Tag Archives: African Americans

Back To School Natural Hair Styles (For ALL Ages)

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Hey my natural sisters! Yes, summer is almost over (or is over for some) and school is already in session. During school, we tend to neglect our hair for our work, which is totally understandable, so we highly recommend protective styles because it is less maintenance. In order to make your back to school preparations a bit easier I’ve listed some natural hairstyles ideas for naturalistas of ALL school levels.

Elementary Cutie Pies

elemanrty 2Around this age group, children tend to be more of a free spirit. These are “the good years” Elementary 1because there is less homework and more play. Between the playground and arts and crafts time, your children’s hands will be in everything and that includes their hair. Beads or any other accessory to her hair that she can play with (But not too much that can be a distraction to other students) can be very useful and protective for those everyday play dates. Braids or ponytails are always easy and fun, but below are something new that can spice up your daughters hair style choices.

 

Middle School Divas

While puberty and realization hits these small teens, middle school becomes a point where appearance and the beginning of their socail lives matter. They become little divas andelemantary 4 believe they know everything and can do everything on their own. They tend to ask for more of a “grown-up” look which means they want to look older then what they really are. I suggest box braids, twist-outs, or maybe a bun. Just avoid adding any type of heat to her hair and DO NOT I REPEAT DO NOT put a perm in your child’s hair.

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High School Sweethearts

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High is a time when not only are they STILL decoding their social life and appearance, but change and middle school 1growth is often very common. Trying new things certainly with their hair such as; color, weaves, blow outs, and many more. Their hair styles tend to reflect their personalities and how they are feeling. Along with set trends and following them, these high school sweethearts adore the idea of being popular and looking their best.

 

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College Naturalistas

college 2In college you should most definitely be very focused on your studies but do not neglect college 5that fro, ladies! In college you will some many other natural hair sisters that you can connect with. You will find new hairstyles through your new found natural hair community. I suggest high puffs, braids, Havana twist, quick weaves, and a variety of up-dos. All of these sweet years embracing your hair and protecting will be glorious. Taming that mane and protecting that fro was ALL worth it after all!

 

So have a safe and protected school season. Protecting your hair will give you more time to focus on studies and not new hairstyles everyday. Happy Back to school!

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Juneteenth: Channeling Our Energies in Our Own Purposes.

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I think my fascination of Juneteenth has always been the fact that we are alive and well to celebrate this infamous holiday. We made it. Our ancestors lived through slavery. And if it wasn’t for their persistence and high spirits, we wouldn’t be able to see this day and build each year… 

So there’s something to think about in this small victory for ex-slaves. How did they manage to live through this experience? And furthermore, what can we do today to exemplify the strength and vigor that they had? Of course there are many answers to these questions, but I want to look at something very specific: purpose. 

During slavery, it was clear that slaves served a higher master than White folk. This is not even to get too much into religion or anything, but they knew what there purpose was and for most of them, it was being able to get through, get out, and tell their stories. Because of these purposes, Black people today are still story-telling, maintaining culture, and living life. But we are lacking in something, and its definitely purpose. 

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Do you honestly think your daily life coincides with your intended purpose? Are your talents and qualities, as a human, as descendants of this great ancestors, are actively living in your everyday lives?

Every day we do things that benefit our current state but doesn’t not replenish our souls nor purpose. We work full time jobs to make a decent living and go to school to get degrees, but do we push ourselves to ultimately make us happy? Are our natural talents and “feel goods” being worked just as hard? ABSOLUTELY NOT. 

It’s cool to be great workers for the jobs that you are currently working, and of course it’s great to be awesome scholars, but imagine if you invested that same energy in fulfilling your own purpose. Think about how free and happy your life would be. If anything, we owe it to our ancestors who built this country, and were still devoted some of their time to ensure that their energy was not fully into doing the works of their masters. Live your OWN life and serve your own purpose. Now THAT’S freedom. 

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Use this day to reflect on your energies and how you can properly distribute them. What is you purpose? What are you going to do to make sure that you live through it everyday? 

Who’s next??

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Martin, Malcolm, Medgar, Jessie, Rev. Al, Andrew, Huey, and Nelson. Who’s next in line? All of these great men made impact’s on society. Who can we say have stepped into their footsteps and made a new path? There are several reasons (will only name 3) why we do not have leaders like the ones I’ve named. 

1. Lack of Transition  

In order to build great leaders we must reach back and mentor individuals who we can see has potential to continue the fight. Many times individuals whom we keep around us because we see great things in them are only able to watch what the leader does and never received teaching on how it is done. Hence, leaving the next generation of leaders trying to figure out how things are done without the background knowledge. 

For example, in math class teachers would annoy us by wanting to see how we derived to our answers. Sometimes our methods were wrong even though we still received the same answers. Similar to becoming a great leader, at times people know how to look at a problem and solve it by creating a movement of change. Yet without knowing how to properly organize, ignite, and motivate the people the movement will only become a moment and die out quickly. 

When the Trayvon Martin case happened it sparked a momentum amongst black people to unite and stand for justice. However, hundreds of black males wrongfully die daily but we do not fight for every man. Just like in the 1950-1960s,  blacks were lynched daily. Sure Negros at the time could have become desensitized but they decided to address the issue head on and make strides to fight against lynching. Today, we must ban together and fight against wrongful killings amongst our black man via blacks against other races, blacks on blacks, and blacks being put into the system to kill off their dreams. 

 

2. Lack of Support 

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 Where is the U-N-I-T-Y? What happened to everyone under the African diaspora uniting for greater causes? If a Hitler type arose in American wanting to kill blacks he would not separate the African Americans from the Caribbean Americans from the Africans? Guess what…we would all die because of the pigment of our skin which unites us back to the same continent. 

Too many times blacks have developed this “Look out for yourself” mentality. When did that develop? When did the black community stop looking out for one another? The biggest problem with blacks uniting is lack of support from other blacks. There was a time when blacks knew if they stood up for a cause that they could at least depend on their brothers and sisters to support them. Now, blacks will throw one another under the bus and not think twice about it. 

How were movements, such as the Civil Rights Movement and the fight to get African American studies in schools, able to occur without the support of blacks fighting for a cause. We must learn how to unite behind the new leaders that blossom out of our society. Everyone did not trust Martin, Malcolm or Medgar at first. However, they respected their positions and respected the way they carried themselves. In addition, they held them up when they were weak and encouraged them when they felt the pressure of the world on their shoulders. We can’t tear them down the first time they make a mistake or not do things the way we would do them if we had the courage enough to stand in their place. 

 

3. Hegemony 

The media decides what we listen to, what news we are given, and who we notice in society. This is called hegemony (taking whatever society gives us and never questioning it). If you want knowledge-you must search for it yourself. For example, out of the many slave narratives televised each year in February, why is it that we had to wait until 2013 to hear a slave narrative from an educated black man who was kidnapped and wrote a book about his experience  in 1853. Makes us question, how many other books have been written by educated blacks which have not been televised? 

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I am certain there are individuals from the African diaspora who are doing positive things in the community. Yet the media does not televise them as they should. However, the news will have a 2 minute segment on Sharkeisha. Or better yet, they will manipulate a television show which educated blacks for 30 minutes Monday-Thursday to once a week for an hour. Where is that BET show now? None existent on television like our new leaders. 

I am not stating there are not individuals who are doing their best to make changes in society. However, how long will it take the media to recognize those individuals and crown them the new Martin, Malcolm or Medgar? We need to acknowledge that the leaders of the last century are getting older and tired. Now is the time for new blood, new energy, and new ideas with the right foundation. So I repeat my first  question again….Who’s Next???

Kwanzaa: Ujima and the Accountability of the Community.

To build and maintain our community together and make our brothers’ and sisters’ problems our problems, and to solve them together.

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The principle that is similar to Umoja, Ujima shows the second step in executing unity effectively. Not only making sure we are together and on the same page, but being responsible and accountable for the entire community. This principle not only shows the means to stick together when the roads are rough, but to walk hand in hand and fight the powers of struggle together. 

Ujima is very important because it shows that the fight for African freedom, in all parts of the world, is necessary all the time. No unjust should be silenced. In order to fight, we must accept the responsibility of serving for our community and fighting the powers that stand in the way.  

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Public service workers, workers in the non profit sector, community organizers and activist are thanked for their plight of  Ujima everyday. Taking their jobs and civic duties to help the people is very much appreciated in taking responsibility for the community. Implementing programs for the youth, decreasing cost for government programs, enforcing assistance, and creating a space to bring the community together is very much the accountability that is needed. 

AfroMadu challenges you to become responsible for your brothers and sisters. Unite because your life depends on it. And when the rough gets tough and the forces are against us? Fight like you can’t fight anymore.

Ujima: Collective Work and Responsibility.  

Kwanzaa: Umoja: U.N.I.T.Y

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December 26th marks the first day of Kwanzaa reflecting on the principle of unity. Unity is such an overrated concept that everyone takes for granted, but are we really all really unified?

This year definitely threw loop holes and fireballs at the Black community. Not saying that any other year hasn’t, but with police brutality, innocent killings, unemployment rising, and a heck of social disparities, the Black community is looking for the light at the end of the tunnel. We have had enough with the inequalities and unfairness in the world….But it has to start from us. The power is with the people. The control is within the self.

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We try to find ways out of this mess by working and studying hard to make a decent living, but we forget this main principle every time. Many of us will move of our neighborhoods and forget where we even came from. The idea of unifying and ensuring that not only that one person can get the help they need, but for the best of all is a value that is needed to instill. To the “successful” people in powerful positions: what are the ideas and tips to helping the rest build their personal capital? To the people with knowledge: How are you helping others acquire the same? To the people who have great skills: What are you doing to help others learn your skill? The power is within the people. Thus, unity is so vital in the Black community.

On this day, lets remember that we will always need help in this world in order to continue growing. You cannot do everything by yourself. Unifying things like your family, the youth, your community can help build the greatest empire.

Umoja: Unity.

#SupremeBlackout

Hip Hop is a large piece of African American culture. In a time where drugs and poverty were ruining the black family, hip hop was a way for young blacks to let out their frustrations in a positive manner. Hip Hop saved a lot of lives by young Men and Women choosing to put down a gun and picking up a mic.

The AfroMadu team was blessed with opportunity to be apart of an amazing experience. We were able to witness how Hip-Hop has evolved, and see first hand how, the more things change, the more they stay the same. We were serenaded by songstresses and enlightened by MCs. As a Hip Hop enthusiast I was shocked and relieved that there was still so much talent playing in front of my eyes.

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The event, The Supreme Blackout, which took place at Nicholas in Brooklyn, was truly a gracious experience. In addition to amazing music there were also massages, assorted hand crafted jewelry, and organic libations. Nicholas’ themselves, are a cool shop full of clothing, incense, and a lot of Afro-Parafinalia.

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The vibe was so smooth, you could spread it with a butter knife. Our hosts for the evening were the Bi-Lingual, Duo, Negros Americanos, hailing from the hometown of AfroMadu’s founder, Plainfield, NJ. MC Elijah Black and DeShawn Supreme were the first two performers and each brought that raw Hip Hop deep rooted in personal experience.

image-12Dread Blaq is a dope songstress who rapped a little, sang a little and finished up by playing Nat King Cole on a Violin……A VIOLIN!!!! Blak Orfan are a girl duo who have that old school swagger, reminiscent of Queen Latifah and other Old School FemCees.

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Danielle Watson came heavy with that reggae vibe that just made you want to better yourself and those around you. Her cohort played harmony on guitar and had a smooth West Indian voice, that complimented Danielle in a way that you just had to close your eyes and bop to them. The show closed out with our host taking over the stage and performing songs in both English and Spanish which was incredible! Even though I do not speak a lick of Spanish the beats backing them was enough for me to musically not skip a beat.

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I left the event feeling as if I just left a church service! Feeling revived and ready for the next event just like this one! If any of our future events are half as good as this one, you do not want to miss it!!

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