Black History Month is here, and if you're looking for a resource of local Portland businesses to support, where to eat, what fiber artists to follow, books to read, and more.... well, we are glad you're here! Plus, enjoy a few featured fiber artists' work and don't forget to follow them on Instagram.
Lady Justice, a punch needle work created by fiber artist Simone Elizabeth Saunders. Find more of her work here.
Where to donate:
- Loveland Foundation: provides financial assistance to Black women and girls seeking therapy nationally through their Therapy Fund.
- Brown Hope and their fund Black Resilience Fund: a program of nonprofit Brown Hope and is dedicated to fostering healing and resilience by providing immediate and direct financial assistance to Black Portlanders.
- Growing Gardens: a local, Portland service organization that uses the experience of growing food in schools, backyards and correctional facilities to cultivate healthy, equitable communities.
- Don’t Shoot PDX: an arts and education organization that promotes social justice and civic participation. Their programming advocates for community members facing racism and discrimination by providing legal representation and direct advocacy.
Boho Dreams Necklace by macramé artist Aurora Joanna of @stringandhearts. In addition to running her own macramé business, Aurora also runs two wonderful accounts that feature the work of BIPOC makers. Be sure to follow along at @bipocfiberart and @bipocmacrame.
Nosse Ovienmhada of @nossboss_creations with one of the wall hangings from her Asoebi Collection.
What to tune in to:
- Instagram Live interview with Nosse Ovienmhada of @nossboss_creations. Join our founder Emily Katz on February 11th at 12:30pm PST for her conversation with fiber artist Nosse Ovienmhada. Hear about Nosse's Asoebi collection, her travels back to Nigeria and Ankara fabric that became the inspiration for her macramé.
- Instagram Live interview with Sterling Rhyne of @cactusladycreations. Listen in to her conversation with Emily Katz on February 18 at 1pm PST to hear all about how her connection to nature fuels her creative expression and how mindfulness plays a role in art-making.
Sterling Rhyne of @cactusladycreation's Bell Wreath Holiday Collection.
Where to eat and drink:
- Queen of Sheba: delicious Ethiopian cuisine available for takeout
- Yaad Style Jamaican: mouthwatering Jamaican cuisine available for takeout and delivery
- Kabba’s Kitchen: African food cart serving Senegalese and Gambian style food
- Enat Kitchen Restaurant: authentic Ethiopian cuisine for takeout and dine-in.
- Drink Mamey: cold-pressed juice and superfood wellness. Also, check out this awesome article the Drink Mamey team shared on the importance of black spaces in the wellness industry.
- Deadstock Coffee Roasters: NW coffee shop with roasts inspired by sneakers. Yep, it's as stylish as it sounds. Check out their feature on the Oregonian here and then go get caffeinated in your fave kicks. More of an east-side Portlander? Check out their brand new shop on NE Couch, Concourse Coffee.
- Aesthetea: organic loose leaf tea company. We can't get enough of their Tabula Rasa blend.
Wool knit set designed by Kourtney Hankins of Eiram, an innovative knitwear design company. Find more here.
Where to shop:
- My Earth Goddess: CBD products, wellness lotions, oils and more by Joi Bonman. New to CBD skincare? Learn more in Joi's blog here.
- Helen Rose Co.: offers a unique organic skincare line designed to heal and restore your skin while at the same time addressing mood disorders such as anxiety, depression, and insomnia.
- Hidden Opulence: a design house that’s focused in apparel sustainability and upcycling. Need to refreshed a cherished item in your wardrobe? Look no further for mending and repair.
- Bodi Brand: handcrafted self care supplies including soaps, moisturizers, oils and more. Plus, don't wait to get your own adorable Self Care is a Priority tote bag.
- Novella Theory: family-owned, seasonal floral studio designing for weddings and events in the Pacific Northwest and "anywhere we can take flowers!"
South African mixed media artist S'misosenkosi Skosana uses a combination of sketching, punch needle and embroidery to create stunning portraiture. Find more of their work here.
What we are reading:
- Jen Hewett's This Long Thread: Women of Color on Craft, Community, and Connection celebrates the diverse work of people of color in the craft community and explore the personal, political, and creative potential of textile arts and crafts. Available in our library here.
- This compilation of Black textile artists put together by Caring for Textiles, including Bisa Butler, Nedra Bonds, Erin LeeAnn Works, and more.
- Five Textile Artists Exploring Contemporary Quilting, an article by Cultured, which details how quilting was used to preserve African American culture and heritage.
- This article by Black Art In America, which blends themes of sisterhood, Black feminine beauty, and empowerment with quilting traditions of Black America.
- Poetry by Oregon's Poet Laureate Anis Mojgani. Listen to his riveting poem Closer here, which is included in the Library of America anthology "African American Poetry: 250 Years of Struggle and Song."
Bisa Butler, Racism Is So American That When You Protest It People Think You Are Protesting America, 2021. Photography by John Butler.
Have more time to devote to reading? Our founder Emily Katz is an avid sci-fi and fantasy enthusiast! Check out her top picks here, all written by Black sci-fi authors.
- To start, well, everything by Octavia Butler... Wild Seed, the Xenogensis Trilogy, and Kindred to name a few. Octavia was an American science fiction writer, one of the best-known among the few African-American women in the field. She won both Hugo and Nebula awards. In 1995, she became the first science fiction writer to receive the MacArthur Foundation "Genius" Grant.
- The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms by NK Jemison. Travel to the majestic city of Sky in this mysterious novel.
- Justina Ireland's Dread Nation, a stunning vision of an America both foreign and familiar — a country on the brink, at the explosive crossroads where race, humanity, and survival meet.
Looking for more ways to celebrate Black History Month? Check out our Instagram, where we'll be featuring fiber artists and local Portland events all month. Happy February, makers!