Amoke Kubat is a Yoruba Priestess, retired teacher, multidisciplinary artist , writer, a social weaver, and an activist. She is the author of Missing Mama: My Story of Loss, Sorrow and Healing. Amoke imagined and created YO MAMA’s Art of Mothering Workshops in 2010. This art-based practice of wellness began as a drop-in artspace for mothers who are artists, social justice activists, and healers. YO MAMA’s philosophy and practice are to empower mothers by disrupting the devaluation of women’s visible and invisible labor and increasing the recognition of the ART of Mothering that highlights the legacies of cultural maternal wisdom and know-how that sustains healthy mothers, families, and communities. YO MAMA’S HOUSE is a demonstration project and model that many can learn from its MOTHER CENTERED, social gospel, and grassroots approach to empowering women as mothers to do their mothering work and creating pathways to wellness for those overburdened, under resources and sick and tired of being sick and tired. Amoke believes that healthy mothers raise healthy children, families, and communities.
Self-taught she uses artmaking and writing to continue to define herself and hold a position of wellness in an America sick with inequalities and inequities. For 35 years, she has been reclaiming an African Indigenous Spiritual sensibility. “Every people were once indigenous to someplace, with their own understanding of their relationships to the natural world and to all living things. Enslaved Africans were not settlers, immigrants, or refugees. Our complicated Black experiences disenfranchise us from self and Nature. Our ways of knowing and deeply respecting Earth were disrupted, discouraged, devalued, and distorted. Reclaiming our Indigenous ways, our relationship to all living beings is a pathway to healing. Healing is work. Sustaining wellbeing is hard work. Social determinants impact health and wellbeing. Poverty, unequal access to healthcare, lack of education, stigma, and racism are underlying, contributing factors to health inequalities. Then there is a lack of access to good food, rest, and leisure. For Black people, the 400 years of racism, anti-blackness, and white supremacy have been health determinants.”