Black Rest ThoughtPathways

Artist

Black Dream Escape

Date

2020

Location

Video

Commissioning Organization

Office of Public Art

About the Project

Black Dream Escape is a collaboration between Onika Reigns and Windafire that centers Black and Indigenous rest as a primary component of holistic and mental health. Their project, Black Rest ThoughtPathways, is an online video series dedicated to Black and Indigenous rest practices. Each 30-40-minute session was uploaded to YouTube every Wednesday over the course of June 2020.

The sessions consist of reflections and guided imagery prompts based on Black and Indigenous rest concepts and begin and end with an original lullaby. The videos, which feature Reigns and Windafire as well as invited guests, include meditations, reflections, and music and follow the practices of their in-person community rest services. This series builds upon Black Dream Escape’s “Covid Care Series,” which they launched when the quarantine began.

Online Resources

Videos

Explore the entire Black Rest ThoughtPathways series on the Black Dream Escape YouTube channel.

Website

Learn more about Black Dream Escape or book a session with one of their rest doulas.

About the Artists

Black Dream Escape is curated by rest doulas Onika Reigns and Windafire.

Onika Reigns is a musician, songwriter, licensed, historically poor Black, Native Queer therapist, with a Horticulture diploma, concentrating in healing gardens. She identified the need for Black Dream Escape as a labor and prison abolition activist, organizing in support of basic human rights and connecting those rights to quality of sleep. Her clinical social work has focused on how trauma affects marginalized communities, recognizing that therapy models are not culturally relevant and that oppression has left people mentally exhausted. As a rest doula, Onika has educated many communities, organizations, and individuals on the importance of Black and Indigenous rest and sleep.

Windafire is a Caribbean, Black Latine, Queer, Gender-Unified individual who inhabits a Y Chromosome body. As a healing artist with multiple initiations in African based faiths, he uses his art and music for health and healing. He views his role in the movements for social justice as a model and instructor for wellness, boundaries, and commitment to personal joy. Windafire has done an intensive study of medicinal plants and foraging and makes his own salves, lotions, tinctures and sprays which he has made available to activists.

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Video

Join Onika in reflecting on the past month of BlackRest ThoughtPathways.

“This is a restless and frightening time for not only the world at large, but especially Black and Brown communities who are being disproportionately affected by all of the consequences of the pandemic.... It is imperative that we supply our communities with opportunities to decrease stress creatively.”

Onika Reigns

Image credits

Gallery, top:
(1) Artwork courtesy artists; (2) Artists Windafire and Onika Reigns, photo courtesy artists; (3,4,5) Artwork courtesy artists

Related

PROJECTS

Songs From the Stone Hoop

This CD of original ceremonial music composed by artist, musician, and spiritual leader Miguel Sagué Jr. of the Taíno tribe serves as the foundation for sacred Indigenous ceremonies worldwide.

PROJECTS

Dear Mama

Through the intimate act of letter writing between Black mothers across the United States, this project by Jessica Gaynelle Moss celebrates Black motherhood, nurtures connection, and encourages rest and self care.