Elle Magazine / Tyler Joe

ActivismArtHealthRace

Brooklyn healing collective Harriet’s Apothecary cures communities of color with ancient remedies

July 28, 2017

Amidst the dozens of self-care fads blasting across social media comes the real thing: Brooklyn-based healing collective Harriet’s Apothecary, recently featured in Elle.

Moving past the bounds of stereotype and expectation, the medicine that trans, queer, & cis women work to concoct is the antidote to oppression. They use ancient tradition and earth-based remedies to nurture spirits in the most natural way possible, providing an enriching sanctuary for people of color. These black, brown and indigenous women reshape the definition of health while honoring those who laid the path to it.

Founded by Nigerian-born shaman/artist Adaku Utah who–inspired by Harriet Tubman’s dedication to black liberation–dedicates her practice to ancestors past, the collective (including fellow healers Natalie Sablon, Selome Araya, + Taja Lindley) combats internalized trauma and its coinciding ailments from the ground up.

Offering various therapies such as counseling, oil therapy, Reiki, bodywork, sound healing, massage, guided meditation, and justice workshops, the collective works on sliding-scale, making the journey to wellness accessible to all. 

Spaces like these are so essential, yet under-recognized. In Utah’s own words from a recent interview with Elle Magazine:

“My healing starts with the recognition that I have pain and recognizing that my pain is sourced from either anti-Black racism, generational trauma or […] the way that I’ve been socially constructed to treat my body.”

Living in such a fast-paced society, one rarely stops to truly asses their well-being–nor are they encouraged to. The healers of Harriet’s Apothecary take it a step further, and while finding the tie between spirituality, activism, and self-care they succeed in mending not just the individual, but their relationship to society as well.

This is more than a collective, it is a haven. As one allows their body to receive Harriet’s artistry, their psyche is cleansed and their questions are answered.

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