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The Importance Of “Cultural Selfcare” And Why I’ve Made My Home A Black History Time Capsule

Hi WLDKAT fam, I’m kyLA. I’m a creator, a vibe curator, a connector, and a storyteller who’s lived about a thousand different lives. I see the world in mood boards, and I have a sixth sense that allows me to discover and interpret the world in crazy, unique ways.

My home is a Black history time capsule that I have been curating for the past 10 years. It is my safe space, the place where I feel most in-tune with myself, and my hub for what i like to call “cultural self care”.  Yes — cultural self care is totally a made up term, but let me explain to you what I mean.  I think it’s safe to say that in 2020 we all learned the importance of setting boundaries and the need for making time to take care of yourself.  During the past year, my personal connection to my culture and to the Black experience has also become wholly important to my ability to feel complete on the inside.  Much of what has happened (to all of us) in the past 400 days or so will change the course of history, and as a Black woman I strongly feel the pull to be closer to my heritage, my ancestors, and our future more than ever.

Thankfully my time at home has given me the opportunity to connect with my culture on an even deeper level, and I’d love to share it with you!

Growing up, I remember being constantly surrounded by strong Black women.  My mother, my older cousins, my aunties, and all of my “play-aunties” were always buzzing around in my life, and I was enamored by every single thing about them.  When I close my eyes and think about my younger years, I immediately see chocolate skin and hoop earrings; I see red nails, glossy lips, babyhair, blouses.  I remember peeking out of my room trying to listen to “grown folks talk”, and those funny smelling cigarettes *wink* that would only come out after I was put to bed.  It was the era of vinyl records, Avon, Sade, and press-n-curls. Weekends were spent getting my hair braided with beads and foil on the tips, and running to the ice cream truck or to the candy house to get watermelon Now&Laters.

Our Blackness was so full of love, so uninhibited and ever so palpable. 

As I bloomed into adulthood, I became a professional “code switcher” (goggle it, boo).  I could be or become whoever the situation needed me to be, but DAMN is that tiring.  I needed cultural self care; I needed to be unapologetically Black; I needed to be enveloped in the beauty of my people.  That feeling has burned in me for most of my life, and so I became extremely deliberate in creating spaces where my cultural identity can remain dominant. Most specifically, I curated my home to be a nest filled with archives of Black culture, nodding to almost every era over the past few hundred years, and it serves me well as a colorful, vibrant cocoon for my cultural self care.

My love for my heritage is something that I enjoy sharing with the world, and the ways I’ve integrated reminders of Black history throughout my home is something in which I take great pride.  Though my home is a bit of a stylistic anomaly, I hope it sparks a little something within you.  I hope that it encourages you to further discover more about the beautiful layers of Black cultures, and that you also to feel the desire to become even more connected to the cultures that make you YOU. I hope you start to truly tap into the comforts of home and lose yourself in cultural self care at the times when you need it most.  And, I hope your skin is slathered in WLDKAT goodness while you do it. Peace.

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