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black. liberated. motivated. The Toni Mitchell story.

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“The darker the berry, the sweeter the juice.”  Popular culture has adopted this adage as a celebratory affirmation for Black girls with skin like mine. My familial roots trace back to Haiti and the Congo but my journey begins in Verona, a predominately white town in northern New Jersey approximately 20 miles south of NYC. The sixth of eight children, I was raised along with my seven brothers and sisters in a loving family governed by two Black matriarch queens—my mother and grandmother. One of only a few Black families, as you can imagine, my family and I stood out. My personal experiences of assimilation, racism, and colorism were heavy loads for any child to bear.  For me, the traumatization these experiences caused, created a space wherein I resented the most beautiful parts of my identity—being Haitian, being Black, and being dark-skinned. 

I cannot pinpoint the exact moment I unapologetically walked into and pridefully owned my power and beauty as a Black woman. My self-acceptance happened gradually, but the sense of empowerment that has come with this type of self-love has been liberating and life-changing. I do know that it was a journey to achieve self-love and motherhood sped up that process.  As a single Black mother of two bi-racial, but very Black young girls, I want my children, to always embrace and celebrate their Black roots and heritage.  

Additionally, my career in law enforcement has also inspired me to tap into my voice and power as a Black woman. I am currently the first and only Black female police officer in a town whose history of racism and privilege is older than America itself. Despite my personal experiences with police harassment and profiling, I am determined to help fix the institution of policing from the inside out.

The murder of George Floyd has impacted me tremendously on several different levels. Though I have always been proud to be an upstander and social justice warrior, Mr. Floyd’s murder motivated me to speak louder and fight harder. George Floyd’s murder has forced the world to open its eyes to systematic racism and the everyday pain and struggles that Black men, women, and children encounter simply because we are Black. This racism is prevalent in every aspect of our society—our schools, our healthcare system, our financial institutions, our housing market, etc.

I am a proud, liberated, Black woman and my ambition and desire for BLM Brew Co. is to bring awareness to racism and break down social and economic barriers that exist for people of color. Our coffee brand will encourage a culture of diversity, inclusiveness and equality. BLM Brew Co. will produce a quality great tasting premium coffee with flavors that reflect the richness and history of Black culture. Join the BLM Brew Co. tribe and proceeds from our sales will provide resources to support programs that address disparities in communities of color.