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Image via Peaceimages Jewelry's Instagram.

11 Black Owned Accessories & Crafts Brands That Will Ignite Your Creativity This Winter

These unique AF accessories and crafts are the perfect gifts for your artsy loved ones.

This is our fourth gift guide in the run-up to the holidays. Keep checking for more lists of great African products here. And for more ideas check out the OkayAfrica Shop.

It's cold y'all. Well, in some parts of the United States, at least. When it's cold, it feels almost impossible to get out of bed and brave the elements, let alone be creative, motivated and stylish. Or better yet - feel inspired to buy the perfect gift.

Thankfully, you don't have to be outside to stimulate your imagination, and the smallest accents can turn your frumpy winter gear into a fabulous fit. We rounded up 9 black owned businesses whose accessories and crafts will have you (or your loved one) feeling lit on the inside, even when it's below zero outside.

Hmm...did we make “lit" work in that sentence? Oh well.


Made by Malyia

Handcrafted jewelry are the defining statements of any outfit. Maylia's jewelry are simple yet stunning short stories of gold, silver and rose gold: thin chokers, sleek layered necklaces and classic nose hoops. The minimal, mesmerizing designs make these pieces timeless treasures.

Effie's Paper

Stationery is so underrated. A dope pen, notebook or even mug, can transform any office into an inviting space. Effie's Paper has got that covered with cup cozies, notebooks, pouches and pens with one line mantras like “I woke up like this" and “black girl magic". Buy these for the writer in your life who is sometimes too lazy or uninspired to write.

GRL TRBL Pins

Afro feminist pins are a thing, and they are adorable and empowering AF. GRL TRBL's pins have a pop culture twist: Beyoncé tells you to “get information", and black sleeping beauty stays woke. Get these tiny yet impactful accents for the person in your life who wears their heart activism on their sleeves - or bags.

Dorcas Creates

Dorcas' stickers, notebooks, pins and even wrapping paper, all have one thing in common: they celebrate the versatility and wonder of black women's beauty. In bold colors, sleek styles and a playful yet chic aesthetic, these accessories and stationery are sure to put a smile on your face and remind you of your greatness whenever you use it.

Peace Images

Cowrie shell rings, mermaid pendant necklaces and stone-studded chokers are just a few of the gems you'll find at Peace Images Jewelry. These soulful and serene pieces are ideal for the loved one with an ethereal presence.

Coloring Pins

Shopping for someone nostalgic for the 90s? Or maybe a person from NYC who is 100 percent down? Coloring Pins has some of the best pins that reference cartoon icons, black culture and NYC catch phrases. Peep their “Deadass" metrocard pin, coconut oil jar pin and deadpan black Daria.

Loza Tam

Last year we showed you some fly headwrap and hat brands, but we just had to include more, as winter is the perfect season to keep your hair warm and protected from the elements. Loza Tam offers brightly printed headwraps, as well as hats, turbans, bonnets and headbands - lined with satin, so your hair is guarded on the inside and withstanding the cold outside.

Don't Sleep Interiors

Your bedroom likes accessories just as much as your body does. Don't Sleep Interiors creates colorful printed pillows with quotes and images of your favorite black revolutionaries, like James Baldwin, Nina Simone and Angela Davis. Perfect for daydreaming about true social change and equality.

Avie's Dreams: An Afro Feminist Coloring Book

Full disclosure: this is our fave item on this list. This gift is for the dreamer and creative in your life who loves to imagine new worlds while consciously striving for social change. In this book, Black women morph into dinosaurs, flowers, goddesses and bodiless beings, while a winding poem strings these eccentric images along. A rare and rewarding find.

Radical Dream Pins

Okay so we really like pins. Can you blame us? They're tiny statements of solidarity, style or substance. They tell micro stories about our personalities and values. And they just make your denim jacket or bag look fucking cool. Radical Dream pins has Hey Arnold!, Proud Family and A Different World pins y'all. We all know someone who adores one, if not all, of those shows.

Nishkami

At Nishkami, you'll find tikkas, apparel and statement chokers in an array of styles and colors. However, their eclectic headwraps - especially the velvet-velour collection - are unique accessories that blend perfectly with the winter.
Arts + Culture
Zlatan "Zanku (Leg Work)" music video.

Is Zanku Set to Be the New Dance Craze of 2019?

Breaking down what could become the year's new dance craze.

With last week's release of the video for "Zanku (Leg Work)," Zlatan Ibile has consecrated himself as the originator of the newest dance craze in afropop.

The specific origin of the name 'zanku' is uncertain but the dance itself, says Ibile in this interview from December, is one he noticed from his visits to The Shrine in Lagos and refashioned into a trend.

The best zanku, so far, works best in beats combining repeated foot tapping or pounding, with hands held aloft, and finished with a flourish—a stylised thrusting of one foot as if to knock down a door. Variations include a faster footwork, mimicry of slicing and screwing hand motions and the brandshing of a white kerchief, all of which is done with vigour and attitude.

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Born Sadiq Onifade, the Afro-Fusion artist has had an inspiring journey, moving from the streets of Mushin in Lagos, to the US, from where much of his music has been conceived. The complete creative embrace of that cross-cultural influence has become his strongest point, with songs such as "Show You Off" and "Contagious" offering a unique angle to his sound.

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First, he received countless death threats and lost his job at a prestigious French hotel. Everyone, from French personalities to the government called him out. And then, two anti-racist and anti-semitism organizations, the LICRA and L'AGRIF sued him. His trial happened last week. French journalist Sihame Assbague was there to witness it, and what she reports is baffling.

To the prosecution, Conrad is encouraging his audience to kill white people. They believe that anti white racism or "reverse racism" is just as bad as any type of racism and that Conrad is using a "black supremacist language" with words like "queen" "king" when he mentions Africa. In their mind, once Black people stop trying to integrate and start organising themselves, it's just as bad as white people being racist. Ethnocentrism is dangerous.

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