Powerful conversations happen around the dinner table. The dinner table has provided a space for family, friends and acquaintances to speak whatever is on their heart. The good, the bad and the ugly are all laid out on the table. These conversations are powerful and we have decided to manifest them in a new Narrative and photo series called “Dinner Party”. Our first set of stories and images are in a setting in collaboration with Gather Seattle - a Seattle based company that brings together the PNW food and design communities. They host gatherings in various restaurants, shops and homes in and around Seattle with an aim to build connections, inspire and nourish.
Our first set of stories circles around men. There are very few settings when you see men gathering around the table sharing their thoughts. There is so much value in men connecting with each other in this capacity. Just ask our first table guest: J. Booby Miles.
Read our first story on J. Booby Miles and the powerful men’s brunch he Co founded in Seattle with Bobby Akinboro and Mohammed Adeeyo called Mozaic.
Women are like spaghetti. Men are like waffles.
“I could learn a lot from you guys.” A gentleman at my church approached me and Bobby and said that to us. We took that to heart and wanted to develop a safe space for us men to be of benefit to each other. So me, Bobby and Moh started to gather at random places during brunch and chose different topics to converse about with a group of men. We decided to call it Mozaic. Mozaic by definition means a surface decoration made by inlaying small pieces of variously colored material to form pictures or patterns. Each man attending our brunches is a beautiful small piece that makes this event a successful piece of art. Women are like spaghetti; men are like waffles. Women are known to gather and open up amongst other women. They stick together like spaghetti. That is not the case with men. Like waffles, men have their walls up. It’s not as easy for them to open up, particularly with groups of men. Bobby, Moh and I were determined to change that.
I remember one of the earlier brunches we did was terrible. It was like the fourth one or so. We chose a bar which was loud and had TVs so it was a big distraction. We moved on to restaurants that had secluded areas and could host the growing amount of men attending. We talk about just about anything, from relationships to finance to mental health and more.
Despite the success of the brunch early on, I started to second guess myself and my involvement in the brunch. I wanted to quit pursuing it. I took a trip to Portland and decided to attend a local church. I didn’t know a single person there. The Pastor there was a Prophet and was well known in the community for his prophetic statements. He didn’t know me from Adam. At the end of the Bible study, he asked for prayer requests and I asked for clarity. He then turned to me and said, “You are going to do something great for men that is going to be global.” I’m having chills as we speak recounting this. I told him that prior to his prophesy, I had planned on giving up on the men’s brunch. He assured me that was a bad idea. I still contemplated how I could make Mozaic global. It wasn’t long after that I spent some more time in Portland and met up randomly with a group of men. Some I knew, most I didn’t. One of them randomly said, “Man, I love what you’re doing, Booby. We need that here in Portland. We need a Mozaic Portland.” It was in that moment that the Pastor’s statement started to come to life. THIS was how Mozaic was going to grow. I can’t say that I fully know what I’m doing, but I can say that I am passionate about connecting people.
Being a black man in America means...
It is the epitome of either being at the dinner table or being on the menu. The world at large is aware of our capabilities, thus there's a push to contain and control that while not allowing us to truly realize our own beauty and power. Being a black male in America means to find the power and voice within one's self to realize your full potential and walk confidently in that while the world tries to hold you back and paint negative images of what it wants engrained in your head. Being a black male in America means to be strong, courageous and confident that not only can you succeed, but can influence many to succeed as well. We are trend setters. We are leaders. We are creatives. We just have to believe and have faith.
You’ve read the narrative, now use it as inspiration! Shop “Dinner Series: Women Are Like Spaghetti, Men Are Like Waffles” below.