Often the phrase “working roots” has conjured up (no pun intended) images of hoodoo witch doctors or voodoo priestesses, using spells, hexes, charms, and the like. But at MONDO BLACK, we were excited to sit down with a real-life urban healer, herbalist, nature activist and root-worker – who also happens to be a writer, educator, wife and mother Mariahadessa Ekere Tallie.

modern, herbalist, traditional medicine women and daughter

In her blog, The Sage Honey Ekere waxes poetic on the healing powers of everything from honey to dandelions, shares recipes for making delicious curative concoctions such as sorrel and brandy and fruit elixirs — and pens haiku odes to roses, along with directions for making powerful infusions and medicines from the flower of ‘love and romance.’

For us, it was a magical afternoon with a real-life earth worker and wood nymph – a soothing, soulful trip made even more delightful and inspiring thanks to her helper, her amazingly adorable daughter Joy-Shanti — who is clearly already a root-worker in training.

Black herbalist, mariahadessa ekere talle, traditional medicine,

Besides sharing her knowledge of herbs, roots, and natural medicine on-line, Ekere is also an accomplished poet and author, recently delving into the realm of video to share her poetry (we use a segment of her video, “Roots” and you can watch more of her videos on her “Sage Honey” Youtube channel here.

Her poetry and fiction have been published in journals including Bomb, Paris/Atlantic, and Drumvoices Revue, and anthologies including Listen Up! (One World/Ballantine), Bum Rush The Page: A Def Poetry Jam (Random House), Role Call (Third World Press) and The Body Eclectic (Henry Holt). Ekere has been a Staff Writer for African Voices literary magazine since 1995; she has performed and read at venues the Poetry Café (London), Palabras (Holland), The Nuyorican Poets Cafe, Brooklyn Moon Cafe, Rutgers University, Hunter College, Bryant Park, and the Brooklyn Public library. As well as conducting her Osain’s Children Herbal Workshops at the Afrikan Poetry Theatre in Queens, New York, she has taught English and conducted creative writing workshops in London, Amsterdam, New York, Chicago, and Rundu (Namibia).

Tune in and discover the power of roots, herbs and natural medicine with Mariahadessa Ekere Tallie on MONDO BLACK: BLACK ROOTS.