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

70's Fever

A significant portion of my fashion inspiration comes from the 1970's. The era was defined by icons such as Diana Ross, Donna Summer, Chaka Khan, Pam Grier, Iman and Bianca Jagger. On the heels of the turbulent 1960's , the fashion of 70's was festive, lavish and indulgent. Designers like Yves Saint Laurent and Halston created pieces that elegantly captured this exuberance. Yet, even before I came to know the names of these Greats, I was inspired by 70's icons closer to home.

As a girl, it was pure delight discovering photographs that archived my mother's and aunts' sassy style. As shown on those sepia toned pages,  maxi dresses, halter tops, bell bottoms, gowns, sexy tshirts, platform heels and big hair were au rigeur.

 Seeing my mother and aunts in all their vivacious, sensual and confident glory transformed how I viewed them and provided a few tips I came to value...Dress up, have fun & live life boldly!

Top: Ancestral Memory
Skirt: Vintage Liz Clairborne; Thrifted
Clutch: Thrifted
Earrings: Vintage; Thrifted
Shoes : Zara but DIY embellishments
Cuff: Indian
Rings & Bangles: Baba

Photo Credit : Kaye McCoy


Spending the Day Blue

One thing I cherish about Atlanta is the abundance of cute old neighbourhoods within the city itself. They  possess so much character and charm. Some of them, with their brightly colored wooden exteriors,  lattice trimmings and cosy verandahs, remind me of the traditional houses of my native Caribbean. Case in point, Cabbagetown. 

The neighbourhood, originally named Factory Town and Fulton Mill Town, was built in 1881 to provide housing for workers at the  Fulton Bag & Cotton Mill. Many of these laborers were transplants from the Appalachian mountains of Georgia. They were largely of Irish~Scottish heritage and much of their cuisine consisted of cabbage. {I'm not being facetious!}. The scent was so prominent that passersby derisively called the neighbourhood Cabbagetown. The residents weren't offended though. Instead, they embraced the moniker and continued to nurture a proud community.

Eventually {in 1977},  the mill closed and as a result of the ensuing economic decline, the  residents went elsewhere in search of better opportunities. Fortunately,  that was not the end of the cool little enclave.  During the 1990's, new life was breathed into the community with financial reinvestment and growing  interest among artists to live there. Today, the "shotgun" and cottage style homes are well taken care of and are a source of pride for Atlantans, even for honorary ones like myself. 

Dress: Vintage
Photo Credit: Adinah Morgan