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I know you all are probably wondering what the heck is going on with SDBUP, but do not fret the site is under construction and will be up and running by 4/14/2014.
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Thank you for your patience and continual support! Stay tuned.
Astu Mengesha – Stay Down Blaze Up
As a child, children would blatantly ask me “what are you?” As a teenager, my peers would joke and say you are my African queen or Nubian princess. As an adult, I find myself tangled up in conversations about whether I am truly African-American, Black enough to be Black, or if I am too American to be African. Growing up in a city where there was a population of 6 Africans, which was my entire family, I never took the time to discuss my identity with anyone but my father. Thankfully my parents were always there to reinforce my Ethiopian-American identity. Being in the DC metropolitan area now, a place full of culture, I now know every first & second generation immigrant experiences this at some point in their life and Nadia Sasso is attacking identity head on.
Beautiful, outspoken, and goal-orientated are all words that come to mind when describing, my new friend, Nadia Marie Sasso. This past week, in the midst of a random snow storm, I was able to sit down with Nadia at one of my favorite spots, Bus Boy and Poets in Arlington. She is the daughter of Sierra Leonean immigrants, a Maryland native, and currently resides in Pennsylvania. Pursuing a master’s degree and completing her thesis at Le High University, Nadia is the definition of versatile. Not only she is student but she is a brand curator, social entrepreneur, and digital storyteller. During our meet-up we laughed, we joked, and bonded over the similarities of our experiences of growing up in America. But for Nadia the topic of identity is not just for laughs but rather for research. As mentioned before Nadia is taking identity development by the horns, in producing a documentary, alongside cinematographer Corey Packer , on the ever so popular question “Am I too African to be American, too American to be African?”
She traces her interest in this topic back to a panel discussion at Bucknell University, where she attended undergrad. The panel consisted of generational immigrants that openly discussed their experiences in the United States. Not only did this panel steer her in the right direction but it gave her insight on a topic that has not been translated into film just yet. Nadia has found a way for her passion to be her thesis project. Her film, which includes in-depth interviews with women from different African backgrounds, will be the first of its kind that can be appreciated by all: academia, cultural enthusiasts, and the general public.
The film will debut this spring and to find out more about her projects or this particular film please visit: http://www.iamnadiamarie.com/. Make sure you subscribe to #SDBUP to find out when screenings in the DC area will occur!
Connect with Nadia Marie
Astu Mengesha – Stay Down Blaze Up
Stay Down Blaze Up attended Zaaf’s Official Launch, this past Sunday, and below is the entire account. Enjoy!
Upscale, classy, and family/friend oriented, Zaaf’s Launch event was beautifully executed. People from all over came to celebrate, Abai Schulze’s up and coming company, and I was super excited to meet the mastermind behind the promising brand. I arrived about an hour into the event along with a couple of my girlfriends and we were immediately greeted with a sweet smile from an enthusiastic hostess. The Barcelona Wine & Bar venue, handpicked by event planner Yodit Geberyes, was an excellent choice as it offered an intimate yet spacious feel. My girls and I checked in and we were immediately thrown into a room filled with laughter, good vibes, good food, and even better looking bags.
Before delving into the mix of the event, I caught of up with the woman of the hour and here is what she had to say.
After speaking with Abai, I connected with an attendee and the male perspective is always appreciated, in this next clip Alan Yeboah tells us his connection with Zaaf and his go to piece.
Zaaf, as Abai previously mentioned, is a brand rooted in the Ethiopian culture. Not only are the pieces stylish and practical but every item created allows for economic development in favor of the developing country. Zaaf, is also a brand that transcends all ethnic backgrounds and is a brand to be embraced by the international community. All in all, the line has an extremely bright future ahead of it and we are so honored to have captured some of its’ early moves.