JoyZ by Joy Zarembka, VP of Planning and Innovation

Busboys and Poets is built, in part, on the premise of being a place where, “arts, politics and culture intentionally collide.” So there is no better place for Candice Taylor’s Crown Act Mural to be displayed than on the side of a wall of Busboys and Poets in Anacostia. The 2019 Crown Act was created to end hair discrimination in the workplace and public schools. While it seems unbelievable that such a law even needs to exist, so far, only 13 states have passed the law to ensure statutory protection to hair texture and styles such as braids, locs, twists, knots, etc.

The beautiful, black women in the mural will be holding up a side of Busboys, a company built, in large part, by beautiful, black women who serve at every level. Your hair does not affect your ability to do your job or learn in school. Yet the policing of black bodies, hairstyles, and minds is a distracting preoccupation in many workplaces and schools throughout the US and throughout history.I interview a lot of people and, in that first interview, I say that Busboys wants everyone to bring their full, authentic self to work. I don’t care for tattoos, for example, but if you have them, flaunt them. We want our employees to bring their style, but within limits. If you belong to a nudist colony, we don’t want you to bring your full, full self, for instance. Anyway, after individuals are hired, there is often a complete transformation once they start working, especially with black women. Hairstyles that are often considered necessary to secure a job fade away and are replaced by a free, natural, and relaxed expression of self.

Additionally, I don’t think we should underestimate the power of murals. For the last 6 years, my daughter and I passed a mural on the side of a hair salon in the heart of DC on our way to her elementary school. We made it a daily ritual to greet the black woman in the mural. For me, it was important that she reflect – if just for a moment – on a larger-than-life image of herself every day to start her morning. That faded mural is slowly being erased by graffiti and gentrification so this Crown Art Mural is needed now more than ever so young, black girls can see positive images of themselves and their hair each and every day.

I work at Busboys and Poets so that my children can see themselves on the walls inside of Busboys but now, through this amazing mural, they can see themselves on the outside as well. And through this mural unveiling, young, magical and free black girls know they can become artists, mayors, PR creatives, or VPs of companies, valuing both what is in our heads and what is on our heads.


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A Reflective Minute: The Crown Act Mural Unveiling in Anacostia

Busboys and Poets is built, in part, on the premise of being a place where, “arts, politics and culture intentionally collide.” So there is no better place for Candice Taylor’s Crown Act Mural to be displayed than on the side of a wall of Busboys and Poets in Anacostia. The 2019 Crown Act was created … Continued

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Busboys and Poets – Baltimore

You may have noticed the new mural being installed on the windows of the new Busboys and Poets location Charles Village – 3224 St Paul Street Baltimore, MD This mural is titled: The Busboy and the Poet by Mia Duvall The name Busboys and Poets refers to American poet Langston Hughes, who worked as a … Continued

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Everest Base Camp #20

FINAL POSTING FOR EVEREST BASE CAMP TRAVEL LOG. Thank you for staying with me and for your beautiful comments. Hope to see at least some of you soon. Why I am here. It is 7:15 am. Our flight out of Lukla is at 8. I savor a yak cheese omelette and my last Himalayan coffee. … Continued

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The Nepal Chronicles #1

March 2, 2021… For the next couple of weeks I will be blogging on Facebook about a trip that I have been planning the day I turned 65, which was about a year ago. I am heading to Everest Base Camp and hoping to celebrate my 66th there. I got the all clear from my … Continued

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Community Resources for COVID-19

Here are some resources that you may be able to take advantage of: Find COVID-19 vaccine locations near you Back To School After Lockdown – Tips From An NHS Psychologist One Fair Wage – Emergency Funding for Tipped Employees/Service WorkersRWCF- Restaurant Workers COVID-19 Crisis Relief Fund USBG- COVID-19 Relief Grants for Bartenders Restaurant Opportunities Centers- United … Continued

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Busboys and Poets Book Review: Set the World on Fire

In this substantial entry into the history of Black radical politics, Keisha N. Blain uncovers the legion of Black women that made waves in the growing Black nationalist and Garveyite movements of the early Twentieth Century. Black nationalism, which promotes the establishment of a Black nation state as the answer to racial oppression, first gained … Continued

Busboys and Poets Books Review: My Guantanamo Diary

Busboys and Poets Books Review: My Guantanamo Diary

Have you set a goal or a resolution for the New Year? As I’m reading My Guantanamo Diary (PublicAffairs $14.99), by Mahvish Rukhsana Khan for an upcoming literary club with a dramatic twist (details to follow), I’d like to encourage you to consider participation in the arts as a worthy goal for 2018. Artists, writers … Continued

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Everest Base Camp #16

Holy tea on top of the mountain I am awake and somewhat refreshed and ready to take on today’s challenge. Big climbs don’t stress me out. Not anymore. I have a new menace. Lack of oxygen. Today this menace will be tested. On the way to Dengboche. At 14,500 feet. I am sitting with Dawa … Continued