Fresno State Debaters Are First Black Women to Win Big

debate-black-women-worth-campaignTwo awesome young women at Fresno State University (California) made history in October winning the Henry Clay Invitational Debates in 1st and 2nd place. The young women, Nadia Lewis and Jamila Ahmed, are definitely shining. [Read more…]

Black GIrls Rock!, #WhiteGirlsRock, and Understanding Self-Worth

queen_latifah_617_409-humormillmagOn Sunday, BET aired the annual Black Girls Rock! awards show. Each year, Beverly Bond takes her nonprofit to the stage to give shine to black girls who rock. Hosted by Tracee Ellis Ross and Regina King, the entire show is dedicated to honoring black women in entertainment and in local communities who are setting good examples for young black girls. The show has never been meant to produce negative social commentary or to denigrate any other ethnic group. Instead, its only purpose is to uplift. Sadly, uneducated haters on Twitter felt threatened by the popularity of the show and created the hashtag #WhiteGirlsRock in response. The ignorance which ensued is a great lesson in understanding one’s own self-worth independent of others who might want to bring you down no matter the cost. [Read more…]

“Black” Hairstyles on White Women Evoke Questions of Professionalism

white-women-black-hairstyles1Black women’s hair seems to be in the news every other day or so. How it is styled, how long it is, what its texture feels like, and so on comes up in the media so regularly that it seems like a major facet of public dialogue. Sometimes women have been fired after their traditionally “black” hairstyles caused issues for them. And, black hair continues to be a major factor in the “othering” of black women.

So, what does it mean when non-black women sport traditionally “black” hairstyles? More specifically, when professional looking middle-aged white women wear cornrows, flat twists, finger waves, and twist outs, does it have the same effect? Does it raise the same questions? [Read more…]

Who’s Shining? Tamar Braxton is

Tamar Braxton is on a one woman mission to take over the music world right now. She has a new album, a new baby, a new talk show, and a host of other additions to her growing musical empire. Not only that, she has consistently proven that authenticity is the way to go. The youngest sibling of Grammy-winning singer, Toni Braxton, Tamar is breaking away from her family name and redefining music in a way that works best for her. And, she is definitely shining.122112-celebs-tamar-braxton

Unwilling to let the pressure of Hollywood break her down, this young lady is showing young women everywhere that success is what you make of it. And, she makes motherhood look good.

[Read more…]

Sheryl Underwood’s ‘Nappy Hair’ Comments Question Self-Worth

sherylunderwood7126Sheryl Underwood, well-known comedienne, actress, and co-host of The Talk, has had some interesting things to say over the years. And, as a prominent woman of color, her audience consists of many people of color. Recently, she mentioned that it made no sense to save “nappy, afro hair” when discussing Victoria Secret model Heidi Klum’s desire to save her bi-racial children’s naturally curly, kinky hair after haircuts.Underwood went on to describe the hair as “beady” and “nasty.” Many have come out against the words she supposedly used in jest. Truthfully, this seems less a question of comedy or preference and more a question of self-worth.

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Are You an “Other?”

different-3I have recently, in the past month or so, had several people tell me that I don’t “seem to like most things.” Me, a mother of two (with one on the way), wife, sorority sister, television and movie addict, hairstyle connoisseur, food truck follower, Candy Crush zealot, politics geek, numbers guru, etc. (you get the point), I was told that I don’t like most things.  This is not the first, second, third, or even hundredth time I have been told this.  And each time, I have to consider the source when taking such a critique.

In most cases, I have been offered this unwelcome criticism by someone outside of my inner circle. My hometown roots don’t always align with my SoCal lifestyle. And, my brown skin, kinky hairstyles, and proclivity for Soul and R&B music just don’t mesh with the bubblegum nature of my current Orange County, California social environment. Why? Well, not because I actually don’t like things, because I don’t necessarily like the things I am supposed to like. Deep, right? [Read more…]