Building a Better World with Alkebuluan Merriweather

Her name is Alkebuluan Merriweather (AL-KE-BU-LAN). It means land to the black people. She is a 23 year old fiery Aries, who was born April 12th. She's goes by she/her. Her favorite color is orange and she's a Chicago Native. Here's her story.

"What is it that you do?" Alkebuluan response: "I am a multidisciplinary artist who works with digital and analog photography, collage, and archival materials. I'm also, a independent curator, researcher, and self published author. I am the founder of Black Matriarch Archive. The Black Matriarch Archive seeks to create an ongoing record commemorating the Black matriarchs of the african diaspora."

"What inspired you to pursue it?" Alkebuluan response: "I was inspired to pursue art by a family member. They introduced me to painting and drawing as a young child and I took a liking to the craft. Overtime I've learned to make art as a part of self care while also uplifting my community through my archival practice."

"What experiences in life made you stronger?" Alkebuluan response: "Some experiences that made me stronger in life are being a caregiver to a sibling with disabilities, losing my job during a pandemic, and facing microaggressions within society and the workplace. I've assisted my parents with caregiving for younger sibling from a very young age. Losing my job due to Covid-19 was a challenge and securing part time was even a bigger struggle that myself and many others have had to face. As a self taught, I attempt to uplift the Black community through archival narratives."

"If you could change one thing about the world what it be and why?" Alkebuluan response: "If I could change one thing about the world it would be how society perceives and further alienates the disabled community. I believe the first step into disability reformative justice is allowing members of that community to be able to integrate within society without barriers that are constantly holding them back within the workplace, medical care, education, and prison industrial complex (40% of inmates have reported a disability while serving time)."

"What does a life well lived look like to you?" Alkebuluan response: "I believe a well-lived life looks like allocating resources to BIPOC and LGBTQIA communities, uplifting those that are often silenced, and more importantly putting one's self care first."

Lastly, "What is it like to be you?" Alkebuluan response: "To be Alkebuluan means a lot of things: It means constantly having people ask if I have a nickname while never learning the meaning or pronunciation of my name, it means moving through the world as someone who was diagnosed mental illness, it means constantly making art for self care, it means moving through the world as Bald Femme, it means living my life as someone who resonates with Black Radicalism and Punk Culture. Lastly, it means putting up a shield because society is not kind to black women and black folk in general."

Thank you so much Alkebuluan! You are a huge supporter. I appreciate you for taking the time to Build A Better World!

- If you're interested in building a better world. Please email- be sure to include your instagram.

I want to build a community that allows everyone to feel free to be who they are and love who they are period. You can be whoever you want to be. Welcome to freedom! We are non-judgemental. We love you and we want you to love you! As always thank you for your time. Stay Beautiful

Photo Creds to Samantha Cabrera