RESPECT THE CULTURE.

 

“Have you forgotten, that once we were brought here, we were robbed of our names, robbed of our language, we lost our religion, our culture, our God, and many of us by the way we act, even lost our minds!” – Dr. Khalid Muhammad

Cultural Appropriation – what’s the big deal? You should be able to ‘express yourself’ in whatever way you want to right? Let’s talk…

So, let’s strip it back – in it’s most simple and rudimentary definition, Cultural Appropriation is basically when an individual decides to adopt, without consent, certain elements of a culture that is not their own.

Sound simple? Still don’t see what all the fuss is about?

Well, that’s because that basic definition fails to account for the fact that Cultural Appropriation is rooted in systematic power circles whereby individuals from dominant cultures (who are therefore in an elevated position of power and privilege) take the ‘attractive’ and ‘exotic’ parts of another culture. These ‘non-dominant’ cultures are one’s that have been systematically oppressed and often pillaged by the ‘dominant culture’. (Maisha Z. Johnson)

Before I continue, it is extremely important to recognise that Cultural Appropriation is categorically NOT the same as cultural exchange or assimilation.

Cultural Appropriation is often compared to Assimilation, which is not only insulting but highlights a lack of knowledge as a whole.

Assimilation is where marginalised or oppressed cultures assimilate to, or imitate, the dominant culture as a means of survival. I remember, even as a child, my parents would tell me countless stories about the experience my grandparents had when they first came to this country and the horrific racism that they were faced with. Throughout history, we were told if we didn’t attempt to assimilate the dominant, in this case, white culture then we simply did not belong because we were not making any efforts in an attempt to ‘fit in’ and were then ostracised.

Assimilation was not a choice – it was survival.
Cultural Appropriation is a choice.

A choice made by individuals as an ‘expression of privilege’ – the picking and choosing of which bits of a marginalised culture are attractive or edgy enough to be adopted and made ‘cool’.

It is both harmful and damaging and is not taken seriously.

People of colour have to work twice as hard to have access to the same opportunities. We are discriminated against, sometimes by people even unknowingly. That is why it is so important to have this conversation.

We’ve had our lands taken from us, our lives destroyed, families torn apart. we’ve been raped, lynched, pillaged. We’ve now ‘seemingly’ moved away from the overt systematic slavery, rape and murder that we were once made to endure. However we are still left with this ever-present pattern of continuity – our cultures are still being taken from. Sadly, we are still in a society where cultural appropriation is all around us and often, people really do not see ‘what the big deal is.’ Aside from the fact that the act of cultural appropriation is entwined with white supremacy, it takes from “less dominant” cultures (usually Black, Asian, Indigenous and Hispanic cultures are targeted) without giving them the credit or respect that is rightly deserved. It shadows and embodies the way in which these cultures have constantly been taken from. You only have to google the British Empire to know this to be true.

Cultural appropriation takes many a form, it takes from the very fabric of our being. It’s present in music, in art, in fashion and even in tattoos. It is completely exploitative. The different examples are endless, but context also plays a massive part in distinguishing its acceptability.

durag

If I were to list every single example of cultural appropriation, I would be writing a 10 part saga. However, I think it is extremely important to speak about a few of the most basic examples with context, that by, talking about can aid the spread of knowledge.

Growing up, I was extremely insecure, I wanted to fit in more than anything else. I definitely confirmed to white standards of beauty ipand believed my dark curly hair was not to be desired. My mum would send me to school in braids every single day and I remember being young in primary school being teased and feeling ugly. Learning to love my hair was a struggle. Now, people of dominant cultures wear traditionally Black and Indian hairstyles and receive only positive attention for being ‘edgy’. Positive attention for the same traditional hairstyles that women of colour are told are unprofessional. It would be unrealistic to expect every single person to understand the value and importance of certain parts of a culture, but that does not mean that they should be invalidated.

wgc

I think it’s important to note that I’m fully aware that many people do not have malicious intentions and are unaware of why cultural appropriation is damaging but ignorance doesn’t make it acceptable. Which is why it is so crucial to educate yourselves and understand the meaning and significance of the cultures that you are ‘borrowing’ from.

The bindi, for example, holds deep spiritual significance, and means something different for every Indian woman. It represents the ajna chakra, the third eye. For some time, I have been in a personal conflict with myself in the decision to start wearing a bindi. During this process, I have found myself continually asking:

‘what will my employers think?’ ‘is it unprofessional?’ ‘Can I wear it when I train or is that being too ‘extra’?’ ‘Will people look at me differently when I’m out in public?’ ‘Will I be taken seriously?’ ‘Will my voice be heard?’ ‘Are people going to think I’m fresh?’ ‘Am I going to be respected?’

The fact that I even have these thought processes when simply considering to express my spirituality is not acceptable and is something that I am actively working to change. I’ve witnessed several Indian women who wear Bindis on a daily basis, be classified as ‘fresh’ ‘backwards’ or ‘too traditional’.

We live in a society where we are labelled, we are made to feel alien for embracing such a symbol of spirituality. However, when people of the dominant culture or the likes of Selena Gomez or Ellie Goulding wear a bindi – it’s cool, its edgy, it’s sexy.

eg

In all seriousness, I have no problem with cultural exchange. I don’t mind if someone chooses to wear a bindi – that is, if they fully understand it’s meaning, it’s deep spiritual significance and is worn with respect. I am yet to come across someone who can tell me why they are wearing it.

The examples don’t stop there, we have tribal tattoos, Native American headdresses being worn at festivals, Katy Perry performing as a Geisha, blackface as ‘Halloween Costumes’, the appropriation of music, to name a few – the lists are endless.
kk


Our cultures are taken from, never credited or appreciated.

It’s time that people take responsibility for what it is that is being endorsed, promoted and tolerated. It is important to ask yourselves are your actions respecting another’s culture? As a society, it is crucial that people stop looking for ways to justify appropriation, to stop belittling ethnic cultures for being ‘too sensitive’ and to fully understand that it is not necessary for you to claim something in order to appreciate its beauty.

Appreciating cultures is a beautiful thing, and there are ways for you to do this without taking from them. Learn about the cultures you’re taking from, understand their history and use your voice to support their fight.

Ignorance is no longer an excuse.
Raise your vibration.

Love and Peace
– Jasmine Reinah

 

THE SUNKEN PLACE: When Art Imitates Life.

We are all pretty much familiar with the phrase ‘The Sunken Place’. In case you’re not, the concept got brought to light from the horror movie ‘Get Out’. The film is about a black man, who whilst dating a white woman, is invited to go and spend the weekend with her parents. Upon arrival he soon realises that everything is not as it seems! During his stay he is hypnotised by his girlfriends mother and is then psychologically taken to ‘The Sunken Place,’ a place whereby he can see events happening but has no control over those said events. He is a ‘witness to his own life.’ 

This movie was the best movie I’ve seen in a while, for its originality and thought provoking content, specifically in regards to race.

In America, seemingly every other day there is a story about a Caucasian police officer killing yet another black citizen. Nowadays, everyone has a camera phone so we are able to see some of these horrific murders take place and some have even been live streamed on Facebook. I think it’s interesting to note, that Facebook seemingly doesn’t have an issue with these feeds being posted for the public to view, but god forbid you try to upload a copy written song onto your account it would be taken down almost immediately.

I say that to say, as an intelligent black man I would have to surmise that the reason these videos of American citizens being murdered by police officers are allowed to air on social media, is to dehumanise African Americans and to desensitise the general public to their plight.

Have you noticed that whenever a highly melanated person has been murdered by the police, or even in general, the media has a tendency to demonise the victim? They do this by either speaking about a criminal past or even visually by finding a picture of the victim with let’s say, in a hoody, or maybe a blunt in their hand, so that psychologically the public will lose empathy for this individual as maybe they were in a gang or involved in criminal activity and somehow deserved to be murdered in cold blood.

It seems as if the role of the police officer is the same as the role of the overseer on the plantation fields who would keep the negroe slaves in check through the use of extreme violence, torture or if deemed necessary, death. One of the most preferred means would be to have a public lynching which would be advertised in advance so people could come, watch and be entertained by such a heinous act. Man, Woman and even child entertained by such inhumanity. 

FullSizeRender (17)

Are police officers the new overseers? Are these murderous cops the descendants of their white supremacist, serial killing ancestors? Is social media being used as a tool, so that we, the public can watch a public lynching take place from the comforts of our own home? The fact that the majority of these officers who killed their own citizens got let off the hook, whilst their president at the time was a black man, says a lot.

Then, the movie ‘Get Out’ came out at a time where race in America is a hot topic, specifically the dynamic between black and white. Race in America has always been a hot topic. From inception, the arrival of the Europeans into the Americas, the killing of native Americans, the disregard for treaty’s signed, promises made. The enslavement of Africans, shipped to America to perform free labour for over 400 years. Racism, white supremacy.

It is a part of the fabric of America. 

I think a lot of Americans were fooled into believing that things had changed for the better in terms of equality especially as a Black man held the most powerful seat in the entire world. But thanks to technology we were shown that ‘the more things change, the more things seem to stay the same’

Dashikis are being worn, your favourite rapper now has an iced out ankh chain around their neck. People are using terms like ‘woke’ ‘conscious’ ‘sheeple’ ‘sleep’ to describe the psychological state of themselves/others. Then, through this movie we are given the phrase ‘The Sunken Place’ 

The Five Percent Nation founded by Clarence 13X, a student of Malcolm X under the Nation of Islam who Jay Z himself has on occasion been affiliated with believe that 10 FullSizeRender (18)percent of the people of the world know the truth of existence, and those elites opt to keep 85 percent of the masses in ignorance and under their control. The remaining 5 percent are those who know the truth and are determined to enlighten the rest, they are the Five Percenters. The terms the ‘Elite’ the ‘1 percent’ ‘the illuminati’ have been around for years describing a small select group of people who control events in the world whilst the masses have no knowledge OR no power to do anything about it. 

We rally, we march, we organise but still nothing changes. It’s as if we are on the whole, collectively in a sunken place whereby we can view events taking place but have no control over those said events. It’s as if we are the true ‘witnesses to our own lives.’

I suggest that we stop being witnesses to our own lives and take control over our own circumstances for how can we change the world if we can’t change ourselves? The game is chess not checkers, so understand the players, their moves, understand their strategy and have a plan and a purpose for your life, for ‘who jah bless, no man curse..’

Hope is not a strategy and prayer without action is futile.

 

– JayCee

“YOU NEED TO CUT IT” – CUTTING THE CORD ON TOXIC RELATIONSHIPS.

You need to cutttttttt it *O.T Genasis voice* 

You really do. 

The last 12 months have been such a profound period of change, realisation and ascension for both of us. The biggest lesson we’ve learnt is the importance of cutting the cord of attachment with things that no longer serve you, be it with family, friends or toxic relationships. When it comes down to it, everything is energy and it is so necessary to let go of these negative energies that do not serve your higher self.

How many times have you been left feeling drained or exhausted after having interactions with certain people (or as we like to call them ‘energy vampires’) around you? Ask yourself why that is?

It all comes down to the spiritual cords of attachment that still connect you to that person, often we go about our lives without even realising that these exist but are subconsciously contributing negative patterns to this cord and constantly being drained by them.

So what is a cord of attachment I hear you ask? 

In the simplest of terms, when we enter into a relationship with someone, be it romantically (especially ones that have sexual interaction), professionally or personally (both family and friends), an energetic cord is activated. This cord or energy stream circulates all of the negative patterns of that relationship: emotions, thoughts and behaviour. Whilst they drain you, they also send these negative patterns back and forth between you and that individual – often trapping you in traumas and leaving you feeling haunted by them. By cutting the cord on these relationships, you free yourself from all attachment or feelings of being trapped in the past and allow yourself room for new beginnings. 

Screen-Shot-2014-12-17-at-11.28.45-am

Toxic: adjective. poisonous, venomous, virulent, dangerous.

At times, often through low self-esteem or the need of wanting to be loved – (gained from a mentally or physically abusive past relationship or a childhood where ones parents lacked the capability of showing the love and attention needed) we can find ourselves grasping tightly onto the first person that comes along and shows us any inclination towards “love”.

Specifically, when you are unaware of the toxicity of past romantic relationships and how they have in fact damaged your psyche, it is extremely easy to fall into the arms of an individual (who through a healthy perspective), you would be able to see is no good for you. So, without the capability or understanding of the necessity to cut cords from your past, it is an almost certainty that negative behaviours will continue to circulate your life in a cyclical motion, bringing with it a fleeting joy and lasting pain. 

FEAR = False Evidence Appearing Real.

In order to live your life to your hearts truest desires, you must confront this false evidence, for this fear is not who we are, this fear must not be allowed to define us. We must look at the man/woman in the mirror and reflect on the image with honesty, for to live a lie is to not live at all. Confront the pain from the past, and be real about the relationships you currently have. 

Are these relationships serving you? Are you constantly giving and not receiving in kind? Are you constantly listening and feeling like you’re never being heard?

Cutting the cords of toxic relationships is not an easy process by any means (trust us, we know), but a necessary one.

We’ve learnt that through spiritual practice, we can heal ourselves from the pains and traumas of the past and create space for new, healthier relationships to enter our lives.


Love and respect yourself enough to free yourself from your cords – whatever they may be.

– Jasmine Reinah and JayCee

 

NIGGER.

Nigger, yep that’s right, I said it, NIGGA!

Wow what an emotive word right – NIGGER.

So many different connotations…

Images of white slave owners cracking their whips on the backs of their nigger slaves to maintain order on the plantation.

img_2696-e1498733295659.jpg

House niggers. Field niggers.

The field niggers – where the rebellious slaves, such as Nat Turner, would up-rise or at the very least pray for the death of their slave’masters’.
The house nigger, being so content with not having to be subjugated to the same amount of suffering as his or her “brothers and sisters” would PRAY for the recovery of their slavemaster if ever they got sick.

 
samuel lj
Samuel L Jackson’s depiction of such a house nigger in Django is masterful to say the least! REAL niggers identify with field niggers with great pride. As really and truly, to a certain degree, we are still on a plantation right now. It’s a matter of whether you’re going to fight and rebel against the oppression of the melanated nations, or will you find comfort at being in the house watching the suffering of your people from a distance?

 

As an example let’s look at Colin Kaepernick. The NFL is almost like a plantation. You have these young black strapping studs paraded in front of potential buyers to be bought at a price. They are then placed on a field to work whilst never being allowed into the house, having ownership of a team. Colin Kaepernick, being of dual heritage and witnessing the harm that has been done to his community by a white supremacist system decided to take a stand by taking a knee and speaking out; bringing awareness and donating money to a just cause. A fair and equal society for everybody. Though, rather than being rewarded for his generosity, compassion and for utilising his freedom of speech for the good of others, he has instead been left on the sidelines with no team willing to sign him. He has been vilified by not only white people but by house niggers keen to keep their seats in the white houses of whatever media company they work for. The likes of Jason Whitlock or Stephen A Smith can regularly be heard bashing the brother. A clear message then from those who run the NFL that niggers are to work the field or risk being made an example of like Colin Kaepernick.
So it seems the more things change the more they stay the same. 

IMG_2695

Fast forward into modern times, EVERYBODY calls themselves a NIGGA! But seemingly, there is a difference between being called a NIGGA and a NIGGER. NIGGA, a term of endearment. ‘I got love for my nigga’, ‘yo that’s my nigga’ etc whilst being called a NIGGER is just damn right racism. So it would seem that we have taken ownership of the word.

Nigga: cool.
Nigger: we got a problem!

There are even scholars who will tell you that the word nigger derives from the word Negus which means King. I remember the first time a white man called me a nigger to my face. I was working security at a club in the dead of winter, it was freezing. As I stood outside trying to keep as warm as possible somebody ran up from behind me tapped me on my back and said “whadup my nigga!”. When I turned round there was a young white man standing there smiling!

Our conversation went a little something like…

Me: ‘wtf did you just say me!’  (preparing to knock his head off)
Him: (again) ‘I said what’s up my nigga!’
Me: ‘Who the f*** you think you’re calling a nigga?’ (ready to inflict pain)
Him: ‘nah I didn’t mean no disrespect. Sorry bruv, I’ve got black friends and we call each other nigga!’ (nervously – seeing I was beyond vex)

Prior to this, the only times I’d been called a nigger by a white person was when I was young. They’d drive past (always really quickly) with their windows rolled down and shout out “niggggeeerrrrr!!” It’s almost funny now. Almost. But that’s the place I was transported to when this man had said that to me. Straight racism to my face. He must be crazy. But upon realising the times we are in and after hearing his ‘explanation’ I decided to relax my hand that had unknowingly formed a fist and explain to the ute that under no circumstances should you approach a black man that you have never met in your life and call him a NIGGA! He apologised and went on his way.

So niggas come in all forms, shapes, sizes and colours. What is the difference then between a black man and a nigga and why has nigga culture taken over black culture in these modern day times. I’d have to agree with Dr Wesley Muhammad, that niggas are a design of white supremacy. The conscious, intellectual black man has been torn apart and ripped to shreds and replaced with the lean sipping, diamond encrusted wearing, gun slinging nigga. The type that don’t give a f*** about nothing apart from money and bitches. Long gone are the wholesome images of black men as fathers, doctors or professionals. Everything now seems to be centred around The Trap. This is social engineering at its finest. Our role models, specifically in hip hop culture, are glamorising a culture of death. If you did the things your favourite rapper raps about, you’d be either on drugs, selling drugs, in jail or dead.

img_2687.jpg

The nightmare is being sold as a dream, the definition of perversion.  

Everything is MIND. Thoughts become things, your vision becomes your reality. The idea that I am suggesting is that we need to come away from affiliating ourselves with the word and antics of a nigga. There is nothing real about selling drugs, doing crime, inflicting harm on your people and community. This is not a judgement. Some people are placed in situations whereby their choices are stark. Their opportunities are few, if none, so they are forced by a system designed as such, to partake in criminal activities to survive. That’s real. For me, what’s not real is the GLAMORISING of criminal behaviour to the youth. Implanting in their minds that the gangster, nigga life is the real life. It’s not the real life. You are being led into a trap which only benefits white supremacy. All too often I hear ‘free up’ or ‘RIP’ this that and the third. It’s almost a trend to wear shirts with these logos emblazoned on them, nigga life…

IMG_2709

We are the offspring of Kings and Queens. The inventors of science, mathematics, agriculture, medicine, astrology, master builders and the list goes on. I think it’s time we wake from our slumber and re-member who we truly are Negus.

– JayCee

THE FEMALE “DECEPTICON”

“Take her swimming on the first date”

The amount of times I’ve seen this meme and heard people say this line – I mean, you just have to laugh.

The world of contour and highlight means we have a new breed of female decepticons right?

It’s a no from me.

Do I think that expressing yourself through make up and wanting to feel like you’re looking your best for that big night out or getting excited when you get your liner ON POINT is wrong? Definitely not.

Best believe, when I’m heading out if you can’t see my highlight from outer space then I’m gonna dip my brush straight back in my Mary-loumanizer until it’s poppin! I like glitter. I love that glow. And I’m not sorry. 

Although, it definitely starts to become a problem when women and young girls feel that they cannot leave their house and be out in public without makeup.

It really bothers me…

We have collectively helped to create a world whereby we’ve set such unrealistic standards of what ‘beauty’ and ‘perfection’ is, that we have lost sight of the fact that beauty is not measurable. We’ve helped to feed and perpetuate insecurities of not being ‘pretty’ or ‘sexy’ if you’re seen in public without your ‘brows on fleek’ and your ‘liner sharp af’. We have to take responsibility for these ideals that we have all collectively created (even if it is unknowingly) and actively work to deconstruct this ideology.

It is so important to be comfortable in your own skin, to be proud of yourself and to love yourself unconditionally. To let your skin breathe. To be empowered – to not let society dictate the way you feel beautiful.

Don’t get me wrong – there was a time (picture an eighteen year old Jasmine) when I categorically would not leave the house with my face completely bare. I wouldn’t have even dreamt of going to work without makeup on. But there came a time when I had to sit down and ask myself why? Why do I feel the need to wear it everyday? Am I any less intelligent, funny (trust me, I’m hilarious) or beautiful without it? The answer is no.

When I actually realised this simple truth, a truth which I’d ignored for years – I felt so incredibly powerful. Powerful, because the beauty industry, society and people no longer had any hold on the way I saw myself, the way I felt beautiful and the way I loved myself. Ultimately, if I feel sexy and beautiful – then that is what I am. I felt so empowered that I could have literally burst, I was free. I was no longer stuck in the trap of these ideals that are continuously shoved down our throats. Ideals that tell us that as long as our eyeshadow is perfectly blended and our lips perfectly lined, we’re good. Ideals that place superficial beauty over intellect. It’s time that we take control of the way our beauty and sexuality is defined because, ladies, we got so much more to offer than just a perfectly beat face! 

Years after I’ve left the 18 year old insecure Jasmine behind – 90% of the time my skin is bare. Like I’ve said before, every once in a while, I love getting dressed up and doing my makeup as much as the next woman. But the difference now is, that I don’t allow it to define who I am as a person or the way that I view myself. I’ve left behind the white standards of beauty that were sold to me as a little girl, the ones that told me that my dark curly hair was unruly and my skin wasn’t light enough (yes, I wore foundation 3 shades lighter – who was I trying to kid!) I bleached my hair and religiously straightened it every single day throughout the whole of university. The damage it did was no joke – only now, is it healthy, long and luscious! It wasn’t easy to get to where I am, I was blessed enough to have strong females around me (shoutout my momma, Sindy) who continuously reaffirmed my sense of self and my identity and allowed me to see that my power lies in my relationship with self. I consciously made it my mission to fall in love with myself – flaws and all.

thumbnail_FullSizeRender (1)

Now, I’m not perfect by any means. At times, I still have insecurities, I still struggle to be vulnerable and I am a continuous work in progress. But, I love myself regardless of anyone else’s opinion of me, my character is strong enough for me to know that I’m a pretty dope person – and to me, that’s all that matters. I’ve learnt to laugh at myself, live in the moment and not take life too seriously…

I know that a lot of women may read this, and tell me that I’m disempowering women by exemplifying the way in which we are constantly under scrutiny – too much makeup, too little makeup. But, I have a lot of young girls around me that look up to me, who I love and care for unconditionally – and I need them to know that loving yourself for who you are is first and foremost the most important thing.

 

Strive to be better than the person you were yesterday.

Jasmine Reinah xo

My Top 10 Nutritional Tips for Male Sexual Prowess!

Living in the city of London, or any city at that, can be at times DRAINING! The concrete jungle, the rat race, the need for capitol. Competition is RIFE! Through advertising, you’re constantly being subtly informed that if you don’t have the latest and greatest, whether that’s the new Mercedes or the latest iPhone – you basically need to take that L!

As the media portrays it, the handsome, successful guy gets ALL the girls! This can put a lot of pressure on a man. Not only do you need to be financially well off, with a strong jaw line and high cheek bones, you also need the body of Adonis! Magazine covers galore adorned with the images of men with good pecs, strong arms and a six pack! The majority of men I know have an internal desire to be the archetypal Alpha Male, and this translates into the bedroom. The amount of men I have heard talking about their sexual dominance, “that time when..” or”that 3 hour session and them 10 rounds..!” Do I believe all of their stories, no, some, maybe! For all the stories I have heard men tell about their sexual prowess, I can count on one hand whereby a man has spoken about his lack of ability in the bedroom. Issues ranging from, general fatigue, erectile dysfunction, premature ejaculation, having a low libido etc. I mean these are things men just don’t talk about right?

Well today I list my Top 10 Nutritional Tips on what it is we as men can consume in order to maintain our already strong performance in the bedroom or to help us improve. These are foods/supplements I consume on a daily basis, so they are tried and tested and TRUSS MI DADDY, they WORK! Now these tips aren’t miracle workers. If you’re drinking heavily, smoking too much, eating rubbish and lacking in exercise, then these are things that you will need to improve on alongside my dietary suggestions. Exercising is hugely important as it increases oxygen and blood flow around the body and you definitely need blood to flow in the right places, major key…

So, My Top 10 Nutritional Tips for Male Sexual Prowess – in no particular order:

1: MACA
Maca is a Peruvian plant consumed by the ancient Incans for energy. Maca increases sexual appetite, stamina, endurance and fertility.

maca

2: HORNY GOAT WEED
Horny goat weed is used in traditional Chinese medicine. It appears to have a testosterone building effect and it stimulates sexual activity in men, increases sperm production, sexual desire, libido and sexual nerves.

3: SPINACH
Spinach is rich in magnesium a mineral that decreases inflammation in blood vessels and folate which are both proven to increase blood flow around your body and to your nether regions.

spinach.jpg

4: DR SEBI’s SEAMOSS AND BLADDERWRACK
The human body is made up of 108 ideal minerals. This product contains 95 of those. Given this products high content, it will aid in improving overall health and preventing disease in the body.

5: GINGER
Ginger is another food that improves blood flow to the body and improves artery health. The spice has been shown to boost levels of testosterone and sperm viability.

ginger.jpg
6: ZINC SUPPLEMENT
Zinc is a key mineral that cells use to metabolise nutrients. Among other functions, zinc enables the male body to produce testosterone. Erectile dysfunction may be a symptom of a deficiency in zinc.

7: COFFEE
Scientists have said that caffeine in coffee triggers a series of reactions in the body that ultimately increase  blood flow down south.

coffee

8: HOT SAUCE
Studies suggest that the fiery compound found in your hot sauce, capsaicin, increases testosterone in men.

9: GREEN TEA
The brew is rich in compounds called catechins which boost desire by promoting blood flow to your nether regions. They kill off free radicals that damage and inflame blood vessels increasing their ability to transport blood.

green tea

10: GOJI BERRIES
Energy boosting goji berries have been used for thousands of years in Chinese medicine to help increase energy and enhance the release of hormones. On top of promoting energy it too is beneficial for increasing blood flow and helps to oxygenate all of the cells and tissues of the body. That’s why they call goji “Viagra of China.”

goji

So there you have it, my top 10 Nutritional tips for male sexual prowess. You can buy these products at most of your local health food stores. I definitely recommend you check out my favourite store, The Ankh Shop in Shepherds Bush West London, if you happen to be in the area!

Knowledge speaks but wisdom listens… Jimi Hendrix

JayCee

Malcom X – 19/05/1925.

Today on Journey with Jasmine – we, in our own small way, would like to celebrate the Great Leader, Malcom X on what would have been his 92nd Birthday. As I write this, I feel a sense of unworthiness – how do I put words together in such a manner that will adequately honour such a GIANT?! (wipes sweat from forehead). 21shabazzWEB-master1050When I was young, I was blessed enough to have an older brother who whilst only in his teens, was highly conscious. Looking back at how highly developed he was at sixteen; is – upon reflection, amazing to me, and I have to give our mum praise for instilling in us a deep spirituality. We were raised as Christians, but my brother developed an interest in Islam. Hip hop music was and still is a big part of our lives, and at that time (early 90’s) I remember Public Enemy had a song called ‘Bring the Noize’, and in this song was the line: ‘Farrakhan’s a prophet that I think you ought to listen to’. That was my first introduction to the Nation of Islam.

During school holidays I would go and spend days on end with my older brother in his council flat in Shepherd’s Bush. He would literally sit me down on a chair for hours and preach the Qur’an to me. If he wasn’t preaching the Qur’an to me, we would sit down for hours and watch Farrakhan speeches on VHS. Back then, it felt like torture – I just wanted to be a child and play video games or go outside and play, but I’m forever indebted to him for instilling a knowledge of self in me at such a young age.

I had always seen the iconic picture of Malcolm X standing by his window with a machine gun, and I had heard the phrase ‘by any means necessary’, imagebut at that time I didn’t know much else. That was until Spike Lee made the movie Malcolm X starring Denzil Washington. Man, you couldn’t tell me and my brothers nothing about that movie! We couldn’t wait to go and see that film! We sat in the cinema ENGROSSED by the story of a man who started out as Malcolm Little, a hustler, a criminal. I’ll never forget the scene where, Denzil playing Malcolm, has texturiser in his hair. If you’ve ever used texturiser you know it starts to burn around that 5 minute mark! He calmly tells Shorty (Spike Lee) that it’s starting to burn. So they go over to a sink to wash it out but there’s no water and he ends up having to wash his head in the toilet! To this day, that scene literally has me in hysterics because I used to use texturiser religiously and could totally relate!

I remember the film being really long, maybe 3 hours or so and there being an interval, so people could take a break I guess. I didn’t need a break.

I watched and saw how Malcolm Little went from being a petty criminal, running gambling spots, to going to prison and after being introduced to the teachings of Elijah Muhamad, transforming into Malcolm X. A most intelligent and fearless black leader. Watching that movie then and later as an adult, looking back at old footage of this Great in interviews, was and still is SO beyond inspiring!

117705985

He has taught me to be a proud black man, to walk with my head high. Through his teachings I learnt an alternative black history that didn’t revolve around slavery. Fifty-two years after his passing on he still lives in me and through many others. Words couldn’t express my gratitude…
‘A Man who stands for Nothing will fall for Anything’.

 

Where the Greats lead, We Follow.
JayCee & Jasmine Reinah

If you were to walk a mile in my shoes…

I’ve been asked a lot about what it’s like having a brother with autism. To be honest, I still don’t really know how to answer this question, it is one of such deep complexity that it is really difficult to know where it starts. In a nutshell, every single day is different, it has well and truly been a constant emotional and physical rollercoaster – from fighting for his diagnosis years ago, to now, where making sure he gets the support he needs at school is a constant battle.

Beyond anything, I know that my brother is my biggest blessing; everything I do is for him. He inspires me every single day and has taught me so much about the essence of life. He’s allowed me to lose all of the preconceived perceptions and judgements we, as human, have of people without even realising. I wrote this piece through his eyes; it is a reflection of things that he has said or experiences that he’s had.

Of course, it is infuriating to know that people can be so hurtful with their words and to see someone you care about going through a pain, which they don’t actually really understand themselves is heart-breaking. You feel helpless. I wanted to raise awareness of these judgements that we have of people as a society and deconstruct the stereotypes that we have subconsciously built. It is so important for me that people understand how hurtful and damaging ‘words’ can be, we collectively need to practise mindfulness in what we are saying, how we are communicating and the message this delivers to future generations.

I really didn’t want to post this video at all – the thought of it, literally terrified me! But after sitting on it for almost a year and having my mum ask me every single day to post it and telling me ‘playing small does not serve the world, there is nothing enlightened about shrinking’, I’ve accepted that, if this can change even one person’s perception of mental health than it far outweighs my fear of putting it out there.

I need the world to know that my brother cannot be defined by any of the labels that society has placed on him – he is a being of light with the purest heart of anyone I have ever known. He is so intelligent and has a deep love for life like nothing I have ever seen before. He will forever be my biggest motivation – this is for you Jeevan…

Carnivore to Herbivore

A big part of my life involves me spending numerous hours in the gym! I’ve been training for 21 years and for 20 of those years I used to have a saying: “no meat NO MEAL!” The theory was simple: train hard, eat right.

Eating right in most bodybuilding programmes involves eating protein, protein and more PROTEIN! Chicken, turkey, steak, in which ever way I could get it. I would devour a plate in the blink of an eye, the theory being “I have a 1 hour window to consume protein to get maximum benefits”. I had long ago given up eating pork, but the idea of not eating chicken – I mean… that was just INSANE!

For years I used to say that one day I would like to become a vegetarian but I didn’t think I would ACTUALLY do it! That was until one evening whilst surfing the web, I came across a video by a man named Dr Sebi. That video and consequent videos would change my whole perspective on eating meat. I had seen the many videos on how badly the animals we consume are treated, how they are pumped with antibiotics and God knows what else. You know, we all have that one friend who turned vegetarian or vegan and they just feel the need to send you the most awful footage with the hope it would put you off meat!? Yeh, not me! I was still happy eating my chicken wings in Shepherd’s Bush after a night out in central! That was until Sebi.

I won’t lie, I didn’t turn vegetarian because I really cared for animals or the environment. I turned vegetarian because of the link that Dr Sebi made between what you consume and your intelligence. I’ve heard him say (RIP), that if he sees an individual eating rubbish, he wouldn’t even speak to them, because he knew they would be lacking in intelligence! (Paraphrasing).

The idea that what you consume could alter your intelligence had me! Through studying nutrition I was clearly aware of the link between eating junk food, saturated fats, refined sugars etc and intelligence, mood, but I’d never considered the idea that eating meat could also have a negative impact in this area, and how by eating certain herbs, you could improve memory, cognition and all round mental health.

A change was coming…

JayCee