Melanated Stamps

A Podcast showcasing dope people who do dope things. Let's read, dismantle, uplift, and get stamps together.

Angela “Ange” Saint-Yl

CLICK HERE FOR THE PODCAST EPISODE!!

My work is focused around food, travel, inspiring confidence/empowerment, and really living out your dreams/passions

Me at Frida Kahlo’s home/art studio in Mexico City

Me enjoying a delicious, from scratch donut in Ottawa, Canada

Me treating myself to a solo date in the Wynwood Arts District in Miami

My bio: I am a DIY Travel Mentor! I have been a solo traveler for the last five years and it has changed my life/my relationship with myself in more ways than I could have imagined. This came close to almost not happening though because I had a lot of mindset blocks/fears about taking the leap to fulfill my dreams. That didn’t happen thank goodness but it was stirred in me over last year to be someone who could give solid resources/help women who may be in a similar situation that I was. Travel has been one of the best gifts I could have received and I want to be able to pass that gift onto others to receive + nourished/enriched similarly!

Working with me: The way I offer my services is through my duo of courses entitled the Solo Traveler’s Playbook. In both versions, I breakdown all the components of an itinerary (flights, accommodations, activities, budgeting, and transit) into bite-size, actionable pieces so you can seamlessly customize and make your dream travel itineraries a reality! Click here for my website!

Support/Hire/Follow Ange:

💥Website for the courses- https://theflexitariandigest.thinkific.com/

 💥Travel IG- @theflexitariantravels

💥Food IG— @eatswithangieee

 💥theflexitariandigest@gmail.com

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ALWAYS buy books from Black independent bookstores, NOT Amazon.

Are you currently reading a book by a Black author? Share your thoughts in a brief audio clip and I’ll feature you and your read on a future podcast episode!

How to contact Dr. Jenaya Perdue:

Instagram: @MelanatedStamps

Website: http://www.melanatedstamps.com

Facebook: Melanated Stamps

Podcast: Melanated Stamps

Email: melanatedstamps@gmail.com

Denver While Black: Allurr’em Velvit. Entrepreneur, Performer, Producer with an Emmy

Allurr’em Velvit is an incredible Black woman who dabbles in tons of unique fields ranging from entrepreneurship to stage performances to journalism behind the camera. One of my favorite parts of my conversation with her was when we were talking about something entirely unrelated and she just stops mid-sentence and says, “Oh, you mean, my Emmy?” And pulls it off her bookshelf behind her.

She is Co-Founder and Producer of Melanated Menagerie, a freelance producer, and an Emmy Award Winning AP.

Owner of a Black hair and body care store in Denver where she works tirelessly to bring high-quality products from Black local businesses and product lines to the masses, she is fully dedicated in investing in her new community. Hailing from the mid-west, she moved to Denver because of her love of nature and the vibe.

In my conversation, we talk about body image while being on stage, her journey in choosing herself and who she represents in a white, male-dominated industry, uplifting the stories of Black America, toxicity of whiteness and self-care in challenging work environments, and so much more. She drops so many gems as she shares about her journey throughout America chasing her self, her love, her identity, and her story.

Currently, she is raising support for her business as she endeavors to secure it better against those who wish her dreams to not go forth. You can read more about her vision for her community and her store here in her GoFundMe. Support her directly via PayPal or through this link. Click here for GoFundMe.

From Allurr’em:

I am not only the founder and operator of Velv’IT Boutique Beauty-offering Denver Naturals the service they deserve while seeking out their Beauty supply needs – but also an established Producer of film television and live events. Haha, I even perform in some of those events!!

Shop with us over at our website.

If you’re local, come on in: 4611 Peoria St. Unit A2, Denver CO 80239

Facebook: Velv’IT Boutique Beauty

Instagram: Velv’IT Boutique Beauty

ALWAYS buy books from Black independent bookstores, NOT Amazon.

Are you currently reading a book by a Black author? Share your thoughts in a brief audio clip and I’ll feature you and your read on a future podcast episode!

How to contact Dr. Jenaya Perdue:

Instagram: @MelanatedStamps

Website: http://www.melanatedstamps.com

Facebook: Melanated Stamps

Youtube: Melanated Stamps

Podcast: Melanated Stamps

Email: melanatedstamps@gmail.com

Buy my book on my website: #BlackInDenver: A Black Girl’s Reflection on Being A Boujie Hipster and Black In Her Favorite Town. Essays On Race, Racial and Cultural Dissonance, Whiteness, and Being Blackity Black.

Let’s Read: “The Collected Poetry of Nikki Giovanni: 1968-1998” Book Review

Listen to the Podcast! Click here!

Buy the Book Here—NOT Amazon!

“May i spin a poem around you come let’s step into my web and dream of freedom together”

“A poem is pure energy horizontally contained between the mind of the poet and the ear of the reader if it does not sing discard the ear”

One of my absolutely brilliant Black Girl Magic friends that I’ve had a brain crush on since I was a mere child mentioned Nikki Giovanni casually in a conversation we had a couple years ago before I moved abroad. I took a mental note and put her on my list. I am so not poetry reader. I just don’t get it even if I scrunch my eyes real tight and tilt my head. I’m a bit hopeless and I felt like I was missing out on such gems because I have zero poetry interpretation skills. BUT, I tried.

Favorite Parts

First. She wrote about everything that crossed her mind and path. The collection I read organized her poetry chronologically. I felt as thought she was watching the nightly news on her TV with her feet propped up after a long day of being a mom and Black Girl Magic, saw a news brief, and then wrote her commentary about it rhythmically and symbolically in poetry verse. She captured the humanity of the decades she’s passed through.

Second. Nowhere in her biography did she talk about being connected to a man or male partner. We know that she had had at least 1 because she has a son, but that part was skipped and I loved it. She created a life not by accident and intentionally maintained her greatness without the traditional connection to a partner. BUT in her poetry, you could clearly see—even in my poetry blindness and lack of interpretive prowess—that she had been deeply in love and also grieved through breakups. Whether she was in love, feeling herself clearly single, or picking up her heart pieces after a breakup, she still thrived and added to her essence beautifully.

Third favorite part. Now that these matriarchs and patriarchs of the Civil Rights Movement are aged, we often forget that they were my age—our age when they were in the midst of doing great things. They were frustrated, angry, determined. They rested, enjoyed each other’s company, laughed. They raised children, had great sex, dined on delicious food. They decided enough was enough, created initiatives to protect their lineage, used the essence of themselves to do their part in the fight for justice. And now they’re old. I want to be like this when I’m old—sitting in my rocking chair after living a bomba$$ life filled with massive highs and massive lows and prickly bushes and winning patches that were smooth as unscathed ice.

Fourth favorite part. In the footnotes at the back, one of them said that Nikki and Angela finally met at Toni’s 70th birthday party. Imagine the level of excellence in the room! Nikki Giovanni after myriad poems meets Angela Davis—professor, activist, and tenacious womanist/feminist—bump into each other at Toni Morrison’s—queen of prose—birthday party. How perfect.

Why You Need To Read This

First. Poetry floats off the page and has the same power as prose, but approaches humanity and understanding of the nuances differently.

Second. See the beauty within the Civil Rights Movement. Time stops still and you can think about quotidian moments within the fight for equity.

Third. Nikki is Black Girl Magic. Just like everyone needs to read Toni Morrison. Everyone needs to read Nikki. Full stop.

Book Description from Uncle Bobbi’s Coffee and Books:

This omnibus includes her first seven volumes of poetry from her early years, 1967 to 1983: Black Feeling Black Talk; Black Judgement; Re: Creation; My House; The Women and the Men; Cotton Candy on a Rainy Day; and Those Who Ride the Night Winds. A timeless classic, it is both a reflection of the changes in her own life and an evocation of a nation’s past and its present.

Author Biography from Uncle Bobbi’s Coffee and Books:

Nikki Giovanni, poet, activist, mother, and professor, is a seven-time NAACP Image Award winner and the first recipient of the Rosa Parks Woman of Courage Award, and holds the Langston Hughes Medal for Outstanding Poetry, among many other honors. The author of twenty-eight books and a Grammy nominee for The Nikki Giovanni Poetry Collection, she is the University Distinguished Professor of English at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, Virginia.

ALWAYS buy books from Black independent bookstores, NOT Amazon.

Are you currently reading a book by a Black author? Share your thoughts in a brief audio clip and I’ll feature you and your read on a future podcast episode!

How to contact me:

Instagram: @MelanatedStamps

Website: http://www.melanatedstamps.com

Facebook: Melanated Stamps

Youtube: Melanated Stamps

Podcast: Melanated Stamps

Email: melanatedstamps@gmail.com

Buy my book on my website: #BlackInDenver: A Black Girl’s Reflection on Being A Boujie Hipster and Black In Her Favorite Town. Essays On Race, Racial and Cultural Dissonance, Whiteness, and Being Blackity Black.

Adalia Aborisade: Black Woman Expat, Retired Educator, Financial Coach, Currently Living in Mexico City 🇲🇽

Click here for podcast episode!

Adalia Aborisade is all of the Black Girl Magic and living her best life in Mexico City, Mexico.

In our conversation, we chatted about how she reinvented herself and learned to cherish herself after a two-decade long marriage. In her journey of healing and daring to ask herself hard questions, she found her freedom and identity by digging deep and uncovering what she loves. She now coaches Black women to find wholeness and freedom through her finance and money coaching, expat journey, and education.

She has been living abroad now in several countries as an educator in international schools. She even had a stint in China which was less than pleasant, but has now found her home in Mexico. We talk about parenting abroad and the opportunities American educators can have in other countries.

Support her journey abroad and her work. Hire her to help you see your financial situation with new eyes as you pursue your own journey towards freedom. Money may not give you happiness, but it most definitely gives you options!

Find Adalia:

adalia@pickygirltravelstheworld.com

DM on

IG: @pickygirltravels

FB: @pickygirltravels

TW: @pickygrltravels

ALWAYS buy books from Black independent bookstores, NOT Amazon.

Are you currently reading a book by a Black author? Share your thoughts in a brief audio clip and I’ll feature you and your read on a future podcast episode!

How to contact Dr. Jenaya Perdue:

Instagram: @MelanatedStamps

Website: http://www.melanatedstamps.com

Facebook: Melanated Stamps

Youtube: Melanated Stamps

Podcast: Melanated Stamps

Email: melanatedstamps@gmail.com

Buy my book on my website: #BlackInDenver: A Black Girl’s Reflection on Being A Boujie Hipster and Black In Her Favorite Town. Essays On Race, Racial and Cultural Dissonance, Whiteness, and Being Blackity Black.

Let’s Read… “White Rage: The Unspoken Truth of Our Racial Divide” by Carol Anderson

Click to listen to the podcast episode!

Buy the book and support a Black-owned bookstore

Favorite Parts

Just like in the last book I reviewed—“The Color of Compromise: The American Church’s Complicity in Racism,” I can’t say that these are my favorite parts because the whole premise of the book is an attempt at reaching the bottom of racism and airing its filth. None of this is pretty, relaxing, or jovial. It’s painful like a root canal with no anesthesia—or maybe replacing a femur with no anesthesia is closer to the level of agony. Necessary agony. Rage. Necessary rage ensues. This is a book that I wanted to throw and to burn up, but I knew that I had to push through in order to frame what and how I see the world, its people, and my own Black body and mind. It is also the final book I’m going to read on this topic for right now. I’m taking a book break and reading some poetry next because my heart can’t take much more.

With all this being said, here are the most pivotal parts of the book.

First, the definition of white rage. I’m not able to rephrase it because I wouldn’t do it justice and it needs all the recognition:

“What was really at work here was white rage . With so much attention focused on the flames , everyone had ignored the logs , the kindling . In some ways , it is easy to see why . White rage is not about visible violence , but rather it works its way through the courts , the legislatures , and a range of government bureaucracies . It wreaks havoc subtly , almost imperceptibly . Too imperceptibly , certainly , for a nation consistently drawn to the spectacular — to what it can see . It’s not the Klan . White rage doesn’t have to wear sheets , burn crosses , or take to the streets . Working the halls of power , it can achieve its ends far more effectively , far more destructively… The trigger for white rage , inevitably , is black advancement . It is not the mere presence of black people that is the problem ; rather , it is blackness with ambition , with drive , with purpose , with aspirations , and with demands for full and equal citizenship. The truth is , white rage has undermined democracy , warped the Constitution , weakened the nation’s ability to compete economically , squandered billions of dollars on baseless incarceration , rendered an entire region sick , poor , and woefully undereducated , and left cities nothing less than decimated . All this havoc has been wreaked simply because African Americans wanted to work , get an education , live in decent communities , raise their families , and vote . Because they were unwilling to take no for an answer.”

I’m definitely in the stage of my understanding of Blackness and whiteness where I’m full of anger and despair. At systems and not necessarily at people. I see white folks who are filled with whiteness and spew whiteness as victims in their own way also. They have no idea how hurtful they can be and are. They don’t know how powerful they can become as tools to fight systems which maim and subjugate and murder. It’s unfortunate. Truly unfortunate.

Second pivotal part. The extent to which white rage and whiteness will go in order to protect its own. This book gives the why, the where, the how, and the fortitude by which it maintains white rage’s innocence of any wrongdoing so that no one can refute the author’s argument. I can’t remember who said it, but what we are seeing now with the weeping and gnashing of teeth by whiteness is basically an animal dying a slow and painful death. It’s being held accountable for its actions and it’s literally crawling and grabbing at whatever it can to stay afloat. Whiteness needs to die so that we all can live.

Third pivotal part. The author warns that nothing will change if nothing changes. We will still be having the same kerfuffles and all-out civil wars in the court systems and in every facet of our American existence unless the roots are combed out and a new path created. Unfortunately, everyone must be on the same page and fighting in the same direction in order for this to work.

Fourth pivotal part. For me, I left America because I needed to heal and take a break from whiteness in America. So, I just moved to another country that is hyper-overt in their racism. I became tearful as I read the stories of Black folks who refused to give up on a country that has consistently betrayed us, given us every reason to light it on fire and start over and fought for rights and access to everything that was promised to “all” (read: white men). Black folks have been in the courthouses and schoolhouses and regular houses and on every stage and even yelling from the crowds for equity since we got here! I’m grateful for every person who did their part and am challenged to continue doing mine for the good of those who will come after. I can only imagine what the USA would be like if Black folks just accepted the deplorably inhumane treatment we were/are subjugated to by white folks—even the nice white folks.

Why you need to read this book

—Read so that you can see patterns of oppression and how they are justified in order to maintain precedence by powers in charge today.

—Gather wording and understanding on how to defend the need to fight for the oppressed and marginalized.

—See the tenacity of Black folks who refuse to give up and will fight for all of us.

Description from Uncle Bobbie’s Books:

As Ferguson, Missouri, erupted in August 2014, and media commentators across the ideological spectrum referred to the angry response of African Americans as “black rage,” historian Carol Anderson wrote a remarkable op-ed in The Washington Post suggesting that this was, instead, white rage at work. With so much attention on the flames, she argued, everyone had ignored the kindling.

Since 1865 and the passage of the Thirteenth Amendment, every time African Americans have made advances towards full participation in our democracy, white reaction has fueled a deliberate and relentless rollback of their gains. The end of the Civil War and Reconstruction was greeted with the Black Codes and Jim Crow; the Supreme Court’s landmark 1954 Brown v. Board of Education decision was met with the shutting down of public schools throughout the South while taxpayer dollars financed segregated white private schools; the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and Voting Rights Act of 1965 triggered a coded but powerful response, the so-called Southern Strategy and the War on Drugs that disenfranchised millions of African Americans while propelling presidents Nixon and Reagan into the White House, and then the election of America’s first black President, led to the expression of white rage that has been as relentless as it has been brutal.

Carefully linking these and other historical flashpoints when social progress for African Americans was countered by deliberate and cleverly crafted opposition, Anderson pulls back the veil that has long covered actions made in the name of protecting democracy, fiscal responsibility, or protection against fraud, rendering visible the long lineage of white rage. Compelling and dramatic in the unimpeachable history it relates, White Rage will add an important new dimension to the national conversation about race in America.

Author Bio from Uncle Bobbie’s Books:

Carol Anderson is the Charles Howard Candler Professor and Chair of African American Studies at Emory University. She is the author of many books and articles, including Bourgeois Radicals: The NAACP and the Struggle for Colonial Liberation, 1941-1960 andEyes Off the Prize: The United Nations and the African American Struggle for Human Rights: 1944-1955. She lives in Atlanta, Georgia.

ALWAYS buy books from Black independent bookstores, NOT Amazon.

Are you currently reading a book by a Black author? Share your thoughts in a brief audio clip and I’ll feature you and your read on a future podcast episode!

How to contact me:

Instagram: @MelanatedStamps

Website: http://www.melanatedstamps.com

Facebook: Melanated Stamps

Youtube: Melanated Stamps

Podcast: Melanated Stamps

Email: melanatedstamps@gmail.com

Buy my book on my website: #BlackInDenver: A Black Girl’s Reflection on Being A Boujie Hipster and Black In Her Favorite Town. Essays On Race, Racial and Cultural Dissonance, Whiteness, and Being Blackity Black.

Tope Adubi: Global Entrepreneur, Beauty Expert, New Transplant from Nigeria to USA

Link to the podcast episode!

Tope Adubi is a business owner who focuses on bringing beauty, peace, and self-confidence to Black women around the world.

She owns a beauty and skin care line that’s rooted in the Motherland—Africa— and is focusing on bringing the creativity, tenacity, and uniqueness of her homeland to the whole world. So often, folks forget that Africa is made up of over 50 countries and each place is vastly different! The food, people, language, culture, skin colors, weather, and norms. She desires for her product line to reflect the nuances and distinct attributes of this incredible continent.

With Nigeria being the land coursing through her veins, Tope is a newbie to the USA and talks about what it’s like to be a transplant, what racism looks like from her perspective, being newly married, and surviving and thriving as a new business owner through a global pandemic.

You can find, support, buy from, and follow her at the links below:

info@kilalicosmetics.com
www.kilalicosmetics.com

@kilalicosmetics

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From Tope:

WHAT WE DO

Kilali Cosmetics is a black-owned business that believes in bridging the gap in the beauty industry and sharing more about the beauty that lies within the continent of Africa.

💥Our matte lip stains are all 18 hour wear lip stains that don’t smudge or transfer.

💥Our black soap facial cleanser helps to fight acne, boost natural glow and fade out dark spots and blemishes.

💥Our body butters and body oils are so moisturizing and helps keep the ashiness out.

All our products are effective because we believe YOU deserve more!

___

Melanated Stamps is Dr. Jenaya Perdue’s platform where she shares stories of dope people who do dope things around the world. If you know someone who deserves more spotlight and wants to showcase the awesome things they are doing, find and follow me: @melanatedstamps and www.melanatedstamps.com

DenverWhileBlack Podcast Series: Jahala Rose Walker. Birth Doula, Massage Therapist, Energy Worker

Click here for the podcast episode!

Jahala Rose Walker is an incredible Black woman in Denver who uses her hands and heart to heal, soothe, and assist in bringing forth life. She is a birth doula, massage therapist, mom, entrepreneur, and an energy worker.

In this episode, you will hear about her spiritual journey and how it has moved her from the Christian faith into her own spirituality where she connects with people and the earth at a transformational level. She also shares data and her own experiences working in the birth realm where Black women have historically been unheard and unsafe in birth spaces. She works with her clients to make sure they have birth that is safe, empowered, and holistically health.

Follow, support, and hire her. You can find her online to set up massage appointments and doula services.

Website: https://www.handsofoshunhealingservices.com/

Instagram: @jahalarose. @handsofoshunlmt

ALWAYS buy books from Black independent bookstores, NOT Amazon.

Are you currently reading a book by a Black author? Share your thoughts in a brief audio clip and I’ll feature you and your read on a future podcast episode!

Follow and support Dr. J’s work:

How to contact me:

Instagram: @MelanatedStamps

Website: http://www.melanatedstamps.com

Facebook: Melanated Stamps

Youtube: Melanated Stamps

Podcast: Melanated Stamps

Email: melanatedstamps@gmail.com

Buy my book on my website: #BlackInDenver: A Black Girl’s Reflection on Being A Boujie Hipster and Black In Her Favorite Town. Essays On Race, Racial and Cultural Dissonance, Whiteness, and Being Blackity Black.

20 Suggestions for being a better friend to/for your non-white friends.

I got blocked by a white woman that I created a boundary with a couple days ago. For those remaining, I have 20 suggestions that will help you navigate relationships with your non-white friends:

1) Ask permission before asking about racial issues or their experience being Black.

2) Know that what you think and feel and our daily reality are most likely night and day.

3) Give us the space and opportunity to say no to engaging with you in a potentially difficult for us conversation.

4) Don’t tell us you are really sad about racial issues in America. We really REALLY don’t care about your feelings right now because our literal sanity and lives are at stake.

5) Never come with an agenda or pre-planned objective where we will be backed into a corner or coerced into responding in certain ways that will in turn support your feelings of high self-value to the detriment of our psychological well-being.

6) Do not randomly slide into our DMs or casually saunter over to us face-to-face and expect us to drop everything we are doing and thinking about to have a conversation with us about our Black experience and perspective.

7) Do not barrage us with 97 hot button topics and expect quick answers that support what you already think and then get mad when we disagree or have data that gives a counter-narrative.

8: Do not be surprised that we have changed our thinking in regards to vvhite people since you have known us—especially if you have never asked or truly listened to our perspective before. Literally living in America has forced my generation to change our minds in how we connect or choose not to connect with vvhite people.

9) Know that after difficult conversations about race, you will probably be unscathed, but will leave us reeling and emotionally destabilized for unprecedented amounts of time. This most recent “conversation” resulted in me not sleeping well for 2 days, very tense body, waking up with balled fists and hunched shoulders, emotional binge eating, shortness of breath when engaging in regular daily tasks, absentmindedness, significant fatigue, and overall body aches.

10) You may say or feel as though you “come in love” and deeply care or have concern about us, but you must allow us to have a differing view and perception of said “love.” When you are in a position of power socially, ask if what you are doing and saying and your approach is being received as love. Ask us how to love us best. Never assume.

11) Proximity to Black and non-white people does not make you not racist. The goal is to be anti-racist, not “not racist.”

12) You cannot know if you are or are not being or acting racist if you have not done serious introspection, research, and if you ask your other nice vvhite friends if you are being racist. You need an outside verifier to check you and keep you accountable. Nice vvhite people are racist ALL the time. It is what it is. If you casually ask a non-white person with whom you do not have a strong relationship with if, when you did or said X, if that was racist, you may not get a genuine or accurate response because we are not interested in having a conversation with you or dealing with your vvhite tears at that moment.

13) It is not our job to be your teacher on racism. Go find another white person who is further ahead of you on your journey to chat with you about racism BEFORE talking to your Black friend. Or pay your Non-white friend real dollar bills for their time, energy, and potential rehashing of racial trauma. Or, better yet, support and follow Black and Brown scholars, activists who do this work for a living and give them real dollars.

14) Know that it is incredible difficult for us most days to get out of bed and go outside because we know there will be a barrage of micro- and macro-aggressions that we will have to face and stand up to and wipe off our shoulders and smear off our faces. A small thing you can do is make your negative impact in our lives less by trying and researching and being a support and creating safe spaces for us. This is the least you can do.

15) Quit praying for the rectifying of all bad things in the afterlife. That’s a copout and we are 0% interested in this response from you.

16) Never tell us that you are tired of fighting vvhite people in conversations about racial matters or the few things you’ve done in your life that you deem as not racist—especially with the intent of getting us to give you a high-five for you doing the least.

17) Let us have whatever emotions we will have on any given day in regards to us living in our skin color. Some days it’s absolute elation and love and pride beyond belief. Other days it’s rage and deep sadness. At any extreme or anything in between, our feelings and emotions are valid and need to be heard. We can feel all of these at the same time and it may be hard for us to articulate that to you.

18) It is not our job nor should it be your expectation for us to explain our feelings to you whenever you want us to. Forcing us to talk about our identity or lives for your enjoyment is disrespectful, toxic, and basically a minstrel show in the year of our lord 2021.

19) If you see us talking with our friends of the same hue and we have code-switched into vernacular you are unfamiliar with, leave us to have our safe space away from whiteness and quit sticking your nose into our conversation. We are not interested in translating our code-switched language for you to be a part. It is not our job to translate our culture for you in order for you to feel wanted and appreciated whenever you are around or want to be included.

20. Our culture is not to be consumed for your enjoyment, pity, and entertainment. Do not expect us to explain all the non-white things you see around you whenever we see you. Ask first. Some things in our culture are for us only and we guard them highly because of the colossal number of things that have been stolen, pillaged, plagiarized, and assumed to not come from us because they are excellent and the brilliant.

**If my Black and Brown and non-white friends have others they would like to add, please do so in the comments and I’ll add them to my list and give credit where credit is due.”

Dr. Jenaya Perdue

Running shoes and a colorful metal cover in Shenzhen, China.

Denver While Black: Angela Wells

Click here for our conversation on the pod!

Angela Wells is a Denver transplant who has fallen in love with the city and the community she has built for herself and her family. She is a marketing executive for an insurance company and an entrepreneur who aligns her purpose and priorities in everything she does. She currently provides quality products at affordable prices with great customer service in her business Serein Naturals, a vegan haircare and skincare product line and Angie’s Vegan Cakes.

Her Career: Corporate and Entrepreneur

In her successful corporate career in marketing, she knows how to find a need, a niche, and build a sustainable product that supports her values. She did just this when she started Angie’s Vegan Cakes. She had to solve a deeply personal problem—she wanted a delicious vegan cake for her birthday and couldn’t find one. So, she made one for herself, everyone loved it, and asked her for more. In Serein Naturals, she has created 20 vegan and ethically sourced products for all kinds of skin types and many different kinds of challenges.

Being Vegan

Veganism and the plant-based lifestyle is, for her, her life mission and conviction. It began during a spiritual crossroad. She didn’t want to abuse, harm, or exploit animals and found this to be best for her. Being Black and vegan can be difficult sometimes, but she shares that, “If being vegan was easy and simple and flooded the market like animal products, people would be vegan. It’s supply and demand and marketing.”

Work, Life, Balance, Community

The work life and parenting balance can sometimes be, albeit not a vegan phrase, similar to “running around like a chicken with my head cut off!’ She relies heavily on her calendar knowing that not everything has to happen today. She puts important things she needs to get done on her calendar with the time and date—simple and efficient. In the interview, she shares how transformational hiring a life coach was to helping her maintain balance in her life as a working mom, wife, and entrepreneur.

Moving from Atlanta to Denver was a huge culture shock. She relocated after reconnecting with and marrying her now husband. She credits Brother Jeff’s Cultural Center and SistaBiz Global Network for giving her tools and opportunities to build her community here and support her business ventures.

Being Black

Angela shares that being a black woman today is difficult, but that we are empowering each other as a collective and helping each other. “I’m surrounded by support, love, praise, celebration, and all the beautiful things of being a Black woman. It’s a great time to be a black woman. And we need to walk in our feminine power and beauty.”

Recommended books:

Celestine Prophecy by James Redfield

Four Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom by Don Miguel Ruiz and Janet Mills

(Buy books from Black independent bookstores, not Amazon! Use link above to purchase and support Uncle Bobbie’s Books.)

Connect with Angela Wells

720.837.9703
Www.instagram.com/Sereinnaturals
Www.facebook.com/sereinnaturals
Www.sereinnaturals.com

Instagram: @AngiesVeganCakes

From Angela: My name is Angela Wells and I am the owner and operator of Serein Naturals, a collection of vegan hair, face, and body care products for women, men, and children. The company is rooted in a love and success with essential oils and finding the best ways to harness their power in hair and skincare products. The ingredients that large corporations advertise, but have at the bottom of their ingredients list, ours are at the top. Serein Naturals offers eco friendly products that hydrate, nourish, and seal in the good stuff at affordable prices with excellent customer service! I also make vegan cakes in the Denver metro area and can be hired for birthdays, holidays, weddings, and more!

Connect with Jenaya Perdue

Instagram: @melanatedstamps

Podcast: Melanated Stamps

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“The Color of Compromise: The Truth About the American Church’s Complicity in Racism” Book Review

Listen to the Podcast Episode!

I always intend for my book reviews to be like 15-20 minutes or less, but this book struck a nerve, a chord, and resonated with so much of what I think and see today. I had to reflect more and give some context. I’m not going to retype all my thoughts here because it’s a lot, but I do suggest that you listen to the pod episode in its entirety—especially this one.

3 Favorite Parts

Normally I do 3 favorite parts to every book I read, but there is no “favorite” when it comes to racism. All of it is trash, genocidal, traumatic, cruel, and incorrectly retold by those with power—or folks imbued with whiteness.

Second, the framing of the shenanigans I see today from folks I grew up with, news I read, and social media makes sense. The response of no response or silent complicity has been the American church’s answer to racism for its entire history. This is nothing new. As Tisby shares time and again in the book, racism is not new nor is it going away—it consistently changes forms.

Third, I saw the convenience of switching from race relations—a problem that was too prickly and polarizing within the church due to money, influence, and power—to being anti-abortion. It almost seemed like the Southern Baptist Convention woke up and was like, “Aha! Since Black folks aren’t going away and neither is the civil rights movement, let’s attack something we CAN do without too much issue. Let’s focus on abortion. It’s simple and easy.” And then, boom. Everyone is pro-birth. How convenient. How droll.

Reasons to Read This Book

—It gives the reader specific, tangible, do-nows that help to right this ship today. Big steps and little steps. You have a plethora to pick from—pick one or several. But what is not ok is to not pick anything. That’s complacency and complicit and ought to be formally shunned from the pulpit.

—It frames what is happening in white churches and puts it into historical context so you’re not surprised by the daily malarkey.

—Not a single “But what about” was not addressed. So fully comprehensive and every argument and tangent addressed.

—So many folks think that Black folks are filled with rage and hatred. It’s not hatred. It’s righteous indignation because what we see in regards to whiteness, white privilege, racial inequity, and white complacency doesn’t have to be this way. White folks can and need to do better. We, the Black Collective, see where we are and where we can be, yet the divide and gumption—the wherewithal-to move in the direction of equity is sluggish and stalled. This for us is maddening. White folks need to do better.

Who Needs to Read This Book

—Every single white church leader and layperson. Tell your friends, your buddies, your social media following, your E-Board, your people. Do a book club and read this.

—Folks in church mad at Black Lives Matter who think this is something new and our rage just came out of the blue. We the Black Collective have had the same message for centuries and the White church has had the same non-action response for centuries. Black folks are not the racial problem, as Toni Morrison states, the racial problem is white people.

—People who think that American Christianity is doing a great job and needs no changes. American Christianity is great at being divisive and overlooking social justice issues. That’s not what Jesus would do.

—People going on mission trips who think American Christianity is the way the truth and the life. Jesus is the Way, the Truth, and the Life, not American church. Stomping on indigenous cultures assuming that their way is depraved, second-class, more murderous than Christianity is whiteness and damaging for the whole society it’s trying to “help” and to “save.” Who really and truly needs to be saved? And who really has the truth? Who determines this?

Read this book. Amazing.

Description from Uncle Bobbie’s Coffee and Books:

A New York Times, USA Today, and Wall Street Journal bestseller!

An acclaimed, timely narrative of how people of faith have historically–up to the present day–worked against racial justice. And a call for urgent action by all Christians today in response.

The Color of Compromise is both enlightening and compelling, telling a history we either ignore or just don’t know. Equal parts painful and inspirational, it details how the American church has helped create and maintain racist ideas and practices. You will be guided in thinking through concrete solutions for improved race relations and a racially inclusive church.

The Color of Compromise

1. Takes you on a historical, sociological, and religious journey: from America’s early colonial days through slavery and the Civil War

2. Covers the tragedy of Jim Crow laws, the victories of the Civil Rights era, and the strides of today’s Black Lives Matter movement

3. Reveals the cultural and institutional tables we have to flip in order to bring about meaningful integration

4. Charts a path forward to replace established patterns and systems of complicity with bold, courageous, immediate action

5. Is a perfect book for pastors and other faith leaders, students, non-students, book clubs, small group studies, history lovers, and all lifelong learners

The Color of Compromise is not a call to shame or a platform to blame white evangelical Christians. It is a call from a place of love and desire to fight for a more racially unified church that no longer compromises what the Bible teaches about human dignity and equality. A call that challenges black and white Christians alike to standup now and begin implementing the concrete ways Tisby outlines, all for a more equitable and inclusive environment among God’s people. Starting today.

Author Bio from Uncle Bobbie’s Coffee and Books:

Jemar Tisby (B.A., University of Notre Dame, Mdiv Reformed Theological Seminary) is the president of The Witness, a Black Christian Collective where he writes about race, religion, politics, and culture. He is also the co-host of the Pass The Mic podcast. He has spoken nation-wide at conferences and his writing has been featured in the Washington Post, CNN, and Vox. Jemar is a PhD candidate in History at the University of Mississippi studying race, religion, and social movements in the twentieth century.

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Email: melanatedstamps@gmail.com

Buy my book on my website: #BlackInDenver: A Black Girl’s Reflection on Being A Boujie Hipster and Black In Her Favorite Town. Essays On Race, Racial and Cultural Dissonance, Whiteness, and Being Blackity Black.