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    Blvck Vrchives: Renata Cherlise

    Interview By Lissa Alicia

    Blvck Vrchives is a collection of photography, video, drawings, interviews, and written accounts of moments in Black American History. These catalogs of history, curated by Renata Cherlise, explore the black experience in its entirety. Blvck Vrchives showcases the hardships, the fun, and the love. The blackness that inhabits America is a multifaceted entity that has molded not just the country but the world. In this interview Cherlise and I discuss storytelling, gentrification, and the black experience.

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    Black Art with Angela Pilgrim

    Interview By Lissa Alicia

    Angela Pilgrim is a textile designer and illustrator whose work shows a feminine side of Pro Black Art. Pilgrim explores black womanhood with Warhol-esque pastel portraits of afro clad sistas. In her work, the New Jersey native shines a spotlight on the black woman’s crown and glory - hair. The imagery evokes a sense of pride and beauty that is not typically associated with black hair. In this interview, Pilgrim and I discuss the significance of black hair in the black feminist movement and her creative process.

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    Gabriel Bryant

    Interview By Misty Sol

    "I've seen, being an educator over the years, young people shift the paradigm of how they think about life and how they pursue life. And it's different from what their parents, guardian or society told them to do. I've seen women want to wear their hair a certain way not because society told them to do it but because it worked for them and made sense and it was natural. I'm not saying anything about hair. For them, the power in that, I'm talking about girls now, that's a positive result. I've seen boys shift their views on being hyper sexual, being hyper masculine and hyper violent. Those are the anecdotes we don't hear about in movement work, which we should be talking about more. These are the little anecdotes that carry our families and neighborhoods. On a larger level, I've done work around gentrification and saved homes for elders who didn't know the process of imminent domain, sheriff sale laws or about corporate development coming into a neighborhood and taking their homes. I been a part of movements that have saved peoples’ homes. I've seen those things happen."

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    DarkMatter and Movement Building

    Photo By Nerdscarf Photography | Interview By Lissa Alicia 

    OKCupid was the first video I watched by DarkMatter, a femme, non-binary South Asian poetry duo based out of Brooklyn. The piece literally had me in tears while the pair recounted a false tale of how they met on the infamous dating site. Their vivacity and sarcasm paired with a mindfulness for socially progressive practices let me know that the rest of DarkMatter’s poetry would be intensely insightful and delightful. In this interview we speak about the separation of LGBT movements, Leelah Alcorn, and social justice work.

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    “The Refutation of Good Hair” with Nakeya B

    Interview By Lissa Alicia

    Nakeya B is a mother and photographer currently based in New York & New Jersey. In her work, Nakeya explores the many dimensions of African-American hair through the use of different styles, products, and tools - such as hair rollers, kanekalon, and pots full of boiling water. The carefully selected props paired with the delicate and feminine color palette enables viewers to witness the marvelous and sometime strenuous relationship that black women have with their hair. In this interview Nakeya speaks on her photography, black hair in the media, and how both motherhood and going natural motivated her to capture African-American hair in her work.

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