Burju Celebrates Black History Month - 2024

Burju Celebrates Black History Month - 2024

Burju Shoes is honored to be celebrating Black History Month with you all again! We are so excited to share a bit about how we have been uplifting Black voices, art, resistance and joy this month.

We have had the privilege of sponsoring a project with Kween of the Kween Company, and Zaria a multimedia artist. These women have taken us with them on a year-long artistic journey. It has been an honor to witness their creative process and rumination during this time. Black History is a time when we here at Burju Shoes like to invest in a community that has been such a central contributor to the history and development of dance. We encourage you all to continue moving, expressing and using your art as a form of resistance against systems of racism. There is power in movement!

About the Artists:

Zaria is an 8th generation Black Artist from Ontario. She blends realism, expressionism, and pop influences in her artwork. Painting, drawing, graphic design are her preferred mediums. Zaria finds inspiration for her artwork by creating pieces of what is familiar to her both in experiences and people in all their uniqueness and beauty.

Kween is from Thadinadonnih (Guelph), Ontario. She earned a degree from the University of Guelph and was valedictorian of the Randolph Academy for Performing Arts. She is a local activist and 2023 Guelph Local Hero. She is a dancer, teacher, actor, choreographer, director, producer, advocate, curator, marketing/social media guru, TedX and International Speaker and co-contributing Author to 100 Women of Inspiration and The Stage Light Flickers. Kween is the CEO and owner of 3x award winning organization The Kween Company and Co-owns The Heels Academy.Kween is the leader of Solidarity March in Support of BLM in 2020 and the past Executive Director and Social Justice Initiatives Coordinator for Guelph Black Heritage Society. Kween is also host and community producer on Rogers Channel 20 with “Diverse and Converse”, a BIPOC panel discussion. Kween specialized in EDI work specially for Violence, Oppression, Harm and Indiegious Relationship Building. She has earned many accolades and continues to invest back into the community that raised her.

About the Project:

Zaria spent months in 2023 drafting designs to hand paint custom pairs of Burju Shoes for Kween to subsequently choreograph, produce and direct a dance piece entitled Blak/ˈByo͞odē. Still images of Zaria’s paintings can be found below.

The choreographed piece

“The Blak/ˈByo͞odē is a piece that embodies Black beauty at its core reflecting on the intimate moments of Black womxn while deconstructing the resilience and constant battles of the beauty industry. The need to tear down the stigmas of the beauty industry while exploring the boundless essence of Black womxn. Black brands only make up 2.5% of the industry and yet 11.7% of the industry is Black consumers. Challenging the norms while boosting melanin identity will give viewers an opportunity to connect on an emotional journey. This piece will allow you to explore and experience softness while connecting to empowerment through movement of body, music, speech and design.”

Burju Shoes has been honored to watch this piece come to life throughout the past year. Our ability to share this project during Black History month is our true pleasure. We encourage you all to follow Zaria and Kween’s journey on instagram at @kween.of.kweenz, @thekweencompany, and @zarsroom.

"From Trinidad to Toronto she celebrates the magical energy of Carinival. Feathers that tell stories, colours of joy and light, and sounds of steel pans drums igniting soulful movement. There is no stopping her from igniting the room"

"Empowered and strong, Women is King energy. When we work together to lift one another we all win. Black women are... and forever will be. They are the creators and the forever resilient blueprint."

"Under the shine of the moon and stars, Blackness radiates through the melanin skin. Carrying the weight of her ansestors, walking to the best of her own drum - she is made of Earth and Sky and blessed by peace."

"The home of the Motherland, rooted in the resistance of her mothers and grandmothers. The red door has been a passage of freedom and Adrinkra symbols mark and protect the home."


The Blak/ˈByo͞odē by Kween in partnership with Burju

First and Last Name: Kween

Company: The Kween Company

Director: Kween

Choreographer: Kween and BB Dancers

Dancers: Kween, Alexis Charles, Dominique Myrie, Raechele Lovell, Sarah Douglas

Designer: Kween

Designer, Creation and Painting: Zaria Armstrong

Videographer: Bloom Media

Photography: D3VI Photography

Studio Space: Moonlight Yoga

Music: Papillon - Alex Ffrench and Cocoa Butter - AIZA

Spoken Word: Natalie Ann Poetry

Conceptualized with: Guelph Dance 

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