Ode to Jazz

Thank you for keeping the fire in so many of us stoked and ready to live an intentionally fun, and badass lifestyle! When modern culture allows us to take influence from anywhere on the planet we can access through the internet, how do you show the care and affection you have for people that seem beyond reach? I pulled up on my bootstraps and reached out to people who have had a positive impact on my life, and my lifestyle choices. One person I have taken notice of, and cowered at the perfection of rainbow-colored positivity that lives within her is Jazz, or as I knew her before this interview @diaryofamadblackvegan. When asked how she would like to be addressed, Jazz responded “It’s me. It’s me all the time. It’s me regardless, so...” In my opinion, this kind of response is the most humble way someone can answer a question like “What do you like to be called?”. It shows the boundless enthusiasm of someone with courage who will go through life, not waiting to be referred to by the right name to have an opinion that is voiced. Quicker and to the point, you can call Jazz she/her when referring to her gender. To begin the interview, I asked whether or not Jazz was transformed into a dancing queen because of veganism, or if she came to this earth that way. She said that she has always danced through life with enthusiasm, but “... being vegan has elevated me to be dancing all the time because it’s just so much fun. I am eating the best food I have had in my life, so my dancing has been a little more frequent.” Something I hope all vegans relate to is the joy of food fueling their life in the cleanest and wholesome way, bringing them an eternal life dance party. I assumed the quality of wholesome vegan food accessibility Jazz has based on the many wonderful vegan creations she is able to produce, and put my privileged west coast lifestyle all out there by asking if she feels that she has any guilt being able to shop at holistic food stores knowing the disparities she is fighting for. Her response was polite as she informed my all assuming white self that she STILL has to work hard to travel for the right to get food with integrity. Jazz explained, “I have to travel from Silverspring Maryland, all the way to Virginia if I want to go to a Whole Foods.” While I left out the questions regarding food quality and why places like Whole Foods are accommodating to a better quality of life, I hope to address the specifics in another interview to share more about why these things are a staple of the vegan lifestyle. The message here is “... right outside of DC, in chocolate city it's being more and more gentrified, so it’s not as chocolate city but it's still a chocolate city to me...”, “... You know we don’t have a Whole Foods in PG county, we don’t have access to all of these different things. There is your Mcdonalds, there’s your Wendy’s, but it’s gotten better.”.This question revealed to me how much I assume about people based on what they are portraying on their internet profiles. Jazz is a beacon of inspiration in not only the food world but also making a difference in bringing awareness to the food disparities between predominantly black neighborhoods vs. the kind of quality that “magically” pops up in white neighborhoods. End the food deserts in black neighborhoods y’all. When asked whether or not she likes to use food delivery services to fulfill shopping needs, Jazz explained how the lack of stimulation via olfactory sensibilities, and in-person shopping experiences are what keeps her from using these delivery services. I relate to this wholeheartedly, as I have used grocery shopping experiences to supplement lust for life for a long time in my food shopping history. I was curious about what kind of influences Jazz uses to personify her visually creative side, as well as her recipe influence. Her out of this world persona is written in the stars, and she is truly projecting the queen she sees herself as out for the rest of the world. (custom-illustrations) Yvette Crocker is someone who made her eyes twinkle when Jazz spoke of her. I looked into it, and my eyes twinkled too. This artist is so undeniably GLAMOROUS. Jazz spoke of being true to herself and her blackness, when other people are doing that well it represents a “black as a genre” to the @diaryofamadblackvegan. I liked it when she said, “..using personal black influence for imagery to expose myself.”. It struck a note in my heart because the time is now for Jazz to be a star in the genre she seeks creation from. Her food inspiration is here and making a difference. “Pinterest is my best friend for an idea.”.( Make it Dairy Free is one place Jazz frequents that she says is AMAZING.  Jazz draws inspiration for her cooking influence mainly from her familial influence on her father's side,“...being a blueprint for Caribbean dishes that I like to veganize.”. Her mother's side has the soul of Black American cooking influence, “My mom being what we like to say .. regular black .. she has soul foods so I can tap into everything I am. Everything I ate growing up, and things like that.”. That is so revolutionary, she is being a beacon of her heritage through her creative influences unashamedly. Badassssss guysss. When I asked if there was a notable shift in feeling like an influential power on the internet she said “I would have to say this year, yeah 2020” “2020 was a really defining year, really understanding what I am, what I am passionate about.”. She said that people really reached out and let her know that she has had an impact on their life. This year Jazz became influential. Her humility, style, and grace is an aspiration of many. To bring a little @nature__slut to the table I decided to ask about what things Jazz likes to incorporate into her period routine. I boldly proclaimed I would like to ask what she does and she said: “You can ask me anything about periods, because I consider myself to be someone that talks about my period all the time.” That is what we are here for fellow between the legs monthly bleeding beings. “I am more of a pad person”, she said before alluding to discomfort at the idea of a diva cup and explaining how she goes for eco-conscious materials in her rags. We gushed about reusable period products and shared a silent appreciation for our earth while the exchange of period product information ensued. Peaaaaple, this was a kind of first for me. I really appreciated how receptive Jazz was to a total admiring stranger to take some of her time. This is one of those times where now we are best friends for life in my mind's eye. I love what @dairyofamadblackvegan is all about, and I can’t wait to try to change the world with this wonderful woman. Thank you Jazz!

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