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Meet Adenike A. and Peter J. Harris of Pops’nAde in Downtown

Today we’d like to introduce you to Adenike A. and Peter J. Harris.

Adenike A. and Peter J., let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
Our story starts with this beautiful and simple fact: We are a father and daughter dedicated to celebrating life despite the powerful challenges we’ve had to overcome. We honor each other and we’re dedicated to living with joy.

As adults who have grown through divorce, geographical distance, and Adenike’s assault by her criminal ex-stepfather, we are committed to showcasing our continued healing through creative programming that reveals the importance of courage, imagination, laughter and candor.

Pops’nAde started in 2016 as Adenike’s fun turn of phrase, a silly contraction of Pops, Ade’s nickname for Peter, and Peter’s nickname for Adenike. As we began to build on our ‘Call and Response’ Q&A included in Adenike’s Master’s thesis in 2011, we chose Pops’nAde for our on-going public work together. Actually our ability to do business together grows from our ability to hang out together — on road trips, at the movies, at cultural events produced by many of our friends who are musicians, poets, actors, and filmmakers.

While out in these streets, friends often remarked that they admired the relationship that we had built. “You actually hang out with your father?” “Your daughter actually WANTS to spend time with you?”

We began to recognize our work together is special. We realized we made folks smile and feel inspired. We realized we had a positive and healing impact on others. Adenike would often post photos and short videos of our times together onto social media and Pops’nAde became our brand.

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
Hell to the no this road has NOT been smooth! Divorce between young parents was no fun for Adenike and her siblings. Parenting long-distance took a lot of concentration and dedication. Adenike’s disclosure, then going to court to convict and jail a criminal predator? Then committing to heroic communication and to healing? No, this road has not been smooth nor easy. Yes, our struggles are specific to us, but anyone who has ever had to navigate through a personal or familial difficulty can relate. Fortunately, we’ve always chosen wellness over revenge and retaliation. We always knew we loved one another, even in the midst of our greatest distances and challenges. Peter listened to Adenike, especially when she asked him to join her in a life of renewal. We both knew in our DNA that it was wiser to focus on the healthiest lessons we had learned and earned. And now like Adenike always says, “We are healing partners out in these streets!”

Please tell us about Pops’nAde.
Pops’nAde is a father-daughter creative team. We specialize in combining dad’s OG wisdom as an American Book Award-winning cultural worker and founder of the Black Man of Happiness Project with Adenike’s expertise as a Certified Integral Whole Living Coach who specializes in women’s empowerment and self-sufficiency. We are known for keeping it all the way 100 and for helping folks celebrate their true selves. We speak from stages, within healing circles, in churches, on our podcast, and are developing an unscripted web series featuring us on road trips searching for ‘Celebration Conversations.’ We are most proud of collaborating on our 2018 TEDx talk in order to shine a light on our authentic example and our genuine love for everyone’s potential! What sets us apart? Well, we are an African-American father and daughter working together as living examples of what you can accomplish with honesty and hard work. And we know how to create content that respects an audience’s intelligence, hopefulness, and hunger for transparent conversation and collaboration between partners in the spirit of “Lift Every Voice and Sing.”

If you had to go back in time and start over, would you have done anything differently?
Remove from our family’s legacy the pain of sexual assault and abuse! We wish trauma was not the catalyst for much of our creative healing work, but we have chosen to use it as a catapult. Also, we would have worked more diligently in Adenike’s youth to increase our family’s business and fiscal IQ. During talks with immediate family members, we have learned how much further along we would all be if our family had more intelligently discussed financial matters earlier and together. Then we would have created a legacy of investing, buying property, starting businesses, among other ways of increasing our family’s wealth. We believe we wouldn’t have such a learning curve if we included these things as foundational guideposts during Adenike’s youth, and even Peter’s before becoming a father. The excitement is that we are doing this together for generations to come in our family. It’s an amazing feeling.


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Image Credit:

Robert Randal Jones; Tiffany Judkins; Agnes Constante

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