Arizona Storytellers: Joanna de’Shay
KJZZ partners with the Arizona Republic to bring you the Arizona Storytellers series. We record the live events and share them with you on the radio. In Phoenix, the storytellers sometimes share stories about our community or the life events that have shaped them in general. Megan Finnerty is the creator of the series.
Joanna de’Shay grew up in Ghana. Her father is Nigerian and her mother is Russian. De’Shay refers to herself as a Black Russian.
Every Saturday, de’Shay and her mother would go to the market, called the makola.
As a kid, de’Shay loved watching the fashionable women selling fabric and other artistic goods. Her mother is also very fashionable and carried herself in a way that Joanna idolized. After moving to the States, de'Shay tried to cultivate a fashion sense for herself for many years — though it wasn’t always easy.
Joanna de’Shay lives in Phoenix and her clothing line is called Black Russian Label.