Switching Gears.. and Switching Back

Hello Dear Readers!

I know, I know, it’s been a while since my last post, and if you follow me on Instagram you already know what happened but for those who don’t: I WAS IN A FASHION SHOW. And I wasn’t just modelling for someone, no sirree, I actually showcased MY BRAND, Strange Ones Nation in an actual fashion show here in Michigan. Totally epic and insane right!? The whole shebang went down earlier this month, March 9th to be exact.

My sisters and I after fixing our make up and waiting for the show to start.

Early February I was asked by the host of the fashion show if I’d like to showcase and after momentarily freaking out, letting the self doubt, insecurity and feelings of inadequacy wash over over me, I said yes. I would have been a complete fool to say no. I say it all the time, if you open yourself up to the universe, the universe will open itself to you. Anyhoo, as a result of the showcase, I had to halt everything. I stopped typing my book, stopped “trying to better my health”, I barely posted on social media.

My models before the show

The whole experience was INCREDIBLE! I can still hardly believe it happened. I learned so much about myself, about the behind the scenes of big events, production, branding, networking and then some. The most excruciating part of the whole process was that fact that as someone behind the scenes, directing and styling, I couldn’t be in the audience taking photos of my models during there runway walks. Thankfully, my mother did take a video on her not so up to day cell phone (which I will post the link to below) and the host of the show filmed it, I just don’t have a copy yet.

My models and I

Now that everything is sufficiently settled, I can get back to life. But I have to tell you, once you start saying yes to life, be careful, because once you start riding those highs of stepping outside of your comfort zone, you may never be able to live a normal life again.

Me on the red carpet
My mom’s vid

https://www.facebook.com/FeisTea.Kat/

Follow the link to my Facebook Page for the better vid.

Being Black pt 1

It’s February, and in the United States, February is Black History Month. Black History Month isn’t just to remind us of the struggles black people endured since being brought to this country, but to highlight the HUGE contribution they made to this nation and the world in all facets of industry, art and activism; contributions that are continually forgotten and suppressed. This year, I’m using this month reexamine my own blackness and what it is to be a black woman in America today.

While I was growing up, my racial identity wasn’t something that was largely reinforced, rather, my parents, especially my father, stressed our religious identity above all else. We weren’t raised colorblind by any means, and the paternal side of my family definitely seemed to carry some latent racism toward white. But being that I was homeschooled for a large portion of my childhood, I wasn’t exposed to much “other”, aside from my very restricted television viewing. There was some benefit to not growing up with a strong racial identity; it kept me extremely open to other people and cultures. When my family moved to Trinidad, I was heavily exposed to Caribbean and Indian culture and though I knew the cultures didn’t belong to me, after a while, certain aspects started to feel like mine, as if they had been grafted onto me. However, no matter how Trini I felt, I never forgot that I wasn’t and I never felt like In truly belonged. No amount of henna wearing, belly dancing or Bollywood movie watching would change the fact that these were all fragments of other peoples cultures, pieces that I so easily assimilated into myself because I had no virtually culture of my own…. or so I thought.

I won’t lie, I always enjoyed feeling like some kind of free spirited, multicultural grifter; not having to commit to being just one thing. But I was always quick to correct anyone who would assume I was anyone other than black.. It irks my soul to it’s very core when people ask me where I am from with the clear assumption in their mind that I am other than a black American woman. After a while I went through a phase where I felt that maybe I wasn’t black enough. But what does that even mean? What is it more than being a part of the African Diaspora? Is it a certain way of speaking? A socio-economic status? Certain music or dress? Growing up sheltered in the way that I was, a lot of what is defined as ‘black” wasn’t really placed on me for the most part… I mean, don’t come near me with any unseasoned food… but.. basically, I grew up only as black as my parents were/are.

While on my journey of self discovery and understanding my racial identity, I came to the conclusion that my blackness, aside from being black, is defined by the shared struggles and triumphs of the people who came before me, before us, paving the way. It is our shared history that binds us as family. Outside of every stereotype, despite all the different ways we were raised, regardless of the fact that some of us prefer alternative rock and pop to R&B or Rap, when we step outside, we wear our blackness before anything else in the eyed of most people.

Wear it proudly.

What does your racial/ethic identity mean to you? Leave a comment. Have a great week! :*

Can I Take Pride in My Blackness While Being a Lover of All?

Hello February and Happy Black History month!

In September of last year I launched my brand Strange Ones Nation, for the misfit, the left out and overlooked, the invisible; in other words: The Black Muslim. At first I was hesitant about creating something so exclusive, I didn’t want to alienate my non-black friends and followers and after all, I love everyone, regardless of flavor. But after some introspection, and a short stroll through social media and still seeing almost no black Muslim American faces, I started to think: maybe this is necessary. But the real driving force was my babies. A couple of my boys go to a predominantly Arab elementary school and I’d hate for them to think they are any less Muslim because of their blackness.

http://www.strangeonesnation.ecwid.com

My four year old, going on 14 baby girl is EXTREMELY impressionable and I worry a great deal about whether her self worth will come into question once she starts Kindergarten. My sister and I have been making sure we breathe life, confidence and self love into her; her hair is beautiful, her brown skin is gorgeous. As of right now, she loves herself, but I see the way she loves Barbie and wants to wear little skirts and shorts like her… By the way, can someone explain to me why it is that what goes on at home is less than nothing to a child when compared to what happens on T.V.? Like, my sisters and I never wear shorts and mini skirts but because a cartoon character based off of a doll does it seems like the thing to do…

Anyhoo, I digress.

#LegalAlien: Strange Ones Nation

I am black (obviously), I love being black and I want other black people to love and embrace their blackness. For those who do not understand, love of ones race and culture does NOT equate to ethnocentrism. I want everyone to embrace their unique cultures and ethnicities…. so long as that culture doesn’t actually include ethnocentrism, and let’s be real, there are cultures out there that are deeply rooted in racism and prejudice…..Decorum wont allow me to create a bullet list of them.

Nothing quite reveals closeted racism like romantic relationships and marriage. Everyone loves everyone until their son/daughter/sister/brother tries to marry outside of their race. Then, all bets are off. Then it becomes, ” I’m not racist but I want to preserve the culture of my family.” “I’m not racist but I’m only attracted to straight hair.” “I’m not racist but this, I’m not racist but that.”

https://strangeonesnation.ecwid.com/TripleTriple-Unisex-zip-hoodie-p127501051

Now to be all the way fair, it isn’t just non black people who feel a certain type of way when it comes to interracial relationships. I see so many posts on social media from blacktivists which state more or less that you can’t be pro-black and date outside of your race. I’m going to be honest, I don’t know how I feel about it. Actually no, I do know how I feel about it; I don’t agree. I may be as single as single can get but I’ve only ever liked one black guy romantically. He was the first guy I ever had feelings for; a dark chocolate piece of yum. Man did I have a crush on him. I’ve also liked a Latino, a white guy and an Indian fella. Taste the rainbow baby! Those guys were really the extent of my romantical feelings because I’m not about that life. But what I’m getting at is, I don’t believe I’m less black, less about black empowerment because I don’t only have eyes for black men. Am I wrong?

I will say this though, now that I am raising five little black boys, I am now finding myself rethinking things. My boys need a role model. And it might be helpful if that man looked like them.. I think they may have some negative feelings if I brought home a non black man. While I want them to embrace people of all races and walks of life, I don’t want to raise them colorblind because I have seen how problematic that can be. We aren’t meant to be the same and there is so much beauty in our differences! Embrace that. I am a proud BLACK MUSLIM WOMAN. But I have nothing but love for everyone. However, I will continue to uplift my people in any way I can, before anyone else #SorryNotSorry.

Dont for get to get your Strange Ones Nation merch :http://www.strangeonesnation.ecwid.com

Strange Ones Nation Look Book #1

Golden Glow

Hello my FeisTea Fairies!

If you don’t know already, I started an apparel/art brand called Strange Ones Nation to empower black Muslim America. After launching, I promised I’d create a look book since many people, ladies especially see things like hoodies and t-shirts and hoodies as too casual and not for them. Trust me, I UNDERSTAND the feeling. I literally never wore a hoodie until 2017, after I moved to Michigan. After all, no one knew me here nor had expectations of my style so I could do whatever the heck I wanted 😉

Anyhoo! Here are two way to wear my #StrangeOnesNation hoodies. Dont forget to follow me on instagram @feistea.kat and @oddballcreativesllc for some cool content. Also, you’ll notice I wear a lot of the same clothes because well, I’m broke and havent updated my closet in years. It is what it is.

  • Strange Ones Nation Hoodie #Free gold hoodie (color not available on website)
  • Gold scarf from raziaa.com
  • Black hi-lo dress
  • Skinny jeans
  • Hi-low dress
  • Thigh-high Boots from Target
  • Strange Ones Nation gold #Free hoodie
  • Floral maxi tube dress from Sears
  • Black shimmer scarf
  • Flower crown from Claire’s

Allow Me to Reintroduce Myself

Happy FeisTea Friday my loves!

As I sit here on this chilly winter afternoon sipping a cup of white ambrosia tea with my girls wreaking havoc in the background, I consider how fortunate I am. Things aren’t easy by any means, but I am truly blessed. Before I delve into my current life situation, I thought it best that I introduce, or reintroduce myself.

My name is Khadeejah Abdusshakur and I am a multidimensional creative. What’s a multidimensional creative you ask? Well it’s a little term I came up with for myself because I felt like the word artist didn’t quite capture it. Basically, I dabble in many different creative outlets; drawing, photography, videography, graphic art, calligraphy, writing, poetry… you get the idea. I don’t believe in limiting myself creatively like I once did, because why? It’s 2019, gotta shoot all my shots, right?

I’m also a confidence coach, dream advocate and aspiring author, like I said, living without self imposed limits. I’m not full on ‘Yes Woman” but I am continuing on my journey of say yes to life and opportunities. However, mid 2018 introduced some drastic changes a to my life and now I’m co-parenting 8 kids with my sisters so I’m saying yes a little less. However, I have no intention of giving up on my dreams. Afterall, I’ll be THIRTY this year. Yes ya’ll, the big three-oh.

Eidul Fitr 2018

Thirty years old, eight kids and a struggle entrepreneur.. I’m literally going to be single forever. Most days I’m okay with that although I know I havent yet fully grieved the loss of my freedom… I’ll have to get on that ASAP, can’t have bad energy clogging up my good vibrations.

I have to go now ya’ll, have to pick up my boys from the bus stop.

Until next time, manifest those dreams and stay feisty :*

Learning from Loss

First of all, always reppin’ my brand #StrangeOnesNation, don’t forget to get yours at http://www.strangeonesnation.ecwid.com!

My maternal grandmother passed away yesterday. She would have been 93 had she lived to next month. While I didn’t have a strong emotional bond with her as an adult, she was a positive light in my childhood. And while I don’t necessarily feel grief, I do feel a kind of loss. A loss of a part of my family, a loss of my last real tie to Cleveland. Because her and I were not active in each others lives, I don’t feel a loss of a relationship. But I’ll never have another maternal grandmother and that is a loss. I wouldn’t exist without her.

Truth be told, I didn’t know my grandmother well. She didn’t talk much about her life. I know she was a labor and delivery nurse, she lived her entire life in Cleveland, Ohio, had a few marriages and 8 children. That’s it. That’s all I know. How is that possible?

What I’m learning from this particular loss is that I need to get better at knowing people. But honestly, I don’t know how. I’ve always kept people further than arms length. It protects me. It protects me from hurt and grief. I don’t know how to reset my psyche to let people in. Don’t get me wrong, I like people… sometimes… I adore my immediate family and coworkers etc but that intimate is so rare and darn near impossible to come by. I want to connect, but at the same time, I know how disastrous it could to be to me emotionally if people get to close.

But how can I ever expect to sustain a healthy relationship, or more importantly, raise my babies if I can’t manage to have functional relationship? Oh yeah, I now have 7 kids.. A lot can happen in a year right. More on that later.

Until next time, keep dreaming and stay feisty.

– Khadeejah

Has it Really Been a Year? – Welcome to FeisTea Land ♡

2018?? Hello?! Like seriously, where the heck did you go!?

Hey Yall! How was your year?? Mine was… packed… I’m legitimately confused about how much managed to happen in one year. I shall fill you in on it all in due time. Bear with me, I have A LOT going on.

Until next time, Happy 2019!

Stay feisty. ;*

– Khadeejah

2018, I’m Coming For You

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Hello Sweeties! It’s been ages! I don’t think I’ve posted anything since last summer. It’s safe to say, I’ve become quite the ghost on the social media scene but I’m slowly sliding back out of the woodwork and becoming an active participant in my own life. Scratch that, I’m becoming a leader in my own life.

The first week of the year was a bust but I’ve committed myself to getting my act together, pushing my fears aside and doing the dang thing. I’ve spent the last week sketching and designing, trying to develop a brand identity for myself. Three years studying Graphic Design is paying off. I was up till after midnight last night tweaking designing and finally got something I’m satisfied with; don’t worry, I know I’m being insanely vague but yall will see soon Insha allah (God willing).

My plan was to do some more designing all day today, unfortunately, that wasn’t possible so instead, I got dressed and vlogged a little shopping to buy some filming and organizational equipment on a budget. I went to Dollar Tree and Burlington. Bought a desk calendar, some pens and pencils, a not pad and a vent and window phone mount for my car. The vent mount is going back because the window mount is a far better option. I need the mount because I’ll likely(sadly) be filming a lot from my car because currently it’s the only private place I have. I know it’s not ideal but if I were to wait until I am able to get my own place again, it would be ages until I could anything started and the time is now. No more excuses.

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Anyway, back to my shopping trip, I wanted to buy another selfie-stick but there was this guy standing next to them the ENTIRE time I was in Dollar Tree. I circled back a few timed hoping he had moved. He didn’t. Now, now, I’m not scared of any man, buut, when I was near him the first time getting my vent mount, he said “I like your make-up” and that was it for me. Compliments in general make me uncomfortable, compliments from guys gross me out. I don’t like imagining random guys find me attractive. I know, I’m weird.

I never got to finish filming my day because my phone ever so politely informed me that it was “dangerously low on space’. Son of a biscuit. Oh well. Next thing I need to invest in is a memory card…. and probably a camcorder instead of using my phone for everything. However, the last thing I need is more stuff. My car is already full enough.. Gosh I need to get my own place again. Pray for me ya’ll.

One last thing! If you haven’t already, check out my spoken word post on youtube!

Is My Black Really Beautiful

Just putting it out there, Asian men, #indian, #Pakistani and #Bengali men make me feel so ugly because I’m a #blackwoman. And I’m talking, next level, Smeagol, the Gollum from Lord of The Rings, type ugly. They make me feel like I am less than, beneath them; like I’m a mangy stray dog they found in the woods that they play with, have a great time, become great friends with but at the end of the day, leave in the woods because dogs aren’t allowed in the house.

Perhaps this may sound harsh, but it’s not meant to be harsh or offensive and I’m not backbitting simply by stating how I FEEL. And no one can deny, or bring up a defense to how I, or anyone else feels about something, so please, don’t try.

I’ve seen some of my fellow #BMW (black muslim women) speak out on this and have seen them verbally attacked and torn apart for voicing their experiences and feelings. You cannot invalidate someone’s truth just because it makes you uncomfortable.

And one of my truths is, as stated above, is that Asian men make me feel #ugly. They make my skin, hair, features, background, ancestors all feel ugly and unacceptable. And before you ask why I singled out Asian men, it’s because that’s where my experience lies. In my very limited experience with, say, #Arab men, they either deny my existence all together or I’m the dog they adore and want to take home but their mamas are allergic.

But here’s the thing, you dont need my experience, ask just about any BMW of a certain age. They nearly all have a story to tell. Let’s face it, black people, black women have been seen as the lowest of low globally since, well, practically forever. And if you don’t believe that, educate yourself.

And I’m not the kind of person who ever cared about or focused on #race, but when you’re constantly rejected because of it, your perspective starts to shift.

You have to start actively trying to accept and love yourself not just as a woman, but as a black woman. Honestly, growing up I never cared one way or the other about my race, it was just part of who I was, like being female or short. I look very, what one would call “ethnically black” and never did I see it as a problem. But as I got older and more exposed to the world and saw and experienced how much negativity is associated to that one aspect of me. I started to understand why women would repeat #MyBlackIsBeautiful, creating a positive association with our race and features to combat the hate we get from all sides. And when I say all sides, I mean all sides. Many of our own men find us distasteful and, wait for it, some of our very own black women think we should try to be “less black”, whatever the heck that means. 😐

In #Islam, racism, colorism, culturalism are all explicitly forbidden, but I suppose people will be people, Muslim or not😕. And for those with blinders on and are in denial that racism is alive and kicking within the Muslim community, it’s story time!

I’ve been on a Muslim marriage website for a couple years now, not and active or paying member but I wanted to get an idea of what’s out there. Well, let me just tell you, those websites, no matter how much they claim they are for practising Muslims are not really made for black #muslimahs. Now my profile clearly states that I’m black. But it’s as if guys are like “she sounds incredible.. but… dang, she why gotta be black though.. maybe she doesn’t look black 🤔 *requests photo*”. 99% Of the asian guys disappear as soon as they see me. (About 85% of the Arab guys disappear). Just the other day a guy messaged me, we coincidentally went to the same university. He was all gungho about getting to know me, said he uploaded some photos and hoped we could do a photo exchange. My… slightly irritated and possibly uncalled for response, “I’m so done with all the racism on this website. I’m a black woman, as my profile clearly states. If that’s a problem for you, stop right now.” He stopped. Oh I have sooo many other stories. A little tip, if a guy’s profile says he’s open to all ethnicities…. don’t believe it.. or maybe it’s not because I’m black at all, maybe I’m just #fugly😂💁

La Femme Khadeejah

Ok Sweeties! Today is Wednesday and I’m embarking on something new. Or at least, attempting to. First thing you should know about me is, I abhor fashion. I hate the idea that this or that is what people “should be wearing”. I hate trends, being “in style” etc. Now, I absolutely love clothes as a form of SELF expression. Expressing yourself, your personality, not what people suggest you express.

All that being said, the thing I need to express, to the entire world, every single day I step out of my home is: I am a proud Muslim woman. I’m a covered girl. My dress not only expresses my personality but my religious devotion. Now there are a ton of Hijabi fashionistas or Hijabistas and modest fashion and bloggers are all the rage these days. Muslimah is the new black. And as a firm anti trend follower, while respect what they do, It wasn’t for me and I was not about to be just another hijabi beauty blogger.

BUT

I’ve noticed a newly developed need. The thing about modest fashion, is that the term  modest is open to interpretation and there are varying degrees what is considered modest. But the most popular bloggers and icons in the modest movement don’t dress like me. They don’t cover as much. This is in no way a judgement, it’s an observation. They are out there slaying the game and in many ways are helping the way this country (The US) views Muslim women.

I’m the laid back chick who never has her face beat, eyebrows are never on fleek, I do not now, nor will I ever rock a turban. I don’t expose my neck, any portion of my hair or arms, I avoid tight clothes and I hate pants, lol. But I haven’t seen any one out there that represents girls & women like me. Now I’m not someone who ever needed representation, I never needed to see myself on television, in magazines. But I realize, most people do. Most people crave seeing their likeness in the media for validation. Hence the need I previously mentioned. I have nieces. My baby girls. 8 months to 18 years old. And I’m starting this new “fashion/style” blog for them. For the covered girls.