An Artistic Calling

Written by | Korrie Corrin

I can honestly say that I am confident that I am where God wants me to be. He has a way of lining people and events up to work out his perfect will for your life no matter what you think you may want to do.

Growing up, I was forced by my mother to do two things, play the piano and dance ballet. She allowed me to quit the piano after 6 years (after my still being on Book 1). However, I was in ballet for the long haul. When I would express that I didn’t like dancing, she would matter-of-factly inform me, “You don’t know how to dance. That’s why you are going to dance class.” That went on for 15 years. She later informed me that she wanted me to have a skill that I could fall back on if I was ever in dire need.  

Due to my mother’s influence, I developed a penchant for the performing arts.  She would sing me to sleep with songs from The Wiz and took me to every musical that came to town. I would teach myself dances to every Janet Jackson video, among other things.  Somewhere in that 15 years I grew to love dance (I guess my mom was right, once I learned to dance I could then decide whether or not I enjoyed it enough to continue dancing).

“I loved the performing arts, but I never knew that I would be in front of the stage directing an entire production.”

Conversely, an artistic career was not realistic or logical to me. I chose to be technical, partially due to math being my best subject throughout my former years. In entering college, I just knew that I wanted to be an electrical engineer (my mother also informed me that engineering was not my personality regardless of what my school counselor and teachers suggested). Upon changing my major to journalism, I never wanted to be in front of the camera, or on the editorial side behind the camera – rather a control room director. As a journalism teacher, while I enjoyed teaching writing techniques for the different mediums, I thrived on teaching production – shooting, editing, radio recording, etc. While I enjoyed being a spectator of the arts, I was never really sold on it being something that I would actively partake in.

My interest was piqued when one of my students asked me if I would start a drama club. Although it was a world that I was unfamiliar with, there was something in me that jumped at the opportunity when this 14 year old proposed it. Granted, I loved the performing arts, but I never knew that I would be in front of the stage directing an entire production (I never thought I would be in the classroom for that matter). It was through this journey of directing and creating, that I became an active participant in the arts community.

It is also through this experience of becoming a drama director that substantiates the idea of people coming into our lives for a reason. Those with reason and purpose for being in your life shape your very existence. For me it was in 2008 when I decided to take a job as an educator. Those that helped shape the course of the next decade were the students I encountered. I like to think that we were kindred souls that became connected through the love and passion for the arts.

“I like to think that we were kindred souls that became connected through the love and passion for the arts.”

This was a group of young people who wanted to express themselves through many artistic forms with theater as facilitator. They were forced to think outside of the box and excited to try new things. They were determined to make something that seemed unlikely come to fruition. Their determination ignited the passion in me.   

In 2011, Teens N Theater (TNT) was born when I decided to break the drama club from the school and reform it as a non-profit. Although, I am no longer in the classroom, it is TNT that gives me that purpose. It allows me to reach back and ignite a fire among more of DC’s inner city youth. I find myself doing exactly what my mom did with me, taking the youth on arts-based outings which allows them to explore many forms of the arts.  

Unlike when we first began I am not the only spearhead. Fast forward almost 10 years later, those same students that were once hungry kids looking for an artistic outlet, are now TNT alumni/adults whom have graduated from college with degrees in many different artistic forms such as, theater, dance, interior design, and writing.

It is the TNT alumni who are now running my non-profit. They are my show directors, choreographers, publicists, set designers, costume designers, vocal coaches, and playwrights. They are now reaching back and pouring into the youth that are the mere picture of whom they used to be.  It is the same tenacity from the very first production that keeps TNT thriving.

“They were determined to make something that seemed unlikely come to fruition.  Their determination ignited the passion in me.”

With them now standing in the shoes that I once filled, it has allowed me to branch out into other creative streams.  Where I once never wanted to be a journalist, I find myself writing more and more these days. As I explore new ventures, the TNT alumni are my strategic planners and event organizers for promotional initiatives.  

In retrospect my mother was right about dance. Once I knew how to dance, I grew to I love it. Although I fought it, my love for the arts is rooted there. Nonetheless, I’ve been blessed to never have to use my ballet training as a backup plan to support myself as my mom suggested in those former years, but dance has taken center stage in all of TNT’s productions. I’ll even venture to say that the acting is supporting work.    

 

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Contributors | Summer 2017

Evan Carter
Photographer
Evan is an Atlanta-native portrait, fine art and editorial photographer obsessed with the beautiful, and with harnessing high energy. Born into a fast-paced, creative family and anchored by a set of talented friends scattered across the world, Evan finds engaging subjects anywhere he lands.
Natalie Nicole Johnson
Make Up Artist
Natalie Nicole Johnson is an Atlanta-based makeup artist who has several years of experience under her belt in the Film/Television and Fashion Editioral industry. Natalie has worked on production with Tyler Perry, Queen Latifah, Keke Wyatt, Omar Gooding and Tommy Ford just to name few. Natalie is a self motivated makeup artist who stepped out on faith to pursue her dream to inspire women to go after their dreams and look beautiful along their road of success.
Jamilia Fortune
Contributing Writer
Jamilia Fortune is an Atlanta native. The wife and mother of four has been a freelance writer for five years. She is a hopeless romantic and loves writing, cooking, and event planning when she's not raising her family.
Korrie Corrin
Contributing Writer
Korrie Corrin is the founder of the DC based non-profit Teens N Theater (TNT). When she isn’t working with the city’s youth, putting on a production, she is writing for her dating blog Lovetails with Korrie Corrin.
Lovetails
Gelita Mimms
Contributing Writer
Gelita Mimms is a freelance writer, aspiring filmmaker and co-founder of a not for profit women’s empowerment organization, which focuses on the overall health and wellness of women. She has worked as a script supervisor, casting manager, voice over actress, production assistant and has written a novel slated for release in the fall of 2017. Gelita holds a diploma in Broadcast Arts with a concentration in radio broadcasting from Specs Howard School of Media Arts. She completed a scriptwriting course via Michigan State University, and is currently pursuing her Bachelor’s in Digital Film and Video Production at the Art Institute of Atlanta.

 

 

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CHF Magazine | Summer Issue 2017

 

TABLE OF CONTENTS

ON THE COVER

Fahamu Pecou is Indeed the Shit – Jamilia Fortune

LIFE INSPIRED

Skincare From Your Pantry – Gelita Mimms

STYLE INSPIRED

Mommy a La Mode – Crystal Lariece + Rasheed Crawford

ART INSPIRED

An Artistic Calling – Korrie Corrin

IN EVERY ISSUE

Editor’s Letter

Contributors

Cold Hard Fash #BTS

Fahamu Pecou is Indeed the $#@%

Written by | Jamilia Fortune  Photography | George Clarence

Styling | Rasheed Crawford  Make-Up Artistry | Natalie Nicole Johnson

 

We met at Ria’s Bluebird, a small café in Atlanta, GA. He looked exactly like what I’d seen online from my research, but way more laid back and almost timid. We went inside where he was met with hugs and excitement. It turns out that I was with a celebrity and I suddenly forgot everything that I wanted to ask!

Once seated, I threw out my icebreaker.

Jamilia (J): Where are you from?

Fahamu (F): I was born in Brooklyn, raised in South Carolina, and I’ve been in Atlanta for over 20 years.

He explained that he’d lost his mom at four years old and was raised by her aunt. Aside from his grandfather, positive men were void in his upbringing. His community urged him to be everything but what he really dreamed of… “You should be playing sports!” they would say; but who were they to talk him out of his dream?

Fahamu was a natural born artist, and art was the only thing he wanted to do.
He shared a story with me about how he’d read the World Book Encyclopedia C-Ch and looked up cartoonist, Charles Schultz, the late “Charlie Brown” artist. He read that cartoonists could make $1000/week and that’s when he decided that no one would persuade him to be anything else.

In 1993, at 18, he graduated from high school, gathered his belongings, $40, and moved to Atlanta where he enrolled as a freshman at The Atlanta College of Art. He said leaving there was about college but also about survival. He is now a PhD candidate at Emory University, a prestigious university in Atlanta.

Next, I wanted to delve into his creative process.

J: What does your creative process look like?

F: It’s natural. I’m always on. I might see a car passing by and get an idea from it. I have a long list of notes/ideas on my phone so I don’t forget or in case I need a new idea or name for a piece, I can refer to the list.

J: What are you saying with your art? Who are you speaking to?

F: I’m speaking to the masses but my focus is on black masculinity. People always have an idea of what it is but I’m saying that it’s so much more. Black masculinity, our feelings, and struggles have to be humanized.

The birth of his son prompted him to focus on this reality. He knew he wanted to be the type of parent who’d tell his children that it’s okay to be exactly who they are, especially his son.

F: It’s easier for girls to express their feelings, but boys are taught to swallow theirs. It’s as if their feelings don’t matter and they’re often times not even asked about them.

“Black masculinity, our feelings, and struggles have to be humanized.”

It’s with this in mind that Fahamu partnered up with Atlanta Public Schools to form (ad)Vantage Point,a community of black, male students from Maynard Jackson High in Atlanta. They create an environment for the boys in which they are encouraged to tell their stories through art. It empowers them to feel and to share. It also shows them that they are not alone. In the future, he hopes to expand this program into a nonprofit targeting young men who have been exposed to any sort of trauma.

We had to talk about the presence of hip hop in his work. Being Brooklyn born gave him an upfront view of the genre’s unfolding. He likens it to the blues, in which it was not well received but later embraced. He’s obsessed with the storytelling aspect of it, as well as the story that the music tells. He’s hugely inspired by Andre 3000 of Outkast due to his complexity in verse and style. Some of his favorites also include, Special Ed, Big Daddy Kane, “for making chocolate men in again,” The Roots, and Goodie Mob. He also has respect for up and coming artists such as Rich Homie Quan and the Migos because they’ve created a new wave of music that’s not relying on sampling and instead uses their voices as the instrument. Hip hop is so important because it tells the realities of being a black man in this world. He agrees that perhaps there are some stories, that many rappers tell that could be rewritten a bit more positively, but respects it nonetheless.

Understanding his outlook on hip-hop and consciousness, I needed to ask who he prefers, J.Cole or Kendrick Lamar, two very conscious and at times, controversial artists.

The answer, an overwhelming Kendrick Lamar! He’d written an article, entitled, “Are You Not Entertained? Kendrick Lamar and Black Resistance” documenting how the rapper took aim at white priveledge during his 2016 Grammy Award Performance, effectively addressing misrepresentation of the black experience in this country’s history.

J: What is it in Kendrick’s art that you connect with the most?

F: I really appreciate the fact that he is a “writer” first. The art of rap has become really pedestrian, in that everybody’s doing it. Kendrick goes beyond rapping into literature. His albums are reviewed in literary journals and compared to the canon of great American authors. Beyond that, he also literally transforms into an instrument. He works his vocals, improvising and deconstructing rhythms and patterns the way Coltrane would with his sax or Miles does with his trumpet. As a visual artist, his writing and musicality are all very visual and visceral. It’s really avant garde and frankly refreshing.

From Brooklyn to small town South Carolina, and now a living legend in the art world, Fahamu Pecou is creating a voice for the voiceless and letting them know that it’s okay to emerge from the shadows and tell their story. It’s okay to be themselves, unapologetically, and empowering men to not accept the narrative about who they are, but become what they are meant to be.

For all of these reasons, I can undoubtedly declare, “Fahamu Pecou is Indeed The Shit!”

 

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Skin Care From Your Pantry

Written by | Gelita Mimms

Skin care is a $121 billion industry. Along with the billions of dollars comes thousands of additives, fillers, chemicals and parabens. It’s no secret the demand for natural, organic products is on an upward trend, but even though many labels boast ‘natural’ and ‘organic’, research of the fine print often uncovers ingredients you’ve never heard of and probably have a hard time pronouncing.

Image | © mocker_bat

Whether you have oily, dry, combination or sensitive skin, the great news is that nature has already produced everything you need to effectively cleanse, tone, exfoliate and moisturize! The crazy part is that you probably have the key ingredients for natural skin care hanging out in your pantry or refrigerator as we speak. Did you know that the rejuvenating minerals of sea salt stimulate cell growth, or that the glycolic acid contained in sugar boosts new cell production? A few household items and a few minutes of your time can help you feel more comfortable and proud of the skin you’re in without breaking the bank.

The process of exfoliating is a critical part of every beauty regime. In essence, exfoliating is a fancy word to describe sloughing away dead skin cells and flakes that dull your natural glow, causing an ashen complexion. Great exfoliating scrubs typically contain two key ingredients: salt or sugar for exfoliation and an oil such as jojoba, coconut or almond for moisturizing. Keep in mind, many times water can be substituted for oil in cases of oily skin.

Image | © Africa Studio

 

ALOE FACE SCRUB

2 tsp of aloe vera gel
2 tbsp of oatmeal
1 tsp sea salt
Distilled or filtered water

Mix all ingredients adding enough water to make a paste. Massage onto face and throat leaving on for five to ten minutes. Rinse with cool water and moisturize as needed. Over time, this weekly facial with clear your complexion and lessen the appearance of blemishes.

We all know coffee is a great way to jump start your morning, but you might be surprised to find that it’s a skin stimulant as well. Believe it or not, coffee is an excellent natural exfoliant. It contains caffeic acid, which can also be found in some fruits, vegetables and wine. Caffeic acid has anti-inflammatory effects and boosts collagen production; I’ve heard of people paying good money for this kind of stuff!

Image | © deniskomarov

EXFOLIATING COFFEE SCRUB

1 tablespoon ground coffee
1 tablespoon water or olive oil

Combine the coffee and water or olive oil. (Leftover coffee grounds from your morning brew work perfect.)
Apply to your face using circular motions being careful to avoid your eyes, nose and mouth. Leave the mask on for a minimum of 15 minutes up to an hour.

Rinse with warm water and enjoy rejuvenated, glowing skin! Repeat 2 to 3 times a week.

BEARD CARE

Gentlemen, please don’t feel left out. There are some super easy DIY recipes that you can use also. If you’re one who’s sporting facial hair, you want to do what you can to keep it manageable and moisturized. Here’s a great DIY recipe and recommended oils for at-home beard care.

Image | © brunobarillari

 

DIY Beard Conditioner

4 parts shea butter (use unrefined for best results)
2 parts sweet almond oil (or olive oil, or sunflower oil)
1 part beeswax
Optional: Essential oil – peppermint, cedar or bergamot have masculine scents.

Place all ingredients into a heat safe container; the shea butter and beeswax will need to be melted down.

The ideal method is to use the double boiler method on top of the stove, but you can also heat the ingredients in the microwave on medium power making sure to stir often.

Once all ingredients are melted and mixed together, please handle the hot container and its contents with care! Pour the warm mixture into a suitable container, preferably a metal tin or small glass jar and let the balm cool until hardened.

The mixture can be refrigerated to speed up the process. Once it solidifies apply a small amount to facial hair using your fingertips to evenly distribute the conditioner from root to ends, making sure to massage into the skin beneath the facial hair.

Use daily on coarse facial hair for softer, more manageable beards and mustaches.

Image | @ Africa Studio

In addition to conditioning your beard, there are some common carrier oils that are rich in moisture, provides anti-inflammatory benefits, sun protection and antioxidants. Using a mixture of some common carrier oils will help keep the skin under your beard moisturized and to give your beard a soft feel and lustrous look. Mix two or three of the following oils to create your own concoction to moisturize and soften the texture of your beard.

Jojobo Oil is loaded with vitamins and minerals, promotes hair growth and provides sunburn relief.
Argan Oil is rich in antioxidants, soothes razor bumps and burns after shaving and repairs split ends.
Grape Seed Oil softens the hair while fighting dandruff and acne and is loaded with antioxidants.
Almond Oil is an anti-inflammatory, moisturizes the skin, softens and adds shine to the hair.

You can also add essential oils such as cedarwood, rosemary, lime or sandalwood to add your own unique fragrance. Beard oils can be applied daily, just keep in mind that a little goes a long way.

Moisturizing Beard Oil

15 ml Jojoba Oil
5 ml Argan Oil
5 ml Apricot Kernel Oil
5 ml Sunflower Seed Oil
5 – 10 drops of Sandalwood Oil
1 Amber bottle with medicine dropper top

*Sandalwood can be substituted by Rosemary, Cedarwood or Spruce Oil depending on your scent preference.

Mix all ingredients together in the amber bottle…and that’s it! Apply a few drops to your damp beard, groom as usual and you’re all set. The oil will be quickly absorbed leaving your beard and skin nicely hydrated and lightly scented; enjoy!

Recipes courtesy of:

fablenaturals.com
diynetwork.com
“Recipes for Elevation” Ra Sekhi Arts Temple
www.jebiga.com/10-diy-beard-oil-recipes

 

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