Based in Chicago, iL, "beauty breaks" is a workshop series founded by artist amina ross. this workshop series aims to provide a counter-narrative to dominant conceptions of black beauty and wellness. Workshops are hosted at Chicago alt-venue f4f.

Beauty Breaks: Session 7 | Re-cap + Photos

Beauty Breaks: Session 7 | Re-cap + Photos

Beauty Breaks session 7 was focused on affirmations and self care in a world that constantly bombards us with negative energy. Amina Ross opened the session with a conscious appraisal of our bodies aches and pains, giving extra attention to where it was needed. AJ McClennon followed with a breathing exercise to let go of our negative energies through the feet and hands. After releasing that out of our bodies, we continued the practice by allowing positive energies to flow into us and allow for affirmations to have a positive impact.

We quickly transitioned into the first session with Angela Davis Fegan, lavender menace declarations// affirmations. Angela went over the evolution of her work, from this history of the wood type to the reasons she ‘stole’ the practice from a community that is overwhelming white and male. Before we dove into creating our own affirmations, Angela had write our thoughts on her semi permanent installation. People wrote anything from social media slogans. ‘Stay woke’, to trains of thought concerning what they had been going through the past week or month. It allowed us to get some kind of feel for where we were to go once we started creating our affirmations. Angela, always one to bring knowledge and background, discussed hierarchy in text and color. This workshop allowed us to use our creativity as an outlet to societal frustrations. Although the room was quiet a lot was going on! People were creating! With construction paper, paint sticks, and markers, we created small posters to either be put up in the home as daily, personal affirmations or for those of us ready to cause a stir, propaganda to be placed out in the world.

Following Angela’s workshop, we posted our creations on the wall and flowed into a break between workshops. During the break time, homemade sweet potato soup was enjoyed and great conversations sprang up.

Eva Marie Lewis followed with Surviving Socially Conscious, her workshop focusing on the strain of navigating the world while being a socially conscious person. As important as it is to understand that you are under strain, it is just as important to find ways to heal and protect yourself from this strain. With Eva leading, we discussed our ethnicities outside of our overall race. We went over the differences one sees moving between African American, Afro Latinx, Afro Indigenous, and Caribbean/ West Indian populations in North America, as well as, the overall similarities we share. Moving along from understanding and embracing your ethnicity, we segued into the things in those cultures, and society as a whole, that frustrates or drains us emotionally. A lot of negativity was brought up in a variety of different forms, such as, misogynoir, microaggressions, colorism, the seemingly disposable presence of black men and women,  and transphobia and homophobia in our communities. From this negativity, we wrote poems and prose that reaffirmed our own importance and exclaimed our positivity and power. After our writing exercise, we took a moment to let some energy out. We had a short dance break to keep the energy going and to release any tension that needed to be released. At this point the workshop had to be cut short. Even though Eva was not able to complete her workshop to her liking, what was accomplished was amazing and fulfilled a lot of the emotional work and self care needs those who came were looking for.

Beauty Breaks: Session 8 | Photos

Beauty Breaks: Session 8 | Photos

Beauty Breaks: Session 6 | Re-cap + Photos

Beauty Breaks: Session 6 | Re-cap + Photos