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Many of my post may be filled with typos, ignorant statements, untruths, bad English, & anything else that may make me appear to be uneducated. Please note: all of these things combined make my Blog the perfect one, because you know I have issues & I am not ashamed. With this said; enjoy, fuck mistakes & read between the lines!

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Archive for the 'Black Love' Category

Love Observations In Black & White

Author: Tafari, Wednesday, September 25th, 2013 at 11:10 AM

Bygbaby.com Mindspill

Sometimes you can just simply feel the love and passion coming from people.

People with a colossal love that seems so beautiful, soulful, and groovy.

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Black Spirits: Daniel & Mary

Author: Tafari, Monday, August 20th, 2012 at 9:31 PM

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During my recent trip home, I “discovered” a super old & awesome photo of my grandparents, Daniel & Mary Lee Howard.

Daniel and Mary were married in the 1940s and had 11 children, two more than my maternal grandparents Edward & Essie Mae Stevenson.

I just can’t imagine having that many children but that was the way it was way back when.

I don’t remember much of my grandfather but I can tell you that he is the person that got me hooked on salt and vinegar potato chips and he is the reason why I never wanted to get my ear pieced. I can still hear him talking about my cousin Red Bone’s piercing. It wasn’t pretty.

On the flip side, I spent a lot of time with my grandmother. She was everything! When I think of her to this day I can hear her voice and how she would say my name.

I still miss her fried chicken. Ain’t nobody on this planet that can fry a chicken like Mary Howard!


Groove Is In The Heart

Author: Tafari, Sunday, February 5th, 2012 at 2:46 PM

This is one reason why I love NYC… I mean, where else in the world can you assemble a mass amount of people for the purpose of song, dance & soul???

And to be fair, Everbody knows….. that I came up with the idea for a Flash Mob last Wednesday:

“I’m calling for all of my fellow Americans to join in a flash mob Soul Train Line to celebrate Black History Month & the life of Don Cornelius… Meet me on MLK Blvd.” ~ Tafari Stevenson-Howard


Reimagined…

Author: Tafari, Saturday, January 28th, 2012 at 12:28 AM

Bygbaby.com Mindspill

Had an intense week and the weekend is going to be even more so. My first big project for the semester is Due monday & I will be crunching on that until the crack of dawn Monday morning.

Also trying Vinyasa yoga tomorrow with Cousin Dee. This should be interesting to say the least.

And as the last few days leading up to my NYC trip, I am feeling anxious & nervous about being able to hang on to it all.

I must. I have to if the rest of my life is to be reimagined as I wish.

I will be better. I will be stronger. I’m a survivor.


Secret Spell

Author: Tafari, Monday, November 15th, 2010 at 1:38 PM

Bygbaby.com Mindspill

Voodoo, Hoodoo, Black Magic, Obeah or Ms. Celie’s Curse. Don’t make me throw this on you.

I got potions, lotions, loaded thoughts, bones, bits and pieces & a few herbs.

I can be a witch doctor, a conjure man or a mofo you really just don’t want to deal with.

My great grandmother told me a secret.

We called her Ymoja. They called her Gal.

She was Black. Real Black! Black hands, black eyes, black tongue, black everything!

This secret is at least 110 years old & it protects my African soul.

It is both bad and good, just depends on the view.

When I watched her die, I was 9.

I saw this secret lift off of her body like a thin wisp smoke.

It was: Strange. Scary. Confusing. Comforting.

I think about her often. I think about the secret more.

If I make it, no when I make it to the phase of my life, I will share this secret with my oldest great grandchild knowing that I will slip into an unknown future.

Voodoo, Hoodoo, Black Magic, Obeah or Ms. Celie’s Curse. Don’t make me throw this on you.


Black Love Rememories

Author: Tafari, Friday, October 15th, 2010 at 3:30 PM

Bygbaby.com Mindspill

The other night I bumped into blues singer Thornetta Davis in Ann Arbor.  When I walked into the room, she was on stage performing but when she saw me, she gave me a quick shout out. I got all excited. You know I get excited a lot….

I fell in love with Thornetta about a good 5 years or so ago after seeing her perform somewhere in Detroit.  I’ll admit, I’m not the biggest blues fan but something about Thornetta’s music is magnetic.

Rewind back to August 2008 – I’m at the Detroit African World Festival with Olivia; we are just walking around taking photos and people watching. Somewhere along the way, I learned that there was going to be a public wedding on the main stage. Soon thereafter Olivia and I made our way there to see what it was all about.

Once we were in the staging area, I discovered that Thornetta was actually getting married to her long time partner James Anderson. This was totally exciting.

Before the ceremony kicked off, there were African drummers drumming, African dancers dancing, Kem singing, Khary Kimani Turner of Black Bottom Collective rapping. It was an amazing showing.

After some of the excitement died down, the wedding ceremony began with a colorful & lively precession of flag bearers and brides maids. Then….. Out comes the lady Thornetta Davis and the audience of hundreds of people literally went wild. It sounded like amplified thunder.

And while all of this was going on, I was armed and shooting like I was hired. I mean, I really slipped into the zone throughout the wedding. It was crazy. I guess I was just moved by the aura of abundant love in the air.

I even stayed after the ceremony to get photos during the private reception.

A few days after all of this, I put a few photos on Flickr & forwarded a link to some mutual friends of Thornetta’s and mine in hopes to connect with Thornetta herself. Not even a day later, I got a call from Thornetta thanking me for the photos.

She told me that the photos that she got from me were better than the ones she got from her hired photographer. I then offered to send her all of the photos as a wedding gift.

Bygbaby.com Mindspill

I have witnessed how people are affected by Thornetta so this was truly my pleasure.

Interestingly enough, a few months after putting the photos on Flickr, I was contacted by Reader’s Digest Canada who wanted to use the photo above for a story on the usage of brooms throughout the world.  This would be my 1st stock photo transaction.

Now back to the other day… So after Thornetta’s set, including James, we got a quick chance to catch up. They again thanked me for the photos and James mentioned that I was the only photographer there that was able to get a photo of them jumping the broom.  In my mind, I thought wow, so this really was a money shot in more ways than one.

Until yesterday, the story of their wedding was a distant fond memory but after looking at the photos again last night, I was transported back to those moments and I heard the music, saw the dancing & felt the drum beats. It was a perfect day.

– True Story, Thornetta & James had less than one month to pull the wedding together & nothing was confirmed (cake, dress etc) when this opportunity was made available to them.


Shooting Seniors: Breya Boggs

Author: Tafari, Sunday, May 23rd, 2010 at 11:40 PM

Bygbaby.com Mindspill

Here’s a quick snapshot from a senior portrait session that I held this weekend out & about downtown Detroit with Breya Bogs.

Breya is currently a graduating senior from Detroit’s Crockett high school & she will be a freshman this fall at Eastern Michigan University.

My session with Breya ended much more smoothly than my last senior portrait session. Namely it ended well because I didn’t drop any lenses & my car was not vandalized.

I also must say that I returned to my car nervously hoping that nothing happened to it. As we all know, It’s so cold in the D!

Here’s to more drama free photo shoots downtown in the COLD COLD D.

Looking to next weekend; I’m photographing the wedding of Jonathan Edwards & Erica deBardeleben Saturday then I’m chilling for a couple days and looking for some Memorial Day BBQ.

BTW, you can see a few more outtakes from Breya’s shoot here.


Black Magic

Author: Tafari, Tuesday, April 27th, 2010 at 7:56 PM

Bygbaby.com Mindspill

Black Magic: Her Hands
Black Magic: Her Smile
Black Magic: Her Skin
Black Magic: Her Being
Black Magic: Her Promise
Black Magic: Her Love

Art Credits:
2010 Tafari Stevenson-Howard
Muse: Tamara Rasberry


It’s A Boy

Author: Tafari, Saturday, April 10th, 2010 at 11:11 PM

Bygbaby.com Mindspill

Today I covered a baby shower for Tremaine & Londone Moulds. The shower was quite large, filled with a lot of love, laughs & GREAT cake! Londone is expected to deliver in June 8th but baby boy Trenton Moulds gives me the impression that he may not wait that long.

Can’t wait to meet the little fellow when Londone returns back to Detroit later this summer.

See a few more out takes from today here.


On Coming From a Broken Home

Author: Tafari, Wednesday, March 31st, 2010 at 1:21 PM

Bygbaby.com Mindspill

“…I came from what they call a broken home but if they ever really called it a house, they would have known how wrong they were.

We were working on our lives and our homes dealing with what we had not what we didn’t have.

My Life has been guided by women, but because of them, I am a man.

God bless you momma.” ~ 2010 Gil Scott-Heron


My Baby Boo

Author: Tafari, Thursday, March 18th, 2010 at 5:30 PM

Bygbaby.com Mindspill

Right now, she’s my baby.

Tomorrow, she’s my baby.

Forever she is mine to care for, love, nurture & hold.

I value her playfulness, inquisitiveness & yes sometimes her wild child craziness.

She is my daughter.

A perfect being in my eye.

The spitting images of love between my wife and I.

What more can a man want but more.


Poetry From The Diaspora: Jibaro My Pretty Nigger

Author: Tafari, Thursday, February 18th, 2010 at 6:30 PM

Bygbaby.com MindspillJíbaro, mi negro lindo
De los bosques de caña
Caciques de luz
Tiempo es una cosa cómica.

Jíbaro, my pretty nigga.
Father of my yearning for the soil,
The land,
The earth of my people.

Father of the sweet smells of fruit in my mother’s womb,
the earth brown of my skin,
the thoughts of freedom that butterfly through my insides.

Jíbaro, my pretty nigga.
Sweating bullets of blood and bedbugs,
Swaying slowly to the softly strummed stains of a five string guitar
Remembering ancient empires
Of sun gods and black spirits and things that were once
So simple.

How times have changed Man.
how Man has changed time.
“Unnatural,” screams the wind.
“Unnatural.”

Jíbaro, my pretty nigga man.
Fish smells and cane smells and
Fish smells and cane smells and
Tobacco
And oppression makes even God smell foul.

As foul as the bowels of the ship
That vomited you up on the harbors of a cold metal city to die.
No sun, no sand, no palm trees

And you clung,
Yes, you clung to the slimy ribs of an animal
Called the Marine Tiger,
In the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost Amen.

Jíbaro, did you know you my nigga?
I love the curve of your brow,
The slant of your baby’s eyes
The calves of your woman dancing;
I dig you!

You can’t hide.
I ride with you on subways.
I touch shoulders with you in dances.
I make crazy love to your daughter.
yea, you my cold nigga man.
And I love you ’cause you’re mine.

And I’ll never let you go.
And I’ll never let you go.
(You mine, nigga!)
And I’ll never let you go.
Forget about self.
We’re together now.
And I’ll never let you go!
Uh’uh
Never, Nigga.

Art Credits:
Poem: “Jibaro My Pretty Nigger” by Felipe Luciano
Image: “Obama” by Andrew Bannecker