Source: Women of Color Healing Retreats; Images by Jakiera's Eye
Healing is an ongoing lifetime journey; the healing of Black people is especially necessary. As we know, Black people have endured traumatic circumstances due to slavery. Racism isn't solely based on feelings, opinions or emotions. It is a system based on factual history of the past, present and can statistically predict the future. To understand systemic oppression, one must remove their personal opinions and view it through facts.
Dr. Frances Cress Welsing, a prestigious African American psychiatrist expressed in her work time and time again, that racism is the cause of most mental illnesses. She discovered that although white folks are no longer legally slave masters, a slave master mentality still lingers. This is why the healing of Black people is crucial.
When we think of healing, we usually think of healing from a relationship or a hurtful friendship, but healing has layers, and the deeper we go, we learn that in order to heal. You must heal the culture. The more you heal and understand the culture, the more you can heal those hurtful relationships, friendships and yourself, because it's all connected.
Throughout history, black people have been conditioned to believe that they are inferior.
School systems provide very little or institutionalized education on the history of black people. Therefore, to be a black student without education about who you really are means that you will view the world through a eurocentric lens. This is detrimental to us as people of African descent. Some Black people have been so removed from their culture that many don’t associate Africa with blackness. Yet, wherever you go, whether you are from the Caribbean, the United States, or anywhere else on the planet, you are still an African. Kwame Nkrumah said it best: “I am not African because I was born in Africa, but because africa was born in me.”
Part of the effect of slavery has taught many black people today to utilize eurocentric solutions to their problems. Subconsciously, some Black people may trust white folks more than their own. Instead of helping to build our own tables, many black people are elated to have a seat at the table in predominantly white spaces, without realizing this is an extension of white supremacy. For example, a lot of black people get upset about lack of diversity and inclusion; they feel as though they want to see more widespread inclusion of black people. However, if you go a little deeper, you’ll see that diversity and inclusion still means that black people are in a eurocentric setting, while receiving the crumbs. This is not equality; this is a product of white supremacy. All black people are affected by systemic racism despite their socio-economic status.
Internalized racism goes much deeper than Black people disliking their own hair textures or feeling more comfortable in white dominated settings. Internalized racism, like white supremacy, is an entire system. Internalized racism colonizes the mind to believe that anything in proximity to whiteness is what’s best. This colonization of the mind has been the cause of much oppression in the Black community. The first law of man is survival, which is to preserve his (her or their) own race. If Black people are constantly investing outside of themselves, how will they preserve and progress their own community? This is why healing is needed.
When Black people heal, they must prioritize that their healing be received by a black person, especially because racism is the root of society's problems. Black people have been healers since the beginning of time. Our ancestors used rituals, worked with one another, trusted in nature, and used herbs to heal the nation. Today, there are many Black psychiatrists that also work to heal the oppression of Black people.
Unlearning white supremacy and colonization reminds us that the deeper we go into our history, the Blacker God gets. When we see ourselves in the Divine and trust in our community, not only do we heal our spirits; we take another step towards progression, love and unity.
So this is how so many little black girls go missing; abused, sex slave, or worse, murdered.
4:08pm May 1, 2019
Hollins Street, Baltimore City
Now-a-days I find myself driving through Baltimore City at least 5x more than I used too and seeing more realities of Urban life than I may have been prepared for. It's hard. They live hard, poor, poverty-stricken lives and more than a few are numbed with alcohol and drugs.
Moments ago, I drove pass a 6/7yo girl on Hollins Street sitting on the step, outside of what may have been her apartment building. She looked sad and abandoned. We caught eye contact so I Immediately slowed up, and once I saw 4 men on the corner (less than 20ft from her) I quickly put my car into reverse.
"Are you okay Baby?.. Do you need anything?.. What about a phone call? Do you need to use the phone to call anyone?" Her head kept shaking, no. No. No. "Alright Honey..." For a moment I sat, seeking more questions, more ways to help but nothing came to me. We both continued to helplessly look on to one another. Before it became awkward, I said “okay, Baby” once more as I began to pull off and cry uncontrollably.
What does Black History month mean to you?
For me, all year is a celebration of the black race but during this particular month my efforts are very intentional. As a photographer, I am the Visual Voice of the Devalued, it's my duty to change the narrative of minorities until they are seen as the Greater Globe.
We're all making it in America thanks to the following, including Oprah, Michelle Obama, Maya Angelou, Ghandi, Barack Obama, black inventors historians master minds leaders, and everyday black people who make the world go 'round.
Every year, month, week, and day is worthy of capturing memories but during each month this year we're going to focus on symbolic sessions as it relates to JE values, The Greater Globe purpose, and intentional efforts to reach our JE family even more. The monthly calendar will be updated as needed and readily available by way of JakierasEye.com. For immediate notifications on exclusives and promotions please subscribe to our newsletter (don't worry it's only monthly, plus exclusives)!
You can expect Pop-Ups to be announced for each of the events listed above. Each will come with a promotion and/or offering of some sort. I hope you're as excited as I am because I've got some great plans in store for us this year!
Celebration of The Greater Globe during Black History Month
Activism at The 3rd Annual Women's March January 19, 2019
FEBRUARY in preparation for Women's Month in March we'll be staging another Goddess series
MARCH in preparation for the Easter Holiday you can expect a Easter themed Pop-up for Portraits
APRIL in preparation for Mother's Day you can expect an outdoors Pop-up for Portraits
In preparation for PRIDE month we'll be staging a Pride series, and this will be our first year bringing our creativity into series so I'm especially thrilled. All ideas are welcome! Visit the Greater Globe Pride page now.
This will also be our first year shining the light specifically on father's in preparation for Father's Day. CALLING ALL dads, this will be a great opportunity to take part in a Dad-driven series so will the real men please stand up! Contact me now if you are already interested in participating.
JUNE we'll plan something special for graduates of the Spring, whether it be armed forces, high school, undergrad, upper level college, law school, elementary/middle school, certification, licensure, and any other continuing education completion.
JULY in the thick of Summer's heat we'll focus on DC festivals, cultured gatherings like Sunday's at Meridian Hill Park, protests that may involve The Greater Globe and other Activism events.
AUGUST it's likely that July events will rollover into August but time will also be set aside to honor the new scholars of school year 2019-20 with school portraits, which may also rollover into the next month.
SEPTEMBER as Autumn approaches us we'll plan for a Fall themed Pop-up for Portraits in late September.
OCTOBER in preparation for the Halloween Holiday you can expect a Costume themed Pop-up for Portraits
NOVEMBER in preparation for the Thanksgiving Holiday you can expect a Family themed Pop-Up for Portraits
DECEMBER will be filled with Our Santa Pop-Ups to have portraits taken with "Our Santa" at various locations.
Details coming soon so stay super tuned. This is All for You!
For those that aren't sure what boudoir is, what it means, or assumes it's just flat out raunchy or x-rated then let me bring you up to speed! But first, here's a gentle peek to get your visuals flowing.
Boudoir Jakiera is made to be a comfortable and liberating session. For starters, you'll be provided with patience, guidance, and professionalism at all times. Here's what you can expect in addition to the standards:
Levels to this...
There's a fancy name for "raunchy and x-rated" pictures, being Boudoir, because it's not always either or. But it can be! And there's no judgement coming from me unless you don't get raunchy or x-rated at some point in your life (I kid).
However, the choice is totally up to you and your mood at the time. The keyword is choice because you have plenty. Boudoir can go from one extreme to the other and people, props or location can be added for additional spice as well.
This year is about to be SO monumental that words can't fathom what I have in mind. It's not all about resolutions but those matter too; meal prep, stay away from donuts, pray more, feed my mind as much as I feed my body if not more, never stop learning, all that good stuff! But the plot thickens, there's so much more in store for you, me, US! What plans do you have for 2019?
Last day of the Kwanzaa celebration and the 7th principle has never meant so much to me as it does today. IMANI, Faith, the importance of believing in ourselves and others! It's not my intent to divulge it all in this single blog but for starters, this will be the year for personal development, business growth, love and prosperity. We'll take this journey together, step by step, leave comments on what you've got going on, recommendations, suggestions and let's keep the conversation going. What does personal growth mean to you? What are you career/business/ side hustle goals?
You are reading what was formerly called our BLOG but it has been retitled, Jakiera's Journal, for those that aren't aware, since I've decided to combine both forms of therapy that I use, journaling and photography. No better place than in my own personal space, here! Facebook used to get pieces of me, Instagram used to get visual pieces of me, and Twitter collected over 10k pieces of my thoughts but this year I'm going to share it with the people who care most, JE loyal viewers and supporters. Not to say our Instagram and Facebook won't return again but for now they are closed down until further notice, including my personal profiles. However, Tumblr, Pinterest, SnapChat and Twitter still remain. Feedback is welcome here as well!
New Blog Topics
This blog is about to be utilized like never before so I hope you all are ready to receive but even more, participate in the conversations. Topics will cover all things financial wealth, mental and physical health, development, and Love. Love will always be at the forefront of any and everything that we deliver and take part in. You may think that the areas listed aren't directly tied to the photography that I specialize in (Activism, Brand, Nature) but you'll soon find that it's actually not true and that they actually do! What's on your mind?
As the Visual Voice of the Devalued, Jakiera's Eye focuses on 5 groups and one being that of Women. On September 29, 2018 it was my mission to bring a visual voice to those Women of the Greater Globe. Especially doing a time like now when midterm elections are coming up, racism is working hard in the White House, sexism is hard at work in America, and privilege is working hard in the court of law.
On this day there was no other place I'd rather have been, wanted to be, needed to be, or could've been other than at the March for Black Women. As a black women, I feel my job is to display leadership, accept my role as head of this country, and take my position.
Our job on this day was not only to rein-form white men of America what our TRUE status is in this country but to also unite, lock arms with, and remind our sisters that regardless of how much men try to berate and degrade, we are STILL the goddess that we were created as. We must continue to treat each other as such, respect ourselves as such, and demand to be treated as such. The future is women and it's time that we all acknowledge and act on that.
"When I'm with white people I have to ask why are you so racism
When I'm with heterosexuals I have to ask why are you so homophobic
When I'm with men I have to ask why are you so sexist
I've been getting inquiries about wall art of our photography - canvas, metal print, and collections! This has been the most flattering and exciting thing to-date and we aim to please. Moving forward I will be working to open an online store in order to accept orders. The store will be launch via Facebook or our own site depending on the ease of logistics for both our buyers and the nature of business.
We are even more excited to let it be known that in addition to wall art, we'll have products for sale as well. Low priced items for those who simply want to support us including key chains, bookmarks, tumblers and more. We'll have gift items such as mugs, calendars, and coasters. Order your holiday gifts now!
Let me know what you all think. Especially if you have any interest in specific products, holiday gifts or more. Your feedback is appreciated!
Out with the old, in with the new
This year our focus was to deepen our portfolio, build client loyalty, and extend our network in a number of photography avenues. Pricing has been the drive behind building our portfolio and clientele, which won't change for the entire year of 2018. However, we're going to take a different approach when it comes to the number of avenues we participate in. Going into 2019 you'll begin to notice the shift gradually start to show on our site.
What's the plan?
The goal will be to lessen our services in Portraiture, Travel, Business, Commercial, Fashion, and Activism photography. Instead, we're going to remove some of those services and focus our specific market.
Activism and Fashion will headline our efforts. We've always been motivated and inspired by the Greater Globe so Activism remains. Our mission has always been to bring a visual voice to women, children, homeless, homosexual, and minorities and that won't change. Fashion allows us to be influential, innovative, and trendsetters in ways that demand attention, which aligns perfectly with activism.
We'll still have Portraiture, Wedding, plus Business and Brand services but it will not be the headline of our business. Travel will be included in blogs and Nature will be featured seasonally.
Collecting and creating images and video as I did in this project was the first time that I set out to reach for a goal of this size. If I wanted to bring my vision to life then I'd only have about four months to make it happen. Six months that included six major holidays and one of Maryland's harshest winter seasons, as I am a natural light photographer. We photographed in the thick of summer at a sunflower field in southern MD, an abandoned warehouse turned parking garage, a lake side, D.C City Center, National Portrait Gallery Museum, Catholic Church of America, National Arboretum and the Library of Congress.
But, rewind, so that I can take a quick sentence to explain how this all came about. Per usual, I was inspired by music and this particular time it was Raheem Devaughn & Boney James 2013 single "Maker of Love".
The song lyrics spoke to my soul, sung my feelings, and felt like pure love. Words like,
"Pretty brown eyes."
"Like heaven, smooth skin."
"Them legs in those heels."
"Like a Da Vinci paint of art."
"You were made by the maker of love."
Then I took it a step further and considered how much I adored Kenny Lattimore "Find a Way" as his words went beyond the perfection of female's physical appearance and into the depths of who they are.
"the way you speak, your intelligence."
"you style, your grace, your elegance."
"you must have been made by His hands."
In my mind, I imagined capturing portraits and video of all sorts of women in size, height, complexion, hair styles and ages. I even went as far as offering Free portrait sessions with hopes of gathering at least 20 works of art. I wanted to show the depth and range of their magical presence. I wanted to challenge myself at finding ways to visually capture a woman's strength, intelligence, magic, unspoken supremacy, femininity, and sensuality. A collection of traits that only a woman's aura can present in a way that only a woman can. I wanted to acknowledge women for being the Goddesses that they are, while societies continue to desperately portray them as inferiors.
So, even though I wasn't able to collect images of 20+ women I was able to photograph 5 and they were brilliant! These women managed to offer me their time from their personal lives, family, and jobs (Accountant, Teacher and Business owners #BossBabes). One even traveled from Indiana and found time to participate so I can't express how extremely grateful I am. They've trusted me enough to be my muses and over the next 30 days I will presenting new art pieces of each of them. I am hopeful that my work will make them proud or even exceed their expectations.
Please share our project in celebration of Women's Month. I've strategically chosen to present this collection in March in order to further express the importance of women in this WORLD, contrary to what they try to make us believe. Subscribe below and be first to view new postings. Follow us on social media at Jakiera's Eye and join us Celebrate, Uplift, Love, and Praise our women and ourselves, daily!
If I had one gift, one purpose, then I'd like to believe that one was to contribute to society providing unity and love through the art of photography.