The catchy phrase these days is, "I need a vacation from my vacation," because of the aggressive nature of leisure in our Western society. Black Recess is a social initiative that restores the Black mind's perspective toward leisure and ease.
I invite participants to a well-curated, unconventional, outdoor/indoor/virtual ritual space where we engage in healing and leisure activities. I refer to Black Recess as a ritual space because I intend for the event to reflect the depths of our intentions and to serve as a magical playground for our inner child.
In the Ancient Healing Wisdom of Africa, Dr. Patrice speaks on how we do not have control over ritual, but ritual organically unfolds and guides us. Attendees who are uninhibited and engage with the sensory elements around the space get the most out of the event.
Black Recess is a transferable event that can adapt to any space or location. Previous Black Recesses (vol. I-III) were hosted respectively at Jacob Riss Beach, Prospect Park, and my abode. Black Recess also hosted its 1st annual Black Wellness Bazaar in April 2021. This event was an intimate wellness fair and day retreat curated as a therapeutic gateway to heritage and healing. The Black Wellness Bizarre sought to create a safe space where people of color did not need to conform to culturally insensitive societal standards.
The key takeaways I gathered from these events are that no one ever knows what to expect, and many people already have some resistance because of how little they are required to do.
I'll receive questions like, "So what's next?", "What can I help with?" "can/may I do?", and, most recently, "It sounds like shadow work…”. The first revelation is that, naturally, Black people get sketched out by the unknown. Then, I realized that many Black people seek permission to relax because they deem themselves unworthy or believe leisure is only for the elite.
The Black Community views healing as a luxury, so we constantly avoid emotional traumas because that takes time away from daily responsibilities.
If you examine servitude in the American context, Black people assumed the roles of helpers, societal batteries, and the workforce that kept America up and running. However, Black Folx were often punished if ever we got tired or decided to stop to rest. We got disciplined if we sang our homeland hymns. We got reprimanded if we danced. If we spoke too loudly... Do you get the picture? Black Folx had to hand over their right to leisure and self-expression.
And, honestly, nothing has changed but the types of punishments, such as sudden termination, workplace harassment, target for discriminatory practices, and excessive workloads.
So, when I infuse wellness and leisure into a curated ritual space, it's like a double espresso shot that reinvigorates the spirit. Black Recess loosens the shackles of social conditioning and holds space for attendees to express their authentic selves. To date, all attendees leave Black Recess feeling nourished, refreshed, and inspired. This is the essence of Black Recess.
Black Recess Recap
Black Recess Directory of
Black Childhood Games
Black Recess: Inner Child Interviews
As a part of Militant Universe, we spearhead an initiative called Black Recess which is a social initiative that reframes the Black mind's perspective around total wellness and leisure. I started doing these candid interviews to uncover some of the conditioning that prevents Black and Brown folx from truly experiencing liberation and bliss. Take a look at what these beautiful strangers had to say.
Black Recess Presents:
Black Wellness Bazaar
Detention With Yo Best Fren Documentary
Black Recess: Detention With Yo Best Fren illustrates the shadow work of a deeply wounded individual. This documentary follows
Militant Unicorn during the 2020 pandemic as they analyze their lack of progress. The main character, Militant Unicorn, experienced a great deal of heartache at the heads of those they cared about most. It was a struggle to find belonging after having lost community and identity.
The question is, who are we without the validation of others? Do we still have the courage to follow our heart's desires without the support of our peers?
It was hard for the main character to come to terms with the fact that they facilitated their own heartbreak. They made their love transactional by doing acts of service in exchange for acceptance.
They did not feel worthy of love any other time.
So when people began to withdraw their cup of love and reassurance, Militant Unicorn started feeling resentment. They realized they were begging to be loved and accepted because they did not value themselves.
Militant Unicorn's self-worth was dependent on how others received them. Now in isolation, they are challenged with the work of validating and loving themselves.
The work required them to dismantle negative thoughts implanted in them since they were young. They had to realize they were good enough and did not have to be anything else to be worthy of love.