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 6 | Re-cap + Photos

Beauty Breaks: Session 6 | Re-cap + Photos


Many who attended Session 6, On Nourishment expressed their need for community, support and a warm space to attend after the results from the 2016 election that previous Tuesday.  Some arrived early to chat about their frustrations and worries over breakfast.  This particular Sunday was a reminder that community building is a political action against the forces that enact to dismantle the advancement of Black liberation.  

As we all convened away from the kitchen into F4F’s space we introduced ourselves by name and preferred pronouns along with sharing something that we considered our rose of the week and something else that occurred as a thorn.  

We were then pleased to welcome the brilliant poet and teacher, Ladan Osman who jumped right into performing her work, “Ordinary Heaven,” after describing her first readings as, “All the ways we can use our voice.”  Captivated, Ladan moved us through another piece, “Woman Ego Shadow,” gifting us with lines such as “Myself burned a palm into her back.”   Ladan then drew us in with song with a piece  called “Melody of Misremembered Songs I sing Following Police Killings.”  I had never listened to the lyrics of Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” quite the same. As she tied the words together with her own melody and pauses, she exposed the monstrous gaze that the world has on Black bodies:

“It's close to midnight and something evil's lurking in the dark

Under the moonlight you see a sight that almost stops your heart

You try to scream, but terror takes the sound before you make it

You start to freeze as horror looks you right between the eyes

You're paralyzed”

The way in which the words were isolated in the way that Ladan brought the lyrics to us brought to light the translation of fear and it’s transformation of fear itself becoming the evil lurking in the dark itself.

After Ladan’s gripping performance we were introduced to Latrese Monden’s enlightening workshop, “Crumbs From Da Master's Table: Unveiling Our Relationship with Food.”  We all opened up with the first time we remembered liking food and our favorite food.  As we all went around a lot was revealed about our diverse cultural backgrounds and personal histories.  These personal histories ranged from family dynamics, geographies of upbringing (including the geographies of relatives that brought us up), the available of certain foods and emotional experiences that impact the way in which we eat.  There was a lot a shared narratives on emotional tied to family and the environments around us from both the past and the present.  Latrese explained that those who crave sweets crave love and those who crave salty foods crave power.  

One way to love yourself and to access power is by being resourceful.  We were all excited to have Tiana Marie Mincey, a traveler, a writer, a dreamer, and a visual artist, teach us how to make bone and vegetable broth and how to dehydrate citrus.  Tiana’s workshop, Homemade Broth & Steps towards a waste-free kitchen - Waste Not, taught us all a lot about finding nutrients from our scraps in the kitchen.  If you have a pot/crock pot, old bones and parts of vegetables (onion skins, egg shells, wilted herbs) that are usually tossed away then you have “an economic way to get minerals and vitamins.”  Tiana suggested that if you don’t have enough bones laying around to ask restaurants for their discarded bones that will probably go in the dumpster anyway.  When these scraps are kept frozen over time, they can later be boiled down to make broth for breakfast and smoothies or even for soups and cooking.        

We closed off with meditation with nourished spirits, bodies and minds.




Beauty Breaks: Session 7 | Re-cap + Photos

Beauty Breaks: Session 7 | Re-cap + Photos

Beauty Breaks: Session 5 | Re-cap + Photos

Beauty Breaks: Session 5 | Re-cap + Photos