Editor’s Note: A Celebration of Blackness

say their names

Between a global pandemic that’s killing thousands of people across the world, being in the middle of a racial war and losing too many of our black brothers and sisters to police brutality and injustices, in addition to having our “normal” everyday life stripped away from us like none of us have ever experienced before in our lifetime- it’s been a year right?!

black lives matterWith the murders of the Brianna Taylor‘s and the George Floyd’s we have committed to bending over backward trying to DEMAND people understand that Black Lives Matter, yesterday, today and tomorrow and although we shouldn’t have to, we will continue to scream it out until it’s understood, appreciated and respected.

Thankfully, through it all, we always still seem to find ways to amplify our voices and allow our truth to be told, seen and heard. And it’s now become even more evident, especially to our younger generation, how important our voices really are if we allow them to magnify and how much of an impact we can have inside our own communities and out. The Black communities in Pennsylvania, Michigan, Wisconsin, Georgia, and Arizona helped to secure the Presidential election and the races in Georgia, with strong Black leaders like Stacey Abrams who committed to pushing the Black vote in order to make these necessary changes that we all need. Our communities helped to lead us to now have our First Black Female Vice President, Madam Kamala Harris, and Georgia’s First Black Senator, Rev. Raphael Warnock. Which only reaffirms how important the Black voice really is and how we can change history when we are present, stand strong and come together.

don't shootThis February/March issue, released during Black History month, is not to solely speak about our continuous fight for over 400 years, but instead to continue to amplify our voices, our beauty, our brands, our businesses, and our lives as a whole. All and all now is still the time for celebration and unity within our community and with our allies.

So no matter what, whether you’re the “skinny black girl descended from slaves…” like Inaugural poet, Amanda Gorman, or a Trayvon Martin, praying you’re not racially profiled while walking from the store- remember that your Black skin is not a crime, but instead should give you more reason to feel powerful and seen. Never make yourselves invisible or shrink to make others comfortable.

Even through our adversity, even through a pandemic, even through our injustices, even through racism- we will embrace our melanin and show up and show out. We will never be silenced.

We have been and will always be a resilient tribe of beautiful shades of melanin that deserve to be celebrated, no matter what.

I hope you enjoy reading this issue and this celebration of our Blackness. Never to be lessened or ignored by anyone.

~ xoxo Karis

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