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…]

First Black Designer, Dom Streater, Wins ‘Project Runway’

dom-streater-project-runwayRecently, there has been a lot of press covering the dearth of people of color in high  fashion. High fashion and couture print models are predominantly white and the number of models of color has been decreasing in top fashion shows. In all, the outlook for people of color in the fashion industry seems to be a negative one. Yet, the outcome of this year’s Project Runway reality show, airing on Lifetime, is so significant because it challenges these barriers for people of color. For the first time in 12 seasons the show has its first black winner, Dom Streater. While seemingly way overdue, this is an accomplishment which highlights ongoing racial issues in the fashion industry. [Read more…]

Hair Tutorial: Aloe Vera Braid Spray (VIDEO)

Aloe-Vera-Juice_A few weeks ago, I was very much into my heavier olive oil braid spray since I was traveling to Washington DC for a family trip. But, since returning to Orange County, I have found that that particular mixture has not been keeping my hair and scalp moisturized for 2 or more days (which is important to me while wearing Senegalese Twists). Since I was having issues with the both the weather change and my hormonal changes at the end of my pregnancy, I mixed up a lighter braid spray with a base of aloe vera juice and natural oils.

I have found that this mixture has more longevity in the dry aridity of southern California. Feel free to add and takeaway from this recipe as you see fit. Some products may work better for you than they did for me. And, different hair types may benefit from different ratios of moisturizers and emollients. Most importantly, just make sure that your hair responds well. If it doesn’t, it’s time to try a different recipe.

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Hair Tutorial: Hair Oil Dos and Don’ts (VIDEO)

jojoba oilIt took me quite some time to add natural hair oils to my haircare regimen. And, I must say, adding them has made a major difference in the look, feel, and overall health of my hair. I tend t0 rely on a few staple hair oils like olive, castor, jojoba, and coconut oils. While trying new oils and recipes, I have had some key learnings that I think are worth passing along. In this tutorial, I am sharing a few key things about using hair oil on hair skin. [Read more…]