News & Events
The New Black Minimalism
- August 5, 2020
- Posted by: akhepran
- Category: Uncategorized
There is something about the nature of simplicity that appeals to the spirit. I’ve always enjoyed living in small spaces, and less living space pushes me to curate my life with intention, keeping only what is necessary and beautiful, with no room for extra. When I sit with the concept of minimalism, I can’t help but reflect on the legacy of slavery – the exploitation of our people as a resource and the ongoing exclusion of black people in accessing the shared economic resources of today. There is a collective conditioning that has happened which places the African in the realm of ultimate consumer and not owner/creator. Our worth and sense of worthiness has become bound to our possessions. We are is what we can afford to buy, and the more we have… the greater our sense of self-worth. Many of our loved ones are not able to part with anything without inducing anxiety, and so we accumulate as a coping mechanism (Ask any West Indian Aunty if she’s seen the bottom of her deep freeze in the last ten years.). We are often afraid of throwing away what we spent years, decades to acquire. That’s a lot of baggage.
The emerging Black Minimalism movement serves as a counterweight to all that heaviness. It helps “reset” an inward spiritual balance. Minimalism for the global African is a curation of spirit. Minimalism begs the question:
What is really important?
What material burdens and expectations can I let go of?
As I begin to edit my outer world of unnecessary things, I also begin the inner dialogue with Self as I examine truth and appearances. Do your belongings truly represent you or do they reflect what you want others to see? I think many who have adopted the Minimalist lifestyle are searching for meaning amidst all the “stuff”. Paring down material possession is so important in the process of self-discovery… to let go and just BE.
The world does its best to deny Black people our humanity, yet here we are, in the fullness of our Being. We are Divine. Black Minimalism is an opportunity to be in the fullness of being, without the burden of commodities. We are creators. We do not need to prove or validate ourselves through the number of things we own; this is a powerful revelation for me. I wish to let go of what I feel does not serve my spirit. I wish to pare down to basics and declutter my space and my heart, so I am free to create and build a solid future for myself and my community. The Black minimalist movement has helped me to see the greater value in owning less.