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!
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
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.
Summer of 2017 will be memorable because it holds the milestone of my complete transition from employee to business owner, dreamer to doer, and hobbyist to professional. But to top it off, Nations Photo Lab afforded us the opportunity to partner with them as sponsors of ABC 2 News series, Built Upon a Dream, in the renovation process of the Boys & Girls Club of Metropolitan Baltimore Brooklyn O'Malley, alongside other sponsors including @underarmour @loweshomeimprovement @tacobell.
I absolutely feel blessed, fortunate, and extreme delight that I was able to capture & provide the portraits for this makeover but it's so much more! The anticipation is overwhelming as the final touches come together for the reveal and the joy it will bring to the youth. I'm imagining feelings of gratitude, value, love, and further confirmation that they were worth it all! Pure bliss #TheGreaterGlobe
Be sure to tune into ABC on September 7th and stay connected with us as we share the journey here on JakierasEye.com. We are currently showing the Brooklyn O'Malley trip to Sagamore Farms with former Baltimore Raven, Ray Lewis, "Sunsets at Sagamore." His camp allowed underprivileged youth of the BGC of Metro Baltimore a chance see life outside of their norm. Time spent at the camp gave them hands-on experiences to relish in the possibilities. Visit our page for more of the journey.
#OccupyBarryFarm GENTRIFICATION OF SE, DC
So many questions; what happens to those who are bought out, forced out by the government? People are being forced out of their homes and on to unaffordable cities and counties. Where is the compassion, remorse, or concern? Does capitalism make people so filled with greed that they become heartless? How much of this has to do with racism? If the neighborhood wasn't 100% black or minority would this still take place? Washington DC is hardly affordable for middle class so how will people of poverty be able to afford the costs of DC living? Or is this none of the Government's concern? Life isn't fair but this isn't even ethical.
I want you and him and her and the white population and the black population to care. I want everyone to see that equality is the missing factor and that it's not acceptable. People are too comfortable with things like this happening. Many of us don't even know that it's happening; let's be informed and voicetress with our demands to create change. Real people and real families, including innocent and helpless children are losing their homes and livelihood. Unfortunately, black people in poverty tend to lack knowledge and resources to create change but there are others who can help fill those gaps. Let's all do our part.
#TheVisualVoice Meet Mr. Daryl (the disgruntled one), James (who preferred not to be called Mr.), and Mr. Ernest (who claimed to be Leroy Jones before he laughed and said "I'm lying!")
Here they sit and wait from 7am when the shelter puts them out, until 7pm when the shelter let's them back in.
It's an abandoned part of the old St. Elizabeth's Asylum campus, which will soon be turned in the Government's DHS hear quarters.
Many people will be left to wonder what will become of their living space, including these three men of #TheGreaterGlobe , #ParkChester projects, and the home owners of #BarryFarms that are being forced out against their will for the interest of the middle and upper class (see "Illegal Moveouts" blog).
Two very similar incidents regarding protesters voicing their opinions that turned into rioting. Yet they didn't end with very similar outcomes. Hundreds were arrested and charged for crimes of breaking the windows of public property and setting vehicles on fire at the Freddie Gray protests. Less than a hundred were arrested and charged for the same crimes at the Inauguration riots.
The Freddie Gray rioters were held responsible for their crimes and found guilty. According to the Baltimore Sun, some of the rioters who were arrested for burglary was held at higher bails than the officers charged for Freddie Gray's death. And one defendants alone took five years for a first-degree burglary. I can't help but to feel like this is modern day slavery.
Businesses such as those seen in the photograph above, were vandalized in the same fashion by rioters of the 2017 Inauguration. Yet, I'm struggling to find an article that says rioters were held responsible for their actions in the same manner. So while the crimes were the same and the timing was within a few years of one another and the intentions were the same, I can't help but notice that the complexion of the rioters were different and so were their verdicts.
Protesters turned rioters should choose their race wisely before committing a crime out of rage towards an unjust. system. Inequality is well and alive. America, president, government, leaders you MUST do better. No justice? No equality? It's 2017.
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.