About BlaQk House Collections


“The Inception”

Owners Cynthia Marie Kenderson “I AM Cynt” and Nicky Jo Dawson met at a Christian Rally in East Liberty that was held after the death of Antwon Rose II.  Nicky Jo was one of the Speakers at the event and Cynthia attended as a Photographer. After the event Cynthia felt extremely motivated and encouraged after listening to Nicky Jo’s empowering and inspirational words, and began to follow her organization BLaQK Ops, photographing and volunteering whenever time allowed. After conversing a few times, the two realized that their Visions, Mission and Desires for the Community via The Equilbruim of Entrepreunership and Social Service were very similar. They both verbally agreed to partner in a future Art Café/Coffee House. When Cynthia was presented the opportunity of “Space”, she immediately called Nicky Jo and informed her that the Partnership Of “The Conception” is Before Us.

“The Conception”

“Welcome Home”…

A Safe Space 

Where Every One 



regardless of the bias and social constructs

gender, sexual orientation, ethnicity, age, culture, social and financial status etc.

“The Manifestation”

BLAQK House Collections Is An Art Gallery & Multi-Space In Downtown Pittsburgh.

A Space Created For The Expression Of BLaQK Lives.

Reflective Of The Beauty, Brains & Brawns Of A Resillient People.

The Plight/Flight To And From Greatness Manifested Through All Forms Of Art.

 Giving A Platform To Artists To Be Agents Of Social Change,

 Shaping Of The Consciousness and Being an Incubator of Dreams. 

From Exhibitions, Music, Theater, Film Series, Lectures, “Speak BLAQK” etc…

Nicky Jo Dawson Co-Owner BLAQK House Collections

In June 2017 Nicky Jo Dawson created a nonprofit organization called B.L.A.Q.K OPS, (Black Liberated Army of Queens & Kings, Opposing Power Structures). It was created with the intent to rebuild The African American Community from the societal woes into an inhabitation of Queens and Kings reminiscent of our Ancestral lineage as people of African descent. 

Through Nicky's leadership, her organization has aided entrepreneurs via monthly "cashmobs" to perpetuate financial stability for Blaqk Businesses ...

One recent successful "cashmob" event was Jamil’s Global


Village in East Liberty, which has fought off redevelopment efforts for the past decade, all while staying committed to supporting the community. After the death of the owner, this put an additional strain on his family and on an already struggling black-owned business. Hundreds of people came out even through a severe weather storm to support and purchase from the store.


Her Passion for the uplifting of her community has led her and her organization to monthly community outreach projects such as a Purse and Care Package for the Homeless and disenfranchised - Winter Wear; coats, hats, and blanket etc... 

She has collaborated with other organizations to show Unity amongst races, gender, and other cultures which resulted in this past summer's "Unity Not Hate Picnic" in conjunction with Steel City JBGC in Avalon, spewed from the Paul Morris Hate crime incident in Avalon. BLaQK OPS partnered with SisTers PGH Black trans Lives Matter SisTers PGH on the initiative for our transgender family regarding inhumane treatment at the Allegheny County Jail.


Through BLaQK OPS, Nicky teaches and trains young women and men through a series of empowerment series. Her training and mentoring group made such an impact that she has been invited to speak on many panels in Pittsburgh.  One event that made a huge impact on the community was the Annual Black Family Summit, which discussed the needed power shift between the past and present Blaqktivists (Civil Rights Movement & Black Lives Matter). This discussion empowered those attendants at the Community College to begin organizing and strategizing to be effective at getting results. To transcend beyond marches and protest and to commit to community empowerment, economically, spiritually, and mentally etc...

She has spoken to various schools in Pennsylvania reaching multiple students in face-to-face assemblies in classrooms while providing information on police brutality and how to conduct yourself legally. 


Nicky has in silent strategized and researched many legal issues for civilians and aided legal counsel standing with support throughout the trials of many. The servant leader has passions for developing new leadership skills germane to problem-solving. She Influences and inspires others to effect change, take risks, and have courageous conversations, we dare not have. 


The life of an Blaqktivist/community leader is living for that change, in words and deeds.  The life of an Blaqktivist/community leader requires very high amounts of passion, empathy and time which is the driving force and belief that the changes they seek are the answer to the question.

Nicky Jo firmly believes there is no Revolution w/out Rebellion. "Do not pledge allegiance to a flag, pledge allegiance to your Conscious!"


Cynthia's Pic x Bio

Cynthia Marie Kenderson “I AM Cynt” Co-Owner BLAQK House Collections

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Cynthia is a Visionary/Dreamer with an eye for details… she manifests this through her photography and her ability to craft words into poetic sonnets and metaphors.

Cynthia began writing poetry from an early age, never seeing it as a gift, but as a second language.

When she was unable to articulate her deepest feelings the words would regurgitate out from her mouth fluidly like a second language.


She published her first book of poetry in August 2013. Her Personal Motto as an Artist is “To Dream, Create and Promote Excellence, The State Of Rising Out Of” through her works of Art. She recently became one of the first of 6 Cohorts of An Artist residency program called “Nafasi on Centre” in The Hill District.