Today is the launch of our month long campaign #QueenseeQueen. The Nook and Kranny team decided that every Wednesday this month we are going to showcase some very special women that we’ve grown to admire overtime. We just want to show our appreciation of the work that these women are doing for our community and we especially wanted the world to know how dope they all are! So here you have it #QueenseeQueen. First women up is Sumayyah Franklin. Enjoy!
Sumayyah Franklin is FAR from your average chick. When she is not busy helping create super dope events for women of color through the House of Malico Collective, she serves as a Doula, teacher, lover, friend, and the Bay Area’s very own yoni expert. I was blessed to become a doula last summer and Sumi was my teacher.
The amount of passion she has towards educating Women of color about the Womb and the power that it contains is truly inspiring. I have a huge amount of respect for this Queen and I’m am so glad to share her awesomeness with all of you.
Introduce yourself for those who don’t know you.
Hi. My name is Sumayyah “Sumi” Franklin and I am a birth worker and womb practitioner. I was born and raised in east Oakland and I currently still reside in Oakland. I absolutely love to dance until I am uncomfortably sweaty, can cook my ass off, and really enjoy reading Black/POC Sci-fi (Octavia butler or Saga anyone?). I stay on the move but I rarely feel stressed.
“I curse like a sailor. I am queer as fuck. I believe that all of our issues root to our environment in utero, our birth stories, and our formative years of childhood. I am a Scorpio and hate that y’all about to be all in my business but my Leo moon doesn’t mind at all.”
Life story in 30 seconds.
Born in Oakland. Experienced some major trauma early on with my Dad being murdered. Family drama like you wouldn’t believe. My little Black girl magic was fleeky as fuck tho. I was emerged into the arts early on. This saved my life. I have always been me. Confident, but humble. Caring and intuitive. A dancing butterfly. Been twerking since before twerking was a fad. Always been a carefree black girl. Always. Always stepping to the beat of my own drum. Graduated from The Oakland School of the Arts (played upright Bass, classically trained). Went to SF State Africana Studies major. Moved to Ghana senior year of college for one year. Caught my first baby, became even more free, my path was more clear than ever before. Came back and hit the ground running. And now I am here three years later still studying midwifery, traditional ways of taking care of ourselves, training doulas, writing books, free as ever!
Where are you from?
East Oakland legend like Yee! Lol
You are a doula. Can you define that for us?
A Doula is a someone who provides non medical support to those during their pregnancy, labor, and postpartum period. They provide physical, emotional, informations, and spiritual support.
What inspired you to become one?
I have always been intrigued by pregnant people, birth, and babies! I mean since I was a toddler. Growing up as my peers began to get pregnant but wanted to release that little spirit (abortion), experienced miscarriages, had babies, had yoni questions I was the one everyone would turn to. This path choose me, I didn’t choose it.
What is the best part about being a doula?
Knowing that by empowering your clients through evidence based information regard their rights and choices that they have beautiful experiences!
Most people do not feel empowered by their birth experience, abortion experience, miscarriage experience, ect. However, having a doula has been proven to up the satisfaction rate and lower the rate our trauma. Usually caused by not being informed enough to make a decision that is best for you and your baby.
I also loooovvee to train other POC to become doulas
What are some common misconceptions about midwives / doulas?
1.) we are uneducated
2.) we are anti-hospital or pharmaceuticals
3.) we participate in dangerous practices more than those in the hospital
4.) you can’t afford us (many insurances do not cover our services so you must pay out of pocket)
5.) we are al hippy dippy white women.
6.) you have to have a natural at home birth in order to revive support from us
7.) we will make you feel ashamed if you do not want or have an all natural birth and breastfeed for 5 years lol
I know you are in the process of becoming a midwife. What is a midwife and what is the difference between that and a OBGYN?
A Midwife is a medical professional who is an expert in low risk healthy reproductive health. Midwives provide thorough support to those who are seeking a Pap smear/pelvic examination, prenatal care, birth support, postpartum support, family planning, STD/STI screen, and menopause support. There are different kinds of midwives and each state has laws and community standards of practice that may dictate how each midwife practices. Midwives practice out of hospital and in the hospital.
How does one become a doula?
Well, since this is non-medical support ALL YOU HAVE TO DO IS DO IT! It’s not required for you to go through a training, get a mentor, complete a certain number of births ect. Or even become certified. I am a rebel. Most doulas are white and the trainings are too. I refused to join any of their organizations or ever spend my money to listen to them speak. So I did a lot of research. Word quickly spread and as folks in my network became pregnant they began to ask me to be their doula. Eventually I felt confident to take on strangers.
Tell us about Sumi’s Touch. How has that journey been for you?
Sumi’s Touch is my bossiness. This is the umbrella that all or most of my professional self lives under. My doula services, my trainings, my workshops, consultations, my books, ect. Well I am very business savvy so Sumi’s Touch has blown up! I already was a doula for a few years and created a name and reputation for myself which worked out in my favor. There has been many challenges too and I appreciate how this has forced me to grow!
Growing up my mom owned a salon called “Danielle’s Touch”. Since I work with Mama’s and parents mostly I decided to give honor to my full time parent: My Mama! That’s where the name came from.
Any upcoming projects, events that we should look out for?
Yes I have A lot coming up actually:
I will be traveling to Uganda to work at a birth center and further my studies of Midwifery. All of my workshops are a fundraiser for the birth center.
You can also support by sponsoring or donating. All donations are tax deductible.
Email to register or for inquiries: Sumistouch@gmail.com
::Getting Down With My Yoni:: The Black Womyn is God Edition::
“Getting Down With My Yoni” is a womb wellness experience where we learn, share, release, and let go. This is a safe space that is created collectively.
I found myself privately consulting with many people. I call it the “My Yoni Broke” syndrome! People would reach out to me freaking out about yeast infections, BV, I think I’m pregnant, I don’t want to be pregnant, how come I can’t get pregnant, what is this smell, why can’t I get wet, etc. So I created a workshop where I cover many of the above. Folks can from each other. And they are reminded that they are not alone
During this two day workshop we will explore the following:
- Womb meditation
- Movements to activate the root and sacral chakras
- Yoni eggs
- Yoni steams
- Herbs that the womb loves
- pH balance
- Orgasmic energy as a force to manifest
- Cutting cords/ letting go
And much more!
Make sure to register HERE
How does one get down with their yoni?
Well the practice of getting down with your yoni is simple. Being aware of your Yoni’s state of being, knowing how to connect with your Yoni, and understanding how your Yoni operates is the foundation. Knowing how to release trauma, tapping into your intuition, taking a mirror a examining your Yoni, masturbating is all apart of getting down!
::Sumi’s Touch POC full spectrum doula training::
This doula training will cover all of the basics one needs to know in order to practice as a doula. We will cover topics that many other trainings lack such as: working through trauma, self care for birth workers, postpartum ceremony, queer and trans competency, working with teens & SOOOOO much MORE!!!!
This workshop is very hands on and will include live models, discussions and presentations.
Be sure to follow Sumi on Instagram and like her page on Facebook so you won’t miss out on future trainings, workshops and Knowledge about all things yoni!