The Orijin Store – Amazing African Accessories

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Look closely at this bag.  Now scream!  This is absolutely beautiful.  For a person like me, who loves African and African-inspired fashion, I feel like I hit a gold mine.  Sistas and brothas, you must indulge in this greatness.

Today is Friday, and perhaps you have some extra cash, or disposable income left, and want to reward yourself for a goal that you accomplished.  Well, this is the way to do it! Check out the Orijin Store!  I am all about African fashion and this company hit the nail on the head with this line of amazing accessories.

Ori j i nal Design, Culturally Inspired.  Visit Orijins website to see the full collection of bags, glasses, and signature clothing.  Given my beliefs in living the Nguzo Saba 365, this is a purchase I can be proud of because it’s for us, by us.  You can share in this greatness too, if you’re ready.  Sure, break the rules!  🙂

I will be getting one of these amazing bags.  Based on my experiences with leather, the price is really good – $169.  I think you should go for it.  I love, love, love it.  No pressure, though, you don’t have to love it.  Just give it some time.  I’m sure you will.

Shot out to Orijin for supporting my art on Instagram.  Much love.  Peace.

You can find them on IG @orijinculture and I am @kushqueendom

I’m sending signals to your mental, so we can connect… see you soon, 

Shila Iris 

Now & Then I Lose My Way, but I’ll Always Come Back to You

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A NEW HORIZON IS SLOWLY COMING INTO VIEW. Finding solace tonight, I closed my eyes to meditate and this memory came to mind. The year was 1995, and I remember hearing the needle drop onto the vinyl. I knew something good was about to happen. My mother put us to bed, and she and my father convened for their after hours date at the dining room table. They would eat a late dinner, smoke something green, and try to work out their differences. This was their ritual. We children, tucked away in our beds, would drift into Atlantis. The guitar at the beginning always made me feel warm and at peace, like good music does. I soon fell asleep to the sound of my parents muffled voices and the Isley Brothers. These memories are priceless. For a long time, my mom and dad were in love and really good friends. It was beautiful back then, and so simple. They had to divorce after 19 years because of my fathers drug habit, but after he kicked it, they became cool again. I always thought I’d have a friendship like theirs, because in everything there is good. So, with this memory, my tears dry up, and my night fades to black. Peace.

Can I go on my way without you
Oh, how can I know?
If I go on my way without you
Oh, where would I go?
Set sail with me
Misty lady, set my spirit free
New love to find
And though I leave another behind
I’ll always (Come back to you)
She’s my lady, now and ever
Oh, how do I know?
Can we go all the way together
Oh let it be so
So we’ll say our last goodbye
And we’ll make it this time
Hey ho set sail with me
To a paradise out beyond the sea
Say yeah if you wanna go
I’ll always
Bonus:
Goodnight or good morning!
All love is real,
i am Shila Iris

My Introduction to the Wu-Tang Clan

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black-history_feb-17_copyright-shila-iris-2017The year was 1997, and online music was no where to be found. Most of the world experienced solid, art-based hip-hop through Rap City, Video Vibrations or through either the Vibe, Source, Right On! or Word Up! magazines. My older brother was a hip-hop nut! He introduced our family to this raunchy, fun, yet highly political style of beat-based poetry. When I saw my first Wu-Tang video, Triumph, I was so intoxicated that I wanted to be a rapper. The intensity of the lyrics made my heart percolate! The fast-paced imagery tugged at my youth, urging me to be free. The 10 men I saw on the screen were raw and oddly intellectual.

They seemed to be well-read, open, and real. They were from another world, far away from where I was from. The beats were right up my alley. I was intrigued. The music of Wu-Tang has taught me that we can’t sanitize Black life, making it appear to be easy, and we cannot not alter our stories to please others. Life is what it is. Give it to them raw. I feel blessed to have seen them perform live. It was a fun experience. I also saw the solo performances of Ghostface Killah, and last year I saw GZA perform in Akron, Ohio. RZA had a book talk at the public library, where he shared parts of his personal life story, talked about the business side of Wu-Tang and explained his book, The Tao of Wu. These men are such heart throbs! Their ability to be honest makes them all the more attractive. Whenever Wu-Tang is in town, I will be there, no doubt. The Clan is an ultimate example of the Nguzo Saba aka 7 Principles of Kwanzaa. If you ever see me in the gym, nearly falling off the elliptical, it’s because I’m listening to Triumph, and I have gotten so lifted, that I’m in another world! Be careful when you listen to the Wu. Peace.

Thank you for reading,

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ShiLA IRiS

My Introduction to Imhotep

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black-history_feb-16_copyright-shila-iris-2017A few years ago when one of my good friends was a med student, he changed his online alias to Imhotep. I didn’t inquire about it, but in my heart, I acknowledged the change. Then, I realized that instead of taking the Hippocratic oath that students of medicine are required to recite, perhaps he decided to invoke the spirit of the true Father of Medicine. If you’d like to know about him, I encourage you to research the greatness of Imhotep, the world’s first physician, who laid the foundation for the healing arts. I’ll say this: we are forever connected to the past and to our ancestors, each and every one of us. We value their traditions because it makes us stronger. We stand on their graves and ask for guidance and offer our devotion. Imhotep, I honor You, for I am You. My heart told me to dig deeper, and I found jewels, gold, stories, hidden colors. I went above and beyond mainstream education, to find out who I really am, and now I know my worth. I value history. In this age of information, we can uncover truths faster than ever before. This is necessary, because being Black is tough. This is not rhetoric, it really is. That double consciousness that W.E.B. DuBois taught, that invisible man that Ralph Ellison described, is a part of our everyday realities. It can be exhausting, and it can drive you crazy. But, I learned, through a Master Teacher, not to give up, and settle, and make excuses for my ignorance. I need to be healed. We need healing. My ancestors look over me. I swear by Imhotep. That is my oath. Peace.

Thank you for reading,

Shila Iris

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My Introduction to Kara Walker

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Back in 2011, I spent a lot more time than I am willing to admit, in an ongoing conversation with a dear friend of mine. We were consistently conversing, texting, emailing, Skyping, and meeting up to share our worlds with one another. One day, this wonderful companion of mine sent me an email with a link to Kara Walker’s website. I took a look. It was pretty amazing. Her style of storytelling is appealing to the eye in its simplicity, and culturally relevant, urging humanity to reach inside themselves and find out who they really are. With that same friend who I spent most of 2011 talking with, I was honored, this past Fall, to see the Kara Walker exhibit: “The Ecstasy of St. Kara,” which reflects upon the complex history of Christianity and the myths surrounding slavery- worldwide and in the lives of Black people. Kara’s work supports mental growth and spiritual evolution. It makes me think about where I was, where I am, and where I want to be. I am grateful to have experienced Kara’s ecstasy.

… a little behind, celebrated my birthday on February 13, and been under the weather, but now I’m on top! Peace and love! Gonna continue to celebrate the African Diaspora. You should too.

Peace and blessings manifest with every lesson learned.

Thank you for reading,

2015

Love,

Shila

My Introduction to Anthony Browder

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black-history_feb-14_copyright-shila-iris-2017I didn’t know much about Anthony Browder, but I knew that I didn’t want to miss the presentation that he was giving at Kent State University. So, I drove the hour it took to get there, and sat in the packed audience. He shared his research findings about things he’d discovered during his travels to the motherland. It was the first time I’d heard a man speak so confidently about Egypt, it’s history, and it’s indigenous people. My heart beat fast. I was excited. Browder has traveled to Egypt over 60 times and is doing excavation to discover the true history of our ancestors. In the states, he shares this information in carefully orchestrated presentations that teach and inspire. I bought a copy of his book Nile Valley Contributions to Civilization and had him autograph it and sign it over to me and my dear friend who really wanted to be there, but coudn’t make it. I wanted to share the wealth! I got to see Browder present again, 4 years later at the public library, with that same friend! We had a great time sitting round table, talking with Browder after he gave yet another wonderful and historical speech. He is a beautiful man and I love his spirit. One thing that I noticed about Browder, and I believe it is helping to sustain him, is the fact that he had great mentors- Asa Hilliard, John Henrik Clarke, and John G. Jackson, to name a few. I am seeing more and more that good leadership comes with great mentorship. These scholars influenced Browder’s work and he mentions them often, giving power to the their research. I admire Anthony T. Browder for the work he is doing in Egypt, with his daughter and with all the people who want to be a part of this history-making journey of adventure.

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Shila Iris

My Introduction to “Knowledge of Self”

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black-history_feb-13_copyright-shila-iris-2017Becoming conscious of my own existence, my mind began to transform. I shedded my ego and my eyes opened to reveal my heart. Gaining clairvoyance through observation, I realized that the now was here. I had a chance, so I took it. The urgency of my evolution allowed me to see the matrix, the numbers, the chemistry, the hieroglyphs, the cyphers- the rotation was magnificent. As I matriculate, I stay true. I have seen with my own two eyes the truth. My accountability, my sacrifice, my love is here. I wrote myself back into the story, and started to really love this girl. This level of maturity, this level of security, my restoration is my assignment. Obstacles are moving, resistance is under my elephant feet, I defeat, every time. Better Me. I wanted her so bad, I had to get her. I saw Shila, and I pursued her, until she was strong and her colors shined through. I planted my flag, my culture, my God. I came for her. Osiris Rising.

Thank you for visiting,

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Shila Iris