Khembe Clarke is an extraordinary woman, mother and entrepreneur. I attended her 4th Return to your Roots event yesterday in Birmingham which was a vibrant and positive celebration of today’s black women.
Return to your Rootsis multi-faceted concept which chimes with the current resurrection of an entire generation of women of African and Caribbean heritage, who are determined to define beauty on their own terms. Beauty and self-determination that stems from full and unashamed acceptance of everything that makes us unique daughters of the diaspora. I saw black women of all shades, sizes and hair types; some in full-make up, others bare-faced. Some wearing elaborate braided styles and others free in the knowledge that their natural hair looked just fine. There were dozens of stall owners of black female entrepreneurs, selling home-made and vegan cakes, vegetarian recipe books, and an array of natural health and beauty products. Women of letters, running online bookshops with mountains of literature were out in force to ensure that parents could purchase books detailing the contributions of black scientists and mathematicians, as well as other fiction, to ensure a firm grip on our childrens’ future. Raw food seminars were well-attended as were the children’s workshop, which coached parents on how to create a calm and positive dialogue around managing their child’s natural afro hair.
Khembe was very clear about the theme for the event when naming it, as she believes that returning to the roots, or going back to healthy raw foods and hair that is not chemically treated is one way for communities to reclaim a belief in themselves and to relinquish the shame of naturally textured afro hair. The natural hair movement is gaining traction globally Khembe believes that natural and creative styles enable an enhanced sense of self. The additional focus on this year’s show was on well-being, as well as hair to highlight the link between healthy lifestyle and healthy hair:
“My motto is: making women feel good inside and out,” said Khembe, “for too long black women have felt the need to conform to a version of beauty that doesn’t reflect who they see when they look in the mirror. It’s time to accept who we are, including our big lips, chunky thighs and big bums. This is who we are, and we are beautiful!”
I was inspired to write a poem after attending Return to your Roots:
Beauty comes in many hues,
black, brown and honey fair
natural beauty means knots and curls
curly, kinky natural hair
whatever beauty your type is
give thanks and leave it like it is!
If you want to commission me to write for you, do get in touch.
I’m a firm believer in doing what you love for a living, then, as the saying goes, you never have to work a day in your life! If your acting, painting or singing star fails to shine, don’t worry. You can still work in a fulfilling environment, by working in a field with your desired professionals and some of their passion, enthusiasm may encourage you to pursue your dreams in a different way. Either way, a working environment where passion prevails will add lustre to your life.
As a communications professional, I have worked in a number of industries and have an natural affinity to the arts, theatre, environmental, educational or charitable sectors. I was fortunate enough to enjoy a birthday treat (thank you darling 🙂 to a National Trust property – Polesden Lacey – preceded by wonderful walks around Hurtswood and other pretty villages in the Surrey Hills.
Here are a few shots of the stunning walks and surroundings:
Peaslake – Everyword copywriting
Shire horses – everywordcopywriting
I was impressed by the volunteers who worked at Polesden Lacey and the knowledge they had amassed. I mused on how wonderful it would be to promote the beauty of the English countryside and its many natural and historical treasures!
If you’re reading this and you work in that field, it would be great to hear from you. And if you don’t work in that field, please share this post anyway as there is so much natural and historical beauty in the world, it’s important to have volunteers and professionals who remind us to take care of our planet and value our surroundings as they are constantly changing in a myriad of ways. If we’re not careful, we won’t even notice what we’ve missed.
Are you able to combine your passions with your career? Would you like me to promote something that you are passionate about to enable you to do work that you love? If so, get in touch: firstname.lastname@example.org
I’ve been writing and researching a lot this week. I like to listen to music while I’m working. Having finished an article in Time Out about a young London DJ, who said she likes to end her gigs with a bit of bashment, especially Vybz Kartel, I checked out some of his vast collection of tunes of You Tube. I particularly enjoyed the rhythm (riddim) and dark humour of this short film – Peanut Shell:
I read that Jamaincan Vybz Kartel is from Portmore, a large coastal city in the southern Jamaican parish of Saint Catherine. It wasn’t long before I was lost in YouTube land reading about Vybz’ music, his life and his subsequent imprisonment. I’d been down the rabbit hole for too long and needed to get back to work.
The documentary, with Alan Yentob, charted the progress of Jamaican author Marlon James, his early life at school including an interview with his class teacher, his publishing ‘failures’ with 78 rejections behind him, leading up to his accolade of winning the Man Booker prize in 2015, for his chilling novel, Continue reading “A Tale of Two Jamaicas”→
Today, I let reign my inner petrol head at the wonderfully organised Wheelsfest at Bournemouth Beach. A rich mix of motor cross, Supercar gazing and racing, quad biking, and motorcycle racing, there was something for anyone with a need for speed.
The highlight for me was watching Lorina McLaughlin race the ex-Michael Schumacher Benetton – it was fast, noisy and relentlessly exciting. The compare added humour and detailed information about the drivers and their vehicles.
As a free event, it was fantastic and a great showcase for Bournemouth, a town that I’ve been visiting for many years. If you have even a small amount of interest in cars, I say go, go GO!!
What I love most about my job is that I get to meet interesting and inspirational people. Aidan Phelan is one of those. During a marketing contract at Carshalton College, South London, I got the chance to meet and interview him, even throwing in a few cheeky questions about David Beckham.
I enjoyed the interview a lot and felt that Aidan is a true ambassador for the British hairdressing industry. If you are lucky enough to be under his tutelage at Carshalton, listen very carefully to everyword he says – this guy could very well be the making of your career!
My visit to Birmingham’s Ikon Gallery surpassed all of my expectations. At Home with Vanley Burke, is a free exhibition. I wasn’t sure what to expect – I was met with was an explosion of detail, memorabilia, black history and a sharp analysis of British contemporary culture through the eyes of a Jamaican immigrant.
The collection, which started off as a personal collection and grew exponentially with gift donated from members of the local Birmingham community, almost pushing Vanley out of his flat, where the entire collection was housed.
The space in the gallery feels sparse and the items are laid out carefully, reflecting room-by-room Vanley’s home, whilst simultaneously representing the homes of many black families in Birmingham and beyond. At first glance your eyes take in the colourful wall-hangings, the fold up sofa, the African carvings, but when you slow down to really look, you see a child’s desk, images of the funeral of a young man, a jacket weighed down with nails.
Out of the blue, Vanley appeared in the exhibition to the delight of visitors and we followed him around, pied-piper like, around the gallery as he talked animatedly about each piece, his ideas and the composition. As with any exhibition or book, meeting the curator, author or artist enriches your experience of their work a hundred times over.
Vanley’s early photographs of young Jamaican youth, capturing their bemused expressions as they were getting accustomed to life in the UK, is what Vanley is best known for. But Vanley’s talents extend to painting, and storytelling. Storytelling Vanley style is about detail – moments, and collecting fragments of past lives that help us to understand the now and maybe even the future.
If you’re considering visiting the exhibition, stop considering it – just go!
There’s quite a lot of code below and I’m not 100% sure how to make this look pretty so I thought I would embellish this post with pretty words and vintage wallpaper!
If you click on the link below, you will see my business card design, ordered and on its way to me in time for some hard-core networking. I will be attending Richmond EXPO, the big deal for South West London business owners, and as the summer rolls on, sweeping my way through various breakfast meetings, dinner clubs, and other events and conferences.
Setting up a business, is like creating a never ending painting. The design and creative elements – coming up with a name, brand design, key messages etc. can be exciting and intellectually challenging. There is a learning curve to climb, even if you are a seasoned entrepreneur. No two businesses are the same to set up. Changing environmental factors can impact your business in unforeseen ways, new opportunities need to be seized even if you are not 100% ready operationally.
But whilst you are wallowing in the enjoyable mud of new ideas and creativity, there are essentials you need to take care of: Website hosting. Business stationery. Accounts and taxation. Business cards. NEVER, underestimate the power of that small but powerfully effective marketing tool.
Given out with a smile, a handshake and plenty of hope, business cards are a business marketing tool that endures.
If you see me at an event with one, please take one graciously, and give me a call.
I made this video a couple of years ago, a lot has changed in my life since I recorded myself (and I don’t just mean my hair style!). One of the main challenges about making personal goals to create change in your life is to stick to them. Life coaches and psychologists seem to confer that vocalizing your thoughts is a good way to get them clear in your head. Once they’re clear in your head – you’re half way onto making them a reality. (Well, perhaps a quarter way, there are other elements you need to address too, but let’s focus on the vocalisation of your goals). How completely crazy of to post a ‘selfie’ video of myself – barefaced, except for lipstick, basically talking out loud! I’m sharing this now because I’ve lost that sense of vanity that can hold you back. I’m now in that ‘fearless’ stage where I’m comfortable in my skin and excited about the creative direction that my life is currently going in.
I’ve set up a copywriting business, which has enabled me to work on diverse commissions such as content for a high-end consumer children’s wear website to event marketing strategies. A non-fiction book I have been nursing since 2011 is at the peer review stage, I’m working with creative individuals in areas like fashion and design (read my post about BwoyWonder and his amazing Lego creations!) and I’m planning an holistic event with talented complementary therapists. Reading this back, I’m sort of stunned at the extent to which my verbalized and loosely coherent thoughts have come to fruition!
What’s interesting watching this back, is that a lot of the ideas from my free-form piece to camera, have become a reality in my life. I think there is a lot to be said for ‘speaking’ your truth it’s all part of the process of affirming exactly what it is you want which enables you to move forward with conviction.
New age theorists believe that the law of attraction works that way and so does prayer, and magic for that matter. In a way, I’ve always been a copywriter, even when I’ve been doing other things, as I instinctively understand the power of words to create change.