AM Reads: Between The World And Me

Rounding up my year's reading with this brilliant piece of writing. "Between The World And Me" is a loving, honest letter from a father to his son...a memoir of what it means to be a black man~ a black person in America...a hold no punches analysis of racism in the great, morally superior US of A. 

Birthday Blessings

Even though I enjoy celebrating other people's birthdays with wanton festivity, I prefer more low key affairs for myself. My idea of a perfect birthday is a simple, intimate gathering of those most dear to me or traveling to a place that rejuvenates my mind, spirit and body.  Birthdays for me are perfect opportunities to reflect on life and indulge in simple pleasures...Pleasures such as reading a good book, savouring a home cooked meal, laughing with those whose company I enjoy or spending time with Mother Nature. That is precisely how I celebrated another trip around the sun....

Photography Credit: 
Photographs of me by Kyle Walcott
Photographs of landscape by me


Pretty Paisley

It will probably be soon that I run out of catchy captions for outfit posts featuring paisley prints. Such is the the pervasiveness of the print among my clothes. Nonetheless, I don't think I'll ever tire of wearing this  groovy print of Persian origin. Among the plethora of 'ethnic' decorative motifs, it's my favourite. I just love its whimsy and prettiness! This dress was an especially sweet find because it's pink (you already know how I feel about pink!)with the darling print fashioned in black. The contrast creates a look that I call restrained festiveness. Given the ease with which it makes me feel dressed-up, this little number will most likely be making at least one more appearance during the upcoming holiday season! Can you blame me?

Dress: Vintage;Thrifted
Bag: Thrifted
Boots: Nine West
Bangles: Collected from various places

Photography Credit: Jaye Gardener

17.10.15 : Foreign Gods Inc. by Okey Ndibe

So believe it or not, we're already halfway through the month of October! This means we just have a couple weeks left until the second meet-up when we discuss this month's book selection, Foreign Gods Inc by Okey Ndibe. Hopefully, you've picked up your copy by now but if not, you still have time to do so and catch up with the reading. Assata and I are looking forward to hearing your thoughts on this new work of Nigerian fiction when we gather on Saturday, the 31st of Oct from 3 to 5pm (EST) via Periscope...Our handle there is papyrusbookclub. Until then, Happy Reading! 

Photography Credit: Sol Messiah

Village Dispatch : Morocco with Sofia El Arabi

Given my obsession with all things Moroccan design, it should come as no surprise that one of my first Village Dispatch posts features someone from that immensely artistic land. After discovering designer Sofia El Arabi on Instagram a couple months ago,  I knew that I had to ask if she would be willing to share a bit of herself and her home on the AM blog. 
Sofia's edgy, worldy bohemian style just oozes coolness. At a time when the boho thing can seem over done, she manages to make it look fresh and all her own. Her style intrigues you. It compels you to ask the question "who is she?"  
Fortunately, Sofia agreed to satiate that curiousity.

AM:From what city in Morocco are you?
Sofia: Casablanca, born and raised.

AM: How did being exposed to creativity inspire you to become an artist?
Sofia: My father was a painter, an intellectual, rich by his readings. I have his bohemian side and style. My mother gave me her business vision.

AM:How does your environment influence your creative process?
Sofia: My everyday life in Casablanca is full of inspiration. I also travel a lot from little village to big city and I read a lot about Morocco and Berber women, in particular.

AM: Describe your line Bakchic, The Label.
Sofia: Bakchic is the expression of a personal identity, a mix between a super rich cultural heritage and the blowing of a contemporary wind. Berberhemian: Bohemian Berber, that is how Morocco keeps inspiring me. Bakchic is the Arabic word for bribery. The brand is what should be taking you back to the true essence of Arabian clothing...unpolluted, uncorrupted.

AM: What is the most romantic place in your city?
Sofia: the little streets of Habous. I love this place!

AM: What personal belonging is most special to you?
Sofia: A ring on my left thumb and my bracelets from all over the world.

AM: What do you do when you want to relax?
Sofia: I visit a hammam.

AM: How do you drink your mint tea?
Sofia: My favourite is my grandmother's....with homemade Moroccan sweets.

All photographs are the property of Sofia El Arabi


Night Life

Taking outfit photographs when it's dark outside isn't conventional in the blogging world. It may indeed be counter-intuitve. Yet, I've come to like the effect that the subtle light casts within the photographs captured. At dusk things come alive in a way they don't during the day. Bronze sparkles, leaves show off their vibrant greens and the muted tones stand out against my dark skin.

Sweater: Banana Republic; Thrifted
Skirt:No label attached; Thrifted
Shoes:Ann Taylor
Bag: Vintage Coach; Thrifted
Necklace: Kaarta Imports 
Earrings:Cultural Accents

Photograpy Credit : Jaye Gardener


Smooth Operator

There is something so sultry about soft fabrics. On days when I want to feel extra feminine and the temperature is favourable, I slip into a silk or satin dress and enjoy the brush of the material against my skin. Just that sensation is enough to make me feel regal, beautiful and sexy. What an easy and effortless way to add a little boost of confidence!
Dress: Banana Republic
Heels: Banana Republic
Clutch: Thrifted

Photo Credit: Jaye Gardener


The Papyr*us Book Club

My sis Assata {aka Sa~roc} and I LOVE to read!!!!! We've bonded over this mutual love for literature, poetry and other great writing. The art that is writing has served as a portal through which we've  travelled beyond the boundaries of space and time...enabling us to envision and experience life beyond our immediate realities. Given how transformative the alchemy of writing has been to us, we've long dreamed of  starting a book club through which we could nurture substantive and inspiring relationships with other globally minded  women. We're excited to say that dream is now reality. Papyr*us is a monthly gathering in which we intend to celebrate sisterhood, substance and superb written works by people of colour.

There are two ways for our fellow queens to be a part of Papyr*us.  The first is by invitation to our intimate Atlanta sessions. The second is via social media. Follow us on Periscope {thepapyrusbookclub} You will be able to follow our monthly sessions there in real time through a live feed. Also subscribe to our Youtube channel {thepapyrusbookclub} where previous sessions will be viewable. Additionally, we will share new book announcements; book review questions and commentary on each piece via Instagram {papyrusbookclub}, Periscope and here on the Ancestral Memory blog.

Once we announce the book, members will have estimately one month to read it. At that point we will meet to discuss the piece in person and virtually.

So, now that we have those details sorted out, let's get started! The first book is...DRUMROLL!!!!.. If Beale St Could Talk by James Baldwin. Both Assata and I consider Baldwin to be one of the most formidable authors in American literature. His examinations of race, sexuality, religion and class among other topics compel discourse. If Beale St Could Talk, with its promotion of the black family and black love, is just one of James Balwin's  works that still bear poignant relevance. We'll explore the significance of this book next month. You can obtain a copy on or for reasonable prices. If Beale St Could Talk is also available in ebook format. We also encourage you to check out your local libraries and black owned book stores.

 Go grab a copy and mark your calendar for our Sept 27th session! {We will announce the time of the 1st live feed closer to the date}. Should you have questions,please leave them in the comment field below. We look forward to vibesing with you! 

Photograpy Credit: Sol Messiah