How Black women use their spirituality and creativity to heal their community

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At Afropunk Atlanta, Trap Heals (powered by the Black Lives Matter movement) created a garden to play on the juxtaposition of the mainstream perception of “The Trap” against an unlikely backdrop. This represents how Trap Heals connects with the community. We asked the women in Trap Heals on how they use their femininity and spirituality to heal the community.

As a creative what is a way you do self-healing through your work? How important is it for you to incorporate your spirituality into the spaces you create?

“ I create spaces where people can be themselves and feel free. It’s important to bring my true self into these spaces because the only way to make a real connection is by bringing your authentic self.”-Yadira

“Being a creative can sometimes make you crazy. I've become so connected with the thing that I'm so passionate about I have to walk away from it sometimes to calm down. It's my “boyfriend/girlfriend crazy in love” relationship that needs space to breathe. So, I go for long walks, engulf myself in nature as much as possible, tune out my own voice and listen to what's happening around me. There's so much spirit in the trees, the sky, the wind, and the sun, I soak up some of that and take (that) back to my relationship (the group). ”- Aloha (singer of The Knuckles)

Do you see Trap music being more inclusive to Creative Black females? If so how can people in the community help, make that inclusivity happen more often?

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“There is definitely a greater responsibility for those who have found the most success through Trap music: the influence they possess is global. They have the power to literally transform how our world moves and creates space for the most marginalized among us. It’s beyond the initial storytelling of people who live in the trap and got it out the mud. It’s become a genre. There are musical principles in place that are specific to its sound. Which is why rappers who have never seen a trap house let alone been to the United States are able to replicate and commodify the sound. So, they have a major opportunity to shift the way our global culture sees, perceives, and uplifts Black people, Black femmes and queer folks”- Merci

“It’s not more inclusive, but women are making their own lane and creating their space in this space. To make it more inclusive, women in this space need to include more women in their work.”-Yadira

How do you believe Femme Energy is expressed in Trap music? Do you feel it is more empowering when compared to other genres?

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“I think when it comes to Trap music, Hip-Hop music in general, has always been a male- dominated genre but as you know, there have been a significant amount of black women that have not only been powerful in the hip-hop scene but have been incredible. So, I think part of the work of opening up a space for women in Trap music or women to make Trap music is for people to recognize that we’re already doing it. I think what is interesting about Trap music is that I really do feel that it’s music that is about expressing all types of emotions. The “I don’t give a Fuck” emotions or “I got the blues” emotions. I feel like black Femmes in particular take that music and use it as a blueprint for what emotions we experience and how Trap music reflects that.”- Patrisse Cullors Brignac ( Co-Founder of Black Lives Matters)

How does Trap Heals educate on the topic of accountability when it comes to sexism, racism and police brutality?

“Trap Heals is an in-house conversation between members of the Black Diaspora. So, it deals more with accountability surrounding sexism, patriarchy, classism, internalized anti-blackness, homophobia, etc. than with external conversations happening about racism, white supremacy, and police brutality. Trap Heals is about remembering that our healing comes from ourselves, remembering that we have the power to heal each other by dismantling the things we’ve been programmed with and rebuilding a future that is free for every single one of us to exist within new systems upon ancestral foundations.”- Miehrit

What advice do you give to other young Black females trying to be successful in a creative field?

“Know who the fuck you are and enough to have a well-rounded understanding of what's going on around you. That way what you convey truly pricks these hearts. People need real healing, not just a moment that makes you feel special. And by being a woman you already have the power in you to lead and nurture. Be careful with that, take care of that and have fun! Not worth it if it doesn't make you smile too.” -Aloha

“Give yourself space to do you without giving any attention or energy towards a potential audience. Create for yourself. Make mistakes, for yourself. Learn yourself, for yourself, so that when you offer yourself to the world there’s no room within yourself for anyone else’s detracting energy or opinions. And just create.” -Miehrit

Written and Photographed by Ojos Nebulosos

Find her on Ig:@ojos_nebulosos and Tw: @ojosnebulosos

Check out Trap Heals, Aloha from The Kunckles and Miehrit (musician)

Thank You to Yadira, the Creative Director of Trap Heals and Patrisse Cullors Brignac, Co- Founder BLM