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Black Bottom Archives

Paige Watkins

Paige considers Detroit home and has watched the culture and composition of the city gradually change. For a long time, they felt unable to contribute to the strengthening of its native, Black residents. Fueled by their love of Black people, learning, and Black liberation, she had often struggled to figure out how exactly she could help Black people in an impactful way. A graduate of Cass Technical High School and Wayne State University, paige is currently in the Master of Community Development program at University of Detroit Mercy. They continue to work to reconcile their love of education, Blackness, and community-building. As co-creator of the Archives, paige manages outreach, website content, and social media marketing.

Advisory Board

Angela Abiodun

Angela Abiodun is creating her lived experience using knowledge gained through her yoga practice, doula experiences and interactions with nature. Her commitment to writing allows her to make sense of her world and practice taking up space in a world that has taught her to do otherwise. As Program Director for the Detroit Food Academy, she works to use culinary arts and business as vehicles for youth leadership and development. Through her participation with the Iyengar Yoga Detroit Collective, she deepens her understanding of self through through developing her body’s capacity to exist fully and practices alternative economics through supporting a cooperative space maintain. With her participation with the Detroit Area Restorative Justice Center, she learns and practices tools of restorative justice to incorporate in her communities. She maintains her commitment to education through organizing learning spaces to glean together community knowledge and practice bartering goods and services. She’s working on combining her love of food and storytelling, to deepen her connection to her lineage and support others in deepening and reconnecting to theirs. In her spare time, she reads, colors and dances under the moon.

Shanel Adams

Shanel Adams is a writer and founder of Progressionista, a literacy initiative for Detroit girls ages 8-12. She believes her life mission is to tell stories that explore the human experience through suspenseful prose, relevant social justice themes and historical context. Shanel holds a BA degree in journalism from Howard University.

Ever Bussey

Ever Bussey is a philosopher, researcher and media maker based in Detroit. Their main areas of interest are the roles technology, digital media and design play in the human experience and how these things can be utilized to dismantle oppressive paradigms and put power and security in the hands of marginalized people.

Antonio Cosme

Antonio Cosme is a Xicano Afro-Boricua farmer, artist, educator, and community organizer/activist from Southwest, Detroit. He studied economics and political science at EMU, uses his knowledge to educate and organize with his community. Antonio founded the Raiz Up art collective in 2012 (a xicano and indigenous hiphop collective using art as way to create consciousness and support movement) #Raizup. Antonio has organized with the People’s Water Board against the shutoffs, The Detroit’ers Resisting Emergency Management, Committee to Ban Fracking, Alumni against the EAA, and Detroit Eviction Defense. But more than just resisting the abuse of land, water and people, Antonio organizes in his neighborhood to clean blighted property, create community art, and founded the farming cooperative #SWGrows in 2014.

dream hampton

dream hampton is a writer, filmmaker and strategist from Detroit.

Steven Farrar

Steven Farrar is the founder of Linking Literature (, a platform that promotes literacy, expression, and understanding through an online blog, citywide events and book giveaways, and school partnerships. One of Linking Literature’s ongoing campaigns is to put one million books into one million kids' hands through the hashtag #LinkingLiterature1Million. Steven spends his spare time crushing stereotypes, making an impact where it matters, and spreading Black positivity.

Veniece Session

Detroit native and recent University of Michigan graduate Veniece obtained her B.S. in Sound Engineering with a focus in Performing Arts Technology (PAT) and a Minor in Performing Arts Management. During her time at U of M her interests and execution have spanned across the worlds of music, fashion, and art—each equally contributing to her interdisciplinary skill set. Her all around creative talents have lent themselves to live sound, production/artist management, fashion shows, and most recently visual art. She is interested in utilizing her skills in various art mediums to bridge communities together and cultivate creative spaces promoting social justice and the understanding that learning about others. Session firmly believes, that in order to grow, you must continuously ground yourself by reinvesting the knowledge you have acquired back into your community. Currently, Veniece is the Studio Engineer/Manager at youth driven teen center The Neutral Zone in Ann Arbor, as well as the cofounder of Betroit Exchange an international artist experience linking artists between Berlin and Detroit.