As I sat waiting for her arrival, I smiled in anticipation, sifting through the ZenCha menu, making sure I had everything that I wanted to ask, prepared. Jami is a remarkable figure who’s words, I knew, would resonate. She is the type of person who grabs hold of you with her speech and squeezes you tightly in an embrace. In kind, I was not shy in welcoming her with my own embrace upon her arrival. Our bubbling laughter intertwined as we sipped on tea as she discussed life with me.
Check out my interview with the queen, below.
Tell me a little about yourself
My name is Queen Jami, I’m 21 years young from east side Columbus, Ohio.
I do a lot, but not enough at the same time. (lol) I work with Spit N’ Sketch Live, LLC as the Executive Assistant and Social Media Manager. Spit N’ Sketch Live is a public relations company and an artistic revolution as I like to call it.I’m so thankful for this job because I was consistently accepting jobs that I hated then quit weeks later. I got in contact with the owner/visionary, Tomiqua Perry, via Facebook. She posted that she needed an assistant, my mom tagged me in the post, and I was like “aye what’s up”–The rest was history.
I’m also a cupcakes master; started my own cupcake business called Little Ol’ Cupcakes while in high school. I used to make birthday cakes, cupcakes, and cookies for my friends and they were the bomb. So I was decided to make some money off of it. I kind of fell off after high school, but started my business again focusing mainly on cupcakes. I love making cupcakes, I love the way my cupcakes taste, and I love how my cupcakes make people feel.
I’m a writer, I’ve always been a writer. As a child, I loved writing plays and poems. A little over a year ago, my friend Djiby Sall gave me the opportunity to use his organization’s website, Africana Youth Representatives, to record my knowledge and experiences in a blog. I gathered information and created a database of Black-owned businesses in Ohio, gave book suggestions, shared natural health remedies/tips, and gave Black history lessons. I kind of took a break, but I’m getting back in the swing of things once I master balance (lol).
This year, I started a channel on YouTube entitled Queen Jami’s Journey. I’ve been documenting my evolution in hopes of connecting with an audience that can share my experiences, watch me flourish, and blossom within their own right. I’m also studying Entrepreneurship at Columbus State, in hopes of becoming a business consultant. I want to help people identify their passions and surround them with resources to create monetary value.
What inspired you to pursue all of the dope stuff you are doing now?
What inspired me to pursue this field is the meaning of my name. In Arabic, Jami or “Jaami” means the “Orderer” and the “Gatherer.” Deep down, I always knew that whatever I would end up doing, I have to be a leader. Leader of my own body, soul, mind, and also, as a leader of the people. Not out of arrogance, because there can be more than one leader.
I just knew that I wanted to help uplift the state of the Black community and all people who felt the unjust struggles of America.
Why do you think your work and vision is so important to your community?
This work is very important to me and the community because I want to uplift the people who are forgotten about, give a voice to the voiceless, and share a platform for others to stand on. Us black people deserve better standards–we deserve better for ourselves. We deserve to be mentally fit. We deserve to have our spirit in line with any creator that we believe in.
“We are spreading awareness by social media and the arts and that’s okay because I feel like that’s how the revolution will come, through the arts. The artistic revolution”.
I also believe that we deserve to have monetary value. For example, I want to be a business consultant so I can help people find their passions or identify them and then surround them with resources so they can get money from it. I just think we deserve to know our worth and our value. I want to focus more so on my community, the black community, first because we have been neglected like we neglect ourselves, and we have been neglected in society, but also, I know once we are okay, we can branch off and help other communities.
If we are really working for ourselves and our communities, it will be better, but without the love and the trust, we wont be able to build up in the community. We deserve better as people, and we should want better for ourselves and the next generation and for the old generation too even though they look down on us sometimes, but it’s like “we are still fighting for y’all too.”
What is one piece of advice you would give to young women of color pursuing their dreams?
Never stop creating. Whatever your strength is, keep working at it no matter what. For example, I have writer’s block ALL THE TIME. But I am keeping my word to myself by writing every day even if it sucks (lol). Also keep learning and use your time wisely. Being on the internet can be captivating, but what you do on the internet is what matters. Research, read articles, and watch videos like TED Talks; do whatever you have to do to keep learning, keep evolving, keep flourishing. Lastly…Eliminate. Levitate. Illuminate. Eliminate negativity, people around you who aren’t uplifting you or guiding you in the right direction, unhealthy foods, unhealthy habits, and negative thoughts about yourself.
From there, you will levitate. Word to Kendrick. Rise above your old mindset, body, environments, and other factors . Once you reach a certain altitude in thinking, Illuminate. Be the Light. Shine bright without worrying about anyone else’s light because we can all shine together. There’s more than one star in the sky. Lastly, do everything out of love. Complete, whole, unapologetic LOVE. Instead of letting the ego get in our way by saying “oh that’s enough love” or “they’re not giving me love, so I won’t show it either,” gather love from the Divine Source and see how the world will open up to you.
How do you stay grounded in your efforts or how do you keep going strong rather?
Man…it’s hard how here. But I stay grounded by surrounding myself with family, writing, and praying. I love being around my immediate family because they’re so fun. My mom is the most bubbly, positive, and inspiring person that I know. She’s so strong but yet so sweet. My siblings, Najee and Yasmeen, keep me young. We’re always dancing, laughing, sharing ideas, and learning together. My dad is so tough and very intelligent. As a family, we’re always sharing ideas, comparing experiences, and studying. I love them so much. I do everything I do for them. So my siblings can have a better world than this one right now and so my parents can eventually stop working. I also continue to create because the revolution will come through the art. Moreover, I surround myself with other creatives/intellectuals who are aware, who I can confide in, who can I can laugh with, everything.
What are some of the most difficult obstacles you’ve faced in your work?
I had a tough time growing up, especially in middle school, dealing with insecurities, bullies, and my own self doubt. For a while, I didn’t know who I was, who I wanted to be, or where I fit in. Unfortunately, I didn’t know the power that I had within. I felt so lonely and wanted it all to end.
Honestly, I tried to commit suicide twice IN MIDDLE SCHOOL. I was still a baby. But, I felt so hopeless. Seeing all of the destruction in the world, feeling the pain of others, dealing with my own pain, and pushing away the people who loved me most; it was a lot to deal with. BUT I MADE IT!
By the grace of God, all praise is due to God, I made it! I don’t really know how; I guess me diving into my writing, not wanting to be mean to my loved ones anymore, I don’t know. But I am so thankful. I haven’t tried to kill myself any more and I never will.
“God has me on this Earth for a reason. He saved me for a reason”.
What the most rewarding part of what you do?
The most rewarding part of all of this, everything I’ve been through, going through, and overcoming is seeing the beautiful faces of such diverse people every day. I love talking to new people. I love hearing their stories and their strengths. I love connecting people and thinking of ways to put people in better positions. It feels good to know that I have so much more work to do, and there’s so much within me that people haven’t seen yet. I love seeing people happy, creating, and loving each other. I just want that for everybody. I don’t know if that seems unrealistic. Matter of fact, I don’t even care. I just want the best for the people!
What’s next for you?
I’m planning some major events for The City, with the help of Spit N Sketch Live. More details will come soon as they are finalized. I’ll continue vlogging and blogging. I’ll never stop creating. And, this is a FlyPaper exclusive because I’ve only told my mom and my producer (lol), but I will be coming out with an EP of poetry and such very soon. Like within the next few months soon, God willingly. So be on the lookout for that!
According to Webster’s dictionary, queen is defined as “the female ruler of an independent state, especially one who inherits the position by right of birth.” She is the ruler of her world. A free spirited regal woman of power and light. A beautiful Queen that I had the pleasure of sitting across from and sharing dialogue with.
Queen Jami, you are appreciated.
Personal Facebook: Jami Michelle
Facebook page: Little Ol’ Cupcakes