My Afro Kawaii Foundations and Raising a Kawaii Community

Hi かわいい + creatives! It’s been a while but I’m back to stay now that the memoir is done and I’m just playing the waiting game ^.^ Let’s talk Afro Kawaii, shall we!

Of course I love talking cute culture + mental health so I’m sure looking at this sub-niche will still lend itself to those conversations, but …

We were supposed to be reviving this award winning conversation with DC Kawaii Style again this year. However, I had my head down and focused on my memoir & pre-launch.

THEN this pandemic hit. Legit, I’ve been an anxious bean while restructuring my business so that I STAY in business. >.<

I needed to make sure my biz baby was a-OK before proceeding

BUT we’re here now ~

Pull up! Cuz I’ll be sharing more of my personal Afro Kawaii tattoo & J-fashion journey ^.^

About Afro Kawaii™️

Afro Kawaii, DC Kawaii Style
Grab the Afro Kawaii Dream Zine

Start HERE, in case you forgot (or not hip to) what happens when Hip Hop’s Cool meets Kawaii’s Cute Culture and is draped in Pop-Afrocentricity ~

If you’re all caught up den, let’s ride!


This current climate has me really thankful for my kawaii community. Watching them take care of each other, support fellow Black creatives, and use their voices has my heart swollen with happiness.

It’s the tangible fruits of a labor of love ~

Raising a Kawaii Community, While Being Unapologetically Black

The Soft Side of Aggression

Afro Kawaii, Tattoo Artist

Part of my Kawaii journey is exploring my softer side ~

Y’all … I know it’s in there! *starts digging deep* Gotta find, explore, and leverage it against being seen as the illusive angry black woman.

My Grandma used to say ~

you catch more flies with honey

And honey lemme tell you!

Look. I’m hood af with naturally aggressive fight or flight reflexes for my survival, by any means necessary ~

In tune with it, I got dat ‘I wish a nigga would‘ energy that Bernie Mac joked about in Kings of Comedy (he wasn’t joking at all LOLz)

But I also allow comm to hold me accountable ~

DC Kawaii Style’s admin team and the comm, thankfully, get my abrasiveness. YES there’s a space for it in this kawaii life and it DOES come in handy. Though, I’m hella transparent about my wish to become the #softblackgirl I feel inside. Thankfully, when I can’t navigate something I can always weigh it with comm for honest feedback.

Hands down, the BEST life lesson they’ve taught me is that everything does NOT HAVE to be a confrontation.

THAT reminds me of the teaching that by any means necessary, isn’t synonymous with violence. For me, engaging in life kawaii style, is my ticket to purchasing my own freedom by any means necessary.

The Philosophy of P.I.N.K.

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by ♡ アリ♡ (@kawaiiconic.ali) on

HOORAY for this! Cuz it’s the best illustration of philosophy that I use to navigate leading our comm. (Thanks bunches Ali ^.^)


Our Kawaii communities are made up of people from all walks of life –

timid and socially awkward people, social butterflies, influencers, etc. …

Then there’s ME! The ‘I wish a nigga would‘ girl ~

Balancing that, there is one simple rules for us all to get along,

inspiring kindness and being a good person.

It’s easy ~

Treat people how YOU’d want to be treated. The end.

No need to for angry Black woman tactics here. And hulking out stays at an all time minimum ^.^

Sandbox Etiquette for Varying Backgrounds

Afro Kawaii

How you treat others is how you invite them to treat you. It’s a personal growth journey that will be up to the individual.

Part of being unapologetically Black is in HOW we foster COMMUNITY. Raising our comm in the same light I was raised in, less the aggression, has been an honor.

My mom instilled these 7 principles and I passed them down to the comm:

  1. Always be kind!
  2. Lead by example (in & out of the fashion)
  3. Never take each other’s feelings for granted
  4. Handle people how you want to be handled
  5. Talk to people how you wish to be talked to
  6. ALWAYS practice giving respect to get respect
  7. Be your kawaii pal’s keeper!

We’re a community, a village – a FAMILY!

Practicing this is grounding and teaches us to reach beyond ourselves, sustainably; to learn from, grow with and support each other.


Afro Kawaii

I am, because WE are, Umbutu is another guiding principle of my life.

TRUST that I wouldn’t be the self-thinking creative I am without my communities – Black, kawaii, local and all those small comms in between.

Regardless of race and background – kawaii empowerment is for EVERYONE! We encourage you to check biases, drama and petty sh!t at the door with the understanding that in our spaces, we are responsible for ourselves and each other on this walk of creating a better life for ourselves ~

To be the change you we ALL want to see in the world!

My Role & My Charge to the Comm

Afro Kawaii

As a leader, my role isn’t to make people uncomfortable with my Blackness. There’s space for that in the world on a regular! Instead, I challenge how we all engage and treat each other –

to inspire leading by example.

 Comm members express so much love, respect, and support for me. And I’m grateful! But I DO challenge EVERY comm member to treat everyone else in the same light, ESPECIALLY if they look like me.

In return, I’ll keep doing my best to pay that kawaii empowerment and kindness forward.

Take the Challenge!

Afro Kawaii Tattoo Artist, Imani K Brown
Like my ‘challenge’ face?! 🙈

Remember those 7 principles?

Try applying them to your daily lifestyle.

Not only will it help increase your inner peace, but you’ll see the quality of people you attract ~

Do you accept? Let me know in the comments below ^.^

Gambare, minna

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