Tag Archives: Black women

Top 5 Benefits of the Big Chop!

Hello my beautiful sistasss, I’ve missed you all so much! I first want to start off with apologizing for my absence on the site. So to start things off, I’ll be sharing with you the benefits of the Big Chop. If you haven’t heard the term, “big chopping” before, let me explain what it is for you guys. The big chop is the act of taking your natural hair journey from transitioning to officially natural. The term “big chop” is the act of cutting off all of your relaxed hair, leaving only your wonderful new growth, which is natural hair.

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This is the quickest way to go natural. It’s not only effects you in the physical approach, but it’s also effects you mentally. To “big chop” you have to emotionally detach yourself from your hair’s length and understand that you are taking a huge step in your natural hair journey. There are a lot of misconceptions when it comes to a women’s hair length. For those of you who decide to take the plunge and big chop here are some benefits of the Big Chop.

  1. Immediate Satisfaction

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As you know, we now live in a world where people want immediate results. We don’t want to wait for our hair to grow but rather install weave to have immediate length. If this sounds like you then the big chop is definitely for you. When you big chop, your natural hair journey starts instantly. Big chopping is like starting on a new foot, which gives you the chance to do whatever you want with your hair; grow it out, cut it some more, or even dye it. You have so many options with your new found hair journey, you will absolutely love it.

  1. Celebrity Status

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            Have you ever wanted to feel like a celebrity? If so, you should definitely big chop. Everyone who knows you will want to discuss your new hairstyle. People you know will be amazed at your new cut and will probably view it as a badge of courage. People who don’t even know you will come up to you asking all types of questions, and even ask to take a picture of your hair. You will feel unstoppable with your new cut, TRUST ME!

  1. Products

One of the biggest benefits of big chopping is that you only have to deal with the texture of your natural hair. It’s very difficult to cater to both relaxed hair and natural hair textures. With only natural hair on your head, you will have a better understanding of how products actually work for you and your hair. The amount of product you use will also decrease because you have less hair on your head. That also saves you some money as well, so it is a win-win at the end of the day.

  1. Get up and Go!

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Accessories Accessories Accessories!!! You can dress it up with; head bands, slinky earrings, eye catching lip gloss and cute eye shadow. Big chops allow women to highlight their natural beauty which can often be covered up by our hair at times.

  1. Confidence

A big chop is like a fresh breath of new found confidence for a woman. When you big chop you need to own that hair style and wake up like every day is New York fashion week. Need I say more?

So, women. If you were asking around and questioning what your next move should be, give the big chop a go! we are all rooting for you!!!

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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

 

Foods & Habits to Maintain Radiant Melanin.

As children of the Sun, “melanated” peoples have an inherent glow that needs to be maintained. With the consumption of daily Sun, whole foods, and a useful skin care regime, this natural glow of “Black gold” will effortlessly shine. BlackHealth365 introduces foods and methods Black people can use to help maintain the natural beauty of their skin:

The Importance of Sun Exposure:

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Melanin is the pigment in our skin which makes humans the different hues we have come to be. It’s also present in the hair, eyes of not only us, but other species of animals. It is responsible for the tanning of skin exposed to sunlight. As people of African descent we have some of the highest content of melanin. In places closest to the equator, where sun exposure is more prominent, the people of such lands harbor a darker hue, giving them this glow of “Black gold” raved about. Melanin is produced as a response to UV ray exposure from the sun, so it is essentially protection from the harmful aspects of the life-giving ball of heat. The more melanin you have, the better protected you are from the sun’s harmful UV rays. This also means that in order to get essential vitamins from the sun, like the essential vitamin D, it is important for people of color to spend ample amount of time in the Sun on a daily basis. Sun rays contain rare dosages of Vitamin D, which provides humans with minimal free radical damage and maintains skin moisture and even tone.

Black people with a medium to darker hue are recommended to spend at least 35-45 minutes daily in the sun. For extra protection & moisture during time of exposure, apply either shea butter, coconut oil, or aloe vera gel on skin instead of chemical-laden, harmful sunscreens.

Foods For Skin Health:

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There are many foods that aid in the maintenance of beautiful skin. These are normally fruits high in vitamins A, E & beta-carotene or fatty nuts like almonds that the expansive organ loves. Here are a list of 10 foods to consume which are loaded with the vitamins & minerals necessary to promote beautiful skin:

1. spinach
2. mangoes
3. papaya
4. sweet potatoes/yams 5. raw almonds
6. aloe vera juice
7. carrots
8. blueberries
9. avocados
10. pomegranates

The best way to receive the nutrients from these foods listed is by way of smoothie drinks! This way the nutrients enter the bloodstream easier and can be sorted through the body accordingly without the added task of having to be broken down in the digestive system. In addition to these skin health boosting foods, water is a MUST for attaining beautiful skin. You can also add antioxidant-rich teas (green teas) & fatty fishes like salmon to your regular eating regimen to feed skin cells.

Hygiene Habits:

Screen Shot 2014-09-01 at 7.28.46 PMThis goes without saying, but showering on a daily basis, at least once a day is a must. Skin requires water nourishment inside and moisture provided on the outside. Going through this world filled with germs and bacterias, and harmful chemicals lingering in the air, especially those of us who live in cities, it is imperative that we wash that off our organ every day. In addition, remember that skin is a detoxifying organ, meaning it releases toxins collected within the body through the skin. You need to wash those toxins off or else they’ll linger on the skin and cause possible unwanted bumps & marks. You also want to incorporate sugar or coffee scrubs into to hygiene regimen to scrub off dead skin cells and help maintain your melanated casing’s youthful radiance.

Raw unrefined African Black soap is recommended for daily deep cleansing of the skin. This natural soap not only works better than commercial soaps filled with skin drying chemicals, such as Dove, but it cheaper, rich in real nutrients, and lasts longer. I, personally, use raw unrefined African black soap for facial and body cleansing.

 

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Keeping the skin moisturized on a daily basis is very important! Throughout the day the skin gets dry from movement an exposure to the outside world and needs replenishing. The best time to give the skin moisture it needs is right after a shower or nice bath. Literally as you’re soaking wet out of the shower, apply coconut oil (my favorite) or a shea/mango/avocado butter mixture of some sort and let it air dry into your
skin. Towels drying is unnecessary unless you want to pat dry. An ideal skin oil mixture for appliance after bathing would be a mix of vitamin e oil, almond oil, and coconut oil. I only typically use heavier butters in my hair or during “dry seasons” like winter.

 BlackHealth365 Recommended products:

-organic cold pressed and unrefined coconut oil
-raw unrefined African black soap
-Nubian heritage soaps or other shea butter/vegetable glycerin based soaps
-whipped Shea butter (belle butters, Whipped, or your own homemade mixture)
-vitamin e oil
-almond oil
-brown sugar or black coffee to make scrubs

Following these suggestions will guarantee an improvement in the health of your skin and will surely make melanin shine bright! We must not forget that the skin is also an organ and needs to be fed to be at its best, like every other organ in the body. Remember, if it’s not safe to ingest then it isn’t safe to put on the skin. The skin absorbs so if you’re loading it with chemicals, these same harmful agents will eventually end up inside your body. You don’t want that. Eat right, drink PLENTY of water, spend quality time outside under sun, wash daily, and moisturize and you will glow like the child of the Sun you are!

For Colored Girls Who Decide to Reflect and Not Mourn The Loss Of A Giant.

I know why the caged bird sings. She sings for hope. She sings so her sound can be heard. She also sings, because if she doesn’t, her song will only be a faint memory. And the memory of once singing will be lost and trapped inside of her. What does that perfect melody do for the bird that once wanted to sing? Most importantly, how can that suppressed melody potentially effect the other caged birds into breaking free? We wouldn’t know. The caged bird has to sing first…. 

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Yesterday, I woke up to the tragic news of Maya’s death. Just like any unfortunate news of that degreeSixty million and more
I will call them my people, which were not my people; and her beloved, which was not beloved., we often become sad and frustrated about death in general and how people die. I had to rethink this news of Maya’s death and reevaluate the meaning of death. I didn’t feel as if Maya left the world and took the impact that she left on me and other Black women, but it was as if a bigger message that was sent to us: the time is now.

“I can be changed by what happens to me. But I refuse to be reduced by it.”

We always rely on civil right activists to continue the fight for justice, but can they really continue the fight by themselves? why does it take our elders to die to realize that we must keep on? Why does Maya have to leave the earth so my passion for writing and truth-telling becomes reestablished?

“Nothing will work unless you do.”

We live on the backs of  giants. We are the branches of a strong oak tree. Yet we continue to not live through our fullest potential. Our ancestors are tired of lifting us up. We must nurture our own minds and circumstances and continue the fight. The fight of our liberation. Opening that small gate so that we can become free birds. This starts by picking up where they left off and keep it going!

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As far as Maya’s fight? She showed me that it was ok to be flawed. That my story can illuminate the entire world and allow other women to tell theirs. She was willing to sacrifice her small pride and gained an abundance of humility from standing firm in what she believed, regardless of her adversities and struggles. We lost flesh, but we gained her spirit. Her spirit will forever live and her intrinsic motivations, to allow the to coincide with her extrinsic ones will be my motivation to sing my melody and help others become free of their cages.

I will not mourn Maya’s life. I will use her legacy to continue to build mine. Thank you for everything that you did. Your patrimony will forever live on.

Book Review: The Twelve Tribes Of Hattie.

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A contemporary book that captures Black life in the South from a prominent time of Black migration. Each chapter delivering different themes and common concerns that Black people face in their everyday lives. Living through the characters and their moments of triumphs. Finding a truer value of love and the dimensions it takes on. What book does all of this? This one, of course.

The Twelve Tribes of Hattie not only made me feel as if I could possibly be the thirteenth tribe (in a creepy allegorical sense), but it was a great book to read and dive into. This book not only showed the impact of self-esteem and love, but through the perspective of family and how love has an effect on future generations.

The book starts off with tragic deaths that lay the foundation of how the story will develop throughout the book. Hattie, the main character, and the mother of the dead children, is shown through each chapter from their adolescent years, illustrating the impact that her actions had on the different characters in each chapter. I don’t want to give the book away too much, because each chapter shows the characters in their rarest forms. Each chapter is FILLED with topics on religion, sexuality, infidelity, womanhood, mental disorders, and soooo much more.

There are many observations and themes that are represented in this book. Womanhood, more importantly is very interesting to look at in Hattie. With the main character being the center of this book, every other character is seen to be a burden on Hattie’s back. If haven’t eleven children isn’t enough, the struggle that Hattie goes through (without barely mentioning) depicts the strong, but very weak, complex woman Hattie is in the text.

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Ayana Mathis, thank you for writing a book that can be so melodramatic but impactful at the very same time. Living in a book and feeling like I was in the story is beyond creative, as a novelist; to be able to make a reader feel as such.

Not really a book review but for a call to actually go out and get you a copy! I tried my hardest to not give ANYTHING in the book away, solely because I want our viewers to go ahead and read it!

Have you read it already? Tell us what you think about it in the comments below!

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