We had the good fortune of connecting with Jacquetta (Jay) West and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Jacquetta (Jay), can you tell us more about your background and the role it’s played in shaping who you are today?
My name is jay West, I was born and raised in Miami, Florida, where I currently reside. I am in such an awesome place in my life, I am elated to share with you my experiences. In my early childhood I witnessed Domestic Violence with a close relative. I associated love with physical pain and the cycle I observed of the “make-up to break-up”. In early adulthood I mirrored that behaviour and believed that my spouse had to batter me to show his love. I was so wrong! Nevertheless, I repeated this cycle more than a few times. I never questioned God because I thought it was OK. Again, I was so wrong! After seeking therapy and understanding that any kind of abuse is wrong, I finally realized that I was worth loving in a better way. I learned that love can be painful at times but it doesn’t come by way of punches, slaps, kicks and broken bones. I began to love me! Exercising my self love I vowed to never allow a man to touch me in an inappropriate manner. In 2011 I thought I had found my life partner. We married in 2015 and shortly thereafter he too became abusive. I was in shock! He hadn’t shown this type of behaviour prior to the marriage or maybe I ignored the red flags. I just read a Meme on Instagram that stated, “Red Flags never turn green”, this is a fact. Knowing my worth an d still relishing in my self love I decided to end the marriage. I was a devastating time for me. I was embarrassed and humiliated but nothing prepared me for the betrayal of my 3 best Friends, or so I thought were my best friends. I found out that they were celebrating the demise of my marriage. One of them even travelled to see my ex-husband and his new woman 3 months after the divorce and she posted pictures of the happy couple on Instagram and Facebook. My secret was out. I had not shared with my family that i had gone through a divorce, my good friends did it for me. I was livid! Pain on top of pain was my reality!. I wanted to respond but I could not do so in kind. i had to be true to the Queen and me. I prayed to God and he sent me the message to “QUEEN UP”, I interpreted that as LEVEL UP, STAND UP, PRAY UP in support of other Queens who are going through the same or similar traumas. On December 23, 2017, Queen Up Movement was born. At that point I completely understood the reason God allowed me to experience all of the trauma in my life. it is to help other Victims and Survivors of DV, to encourage and support young Queens in their journey into Womanhood so that won’t be subjected to abuse, disappointment and betrayal. Praying for them, guiding them, supporting them and rebuilding the Queendom as Crowns are straightened and placed in the upright position. We are all Queens and sometimes a reminder is necessary. I deemed myself the “Crown Corrector” putting jewels in the Crown of Queens who have lost their way and have bought into the societal ideology that can make them feel as if the sexuality is the panacea for success. We are better than that and getting back to the basics is the focal point of my Non-profit Organization, Queen up Movement and Leadership Academy. I offer to the Queens reading this article these daily affirmations, “I am WORTHY! I AM Valuable! I AM ENOUGH!” Keep Queening Sis!
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
As the Host of a podcast on YouTube- Queen Up Chronicles TALK 1, It has been an exciting journey. The podcast was originally titled- Queen Up Chronicles. I started out in 2019 with 2 other Co-host. We enjoyed each other and the vibe was good. However, at the end of the season I no longer had the fear of doing the show alone. I became more secure in my abilities and skills after sharing the experience with the other Women. Realizing that it was truly my passion to promote Black and Minority Owned businesses in South Florida., I decided to go solo. That was the best decision i could have ever made for me and my journey. I prayed about it as I do everything in my life. I asked for guidance, financial security and a team to help me bring my vision to life. All of my prayers were answered. After going solo, I worked hard and was able to release the first episode of my podcast within 8 months. It is aired weekly instead of bi-weekly like the other podcast was scheduled. I am the Content Creator, Director, Stylist. Scheduler, Producer and Host of the podcast. I am not sure how I am doing it with a full time job BUT God!. A lesson that I have learned along the way is, You cannot force others to see your vision. It is for you to see and walk in it. As I walk in it I am being blessed at every level. I am truly a supporter of people that look like me. I want to change the mindset of, ‘We don’t support each other.” It does take a concerted effort. We are stronger together!
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Ok. My Best friend is in town. it is time to get lit! LOL! I would definitley take her to Black owned retsaurants in my neighborhood. The Brothers Bar B Que joint on 183 street and 37 avenue. The food is the bomb! I would take her to Ice Cream Heaven which is right up the street. For a nice happy Hour, we may cruise up the Lornas Carribean restaurant on 199 street and 27th avenue. There is also Nomis in Norht Miami. Hopefully she came during a time of celebration like Christmas. i would take her to my good Sister Queen Sasha, CEO/Owner of Shoe Feature, She has a fabulous Christmas party every year. You better bring your “A” game becsue the party is going to be popping! I love living in Miami. We live were people come to vacation. There is so much to see and do. The sky is truly the limit and we have all of the bases covered in and around Miami when it comes to entertaining visitors..
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I would like to give a shout out to my Sister Marla McCoy. She is a motivating factor in my life. I see her as a strong, resilient, no nonsense and responsible person. Marla has dealt with a lot of pain in her life and a devastating lost, We have experienced much of the same hurt in relationships. She has been strong in dealing with all of the disappointments and has been able to maintain a successful career, live life on her own terms and is married to the love of her life. i am so happy for her and want nothing but the absolute best for her. Although we were separated and raised in different households our bond is solid and based on mutual love and respect for each other. I really appreciate her. Marla is my hero! I would also like to Joi M. Elmore for referring me to this platform. She has been so supportive since we met. I really appreciate her and it means a lot to me to know that she has my back. Thank you Sister Queen! #QUEENUP
Facebook: Jay West and Queen Up Movement
Youtube: Queen Up Chronicles TALK 1