeProgrammimg, DeStressing, Detoxification, Discipline & Discernment and Wealth Builder & Gold Saver!

Website: http://www.holisticalaye.com

Instagram: shayola_the_artisan

Briana Young-Roane

Gypsy Yoga Mama Brand

Website: http://www.gypsyyogamama.com

Instagram: @thegypsyyogamama & @gypsyyogamamatribe

Mission:

At GYM we are a lifestyle brand dedicated to helping people of color find magic in their everyday lives. We are here for it all! Yoga, Movement & Meditation, Home Decor, Vegan Cooking, Gardening, and so much more. Gypsy Yoga Mama is the one stop shop for everyday magic.

Business Name: Breathe Yoga Studio

Website: http://www.breatheva.com

Email: questions@breatheva.com

Description: A boutique yoga studio dedicated to serve the community. 

Love, Light & Magic,

Briana Young-Roane

Isaiah Parham, Clean Cuts Landscaping

Services provided in Petersburg, Prince George and the surrounding areas. Prices vary depending on yard size.

Services offered: 

Mowing – starting at $25 (includes weed eating and edging) 

Mulch, shrub, flower, and border install 

Bush trimming 

Some tree limbing or cutting (based on the size) 

Call 804-898-2962 or email cleancutslandscaping15@gmail.com for a consultation or for more information.

Ancestrally Waisted

How many of you know what culturally based practice displays symbolic colors, patterns, and adornments to commemorate rights of passage, to promote fertility and track pregnancy, to signify birth, to display sensuality, to identify tribes, to acknowledge status and affluence, to empower, to protect, to uplift, to enlighten, to honor, to connect…

…Waist beads

As you can see, I am pretty petite, slim and narrow. I have a shape but I was aerodynamically blessed with minimal curves. However, if I turn to the side, you will see that I’ve had 4 children, the last by cesarean. My stomach is stretch-marked, wrinkled and rounded but when I tied my first strand of waist beads around my torso and let them fall to my hips I immediately felt more shapely, womanly, sexy and confident.

All that from some beads? Well, not just any beads. Let me take you back a bit. For my bearthday I decided that I wanted to make myself a set of waist beads. In true Thump fashion, I began to read and research. Much of what I found, I already had knowledge of so I went on to gather the right beads and other materials. I was ready to create…then I received a call informing me that my GrandmaMece was in the hospital and it didn’t sound good. I went to the hospital to find out exactly what had happened and to be with her. For those of you who don’t know, I took care of my grandmother for years once she was exhibiting signs of dementia. We also shared space often throughout my life, point being I would not leave her by herself. I spent 10 days in the hospital with her and one day at my father’s house before she took her last breath on this Earth. One of the hardest but most meaningful things I’ve ever done.

After that I needed to make my waist beads more than ever. It was therapeutic and restorative. When I pay attention and listen, spirit leads me to do what I need to at that time. Evidently it was time to connect my ancestors with myself and to share my wisdom and skills with my tribe. I made some for my daughters, friends and clients.

On July 5, 2018, I tied on 5 waist beads. July 7, I tied on 3 more and shortly after that, I tied on 2 more. I wore them for just about a year (a few days shy). During that time, I formed a different relationship with myself. I was learning to protect, ground, center, comfort, forgive, love, respect, adore, honor, uplift and celebrate ME.

All that from sacred waist beads.

Today I am proud to announce that I have been working diligently on a new line of waist beads inspired by the African Orishas. The first 3 are Elegua, Yemaya and Oshun. I intentionally incorporated powerful stones, colors, numerology, chakras and holistic healing.

My waist beads are designed to be tied, as our ancestors did. You can wear them however, whenever and wherever. I do believe that the beads come off when the time is right. That may mean they pop or you remove them. Each strand is made to order with individual concerns, issues, desires and aspirations in mind. I also cleanse, charge and bless each strand before sending/giving them to you.

I will debut my new line on July 10, 2020, on Instagram so be on the look out for an announcement. If you’re as excited as I am and can’t wait that long, you can place your order by direct message through the Thump In Thought Instagram page (@thumpinthought) or by email ThumpInThought@gmail.com. Please put “waist beads” for the subject and be sure to include contact info so we can discuss your wants and needs. I look forward to assisting you. Continue to be blessed and a blessing.

Thump out!

HAIR STORY

Story time!

Back in college my freshman year I had an elective speech class, you know those mandatory classes before you get into the major courses.

I don’t remember exactly what the specific topic for this week was but of course I somehow found a way to write creatively for this assignment…

*Fun fact I strongly dislike formal writing, especially research papers.

While I still have no idea where this piece of work is at the moment I know I shared my relationship to those who were listening about my hair and I.

Growing up, my mother always did my hair or paid someone to style it: braids, twist, ect. I’m not sure at what age I first got a relaxer but after a while I was tired of it being a monthly activity, and having to deal with the rough in-between stage. I remember sitting there twitching in my seat as it burned my scalp but it was the price I had to pay… if I wanted my hair to be laid. A nick-name for a relaxer was crack, being that I needed a fix every month.

Before I decided I no longer wanted to get perms, I decided I wanted to style my own hair. My mother still assisted in the crack application but in 5th grade, I became the stylist. I had specialty hairstyles too! There was: The Low Pony Tail, The Mid-Way Pony Tail, The High Pony Tail  (there was no high pony tail because my kitchen would fall off the pony) The Banana Clip, Straightened with a part to the middle, and Straightened with a part to the side.

*Kitchen is defined as the tight coily hairs at the bottom of your hair line or the hairs that do not make it into the pony tail because they are too short.

I grew up in Prince George County Va, where there is land, neighborhoods, and big trucks with mufflers. Our school system is diverse in my opinion only because we are located near the military base, Fort Lee, however the longtime residents of Prince George County are predominately Caucasians. With that being said you can imagine the ethnical representation in the class rooms. It’s kind of weird to say, but it is my truth… there is one time I use to wish I was White and that was in 5th grade. It was because everyone at the time had cliques and their specified group of friends. I got along with basically everyone as I do now, but it was as if I didn’t fit in. I always had to insert myself rather than just automatically be included and because of the ethnical representation the groups I am referring to was mostly white children. I remember being on the swing by myself swinging and in my own thoughts… it was almost time for a fix, my relaxer. The girls next to me too were swinging and I remember being fixated on their hair. How their hair rose in the wind as they swung forward, and gracefully fell and spread across their back as they came back down. Beautiful I thought.

Then I centered my thoughts back on self… comparing at this point. Sometimes a dangerous thing but I guess a pivotal point for me.

I realized that my pony tail ( because I had been doing my own hair and only had 5 styles) too had rose with the wind when I swung forward. The difference was that it never came back down. She (miss pony) was stuck in a horizontal position and there was nothing graceful or beautiful about that.

I then thought there has to be another way. I don’t want to get burned by a perm any more, I don’t want to go through the stiff hair stage anymore, the dark before the dawn. I don’t want to continue to change, change something that’s naturally me, just to be more like someone else.

At the time my mom thought it was absurd but gave me the blessing to “go natural” resting assured that it would save her money and that I would be in this battle alone! I took the challenge and it was a challenge. Through my 6th and 8th grade year I was in transition attempting new hair styles the natural way with my straight permed ends trailing close behind. I chose not to do the big chop because I was not ready for all of that. One major change at a time.

I am so grateful I decided to do the transition  at a younger age because at the time it wasn’t a popular movement. I was literally the only one I know doing it and even though I looked crazy, people in school thought it was cool .. and different. By the time I hit 10th grade I had the hang of things and it was normal.. Courtney was natural. I then started having people approach me for tips on how to make their transition.

That speech I wrote eventually was extended and made into a poem. A poem I performed my senior year in college at an open mic. I remember saying something like my hair doesn’t need to be relaxed because everything about it in itself is cool. I remember explaining how it would take me 3 hours to do my hair every night only to undo it the next morning but those 3 hours were needed quality time. Time I needed to learn my hair, to learn myself and build that trust and love. I can now get her done at night within an hour and I’ve learned how to preserve my styles to last for days. My hair is my crown, no matter what style I wear it . The words beautiful and graceful can’t even begin to describe all that she, my crown, we embody.

Ultimately I wanted to be White to fit in to the environment I was in, and for my hair to flow as theirs do… but really all I needed was the right flat iron! Now I can do it all, straight, curling, kinky. One of my favorite things I love being asked when my hair is straight is “ I thought you were natural” Oh I am my love!

As far as fitting in… I was never made to, so I stopped trying and created my own lane.

-Courtney B.

Promoting Perpetual Pride

Thump In Thought is committed to making a difference in ourselves, our families, our communities, and our world. We will be showcasing black owned businesses, black created products, culturally uplifting organizations and programs that benefit all, especially the black community.

Back in March, I started plans for my garden in preparation for whatever was coming; food shortages, contamination or the closure of businesses that produce or distribute food. The idea was, if it came down to it, I would at least be able to feed my family. More recently I have been much more intentional with exactly where my money is going, how much and how often. It’s sad to say, there are no black owned grocery store in my county or any of the surrounding cities, that I know of. So how can we support what we don’t have?…we must create for ourselves.

I am proud to say that I am an alumna of Virginia State University, as are my father and one of my brothers, formerly known as Virginia State College for Negroes, Virginia Normal and College Institute, a historically black land-grant university that was founded on March 6, 1882. It was the first fully state supported, four year institution for black people in America.

The Higher Education Act of 1965 defines HBCUs as, “…any historically black college or university that was established prior to 1964, whose principal mission was, and is, the education of black Americans, and that is accredited by a nationally recognized accrediting agency or association determined by the Secretary [of Education]…”

These were spaces our ancestors created for us to counteract ignorance, oppression and systemic racism. When education went from illegal to unavailable, our ancestors made it possible. Give thanks! I honor my ancestors by taking full advantage of the path made for me. I am the first on my mothers side (immediate family including my siblings, aunts, (I have no uncles), first cousins and grandparents), to graduate with a BS, and MS. My father earned his BS two years before I did, Yes we were on the yard together, making history and herstory, I was PROUD to say the least.

If you care to learn some of the background that birthed these historically rich and preserving institutions, check out the link below:.

5 Things To Know: HBCU Edition (https://nmaahc.si.edu/blog-post/5-things-know-hbcu-edition)

VSU is one of 107 HBCUs in the United States that are recognized by USDOE (Dept. of Ed.) http://www.thehundred-seven.org/. It was not my first choice, I attended North Carolina State University first. NCSU is a predominately white instution (PWI) that is also a land-grant university. That decision was based on proximity to my immediate and extended family and the presence of a veterinary medicine program. There was (and still is) only one HBCU that even had a vet school, Tuskegee in Alabama, and I was not going that far from home. I do not regret, for one moment, going from NCSU to VSU, a PWI to an HBCU. I’m glad I had the opportunities to attend both. You might think that would highlight any disparities between the two but instead it allowed me to be even more appreciative of what was gifted and available to me: a wealth of culture that I related to personally, a community that understood what I needed to survive and thrive, faculty and staff that genuinely worked to ensure success for their students, once in a lifetime research and work experiences, access to some of the most amazing minds in academia and let’s not forget HOMECOMING. Beyonce’s Netflix special gives a glimpse into the immense family reunion accompanied by parades, step shows, football games, concerts, and linking up with “brothers, sisters, and cousins” who you haven’t seen a forever. I love my HBCU and who I am as a result of what I did while I was there.

No matter how you choose to continue your education, the decision should encompass a list of things such as cost, location, programs offered and most importantly (to me) where you will be most comfortable to grow freely. The college years are usually filled with self discovery and worldly realizations. We learn better, live better and fare better if your training, education and preparation are done under less stressful, less threatening, more welcoming, encouraging and inclusive conditions.

As we navigate how to continue to enlighten, educate, uplift and support the black community I am highlighting Historically Black Colleges and Universities, especially my alma mater VSU, as well as organizations that support them.

4 things you can do to show your support:

  1. Join the national alumni association of your alma mater
  2. Invest in HBCUs
  3. Mentor/volunteer
  4. Talk about them; create and continue a positive narrative
  5. Support them even if you didn’t attend one and uplift them even if you didn’t attend that specific one. I attend events at other HBCUs, I wear there apparel, I share their history and accomplishments. I represent all HBCUs…period

Organizations that support HBCUs:

Thurgood Marshall College Fund (https://www.tmcf.org/)

Established in 1987, the Thurgood Marshall College Fund (TMCF) is the nation’s largest organization exclusively representing the Black College Community. TMCF member-schools include the publicly-supported Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) and Predominantly Black Institutions (PBIs). Publicly-supportedHBCUs enroll over 80% of all students attending HBCUs. Through scholarships, capacity building and research initiatives, innovative programs, and strategic partnerships, TMCF is a vital resource in the K-12 and higher education space. The organization is also a source for top employers seeking top talent for competitive internships and good jobs.

The Tom Joyner Foundation (https://tomjoynerfoundation.org/)

The Tom Joyner Foundation was founded in 1998 as the brainchild of nationally syndicated radio personality Tom Joyner. The mission of the Foundation is to support historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) with scholarships, endowments and capacity-building enhancements.

The Foundation has provided necessary support to every HBCU in its 20-year history to help sustain and preserve the legacies of these valuable institutions. Through fundraising and donor development initiatives, $65 million has been raised to support more than 29,000 students attending HBCUs. Additionally, the Foundation has recommended internships, offered matching grant support, and career development to deserving students.

Support Black Colleges (https://supportblackcolleges.org/.) 

SUPPORT BLACK COLLEGES IS A CLOTHING LINE WHO’S SOLE MISSION IS TO UPLIFT, INSPIRE & ENCOURAGE OTHERS TO SUPPORT HBCU’S. SBC WAS FOUNDED IN 2012 BY TWO HOWARD UNIVERSITY STUDENTS WHO SAW A NEED TO SPREAD AWARENESS ABOUT THE SCHOOL THAT CHANGED THEIR LIVES. THE BRAND TOOK OFF FAST WHEN CELEBRITIES SUCH AS TEYANNA TAYLOR, MISSY ELLIOT, CHRIS PAUL, EVA MARCILLE AND MANY MORE HAVE BEEN SPOTTED ROCKING THE BRAND. EACH YEAR THE SBC TEAM EMPLOYS OVER 70 COLLEGE AMBASSADORS & GIVES THOUSANDS OF DOLLARS IN SCHOLARSHIPS.

Mind Your Money

The thoughts that I have been having lately all center around how to make this world better…mainly for my children, their children and so on.

The one thing I’d like to mention, in addition to praying for continued change and meditating on positive progress, is minding our money. Withholding money from businesses that are not black owned, that don’t support the movement toward equity, that are part of the big problem picture.

I don’t want to hear “my dollar won’t make a difference”, or “I had to buy it…it was on sale…I had a coupon”, “where do you expect me to eat”…are we in crisis or nah?

Are we concerned for our lives or the lives of our children, siblings, parents, loved ones? Do we want conditions to improve or are we content with statues being forcefully removed an Juneteenth being declared a holiday? Are we tired of discrimination or are you pleased enough with a few officers being charged for some form of wrong doing?

Understand that we are not expected to ban together for a financial boycott. The black community has proven to spend money more quickly and save less. The economy banks on that.

We must organize the conscious refusal to buy products from a certain companies and/or country if need be. We must sacrifice for the greater good and be creative. Now would be a good time to borrow that cup of sugar from your neighbor or relative, instead of running to Walmart. If you must buy, only buy the necessity not the extra that you don’t need. If you are aware of the large scale companies that support racism or benefit from racial inequities, definitely stay out of them.

I am not saying starve your family. I’m not saying there won’t be emergency situations when you may have to spend money. I acknowledge the shortage of black owned businesses and scarcity of black manufactured products but we can do this. Make it your business to find out where your money goes. Save more, invest more, educate more.

I commit to doing what I can. I have been keeping my money out of the before mentioned establishments. I pray that the spirits of those who boycotted the Montgomery, Alabama bus system guide us to victory. For a whole year they did what they had to do in order to stand up for their rights and protest segregation. Sacrifice, determination, will power, resilience and perseverance is what has been passed onto us by way of our ancestors. Mind your money, make them smile, and be prepared to do it whenever we need to. One day is not going win the war but every bit puts us a little closer…to freedom.

July 7, 2020 will be the next Blackout Day.

One day (7/7/20), solidarity, don’t spend one cent,

Anyone who is fighting on the side of equality and justice please stand with us. The more money withheld the better.

If you have or know of a black owned and/or operated business or product please share their information with Thump In Thought. We will be showcasing them during the month of July.

Be safe, be smart and be strong. Thump out!

What Young Black Queens Need To Hear

To all my young black queens, this message is for you. As well as for your parents, mentors, and educators. 

As you grow up, you may go through periods where you feel defeated, insecure, and like you aren’t enough. I am here to tell you that you are strong, unstoppable, and unmatched. 

I have felt inequality, racism, and a sense of “otherness” based on my skin color in educational and professional settings, and as a black dancer. Be courageous for those that look up to you and that will follow in your footsteps later. It took me a while to recognize the strength and power that I have, which is why I think it is extremely important to uplift, guide, and inspire our black girls early. 

I created a list of statements that my mom instilled in me, as well as some that I’ve learned along the way:  

You are intelligent. 

You are creative and talented. 

You are beyond beautiful. Your mind. Your heart. Your smile. You skin. Your natural curls. Your afro. Your hair in general.

Your melanin is radiant, regardless of how light or dark it is. 

You are strong and capable. 

You are kind.

Your passion and determination is inspiring.

…and I cannot say this enough – YOU ARE ENOUGH!

I understand that you can hear this from home and yet, the world and society may still make you feel less than at times. YOU ARE NOT. Parents, mentors, and educators, please praise your black queens more often. They need it. You may feel that it is implied, but from experience, it is not always, so let them hear this from you. Read these as many times as you feel necessary and share them with all. 

Here are pictures of a few that I’ve been blessed to be a sister to, meet, mentor, or teach. I want you all to know that I am forever proud of you and you are capable of anything you put your mind to. I know it because I’ve seen it. We may not talk to or see each other much, but always remember, I am continuously rooting for you and watching your growth. 

Love you always -Alex (or some may refer to me as Miss Alex or Sunny)