Natural is not a Phase

If you look around in the African-American community you see so many embracing themselves for the first time.  It’s a beautiful thing.  It’s not a phase for most.  This is the time to really embrace yourself in all of your flaws and especially when you’re Black or minority and there are limited amounts of things you can see in print, film, etc.  The time for making moves for you is now.

One of the things that I have always hated which is sad in itself to write is that I never wanted to find out my natural state of my hair.  Let me break it down because I am not alone in this at all.  On Saturday I did the most bravest thing ever and that was to cut the relaxer out of my hair and see what the natural state of my hair was.  To some, this is no big deal but I have had a relaxer in my hair since I was about 4 or 5 years old.  I was always told that my hair was “nappy.”  Now phrases like kinky and thick is being celebrated.  The conversation of what is good and bad hair is always going on in the Black community.  I know that since having my first daughter I have always told her that healthy hair is the best hair. I didn’t want to get caught up in her “kinky” hair being less than others because I knew that was what I was being taught from a little girl.  My twin when we were younger had that “grease and water hair.”  Her hair type was always the type that my mom could easily mange and mine wasn’t do to it being coarse, nappy or untamable without the aid of a relaxer.  With a relaxer my tresses became like my sister in the sense I could do more styles with it.

As I became an adult before kids I was in a salon every 2 weeks  getting it done and every 4 weeks I was getting my regiment of “creamy crack.”  By the way creamy crack is relaxer so it became normal.  I learned how to take care of my hair with a relaxer. I knew what I could and what I couldn’t do.  So fast forward to Saturday, my decision to cut the relaxer out has been months in the making.  This wasn’t just a new me thing.  It had to do with the fact that until I made my decision I put a weave in my hair in December.  I wanted to do the “big chop” in January but I got cold feet.  So back to Saturday I was thinking of all of the pros and cons. The cons had more to do with the stigma of natural hair.  Since I have been relaxing my hair all my life I knew  I would have to chop most of my hair.  So the stigma came from appearing bald-headed, or looking like a man.  I have had short hair several times including the months before I put the weave in I had cut my hair.  My hair grows back fast so when I took the weave out this time I really under normal circumstances could have just relaxed it and it would have been in a bob style.

I go to the salon of my choice here in Philadelphia and I tell them I am ready for the “big chop.”  My hands are sweating, my heart is beating fast, and I feel like I am going to throw up.  I thought about my daughters.  One has the same kinky hair that I do the other has thick curly hair.  How would I want them to respond about themselves?  My hair is my glory but I can be who I need to be without relaxed tresses.  As I was being washed it felt weird not being based for the relaxer.  I kept looking around.  I finally was washed and the cutting began.  I kept taking deep breaths as the hair was falling on the floor.  My hair dresser is telling me that she has to cut some more and I am thinking here I go, bald is going to be my expected end.  However she tries to show me my hair after just the cut but I refuse.  I just know what I want my hair to be.  Can my hair be healthy with a relaxer yes, it has been at times.  However I just don’t want chemicals in my hair.  I want to embrace this for me and for my daughters.

Image result for team natural

So the cut is done she styles me and reveals that I actually have wash and go hair.  I am looking at her like she has 3 eye balls.  Like who has some wash and curl hair?  But she reveals it and I am super happy.  One its super convenient since I do work out at least 3 days a week.  I love it.  I love the look.  It’s what I wanted and for the first time in years I don’t have to wait 24 hours for my hair style to grow on me.   I also am learning that team natural doesn’t mean team don’t comb or do anything to your hair.  Your hair needs to be treated well with regular washes, moisturizer, and love just like relaxed hair.  And no I don’t mean the same methods.  I mean at the end of the day relaxed or natural if you don’t take care of it, it won’t look or be much of anything.  You can’t be lazy in taking care of yourself whether or not you can afford to go to the hair dresser or not.  Taking pride in your hair is the number way to take care of your hair in either phase.

So as I get home I don’t have nerves of what my family or husband will think.  Not one.  I walked in like any other day hungry and ready to eat.  I was at the salon for quite some time. I post the pic on Facebook not looking for validation.  I was happy and I was okay with the world seeing my happiness.  I wasn’t looking for approval from my parents and siblings either.  I like and love it and that is what is important.  I am determined to eat right, look tight, and be happy and that means putting my needs to the top of the list.  I am loving the skin I am in not because I am team natural but because I am embracing and finding ways to create the happiness that isn’t always there.  Life sucks but I refuse to look bad and feel bad in this life.

Image result for team healthy hair

I am not a pro in this natural hair thing. I do not pretend to be.  I do know how I felt the moments leading up to my big chop as well as how I felt afterward.  I do know that it’s not easy to transition.  I am well aware as I learn my hair.  I have to dispel the thoughts that have come back to my mind already.

 

I am not advocating team natural over relaxed hair.  I refuse to get into a debate over it. There are pros and cons to both processes.  What I am advocating is being strong and confident like we teach our daughters.  What makes you look and feel the strongest go with that.  This day and age everything is destined to kill our vibe, time for women and men to find ways to be happy and healthy from the inside out.  I choose to be happy, fierce and strong in my own skin…..

Image result for love yourself

Advertisements

The World is on the Edge

Well we now know that Donald Trump is our president. I watched ALL the results.  So you can imagine that on my first day back to work today since my MIL past has been extra gloomy. I need to say what I am feeling today.  My heart is heavy.  I don’t feel like we shall overcome right now.  I don’t want to grab my neighbor and pat them down.  I am feeling lousy.  I know this too shall pass but since I am not in the passing mark, I got to vent.

I have a deep pain in my heart.  I mean I get what happened but it doesn’t make it right.  I know there are Trump supporters that are in a state of glee. I am not one who shares in those same sentiments.  To rally behind Trump knowing all the things he did to spew hate, separation, and ignorance doesn’t make sense.  I still don’t get all of his policies and feel like at this point I will just have to watch and see what unfolds.  Like how many times can someone ask you what you stand for and you constantly don’t have a clear plan?

My kids were mad this morning when we told them.  My son asked me if Trump who has been bullying people with his words will make an environment at school where more bullies can pop up. I had no answer for him.  I wanted to say no son it will be just fine but since I parent from a place of honesty I can’t sell him a dream I don’t believe in.  What was I supposed to do lie?  Not happening here.  I told him to let us know like we have always encouraged him to do.  I encouraged him to talk to his teacher.  I encouraged him to keep his hands to himself unless it’s in self-defense.  I made sure he knew that at his school he should be okay but if not I am a call away.  I couldn’t mince my words. I can’t give him rhetoric.  He needs to understand what he is up against.  He is old enough to get it better than some adults.  By all means if you have been following my blog you know I don’t advocate violence but I am not in any means going to tell my kids to get his ass beat and just sit there with no kid.  The police?  That’s a different story and a different conversation.  Kids?  Naw.

I am not asking for others to feel my pain in the same way that I am dealing with it.  I am just expressing where I am so I can move forward and find ways to protect my family.  The idea that sexism is not going anywhere makes me sick.  I said on my Facebook post yesterday:

I had a conversation with a male friend. My problem with the election is that sexism and racism seems to have won. My question is for males especially since women are usually objectified, where do your conversations go now? When you sit up with your male friends making comments that are disheartening, than what? I got some of the most woke males on my page dropping jewels and them same males would drop some of the most misogynistic comments towards women with respectful mothers and beautiful daughters in their home, so what is now your plan going forward? You are just a part of the problem.I’m not biting my tongue about these issues and expected to look at my daughters and tell them it’s gon be aight. We all want to rise up for race but leave women at the bottom of the barrel… Not no more.
Do you understand that statement above?  It’s not just because Clinton didn’t win. She came in to the race with a lot of baggage that the world wasn’t willing to accept.  The bigger picture is if you had to weigh both candidates we choose to make sure that a woman wouldn’t be in power and rolled the dice on a candidate that comes off as misogynist, racist, etc.  That sends chills up my spine just typing it.  I know some won’t agree.  Some had said that the devil you know is better than the one who you don’t.  In some respects that is true but when the devil is selling you a plan that you know isn’t in the best interest of the whole picture that is definitely scary business.
I have no answers.  I know that eventually things will get worst before it gets better.  I saw online where KKK are marching down south declaring Trump’s victory.  One of my co-workers daughter’s school has already had fights this morning because students were debating the election.  Another family member of mine states that her daughter is in class where students are calling brown and black students niggers.  I know it to be true not just because she is family, but because I went to the same district years ago and had the same exact thing happen to me.  So again I am not out evoking fear.  However I can afford to turn a blind eye to the mess either.  I wish everyone safety and that hopefully we can find a place of love.  My reality shows me that some will and some won’t.  I pray that the ones who won’t will be dealt with justly and swiftly.
I read someone say why can’t we love and move on.  I love all.  My intent is to show love. My intent is to treat everyone around me the same that I would want to be treated.  I live in a reality where the same sentiments will not be given to me or my family.  I love wiht a strong dose of reality and preparedness.

Birth of A Nation Flops

So I have been reading the many blogs that reported that Birth of a Nation flopped.  I have been paying more attention to the comments.  For those who have seen it have said nothing but great things about the film.  For those who hadn’t there are several factors that could have contributed to it.

Hurricane Matthew

A lot of the south is literally under water.  I think the story of Nat Turner is important but I highly doubt it was the focus point over the  thousands of people who didn’t have water or electricity. These types of situations don’t make it easy when studio executives are playing the numbers game.  I honestly belief that a large majority of people had they not been in this crisis would have gladly support it.  However we have to put priorities in place.  We need to restore basic human needs right now and the film which is still in theateres can gain more momentum as time goes on.

Nate Parker Scandal

He was acquitted of rape from the more than highlighted rape case in 1999. However we know how this goes, a lot of folks still believe that he and his co-writer Jean Celestin are guilty. When the media and community belief in your guilt it won’t matter if he was acquitted or not, people will not change their perspectives.  I would love to paint this situation as a done deal but it clearly is not.  How do some separate their own personal issues with rape and the rape culture from this?  It’s not easy.  I had close friends who struggled with this and some supported the film and other refused.  The one thing is that if we educate ourselves in all history than Nat Turner’s legacy will never die down regardless of the Nate Parker’s bruised reputation.  Let’s be clear its bruised.  Media scrutiny along with fact checks, biased opinions has kept this situation still going strong. Many rape victims themselves even came together to boycott the film and you know how boycotts work, all you need is a number of people to come together and that seals the deal.  I am not anti Birth of a Nation.  Let me be clear but I also know that can clearly see how scandals make or break things all the time.

Snatching Black Cards

I have read some of the most vile comments to date about how black folks don’t support black films and black businesses.  I think the argument can be made to support that but let’s be real. Whether as a black woman I support one film or not that will not take away from the real life blackness I face everyday I open my eyes.  How are we snatching black cards from folks just because they did or didn’t support the film or any other film?  Should we support black films?  Absolutely.  I think what we need to push African-American history in schools other than the month of February.  Make African American history just as important as any other history lesson that’s the real push. However every time movies flop it doesn’t mean that it wasn’t an important film.  To me the buzz that was generated from the Sundance film festival and the fact of what the writers was able to do speaks volumes.  We may have a long way to go but creating more divide in our community isn’t the way either.  I have had friends post on their social media that if I as a Black woman or man since it was a post don’t support it than I am no friend of theirs.  Wait? What? I looked at it and laughed.  There is more to our history than one film.  How about all of the other ones?  What is making the buzz around this movie to the point where friendships need to end?  This is sad. More now than ever is the movie timely, I get that.  I understand what it means now to see people organize to make a stand and to convey a message.  This divide needs to stop.

Listen the minute I can I will go and watch this movie.  I really want to see the film and see what the hype is about.  I wish people were bumping it more for the story of Nat than they are of Nate.  Most of the people who have seen it start off telling others to go see and it but separate Nate from it.  The fact that you mentioned his name let’s me further know that you understand that you can’t deny Nate’s influence in why people are even reconsidering screening the film in the first place.

Nat Turner is a phenomenal black man who decided not to allow White people to suppress him.  He took a stand and decided to organize to get others to see the value in themselves. He led a revolt that is responsible in the deaths of 55-65  White men. Along the way he freed slaves too.  Can you imagine the guts it took to do that?  That is the mark of a man who not only stands for something but definitely had love for others.  He put his life on the line to help others.  That takes bravery, tenacity, and love.  That is the story of Nat Turner and if you want to see the film and get the visualization for what it looked like to see a Black man take a stand in times when he could have just did as we was told, than support the film.

Image result