Black __________________ (fill in the blank)

Sometimes it feels like poison, this seemingly restricted existence. Because everything “they’ve” called Black is a bad thing so something in me resists and fights against who I naturally am.

Been made to feel like everything is better, anything is better since I was in the womb. The disappointment in a mother’s face because her little black baby’s face looks too much like her own. Passed through DNA, it’s gonna be a hard life and she knows this and she shows this because she can’t hold it.

This type of scaring is hereditary, she don’t even notice it as she passes it with words like, “you too dark!” “Boy you better stay outta the sun!” and “This nappy head”…

Even the good stuff is made bad when you make it black. The very language we use allows for ordinary things to take a sinister turn when you add black to it; black magic, blackball, blacklist, blackmail, blackface, etc.

It’s like poison upon entry to this place.

Before the world even grabs it’s deceitful hold we have been already trained to agree with every single lie told.

If I believed what “they” say is true I could never be anything of great value.

So I have to put back in me what “they” try to take outta me daily!

I gotta put somethin’ extra in with that too! because the truth is much greater than the fiction!

What “they” don’t say about who I am is an interesting silence, but what “they” won’t say about who I am is riveting!

Do you know, that if you knew, the whole story of the What and the Who of you, what you would/could do? (Read this part again slowly and process this carefully)

It is the antidote to the poison you take in because you’re Black. And all the bleaching, lightening, “relaxing”, dying, and straightening ain’t changing that!

Don’t you dare let slavery be the climax of your history! Treat it like what it was, a horrible interruption in the overall greatness and existence of an AMAZING GROUP OF PEOPLE! Before during and after we have been innovators of the world! Words like strong, inventive, resilient, intelligent ought to be attached to that black thinking to counter those daily doses of poisoning you endure. Use them like medicine, corrosive corrupted thinking’s cure.

I was taught about who I am, by people who had a vested interest in my knowing! Black and potent, undiluted, proud and concentrated because some days it feels like I was born to be hated! Let that poison leave you as I remind you that you are Black and Beautiful!

What is Real Diversity?

For those of us who only believe what we see or what someone we like tells us is the truth, this is for you!

With no real knowledge or understanding, we have gotten into the habit of accepting beliefs and ideas as definitive fact. Yes, I know that I am a doll maker and I “play with yarn” for a living. But for the record I am a sociologist and an educator by profession. Sociology, not to be confused with Social Work, is the study of the development, structure and functioning of human society. There is an actual science to understanding the factors that influence/affect society. To ignore that is to base your existence and decision making on things that will likely make no positive difference in your life or the lives of those around you!

Now that we’ve gotten that out of the way it is important for me to stress the following statement: “Just because you don’t see it, doesn’t mean it’s NOT happening!”

How tired I’ve grown from people believing things don’t exist beyond their own understanding. Haven’t you grown weary of those annoying “I don’t see color” people? You know the ones that think them and their friends are the reference points of all things tolerant! Telling Black and Brown people off for being too sensitive and scolding us for making “everything” about race.

So here I go with my two cents on the matter of diversity in the fiber arts community.

If you are not me, you don’t get to tell me how to react to what I feel has been constant injustice. If you’ve never operated in a field or profession dominated by a race that is NOT YOUR OWN or held a position where you were one of a small number and/or in some cases the only one of your race in that space, please have a seat and close your mouth. That’s just the feelings part of the matter though. Let’s get to the social aspect of the matter, shall we?

Statistically it is a fact that there is a significantly higher number of imagery that depicts knitters and crocheters as white females. Magazines and other publications often feature designers and contributors that are white. This is not a feeling, this is a measurable, provable FACT. One can do simple research or complex research and the conclusion will not change. There are so very many talented artists in the world of knitting and crochet and yet, even the spaces and places where the opportunity to diversify is clear and apparent, the industry still chooses to ignore us. The fact that having an all inclusive perspective yields more revenue, should be reason enough for these major companies to hop on the band wagon, but their lack of implementation implies something much more sinister if you ask me. Why have there been little to know outreach to add diversity? What are they (publications and yarn companies) looking for that they’re only able to get from white designers and contributors? Who are the people involved in editing, marketing and influencing? Who decides what’s trending and why? Why are the hottest, must have items, magazine issues, patterns and designs almost always featuring or by someone white? And I swear if I see another “new” shawl design I’m gonna lose it!😂

But seriously if you have some answers to these questions I’d love to hear them. If you know of some publications that are practicing real diversity, please share because I’m tired of always looking like the “angry Black woman” when I point out obvious facts.

I am a Black Doll Maker, who specializes in crocheting Black Dolls. I create each design with Love and Purpose and the bigger picture is to “Promote Pride and Confidence in Children of Color, Particularly Girls and even more Specifically Black Girls, in Efforts to Combat Self Hate!” Because society has been telling me since I was a little Black Girl to get over “it”. Meaning, get over slavery, get over discrimination, get over negative depictions of you and your people which by the way you did not consent to, get over your fathers’, brothers’ and sons’ brutality, get over being overbooked and over looked at the same damn time! Get over being stereotyped and being dismissed. Get over being a member of one of the smartest and industrious ethnicity/gender groups (this is a provable and measurable fact NOT AN OPINION) and yet the most underserved and under protected. By the way if you see one of us mad, maybe some of these issues are attributes to said anger! But we have been made to take the preverbal “L” and be amazing in spite of it all. For the record, we’re definitely doing that but I WILL NOT LET YOU TRICK ME INTO THINKING TO MENTION THESE VIOLATIONS IS SOME CRAZY CONSPIRACY THEORY OR TABOO BECAUSE IT MAKES YOU UNCOMFORTABLE! I say/write all of this with the hopes that it makes you so uncomfortable that you address it and become a part of the solution. I hope that this makes you so mad that you become a REAL ALLY! Be so pissed with me that you work at proving me wrong! DON’T TALK ABOUT IT BE ABOUT IT! And don’t quit after February 28th either!😉

Let the work say “Amen”!

If you’re an artist like I am, you’ve probably spent countless hours perfecting your craft. And you’ve done so, not just because you wanna be great but because you thoroughly enjoy the work. There have been moments of pure creativity. This kinda indescribable sensation where inspiration meets execution and you can’t sleep until the work is complete!

Or how about when the idea starts off one way and then over time evolves into a greater one. Faced with the challenge of trying not to “over do” the concept. Wanting to make the point strong but not so much that the message is missed.

On this “work in progress” Wednesday, as I prepare for the African American Cultural Festival in Raleigh North Carolina, I am emboldened to go hard or stay home! I find myself having to give myself a pep talk in my Bronx dialect, “You doin this or nah?!”

With purpose I’ve used specific shades of brown, not to exclude but to emphasize. With thought and pride, I’ve chosen specific colors not just to be different but to bring focus on those things that have been missing. Wanting to set the stage for a new wave of creative thought void of the diluted versions of who we are!

I gotta let the work speak, because if I say too much, “they” might not like my tone giving them just enough reason to ignore the point! I have to let the work get the conversation going so “they’ won’t call me good things like out spoken and aggressive while making them bad words. If you never hear the sound of my voice or understand the tone of my writing, the work has some words for you. The work has some ideas you’ll wanna explore. The work has some thoughts you might have been thinking, but thought no one would listen. You can’t miss it and you can’t say I was too loud cuz I ain’t even say nothing! I let the work do what it do, because too many people are able to tell you what they’re gonna do and NEVER FOLLOW THROUGH! So what does your work say about you?

Metaphysics is the Original WiFi

This custom design meant so much to me that it touched something in me. It ignited parts of me. It gave me so much pride of the black kind that when I finished her and took a million photos to log the design into my portfolio, I wrote a 3 page letter to the customer about what happened to me while I was creating her! I even used brown ink to hand write it! There is something so real and magical about creating, and you won’t ever know this unique feeling until you actually take a piece of who you are and put it into something else. Metaphysics is the original WiFi!

My only regret is that I didn’t make a copy of the letter, but I was so in the moment and sooooooo entranced by the overwhelming feeling I had when I completed her, I didn’t think I needed to keep the record of that! You can actually read the whole first page of the letter in one of the photos! That is if my handwriting isn’t too “fancy” for your eyes! Just reading the front page put me back in that space. And I am renewed all over by the way being creative in this particular way, is much deeper than the visual aspect. Symbolism has become so diluted, watered down and lazy! It’s been turned into a way of saying something without really meaning anything or having to do any of the work to support the message. This design reminds me of how effective symbolism can be when it’s genuine. There is a real vibe that became a part of this design and when she was shipped and received that vibe was also shipped and received. I had to do her Justice because I know the world has an aversion to this combination of details. They call us “too everything”! Too black, too loud, too ghetto, too proud, too aggressive, too poor, too angry, too arrogant, too ignorant… And my question for all that is, “to who?” To all of those who agree that we’re all of those ‘too’s” I say, “COVER YASELF UP, YOUR INFERIORITY IS SHOWING!” It is something very magical about this design and what she meant and still means to who I am and who we are as a people! And that Pan Africanism vibe, that real Black African pride lives in every stitch of this design. And that visual African Pride vibe is realer than WiFi✊🏾❤️🖤💚

Growth and Development

March 3rd marked the 5th year anniversary of My Kinda Thing and I’ve gotta tell ya…

It has been 5 years of ups and downs, highs and lows and all kinds of things you’ll probably never know. Let me attempt to explain though.

I wanted to be more than a crocheter. I wanted to be more than an artist. I wanted to be more than an educator. I wanted the things I do to be a genuine contribution to growth and development beyond my own. I would have never learned the things I’ve learned had I decided to be just a crocheter, artist or educator. 5 years later I am much much more because with each milestone, big losses and big gains, I’ve maintained my purpose.

When I began “doing my kinda thing” I had no idea how hard it would be. It seemed a really simple thing to do, you know being who you are and what not. I wanted to do what I wanted to do, when I wanted to do it, the way I wanted to do it! Is that crazy? The nerve of me! I didn’t realize how much I’d have to try to explain without words. Two hands, ten fingers, string and a hook became pen and paper, canvas and brush, chalk and blackboard.

I will be attempting to use words to explain doing My Kinda Thing and what I’ve learned doing so. Bare with me as I begin to use the words to further the ideas that have been created through creating crochet dolls and teaching doll making.

“You ought to be excited about your growth and development!

You can’t tell yet but she was smiling because she knew, she knows the intent that went into EVERY DETAIL! From the paint used on her eyes to the placement of her puffs, she was designed WITH LOVE and ON PURPOSE!

Know that the same was done with you, only you had a much more experienced creator!”

Afro Puffs!!!!!

What a journey it has been!!! I started out looking for inspiration to create dolls that resemble all of my favorite girls (my mom, my niece’s, my sisters, my aunties, my cousins, my God daughter, my friends, and my students) and found it was slim pickings in the area of crochet.

This became a huge lesson for me. I learned to create what I want to see! I don’t ever want to wait on someone else to make my vision a reality!

This is only the beginning, and these are just some of my girls! They are a little bit of all the Beautifully Brown women/girls I have the honor of being connected to!







For the Boys!!!!!

I was challenged to create for boys, a hard task for me because I come from a female dominant family. But I think I did alright!
I’ve created these super hero dolls for boys and of course they have that “My Kinda Thing” element!


They are “super cool” if you ask me. I really enjoyed creating them!


All of their capes and masks are removable via buttons because they all have secret identities lol


Absolutely unique and totally “My Kinda Thing”!

Neon Nancy!!!!

I’ve been using lots of neon colors lately. While experimenting with unique color color combinations, I created “Neon Nancy”!


I love the purple touching the neon yellow! I love how bright and exciting the neon yellow is against the calm of the purple, and of course blue always adds an extra dose cool! I think she’s really cute!