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Red Roses In Water

February '23 Edition

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    Today's Real Human BEING Extraordinary

Happy Famuary!

We at declare this month of honouring those who walked before us, a time to celebrate those who walk along side us (whether we wish they would or not), those we call family.

We particularly speak to the population of us estranged from or with zero knowledge about direct blood connections. We want to remind us all that in the end, family comes down to each and every one of us - regardless of how distantly connected, we are connected by blood.


Understanding the reality of this scientific actuality validates connections instantly made with "strangers," those people who get us or seem to know us better than those directly linked to us. Understanding that we are all family, is appreciating the nuances shared with distant relatives - even when we have only recently met - even if we never knew they existed.  


Our ancestors were cousins descended  from One Mother.

The connection between us is unequivocal.

Falling for falsehoods claiming otherwise, desperately determined to segregate and isolate us from one another, is buying into a construct that has destroyed far too many lives.


It is time to end false constructs derived from ignorance, arrogance, or hate.


This month, let's take the time to re-educate ourselves with the FULL story that is ours.


Family may be a loaded word - but, for this month, let's load family with education, understanding, admiration (even if it is grudging), and respect...Note, as much as we believe it beneficial, we don't even suggest "loving," anyone. We simply encourage a wider view, taking a different perspective from what you (believe you) know, and striving for empathy.


Who knows, maybe once this task is accomplished, feeling a little love might be a just reward!

Have a Person YOU want to Share?

 Mother Daughter Duo

Dubbed The Darlings of NYFW '22, we love this luxury lifestyle design team, and were thrilled to see them sharing their edgy, elegant, style combination again this year -their 4th NYFW season!


We admire these Darlings for their obvious respect for each other as well as their mutual pride and support for each other.  Watching them is, indeed, a celebration of the mother daughter relationship.

Merging their aesthetics, once mother, Cynthia Burt, decides on prints and daughter, Najla Burt, creates the silhouettes, these women take inspiration from their hometown, sunny, vacation spot Florida. If their bold approach is not impressive, enough, they truly impress us with the wonderful line of models that span age, size, and ethnicity. Speaking of models, if you are from the New York area and are a size 4 to 16, Dur Doux is calling for models. If you ever wanted to walk a run way, this may be your chance! Check this out.

Feminine, strong, powerful individuals who want to stand out, Dur Doux is definitely for you. Just ask Tyra Banks and Keke Palme - to name two stylish celebrities!


Tell us YOUR Story!

To Henrietta with Gratitude

January 23rd, 2023, a local television news anchor informed viewers that a whistleblower leaked information about Ontario's Privacy Commission investigating one of the country's top universities. Allegedly, this well-respected research network collected over 600,000 patient data records without patient consent or knowledge. 

It was reported, this investigation was prompted by the filing of concerns made by metropolitan doctors during the summer of 2022. The claim stated, these physicians experienced "a massive data grab" of patients' electronic records. It would seem that Covid helped to provide an opportune opportunity for the expansion of patient information as most "doctor visits" occurred virtually since 2020. 

Apparently, this major university Research Network misinformed doctors of their reasons behind requesting patient files. As opposed to wanting the data for research purposes, as it indicated, it would appear, the patient information was stored for the purpose of re-sale...  shocking.  

But, is it? In this day of commercialism, is it shocking that an institution (surviving on funding) would capitalize on something received for free? This is where you must be informed that said Research Network denied having received monies for the "sharing?" of patient information - though they do admit to "supporting" several projects (approval by a research ethics board) that can access data from their server. 


That said, a more curious question looms over the accusations made by these doctors that the news report neglected to mention. The question is, "Who gave these doctors permission to hand over patient information, in the first place?" The report initially sounded like the infamous Research Network stole the data from doctors' computers. But, with closer attention, it becomes clear, the patient files were requested from the doctors, and the doctors then permitted the information to be taken. 


A cynical individual may wonder if the doctors' complaint stems from resentment that they were not included in the profit sharing of their patients' information. Maybe, the doctors realized they should have consulted their patients before releasing patient information, and this is a desperate attempt at backpedaling. Could they be throwing the Research Network under the bus to deflect from their own faux pas? 

As patients, should we request a viewing of the medical policy stating, once records are in a doctor's possession, they no longer belong to the patient? Do we patients enter into an agreement (unbeknownst to ourselves) consenting to our records being shareable at our doctors' discretion? Are we supposed to (know to) inform our doctors that "If a research network comes along wanting our data, we do not give consent to you releasing it?"  What exactly is a patient's right?


To some of us, this breach is not even mildly surprising, nor is its lack of news coverage. We are not at all surprised that doctors presume to take (isn't that stealing?)and give away our personal medical information for the use of "medical research" - without our permission and knowledge. We are not surprised because we are aware of the Henrietta Lacks story. We know, beyond the shadow of a doubt, patients have limited rights to our bodies let alone information related to our bodies - even if said information was gathered during (so-called) private consultations, tests, test results, treatments et cetera with our doctors. 

Henrietta Lacks (aka Loretta Pleasant) for instance, was a young mother living in Baltimore who attended the renowned John Hopkins Hospital. Mrs. Lacks had given birth to her fifth child at John Hopkins four months prior, and was experiencing severe hemorrhaging. The hospital found "a mass" in her cervix from which a sample was taken (along with healthy cells for comparison) then sent for tests.

Sadly, the large mass that bled upon touch was cervical cancer, and after months of treatments doctors hoped would kill the cancer, it had spread throughout the 31 year old's body, and Henrietta Lacks died.  


The cells taken from Henrietta Lacks were studied by a hospital researcher. It was discovered her cells were incredible because for the first time in history, human cells survived out of the human body for longer than just a few days! Not only did Henrietta's cells stay vibrant and grow, they reproduced at a high rate and could be multiplied over and over and over, again, without dying. This incredible reality earned Henrietta's cells the designation, "Immortal." Meaning, Mrs. Lacks' cells could undergo many experiments on a single "same" cell promoting continuity in tests, into perpetuity. Researchers could finally study how viruses worked; could test and re-test potential treatments and vaccines; develop vaccines, medicines and treatments, and improve upon them as necessary. 


Henrietta's cells were reproduced and shared with other medical professionals. This sharing of HeLa (Henrietta Lacks) cells is how the polio vaccine was developed. 


Henrietta was not well educated or financially favoured. She was a compassionate individual, "there for" those in need of care or a meal - in spite of her own circumstances. It is likely, Henrietta would have given permission for her cells to be used in the name of research. No one could have guessed how her cells would have advanced bio-medicine for the next hundred years, but, if she (then, in turn, her children) were granted the right of knowledge, the lives of her descendants could have been far more comfortable, indeed. Sadly, she (and her family) were not provided the opportunity of knowledge, let alone of granting permission. It was decades before her children had any idea how revolutionary and valuable their mother's cells/ their blood and DNA was.  

Patients should have the right to be informed and give consent to research, particularly in commercial cases. Families should have a right to share in profits if their bodies improves the advancement of science and enriches society. 

Major University MISINFORMED doctors of their reasons behind requesting patient files

this report is not even mildly surprising

Henrietta Lacks in the 1940s.Credit...Lacks Family, via The Henrietta Lacks Foundation.png
Henrietta Lacks_edited.png

Inspired Inspiration with ArethaLaverneArt

We are extremely excited to present to you, ArethaLaverneArt.


Watching this new painter's rise in the art world makes us quiver with anticipation. We cannot wait to see what she does next.


Currently residing in the foothills of the Alberta mountains, Aretha Laverne takes viewers on an emotional journey with her etherial and geometric mixed media and acrylics.


Actualizing her drawing abilities as a young adult through mural painting, Aretha's talents were validated when a high-end, Toronto, fashion boutique offered to purchase her works when she was barely sixteen years of age!


"I Knew I was on to something when a viewer's comment on my work precisely interpreted what I was feeling while painting it," Aretha shared during our interview.


Aretha's love of art would manifest itself in one form or other through career moves, but it was upon transplanting herself in a town blustered by harsh winds, and a work-hard, play- hard community philosophy when Aretha found herself surrounded by like-minded people who shared her calling.


Committed to a life of meditation, this mother of five, wife, and entrepreneur found it paramount to calm the chaos of life, pulling her in multiple directions. This calm was managed through meditation. "The longer we stay in a meditative state the more we enter a creative state," Aretha shared. "I began seeking ways to be in that state for longer."


Drawing strength from the two steadfast forces of nature and faith, Aretha Laverne pulls her forces together through meditative nature walks. This is where she draws inspiration. 


"Something always comes at you in nature's rhythmic and soothing stillness," Aretha said.

"The calming effect allows for the freedom to be spirit which allows the freedom to create." Aretha likened the experience to being an athlete or a runner, and getting into 'the zone.' "Your mind disconnects from your thoughts and emotions, leaving you with only the poetry of God's words that exist behind the noise," Aretha told us. Her geometric shapes represent the balance of that chaos. She told us that an entire show or series of paintings can come to her in her most inspired moments. 


One such series was the "mixed-media" work Aretha and her son were accepted to present at the The Jazz Influences: Rhythm, Movement, and Improv Exhibit at the Grande Prairie Art Gallery, last July 21 to November 6. The purpose of the exhibition was to show jazz in a new light. She and her son were one of the only local artists involved with the exhibition along side artists from across Canada. Aretha presented three paintings demonstrating the influence of art on music, and her son added a digital rendering of one of her paintings.   


Riding off the exhilaration of that recent exhibit, Aretha Laverne is presently hard at work on her next series; a tale of rising up from anger to the realization that "It is OK to be Angry." 


Aretha's new series is called, Steadfast and Sure

When asked what she would tell her younger self, if she could travel back in time, Aretha said she would tell herself to enjoy the journey.

As a "Doer" and "List Maker" with a "Get it Done" attitude, Aretha Laverne said she would tell her young self that "Mistakes and so-called failures are a blessing. Go easy on yourself."

To fellow artists struggling to realize their dreams, Aretha says, "Don't give up. Keep striving!"


Connect with ArethaLaverneArt, here or at

We will certainly be keeping an eye on her.


Big UP YOUR People!

LS Cream Liqueur is an award-winning cordial inspired by cremas (also spelled kremas), an ancestral recipe native to Haiti with notes of coconut, vanilla, nutmeg and cinnamon mix with a blend of fresh cream and neutral grain spirits. Low in lactose, gluten free and made with all-natural ingredients, LS Cream exudes style and luxury while staying true to its Caribbean heritage.

If you like cream liqueur, this is a must try.


LS Cream Liqueur .png

One Last Thing.
If you are a Canadian entrepreneur belonging to the African Diaspora, and you wish for your business to accelerate by way of growth and development toward economic prosperity, you must do yourself - and your business - a favour and check out the Canadian Black Chamber of Commerce. Click here 
We think you will be glad you did.


Previous Issues!
Want the link? Let us Know.

QBM A/W '22
QBM Summer Entrepreneur Edition 2019
QBM Spring 2019
QBM SS 2018
February Anniversary Edition 2018
QBM FW 2018
Christmas Edition 2017
QBM Summer 2017
QBM Winter 2016
QBM Summer Edition 2016
QBM Spring 2016
QBM December 2015
QBM Second Edition June 2015
QBM Premier Edition 2015

About QBM
Created to highlight the 40+ woman of the African Diaspora and her contemporaries, proudly celebrates communities undervalued and often vilified by mainstream media.

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