Tag Archives: African American women

“All About Love: New Visions” (bell hooks) Final Discussion

Hello everyone! Thank you soooo much for participating in our previous discussions on bell hooks’,  All About Love! This space is solely created to get in depth with the final portion of the text. On twitter, we usually send out a series of tweets tell you how we feel about the book, but we never really get to know what’s going on in your head too much. So, we want to try something a little different. We are going to pose a few questions about the book to start the discussion off, but we want all book club participants to get the discussion rolling and connect with each other! Answer a question, comment on an opinion, create your own question, do it all!
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Questions to ponder:
Chapter 9: The Heart Of Love
-Hooks discusses the idea of “privilege of power” through the patriarchal system. In what ways does patriarchal thinking affect both men and women in relationships? Have their ever been a time when you felt that a relationship was hindered because of a reflection over power or control?
“To know love we must surrender our attachment to sexist thinking in whatever form it takes in our lives.”
Chapter 10: Sweet Love
“Sexual pleasure enhances the bonds of love, but they can exist and satisfy when sexual desire is absent.”
How do you feel about hook’s strong statement? How can this be applied to the normalcy of casual intercourse?
Chapter 11: Loving into Life and Death
“All the worship of death we see on our television screens, all the death we witness daily, does not prepare us in any way to face dying with awareness, clarity, or peace of mind. “
We never really talk about love and how it correlates to death. So how did this chapter show realization to your personal lost loved ones and the fetish that our society has over death?
Chapter 12: Redemptive Love
Probably our favorite chapter, learning how to heal a broken, misused heart to love again.
“No matter what has happened in our past, when we open our hearts love we can live as if born again, not forgetting the past but seeing it in a new way, letting it live inside us in a new way.”
What stuck out in this chapter for you? What have you learned about redeeming your own past for your own hearts sake?
Chapter 13: When Angels Speak of Love
Love and spirituality: How can those factors relate to each other? And more importantly, why is love the central commonality in all spiritual intents and religions?

Feel free to answers the questions or post final thoughts on the book in the comments section below or tweet them to us on twitter! (@AfroMadu)

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Crochet Braids 101

Hello my Natural Sisters,

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Can I tell you how I just fell IN LOVE with this new protective style called Crochet Braids! One of my friends from school had them in, and I just had to try it out for myself. I absolutely love it! This protective style is very easy to do and manageable for all my busy working women out there. I suggest using Marley hair which you can purchase from your local hair store for only $5.99 a pack… did I mention this was a cheap hair style?!?! Depending on the size of your head you will only need 2-4 packs of hair, if you haven’t noticed my head is kind of big so I used 3 packs. Marley hair comes in all different colors so you will be able to add a little spice of color with this hair style and keep it fresh. This protective style is very helpful when it is time to oil your scalp because of the braids all you have to do is separate them and apply the oil. Here is a video on how to do these wonderful Crochet Braids: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=phJvNpzAo-Y#action=share

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Once you have done the first step you then want to begin to think of what size curls you want. If you are try to have more of a smaller curl I suggest using a smaller perm rod (The pink one), But if you are try to have more of a bigger curl I would use a bigger perm rod or a flexi rod. Here is a video step by step on how to produce these wonderful curls: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=txCk7c2Wn4U . How every you do not have to curl your hair I know a lot of women that leave the Marley hair in its natural state and rock it just as well. I hope you ladies enjoy this hair style as much as I am, until next time cutiessss.

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8 Struggles Only a Natural Girl Would Understand.

This week me and my hair have been going through the STRUGGLE, so I narrowed it down to 8 struggles I know you would all understand:

  1. Shocking people with your new hairstyles EVERY week.shocking
  2. Product Junkie!!!product junkie
  3. People ALWAYS touching your hairhair touching
  4.  Trying a new hairstyle you saw on YouTube but it doesn’t come out rightyoutube gone wrong
  5.  THE STRUGGLE OF DETANGLINGdetangle
  6. Wash day really being ALL DAYwash-day
  7. When you wake up and your twist are not dryTwist not dry
  8. When Bae wants to sleep over and you introduce him to the “Night time” you Bonnet

 

Guest Submission: Women’s Disciplines.

Author and scholar, Alice Walker, shed light on a discipline that made Black women feel at the center. There are two disciplines, which are broken into two parts, feminism and womanism. Womanism was first coined by Walker in a narrative essay entitled “Womanism: Coming Apart.” In 1983, Walker went into depth further when she explained just exactly who the womanist is.

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Each of the disciplines can be problematic for some. For an example, feminism falls into two categories [white] feminism and Black feminism. Womanism is also broken down into womanism, coined by Walker and Africana womanism, which was coined by Clenora Hudson-Weems. Each of the disciplines have stated the problem, as most disciplines do. Feminism is problematic on so many different levels because although there were Black women who were the first feminists, the construct like many others faced a “manifest destiny.” This meaning that the ideology was removed and stripped by white supremacist though or the social construct of whiteness. 

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When white feminists first began their movement, many of them were abolitionists. Even then, the white abolitionists within the slave period had no understanding that slavery was not the overall issue. Our history has taught us that. Humanity was an even larger issue. Once enslaved Africans were freed they were exposed to another world of problems thanks to what whiteness represented.  Black women were not included into the [white] feminist conversation. Why? Black women, the African woman had agency over herself before slavery, during slavery and after slavery. Enslaved Africans viewed their slaveowner’s wives as defenseless creatures. Even in enslavement, the African woman, knew and recognized her role and how important that would be for her people. Slavery, never allowed for her to lose sight of that. Feminism appeared to be more about working, something that African women were already breaking their backs to do, identity, something that African women were consciously aware of because of the extreme trauma that they faced, and being in the white man’s shoes, which was not a desire of the AFRICAN woman. Therefore, in so many ways many both men and women of African descent view feminists who not only identifies the man as the enemy within our patriarchal society, but within the same breath actually desires to wear his shoes. 

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Alice Walker states in “Womanist” (1983) that the womanist is “committed to survival and wholeness of entire people, male and female.” The question must be asked does feminism do the same thing in both white and Black disciplines? Walker also states that a  womanist is “wanting to know more and in greater depth than considered “good” for one.” This means, that the Black woman is concerned about Black people and not just Black women. She values and loves the Black woman “sexually and/or nonsexually,” but also has this same feeling for the Black man. A womanist has an understanding that we have faced so much together as a people, that it would make no sense within a white supremacist society to identify one another as the enemy. Who is the enemy? What white men and white WOMEN represent is the enemy to the discipline of womanism. Whiteness is the enemy. Walker when she coined womanism did have every intention on the attempt to support Black feminists, because they are our sisters. Hudson-Weems felt as though womanism was still too much similar to the discipline of feminism. Africana womanism, chooses to identify the homeplace, which is Africa. Not only is Africana womanism about agency as women, it is about the agency of being African. Womanism and Africana womanism has many differences, but they both target “whiteness” as the ultimate issue, because of the collective social injustices that we face in this world.

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-Melanie “CoCo” McCoy

Guest Submission: “Slipped Too Deep”

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This poem was inspired by the choreopoem “For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When the Rainbow Is Enuf” by Ntozake Shange. Like Shange’s, this poem expresses one of the many struggles and obstacles that African-American women may face throughout their lives.

 

Slipped Too Deep

I moaned for it.

Gripped your skin, and let you push it in-to me

Raw.

My hands shook when you gave it to me.

An orgasm tried to reverse the present but you shoved it back in with two fingers

I loved every bit of it.

And at the time I didn’t know the gift was from your ex,

She picked it up, gave it to you, and then went to the next.

You claimed she was the best.

And I strived to be better, strived to get wetter.

To do things to you she didn’t know existed, but that girl was gifted.

Talented at keeping secrets and giving diseases-

My heart was begging and pleading,

And neither of us could hear it.

Your eyes whispered I’m cheating on you while you were on top

And I encouraged the deceit, screaming don’t stop!

The subliminal message behind every “I love you” was,

“but I say that to all of y’all”

One confession made me feel so small. All of this anger inside of me is building a wall,

That I refuse to climb.

I just knew you were all mine.

My selfish ass never shared nothing,

But all this time you was fronting.

Smiled in my face

And let another bitch take my place.

It’s not right

Stabbed my heart, kissed my cheek, and then cleaned off the knife.

You fucked up my life!

And I cant forgive you.

Still cant believe all of the things you confessed to.

Images create themselves in my mind of what you did to her,

Got to get rid of ya’

Deleted text messages read “sorry I gave you Chlamydia

 

Stephanie Williams 

Revitalize Yo’ Hair!

We’ve all had those couple of days, weeks…. and if you’re me, months when you completely let go off your hair routine. 

You just say “fahget about it” and let your hair’s health sit on the back burner. 
Perhaps you’re busy with school, work, or just having a lazy weekend. When you come back to the real world your hair is dry, you’re suffering from single strand knots, breakage and a slew of other hair issues.
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Where do you go from here? Deep conditioning? Protein treatment? Oil Rinse? One of those may work, but if you’ve neglected your hair for an extended period of time you will need more than that. 

For two months I let me hair do it’s own thing. I did everything half-way… I sorta washed it, I kinda moisturized it, I may have kept my ends protected. When I woke up and smelled the roses my hair was a mess. I was suffering from dry, flaky, bleeding scalp; my ends where serious damaged and my hair was shredding like no tomorrow. I took 6 hours out of my Friday night to revitalize my hair and it worked tremendously. Whether you let you hair slide for a couple day, months or just need something to give your hair some extra life – I suggest you try this…

 

1- Avocado + Egg Hair Mask – 2 hours 

IMG_20130913_210541Tools: 
1/2 a ripe avocado 
1 egg 
coconut oil 
castor oil 
hand mixer or whisk 
bowl

 

 

Step One: Add your avocado and egg into the bowl, mix with the hand mixer on high power 
Step Two: Heat up your oils (I just the bottles in the sink under running hot water) 
Step Three: Add Oils to the avocado and egg mixture, blend on high power until there are very little avocado chunks left.
Step Four: Wet your hair – you can use a spray bottle or run you hair under water 
Step Five: Divided you hair into four to six sections and work the mixture into your hair from root to ends  
Step Six: Cover your hair with a shower cap. (I tripled up on the shower caps and wrapped my head with a t-shirt to promote heat)

 

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Let it sit for an hour to an hour and half. 

2- Apple Cider Vinegar Rinse – 15 minutes  

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Apple Cider Vinegar 
an empty bottle of water

Step One: Mix 3 part water and 1 part ACV in the empty of water. 
Step Two: Wash your hair out with this ‘potion’ — working section by section 
*tip* be very careful not to get this mixture in your eyes, nose or mouth. 
Step Three: Thoroughly rinse your hair out 

– Your hair should feel much lighter with extreme bounce. Your curly pattern should also be very defined. 

Here’s a photo of my extremely defined hair strand:

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3- Deep Conditioner – 1 hour 

Tools: 
Your favorite deep conditioning product [ I used Creme Of Nature Intensive Conditioning Treatment pack] 

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Step One: work your conditioning treatment into your hair, root to tip 
Step Two: Put a plastic shower cap on your head and let it sit for an hour 
Step Three: Rinse it out thoroughly

After Care – You can follow this line – up by putting a protective style such like braids, twist or hair weave in OR you can style as usually. 
I followed this with a Bantu knot out and achieved great results . 

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Do Not Mistake the Television for a Looking Glass.

I went to an event tonight that was focused on the empowerment of the Black Woman, and I must admit as much as I thought I knew about Women in general, I had no idea how much baggage they carried in the curve of  their smiles, with the excess spilling out of their pockets books. For that, I apologize. I have often mistaken the sass of Women, for outright disdain when it simply, could have been fatigue from walking around carrying the weight of not only her thoughts but the constant judgement the Black Woman bares the instant she exits her threshold. I will no longer fall victim to the insensitivity many of my Brothers have falling victim to, trying to tailor the Woman that wears her heart on her sleeve. 

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I have written in previous post about my love for the Black Woman, I see them all as personified art, with each curve and each follicle being a stroke of the creators paint brush, each somewhat similar but unapologetically unique at the same time. So this hits very close to home. Raised in a house with two older sisters, my Mother and Grandmother, I would never think that the pain they self imposed, whether it be a perm, or eyebrow waxing or what have you, would be so that they could go outside and be seen as an actual member of society. The mind set is so absurd, that one must  jump through hoops to look “desirable” on the outside for people to want to know the beauty that resides within. This world is tainted and I want to take the time out and use my medium to let every Woman that is reading this that if no one ever told you, you were beautiful, I am saying it right now! You Are Gorgeous! I mean that from the bottom of my heart. Do not hang your head for any reason because you were made in God’s image, so walk as if you are trying to talk to him face to face and thank him for your many blessing. DO NOT EVER apologize, for your complexion, your curves or the coarseness of your hair because you are so much more than any of those things. 

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The media has started this facade that all Women must be a default, no one varying from the next. Ladies this is a lie and you should not stand for it. If The Almighty wanted every Woman to look the same then he would have made you that way. Embrace your insecurities, sharpen them until they transform from a shield you hide behind to a sword that you fight with. The media is not real, what you see every morning is. Focus on the “Im every Woman”s and not the “Girl You Look Good Wont You Back That Thang Up”, even though I know that one genre heavily out weighs the other. The power of Man, in a general since of all human beings, comes from inside of you so for every compliment you do not get, you give yourself one and then give one to the girl who also may not have gotten one. Kindness has always been contagious, be the stone that causes miles of ripples in the Sea.

I hate when Men say that they apologize on behalf of all Men, that is asinine. I do apologize however for the times, however few, that I made any Woman feel as if you was not the Queen that she is. I make a promise to all Women that when my kingdom begins and my Queen and I welcome our Prince into the world, from day one he will be taught respect, humility and admiration for the beauty that lies within and outside of a women. My Princess will no that Daddy thinks she is gorgeous, and the television is a make believe place and the magazines tend to pretend that, the Women that call their pages home are perfect, and at this point I will point her to a mirror so she can see first hand want perfection really is.

As Always, I Love You, God Loves You, Love Yourself,

Man of Madu