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“I do not need to be amongst other people for validation, I am magic(k)al in my existence, solely.” -Princess Nokia

We pay homage to our ancestors. We recognize and give thanks to the ancestors whose names we know and those we don’t. We pay gratitude for their continued communicative efforts with us, for their guidance through our spiritual discipline and their acts to ensure our return to them; our return to ourselves. Give thanks for our remembering. Ase.
There have been clips popping up on Instagram and Facebook of an interview Princess Nokia did at Brown University recently. The interview runs over an hour-long, with Destiny Frasqueri (Nokia) speaking on her childhood, the major influences for her live performances and most poignantly, her spirituality and how she came into her magick. Princess Nokia has become recognized as putting brujx and conjure culture on the mainstream music map, reminding black and brown femmes, bois and queerdos to be unafraid of our whole selves and not give a fuck who likes it, but us. There’s a moment in the interview where the interviewer asks Destiny about solitude – or “spiritual solitude,” as Destiny calls it – and why she stresses its necessity. Often a hard state to conceptualize, our highly connected and web-space savvy generation is often not allowed that time for solitude. Between notifications and emails and text messages and calls, the threat of turning off your phone to only incur an anxiety about disappointing others, often doesn’t feel worth the true quiet and mindful time we might otherwise have had.

Learning about hoodoo has taught me that Black people lived normal lives and that has allowed me to connect with my ancestors in a way that all of the extraordinary stories of Blackness did not.

By Donyae Coles My mother really wanted me to be Afrocentric. She tried so hard, flooding my room with art and books that would teach me about my heritage and empower me with stories of people who have lived through some of the worst oppression and abuse in the world. It didn’t work. I was more concerned with books that featured dragons and superheroes and for a long time, I felt completely out of touch with my heritage. It wasn't until I discovered hoodoo and that I found the link that connected me to my ancestors. Hoodoo is an African American folk tradition concerned with healing and protection (and a bit of hexing). It is also called conjure and rootwork. It was developed by enslaved Black people and takes many forms but is different from Voodoo. It is a type of magick practice but is areligious and does not invoke any deities, unless you want to. It is worked by using roots and herbs in conjunction with personal items and candles.

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