Guided by Nature: Healthy Chocolate Milk is a living exhibit envisioned by Briana Simmons, a radical visionary, full spectrum life cycle facilitator and the Black Women’s Health, Healing & Joy Coordinator at Soul 2 Soul Sisters. Curated by Sacred Seeds Black Birthworker Collective, Guided by Nature, Healthy Chocolate Milk aims to counter stigma, increase representation of Black lactation, and emphasize the normalcy of breastfeeding in the everyday lives of Black birthing people. A core component of the work of Sacred Seeds Black Birthworker Collective of Colorado is to help increase Black breastfeeding rates through education, advocacy, and representation. This exhibit is a homage to the sacredness of the full spectrum of the Black breastfeeding experience – the questions, fears, joys, stress, celebration, peace, health and wellness for a birthing person and their baby while highlighting how the lactation journey fits within the everyday lives of Black Mamas.
In honor of Black Breastfeeding Week, a week celebrating Black lactation, we honor Black Women and Black birthing people wherever they are in their lactation journey. Archiving their stories is critical to writing HERStory.
We extend deep gratitude to the McBoat Photography team for beautifully capturing the photos. We are forever grateful to Soul 2 Soul Sisters' Communications Coordinator, Niyankor Ajuaj, for her giftedness, expertise and intention in piecing together the interviews. We give thanks to Shelby Irvin, birthworker, midwifery student, and mama for her contributions to this project. And absolutely we extend immense gratitude to the mamas and babies who participated in the creation of this exhibit – thank you for sharing your precious time, energy, and sacred stories with us!
Please click on the images below to listen to the interviews and see more images.