Culture
Photo by TONL.

#BuyBlack: The 7 Black-Owned Brands To Shop For On Black Friday

OkayAfrica's 2018 guide for you to #BuyBlack this Friday.

Thanksgiving, the "holiday" that kicks off the holiday season in America, is literally around the corner. Aside from asking yourself where the time has gone, the day after can be a frenzy in of itself, where folks scramble to shop at a discount. But for some in the community, Black Friday is the chance to spend with businesses who need the boost the most—the black-owned ones.

See OkayAfrica's 2019 #BuyBlack Black Friday holiday shopping guide here

Although we don't need to dig into the "why," it's still imperative to support our own—this week/holiday season and beyond. FUBU (for us, by us) is still the motto—these businesses are well on their way to continue to build wealth in our communities, provide opportunities for employment and/or partnerships within our communities, as well as produce products that put black folks first. What could get better than that?

OkayAfrica curated a shortlist of black-owned brands to take note of this Black Friday—check them out below.


Crown Candle Co.

Lighting a scented candle or burning essential oils are a small gesture you can make to destress and take some well-deserved moments for yourself. Jolene Nembhard of Crown Candle Co. birthed her brand out of the love she has for her grandparents and her homeland of Jamaica. Her candles provide a clean burn (which is very important to look out for when candle shopping), as they're made in small batches out of coconut wax with 100 percent cotton wicks and phthalate-free fragrance oils. Her scent "Refresh" is a new favorite, but definitely look out for her first holiday gift set, "VIBE."

Ivy's Tea Co.

After setting the scent-mood of your space, brewing a pot of tea made up of healing herbs is a necessary next step towards relaxation. Shanae Jones launched Ivy's Tea Co. in 2016 after deciding to learn more about living off the land and using it for healing. Her hip hop-inspired brand seeks to change how folks perceive tea drinkers and introduce African holistic remedies into the holistic health industry. When tea shopping with Ivy's Tea Co., you can sign-up for their upcoming #TrapTea Subscription Box, peruse through their Rapper Collection teas (though they sell out fast) or pick a blend that caters to your health needs.

Create The Culture

It's never too early to establish new goals for 2019—so let's set one together, shall we? Let's try to keep the Twitter fingers to a minimum through working our hands in crafty ways sans a phone screen. Krystle Collins is the artist behind Create The Culture—a hub on Etsy where you can find hand-embroidered pieces, pillows, pouches, sweatshirts, totes and more. A dope find on her platform are the DIY embroidery kits that are perfect for the beginners and the pros. All the images you can make with the kits are all things black girl magic—which we're here for.

Beauty by Africa Miranda

What we put in and on our bodies is of the essence, y'all. And if you're like me and like to keep the beauty routine to a minimum (because lazy), these two finds by author and entrepreneur Africa Miranda could be just what you need for skin prepping and skin renewal. Her Beauty by Africa Miranda line features products that are inspired by her travels around the world. The Facial Elixir houses Brazilian ingredients Maraca Oil and Cupuacu Butter and can be used as a makeup remover or can be applied to the face before other skin products or makeup. Miranda's Luminous Body Mist is meant to be sprayed on damp skin after showering or bathing. It locks in moisture; softens and soothes the skin leaving you smelling luxurious.

PYER MOSS

PYER MOSS is designer's Kerby Jean-Raymond's "timely social experiment" that gained new fans on the internet this year. The Haitian-American has used his fashion brand to amplify and challenge the world's perception of the black experience in an unapologetic way. Getting your hands on a PYER MOSS piece can be a treat for yourself or for a loved-one, but is well worth it as each design are made in limited quantities (producing sustainable fashion is a pillar of the brand). Jean-Raymond's most recent collaboration with Reebok is a collection worth digging into if you're into starting conversations about what it means to be American in sleek style.

Daily Paper

Daily Paper is another brand of note that's all about inclusivity, individualism and the first-generation experience in The Netherlands. The founders of the Amsterdam-based streetwear brand—Hussein Suleiman, Jefferson Osei and Abderrahmane Trabsini—have been translating their diverse African heritage and upbringing into authentic, quality tailoring since 2010. The brand's FW18 collection is perfect to tap for those bracing up for winter—featuring bright-colored puffer jackets, oversized sweatshirt/sweatpant combos and more.

Sewit Sium

Layering gold jewelry, whether it be on your fingers, wrists or necks, has been trending all year—but why not start stacking pieces that are linked to something of substance? Sewit Sium's eponymous brand does just that, where the artisan and educator has crafted historically-referenced jewelry for over 10 years. Her belief that jewelry can and should be utilized as an educational tool drives her production of amulets and talismans that showcase our ancestral history as well as our ongoing story as Africans. Her pieces are handmade to order and feature pendants in the Ge'ez language, Axumite coins, cowrie shells, ancient Egyptian and Nubian symbols and more.

Art
Image courtesy of Trap Bob.

Trap Bob Is the 'Proud Habesha' Illustrator Creating Colorful Campaigns for the Digital Age

The DMV-based artist speaks with OkayAfrica about the themes in her work, collaborating with major brands, and how her Ethiopian heritage informs her work.

DMV-based visual artist Tenbeete Solomon also known as Trap Bob is a buzzing illustrator using her knack for colorful animation to convey both the "humor and struggle of everyday life."

The artist, who is also the Creative Director of the creative agency GIRLAAA has been the visual force behind several major online movements. Her works have appeared in campaigns for Giphy, Girls Who Code, Missy Elliott, Elizabeth Warren, Apple, Refinery 29 and Pabst Blue Ribbon (her design was one of the winners of the beer company's annual art can contest and is currently being displayed on millions of cans nationwide). With each striking illustration, the artist brings her skillful use of color and storytelling to the forefront.

Her catalog also includes fun, exuberant graphics that depict celebrities and important moments in Black popular culture. Her "Girls In Power" pays homage to iconic women of color in a range of industries with illustrated portraits. It includes festive portraits of Beyoncé, Oprah, Serena Williams and Michelle Obama to name a few.

Trap Bob is currently embarking on an art tour throughout December, which sees her unveiling murals and recent works for Pabst Blue Ribbon in her hometown of DC and during Art Basel in Miami. You can see her tour dates here.

We caught up with the illustrator via email, to learn more about the themes in her work and how her Ethiopian heritage informs her illustrations. Read it below and see more of Trap Bob's works underneath.

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Headdresses 2 (Collaged) by Helina Metaferia, 2019. Image courtesy of the artist and PRIZM Art Fair.

Here's What to Expect at This Year's PRIZM Art Fair In Miami

The yearly art fair, now showing at Miami Art Week/Art Basel Miami Beach tackles 'Love In the Time of Hysteria,' with works by artists from across the diaspora.

PRIZM Art Fair is back again for its seventh edition, once again highlighting some of the brightest artists from Africa and the diaspora during Miami Art Week/Art Basel Miami Beach.

This year's exhibit, entitled Love in the Time of Hysteria, features several works curated by William Cordova, Ryan Dennis, Naiomy Guerrero, Oshun Layne as well as PRIZM Art Fair's founder and director Mikhaile Solomon. It includes pieces from 42 international artists, hailing from over 13 different countries, including Barbados, Bahamas, Grenada, Guadeloupe, Guyana, Martinique, Morocco, Nigeria, Egypt, Norway, South Africa, Ghana and the United States.

"Love in the Time of Hysteria illustrates how love, compassion and respect endure in a social milieu riddled with divisive political rhetoric, unprovoked attacks on members of marginalized communities and broad societal malaise as a result of economic inequity," said PRIZM in a press release.

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GuiltyBeatz, Kwesi Arthur & Mr Eazi's "Pilolo" visualizer video (Youtube).

The 20 Best Ghanaian Songs of 2019

Featuring Pappy Kojo, Sarkodie, Amaarae, Kwesi Arthur, Shatta Wale, Efya GuiltyBeatz, Joey B, R2Bees and many more.

2019 was definitely an exciting year for Ghanaian music.

Right from the top of the year, we saw both new and established make their mark with songs that would soundtrack the nation's airwaves, functions, and nights for months to come. In 2019 we got to experience an E.L comeback, Shatta Wale and Beyoncé on the same song, numerous solid Ghana-Naija collaborations, and bop after bop by old and new artists alike.

We also saw the rise of brand new artists, starting from the likes of J.Derobie's wave making debut in January, to Kofi Mole's widespread trap anthem, to Fameye's declaration of brokeness, to the promising future superstar Sam Opoku. As far as projects go, 2019 was a good year for that in the Ghana music space as well. We were blessed with an EP from Sarkodie, an album by the superstar duo R2Bees, talented singer King Promise's debut album, Ko-Jo Cue's stellar debut, and M.anifest's 7-track feel-good EP, among several others.

Ghanaian music has been stepping its game up lately, and there's only one way to go from here. Below, we give you the rundown on the Ghanaian songs that stole ears and hearts and set the pace for the country's sound this year.

Check out the list below. Listen in no particular order.—Nnamdi Okirike

Follow our GHANA WAVE playlist on Spotify here and Apple Music here.

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(Photo by Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images for AFI)

Cynthia Erivo Earns Golden Globe Nomination for 'Harriet'

Check out the full list of 2020 nominees (and the snubs).

Award-winning actress, Cynthia Erivo has earned a Golden Globe nomination for her portrayal of abolitionist leader Harriet Tubman in Harriet. She's earned a nomination for Best Original Song for 'Stand Up."

She's nominated in the "Best Performance by an Actress In a Motion Picture—Drama" alongside Charlize Theron, Scarlett Johansson, Renée Zellwegger and Saoirse Ronan.

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