Dancing with our Shadows: Black LGBTQI folks Breaking the Silence


Dancing with our Shadows: Black LGBTQI folks Breaking the Silence is a space for Black LGBTQI activists, dreamers, healers, artists, rebels, and teachers to co-create and practice healing tools to navigate depression and to transform how it impacts on our lives. This 6-week, creative and interactive series is committed to building a resilient, generative and courageous space to explore our capacities for breakdowns and breakthroughs; and share ways to support ourselves and each other.

Together, we will learn plant and stone comrades, mindfulness practices and other rituals and tools to strengthen our capacities to better listen to our Black, bodacious, badass bodies, cultivate joy, establish boundaries, cultivate erotic power, and move in alignment with the  lives we deserve.

Some of us have great analyses about depression but lack practical skills to move beyond its harmful imprint. Some of us have made depression and burnout our default. Some of us are bursting at the seams with tried and true skills and want to share and learn more. Regardless of where you fall in your healing journey, you have  something to offer the space and we’d love to have you.

This is NOT a support group or space for therapy. This is an active, hands on, practice space that is rooted in our own self determination and collective liberation. You are encouraged to listen, share and act from the space that makes the most sense for your body, mind and spirit, no matter where you are in your healing process.

Weekly facilitated dialogues and magik spaces are centered in the framework of privilege and oppression and how different aspects of identity (race, pleasure, sexuality, health, ability,  etc) intersect with depression. Sessions are also deeply rooted in the individual and collective wisdom of our messy, miraculous and magikal truths. Most of all, we let Black love reign.

We will meet once a week for 6 weeks.  Since every session is cumulative , participants are required to attend all 6  sessions:
January 27, 6pm-9pm
February 3, 6pm-9pm
February 10, 6pm-9pm

February 17, 6pm-9pm
February 24, 6pm-9pm
March 2, 6pm-9pm

You might leave the series still steeped in your burnout habits. You might leave having more questions than you came in. You might transform your entire life completely. You get to choose your own adventure. Where you land is totally up to you and the space we co-create together. We stem from the belief that transformation is possible especially within the loving presence of community.

Space is limited to 10 people.


All sessions are sliding scale which mostly covers the cost of supplies and food. And YES, there will be food! Sliding scale is $11-$111 for all 6 sessions.  Whether or not you are applying and would d like to support with food and/or logistics, please email beatboxbotanicals@gmail.com.  This is a community-run and supported series; all resources are donation-based .

We are asking all participants to refrain from wearing scented products (lotions, perfume/cologne, hair products, laundry detergent). If you have any access needs or concerns, please contact me at beatboxbotanicals@gmail.com so that we can game plan or strategize together.


Raised in Nigeria, armed with the legacy of a long line of healers, witches, priestesses and freedom fighters, Adaku Utah harnesses her seasoned powers as a healer, liberation educator and organizer, and performance ritual artist as an act of love to her community.  For over ten years, her work has centered in movements for radical social change, with a focus on gender, sexuality, race, youth and healing justice. She is the founder and director of Harriet’s Apothecary, an intergenerational healing village led by the brilliance and wisdom of Black Cis Women, Queer and Trans healers, artists, health professionals, magicians, activists and ancestors. Harriet’s Apothecary is committed to co-creating accessible, affordable, liberatory, all-body loving, all-gender honoring, community healing spaces that recognize, inspire, and deepen the healing genius of people who identify as Black, Indigenous and People of Color and the allies that love us. She is also the founder of BeatBox Botanicals, a local sliding-scale, love-centered and community-inspired, plant medicine and healing practice. Adaku has taught, organized  and created sacred healing spaces nationally and internationally for several groups and organizations including  Black Lives Matter, Students Active for Ending Rape (SAFER),  Black Organizing for Leadership and Dignity, Hetrick Martin Institute, National Network for Abortion funds, Lincoln Center, Brooklyn Museum, Ella Baker Justice Center, Sadie Nash Leadership Project, the Astraea Foundation, One Billion Rising, Black Women’s Blueprint, Black Youth 100 and the Movement for Black Lives.

She is a certified herbalist, Rape Survivor Crisis Counselor, Re-Evaluation Counselor (RC), Non-Violent Communications Counselor and is currently training with Generative Somatics. She has also studied and practiced with priestesses, shamans, astrologers, herbalists and wise women in Nigeria, Jamaica, Kenya, Haiti and the U.S.

While dynamically and powerfully experienced, Adaku is also on her own healing journey to work through her own shit and shimmys. She has triumphantly survived major depression and continues to move through daily practices and rituals to continue her healing.

Love is the most significant driving force in my life. I continue to be inspired by the moments when we say yes to loving ourselves and each other authentically, I believe it is from this place that healing is born and it is from this place we feed and sustain our metamorphosis towards liberation. As a healer, I am in awe and deeply invested in learning from and with the atlas of our cells, skin, bones and blood and from the ecosystem our bodies commune with. I consider our bodies and the Earth inspiring, powerful, necessary, exquisite testimonies of the roots of our wellness.

--Adaku Utah