Tuesday, December 17, 2013
Monday, November 4, 2013
Black Girls Rock made it a point to make every Black girl or woman watching feel important, necessary and free to be who you are. The ladies behind HelloBeautiful interviewed a few beautiful black Queens on the pink carpet entering Black Girls Rock and asked them what it meant to be a Queen.
Michelle Williams said a Queen in three words is resilient, honorable and victorious. Erica Ash pointed out that a Queen is aware of who she is and where she comes from and is one that helps others. Queen Latifah herself defined a queen as one who owns their identity, power and is confident in her womanhood, "Being a female and being proud of it".
As a Black Girl who Rocks, I am a Queen because I believe in the strength and power of who I am and I am unafraid to go after my goals and dreams.
Why are you a Queen?
Honorees this year included "Living Legend" Patti LaBelle, "Rock Star" Queen Latifah, "Social Humanitarian" Marian Wright Edelman, "Star Power" Venus Williams, "Young, Gifted & Black" Misty Copeland, "Community Activist" Ameena Matthews and "Shot Caller" Mara Brock Akil.
"Creative Visionary" Mara Brock-Akil left a special message to Black women in her acceptance speech. As a writer and producer of shows like "Girlfriends" and "The Game", this business woman creates shows that validate the real lives of Black women. She stated in her acceptance speech that Black women have to validate each other especially in an America that does not validate and believe in the beauty, creativity and strength of them. Her latest business venture "Being Mary Jane" which also airs on BET is a series that shows black women in a light that they have not been seen before.
My response to her acceptance speech and my admiration for her as a black female writer, inspires me to contribute to organizations and programs that empower and encourage Black women to go after their dreams, be who they are and let nothing stop them from reaching their goals.
Meanwhile, one third of Black twitter was too obsessed with "The Real Housewives of Atlanta" to pay attention to the show. While the show is called "Black Girls Rock" and does seek to encourage young black women to be strong and go after their dreams, Black women of all ages can be inspired from the show. But when the ratings fight with a reality show that people watch simply to see black women fight with each other, what messages are we sending to our children, and those outside of our community that judge us on behalf of shows like that?
If you haven't watched this year's "Black Girls Rock" check it out and tell me what inspires you about the show and what goals you now have.
Sunday, October 27, 2013
As a social media marketing expert for MakeMeOverEb.com I attended the "Ask the Doctor" session before the Make Me Over Eb! makeover session, which discussed several topics related to health and wellness of Black women. At the "Ask the Doctor" session, which focus was on illnesses such as high blood pressure, diabetes and menopause, I learned that as a young woman in my twenties the way I treat my body now will impact greatly the illnesses I develop as an older woman. By eating healthier, reducing meat, fat and grease intake along with daily exercise, black women can extend the length of life and reduce the risk of developing serious illnesses. Leading a healthier life can even reduce the symptoms of menopause later in life.
Make Me Over Eb's makeover session along with the help of Karizma the Stylist put on a presentation that both wowed the crowd and gave out valuable information. They along with myself as an assistant, gave out gift bags, surprise giveaways and even did a few live makeovers. Ebony Looney the Eb of MakeMeOverEb.com stuck to the IMARA Woman theme that "One Small Change" can make a huge difference. By simply adding a colored scarf to an all black outfit one can spice up and ordinarily plain look. Scarves can be worn several ways and with winter season well on it's way, they can be found all over the place.
Karizma the Stylist gave a few hair care tips as she specializes in Natural Hairstyling, Braids, Weave Techniques, Commercial Hair Installations. With just edge control cream, water and a few bobby pins she transformed the hairstyles of two audience members. Taking care of black hair is defiantly work but with the right tools and a steady stylist that knows your hair type and needs you can achieve the look you desire.
The sessions followed a Luncheon that featured a pink inspired fashion show with models from toddlers to our wisest members of our community. The lunch provided was a healthy plate of brown rice, green beans, baked chicken, salad and a multigrain role that was completely delicious.
Be sure to subscribe to Imara Woman Magazine for future events and a very inspiring magazine.
Tuesday, October 15, 2013
Date: Sunday October 20, 2013
Time: 3:00pm - 6:00pm
Location: The Greater Columbia Chamber of Commerce, 930 Richland St, Columbia, SC 29210
The event is free to the public and will feature live make overs, beauty education, natural hair makeover tips, style assessments, giveaways and awesome gift bags!
Makeover artist's include:
- Ebony Looney of Make Me Over Eb
- Jessica Reese of Signature Care by Pynk (PynkHair.com)
- Courtney Page Scott of Natural Aspects Salon in Columbia, SC
The event is free and as well as the food but you must register!! Go to http://www.makemeovereb.com/events/ now to register for the event now!!
Saturday, September 28, 2013
Monday, September 16, 2013
"hairstyles such as dreadlocks, afros, Mohawks and other faddish styles".
With a growing number of black women taking the transition and "big chop" as it were to go natural, one would think that america was becoming more accepting of black women wearing their hair as nature intended. But in certain places in the nation, particularly Tulsa, Oklahoma, natural hair is not okay. Even more closer to home, I found today that my black body and black hair in an overwhelmingly White environment was also cause for huge disruption.
Today, I styled my hair for work in my go-to nappy roots style otherwise known as my back up plan for when my roots get too thick for me to handle alone without professional help. For this style, I washed my hair then braided it in cornrows which I removed in the morning for a purposely crinkled and kinky style. The response by my young White students was utter confusion and concern. An otherwise bouncy and natural looking style sent them into a frenzy of questions about what had happened to me to make my hair look so crazy, wild and weird.
Since the days of slavery and the following years of the dreaded Jim Crow era black people have been forced to tame our roots, take down our tone and in other words, not to do anything that might be a cause for attention. The fact of the matter is, that in our most natural state, this is who we are and no one should make us conform ourselves to make them feel comfortable. Every sort of black art; song, dance, fashion, hairstyle, has been made of purity of us defining who we are despite the corners we have been pushed into.
My advise, is to support black purity in its most natural state, whether you are natural or not, let no one discredit who you are, because it does not fit some sort of genre. Black people are beautifully made and create beautiful art.
Sunday, September 15, 2013
Not only are the forces of mass media; television, magazines, movies and social media a constant destruction of the confidence of black women, so to are the very people in our lives. Our own black communities are telling us that black people with dark features are not enough. We are told by our own people that dark hair and dark eyes and dark skin is ugly. Our very own dark people praise those of lighter skin and hail them as the most beautiful of our race. But why?
The pure beauty of people of color is the that fact that our shades, facial features and body types are so varied. The westernized ideal of beauty was made to praise one particular type of beauty and if everyone bends themselves to fit that one type of beauty, we'll all the look the same and where is the beauty in that?
"Imagine A Future" highlights a major issue among young black women, that of not finding the pure essence of who they are beautiful. A solution, we, black people as a whole need to reinforce the beauty of who we are individually and as a whole to ourselves and one another. Instead of constantly praising western beauty, we need to embrace our own beauty as seen through our art, culture and history. There is a reason why other cultures are constantly taking the things that we have created.
Talk and read about black history. Explore the history of your ancestors from Africa. Watch black movies, television shows and documentaries. Take part in creating a better world for our children to grow up in. Create a space for children to believe in their beauty from childhood. Hang paintings of black art. Tell your fellow black sisters and brothers, that they are beautiful. Make a statement to Willie Lynch that we will not be pitied against each other anymore. That whether we are light, dark, brown or biracial, we are are beautiful in our own right.
I believe that my Black is Beautiful because it has been poetically designed that way. What makes your Black Beautiful?
Tuesday, September 10, 2013
Which leaves me to my never ending battle with my local AAMCO Transmissions & Total Car Care. This local sub-par repair shop has decided that upon giving up my car for a free diagnostic that I lost all rights an privileges of humanity.
My car has been going through issues for the past few weeks and after spending some time on the side of the road as I was leaving for work, I decided no more. After calling around to a few different transmission shops, I decided on one to take my car to with the advise of an employee at Advance Auto Parts. I arrived at AAMCO at 9:30 am with the hopes of being out by 1:00 pm, just in time to make it to work. To my dismay, the service manager relates that I must leave my car there all day. After much relenting and searching for a ride to work, I agree to let them keep my car. After I get off work, I receive a call from the repair shop, where I find out exactly whats wrong with my transmission along with it's quote repair price of $414.17.
AAMCO then takes me on a six day uphill battle to fix and return my car. I decide to let them keep the car over the weekend, mostly because I am a woman and have no other choice. On Monday I call in 8:30 that morning for a re-explanation of the repairs that need to be made and the price. Now, all of a sudden, the price has been pushed to $501.00 for other mysterious issues.
I relate to the service manager that I am unable to pay the price in total at the moment and ask if I can set up a payment plan or at the very least pay half Tuesday on pick up day and the rest on Friday. The service manager proceeds to tell me that "sure that's fine, if you don't mind going without a car all week". I relate to him that I need my car and in return, he relates "well I need my money in full, in the real world a written and signed statement means nothing. You must pay all the money before I can hand your car over to you." He then suggests that if I have good credit that I finance through a company called Spring Leaf or I can call TitleMax and exchange my title for the cash to pay a $500 service charge. After telling him I refuse to take out a title loan and plead to pay half now and half later he advises, "just take out the title loan, I don't know why you are so afraid to do that." Finally, I scrape up the money and decide to pay it all on Tuesday when I come to pick my car up. When I asked the service manager if my car would be ready on Tuesday by 1:00 pm, he retorts, "I cant give you an exact time but don't see why it won't be ready then." I go on to explain that I need my car Tuesday by 1:00 pm so that I can go to work.
Surprise, surprise when I arrive on Tuesday my car is still not ready, due to some technical issues and the shop being very busy and all. The service manager continues to feed me excuse after excuse about why my car is not ready and then proceeds to tell me "remember, I said, I'd call you when it was ready and now it is not ready." I did not recall him saying that at all and I completely resent him talking to me as if I am a child. As a paying customer, I deserve to be treated with some decency and respect but because I am a women, this guy thought he could get over on me and jerk me around as if I don't depend on my car for life necessities, including going to work so I can pay his obscenely high service charge.
Being a woman at a repair shop, means to be treated like your car is worth more than you are. I was not treated with even the slightest courtesy as he held in his possession my car. As woman in a service center, we are in a position where men feel free to walk all over you. My advise is to stand up for the rights you deserve and when you are not afforded those right take a stand.
BOTTOM LINE: NEVER EVER TAKE YOUR CAR TO AAMCO! They will jerk you along, all the while increasing your bill and keep your car until they feel like returning it.
Saturday, August 17, 2013
Look out for a more extreme version of Nicki Look-a-likes! The most famous Barbie wannabee, Nicki Minaj is set to release a clothing line for young girls through Kmart. If it wasn't bad enough that little girls and grown women alike have already changed their speech and behavior, Nicki's influence on the world will now be shown through mini mid drift crop tops and skin tight pant sets in a galaxy inspired design.
While Kmart might increase its revenue, this back to school season, the fate of our respectable little black girls is at an all time low. How is one ever going to experience what it means to be a woman and beautiful if they are constantly being fed images of "beautiful black women" that are super busty with a small waist and large dairy-air. If anything we should instill in our young women it is the fact that one is beautiful being exactly who they are and most importantly, being "grown and sexy" comes with age and maturity not body type and revealing clothing.
Monday, July 1, 2013
Monday, June 24, 2013
Friday, June 21, 2013
Thursday, June 13, 2013
If it was not enough to have J. Cole’s “Power Trip” both stuck in our head and on repeat on our favorate radio stations, tracks from the album will be blasting from cars all summer. J. Cole’s second studio album Born Sinner Leaked online a mere week before its official release date June 18. The album release date is also the same date of Kane West’s Yeezus, the 8th studio album by the veteran MC . The album leak has created a buzz that puts Born Sinner as a must have summer album.
Cole’s first single off the album “Power Trip” has been the official intro to summer jam and an instant hit. The track that features R&B singer Miguel has women swooned and men admitidly falling in love. The album itself is complete with powerful reflective tracks, skits, interludes and funny voices curtrsery of Kendrick Lamar. The album title track “Born Sinner” featuring James Fauntleroy is a higly insightful track of Cole’s life before enter the music industry and after. He admits that like us all he was born sinning but he tries to live better than that.
If Kanye West is a Self proclaimed God among men then J. Cole is the everyman of mankind placing our stuggles and successes to a beat complete with background choir. “Born Sinner” opens with Villuminati, refenceing the music industry and the illuminati controversery. Track five, “ Forbidden Fruit featuringKendrick Lamar will have fans vibing to and reciting “Coleis King” and this album his crowing moment. “Forbidden Fruit” refrences the orginal sin of Adam and Eve, complete with 23 psalms quote. Cole’s lyrics on this track are pure genusis,“Forbidden Fruit/watch for the Adam’s apple/what you eat don’t make me sh*t/who you F*ck don’t make me cum/price on my head wont make me run/trying to kill but it can’t be done/put two and two together/ Cole here forever”. Despite the lack of promotion from his lable under Jay-Z and his compartlivly small fan base, Cole continues to deliver great music and spit from the heart.
Read more at: http://theurbantwist.com/2013/06/12/j-coles-born-sinner-leaks-online/
Stream the album here: bornsinner.com
Friday, June 7, 2013
Monday, May 20, 2013
Lawless, Jill. "Zoe Saldana: Nina Simone Controversy Wont Deter Me From Telling Story." The Huffington Post 15 May 2013: 5.
Monday, May 13, 2013
Be it Natural, relaxed, coarse, or curly, braided or locked, black hair requires a lot of time attention and care. From days of childhood black women have sat in the laps of maternal figures as our hair was parted, greased and braided. Only to find it unraveled by the end of the week to suffer the repercussions of a good wash and the brutality of the hot comb.
Recently, there has been a great movement of many black women to make a shift from relaxed hair to natural. As a relaxed sister interested in the movement, I asked a natural sister, Mudwia Pettus, graduating senior, English major at Claflin University about her choice to go natural and she relates that
“One of the greatest things about natural hair is that it easier and cheaper to do your own hair than when you are relaxed. If I want to change my hair, I don't have to schedule an appointment with a stylist. I just pick a style that I want to try, go get the needed products from under my bathroom sink, and get to work. Doing your own hair as a natural-haired woman is often the fiscally responsible choice as well.”
MadamYou or @techturized is a social network for women of color that bridges the gap between natural and relaxed hair divisions to create a space for simply healthy black hair. Clutch magazine recently interviewed the founders of MadamYou, who are a group of techie's and scientists who have researched the best tips and products for women of color all available in one place. “Madame You is the only social network for hair and beauty that combines science and technology to provide recommendations for women to make better hair decisions.”
I also asked a black sister with relaxed hair about her regimen. Nicole Cramer, senior English major at Claflin University, had this to say about her short, curled coif.
Black hair is among one of the most discussed issues in circles of black women and more recently among pop culture when it even comes to discussing the First Lady’s new style of bangs. Black women and more importantly our dress and hair is always up for debate and called into question. In a lecture given at Spelman College, on February 21, 2013, Melissa Harris Perry noted that “The Hair of African American Women is a problem and a mystery.” Whether our hair is natural or relaxed, braided or styled with a bang, our hair is a political statement and we are thus judged accordingly. The more we embrace our roots and keep testing the waters of products and styles, the more the world will have to get used to our ever changing styles.
Tuesday, April 30, 2013
Black Love & Peace
Wednesday, April 24, 2013
Black Love & Peace
Friday, April 5, 2013
“That word can be very extreme, but I guess I am a modern-day feminist. I do believe in equality. Why do you have to choose what type of woman you are? Why do you have lato bel yourself anything? I’m just a woman and I love being a woman."- ForHarriet.com
Wednesday, March 20, 2013
Tuesday, March 5, 2013
Sunday, March 3, 2013
Thursday, February 28, 2013
Thursday, February 14, 2013
So during this black history month, this valentines day, this year, show appreciation for your community. Pay homage to those who have come before us and fought the sometimes fatal fights for the rights we enjoy today. Show appreciation for those older ones around us that continue to support and encourage us. Lets support each other as we work hard to make our dreams come true, doing what makes us happy!!!
Always show love and appreciation for that special person that's in your life all year long... Not just on valentines day!! And create a love that is even better than in the movies!!
Celebrate Black Love!!
Wednesday, February 13, 2013
While there will be an influx of black media during the month of February, one wonders, where are all the black faces are during the rest of the year.
There has been a serious decline of quality black television, movies and print advertising since the 1990's. During the early 90’s there was at least 10 all black casted shows on major networks. “An examination of the networks’ current primetime lineups produces similar results concerning the quality and quantity of African American oriented programs. None of the three major networks (ABC, CBS, and NBC) have a show involving predominantly African American characters.” (Woodard) There has been an even more decline of black actors in movies television programs and advertisements in print and through visual means. In the music industry many black artists are developing a trend of crossing over into the pop department. “In early 2000, states A Piece in the Hollywood Reporter blacks played 15% of roles in film and TV. Today it has fallen to 13%.” (Thompson) My issue however is not with the pop genre but with musicians and producers not finding traditionally, black music “sound and soul”, marketable. What was once a treasured sound has now become a rarity among popular black artists.
During the summer of 2012, a campaign began to prove to advertisers that black media is a worthwhile investment. The campaign came to be known as "in the black", its target goal was to prove to investors that black America was a worthwhile target of consumers. One ideal way to track black consumers was to create, advertisements, in print and online that featured and catered to the African American community. The campaign would also promote more black businesses and television programs that centered on the African American community. There has been no report of the results yielded by the campaign since July 2012.
What will be left of our history and culture if we continue in the habit of selling our soul so to speak for bigger bucks, and both lighter sounds and faces. In reality, the black faces we do tend to see throughout the year in the media are rarely readily identifiably African American. We as consumers need to demand more of quality black entertainment. In a popular USA Network television series, Suits paralegal, Rachel Zane played by Meghan Markle is one of the few black characters on the show. Since the shows airing in June 2011, it was hard to identify her ethnicity. It isn't until the January 31, 2013 episode where we meet her clearly black father played by Wendell Pierce. Those of us who are or plan to be in the media industry should work to create mores spaces for African American faces, history, culture and entertainment.
Sunday, February 3, 2013
Thursday, January 31, 2013
Yet issues among African Americans arise when people tend to get shade specific as if the brown paper bag test is still being applied. Both in social networking and in day to day conversation, people of color compare and contrast those of darker skin complexion to those of a lighter shade. To be lighter, makes one better and those who are darker. These are just a few of the slave masters tricks still at play. Shade divisions and contentions exist only to separate and divide the black community.
In the words of a very conscious friend of mine Jacob Maxey "most if not all people of color are still under some for of mental slavery. we tend to set our self back by falling into beliefs that have kept us lockdown still to this day." To be of any form of color is to be subject of being called or assumed black. This however should not be viewed as a derogatory term. The world is more populated with more people of color than white and this should be awe inspiring, to be of such a vast and beautiful people. So whether you are very light with just a hint of African or African American, or dark like the evening sky with a twinkle in your eye, believe in the beauty of you and your people.
Thursday, January 24, 2013
In the spirit of celebrating black women all year long, It has just been announced that Civil Rights Activist Rosa Parks will be the first black woman to have a statue in her honor on Capitol Hill. While it has been known that Rosa Parks was not the first or only black woman to refuse to give up her seat, it was her Resistance that sparked the Civil Rights Movement in Alabama.
Each state receives the honor to nominate a leader from among them for a statue on Capitol Hill and Alabama Chose the Honorable Rosa Parks. Lets make this tradition of honoring African Americans throughout 2013. This is the Year for return of Blacks in popular culture, so let us support them in movies, music, books, politics and fashion.