“You Can Touch My Hair” Exhibit: A Setback for Black Women?

Afro GoddessHave you ever had someone ask you, “Can I touch your hair?‘ Or better yet, have you had someone reach up to your freshly permed, pressed, braided, coiffed, twisted, weaved, or blown-out afro-puff to rub their grubby little finger tips through your carefully styled tresses? Well, I have. Anyone who knows me knows I have rocked the ‘fro to braids to weaves to twists to perms and every derivation of everything in between. And, I have had people of all races ask or un-invitedly reach into my hair. Well, needless to say, that has gotten old for me. But, for Antonia Opiah, founder of Un-ruly.com, the curiosity drove her to create the public art exhibit “You Can Touch My Hair” in New York City. The public display of real-life curly and kinky haired women, which debuted last week, has been met with mixed reviews. So, I guess it’s time to offer my own. [Read more…]

Worthy Products for Summertime: Olive Oil (Extra Virgin That is)

olive oil for hair 2

So, I hope you are keeping track of my favorite hair oils. I have already covered castor oil, jojoba oil, and coconut oil. Extra virgin olive oil is among my faves for all of my hair and skin needs. You may be shocked to find out that EVOO is not just for cooking. While it is a great substitute for veggie oil in the kitchen because of its nutritional content and health benefits, it is also a powerful oil for any hair care regimen. But, since it is so heavily used in food, it is really easy to find in your local grocery store. I purchase mine in bulk from Costco.

Like many of the oils I have covered in our “Growing” theme of worth, olive oil is chock full of vitamins and natural proteins. It is also anti-fungal and antibacterial. These features make it a great oil for scalp maintenance, scalp repair, and hair growth. Comparatively, it is relatively lightweight allowing it to penetrate the hair shaft more effectively than heavier oils like castor oil. [Read more…]

My Adventures Through Black Woman Land: What’s in a Compliment?

pretty-black-womanHave you ever had someone tell you, “Wow, you look pretty today,” only for you to respond with a gracious “thank you”? Then moments later ask yourself if that means you looked terrible yesterday? The truth is, compliments are very very tricky. These tiny gestures, which many of us crave by the way, seem innocuous and random. In actuality, compliments come from a socialized place internal to each of us and are driven by traditional ideals of beauty. Let’s break down to pitfalls of the common compliment for women of color and how getting one or not getting one is never a reflection on you. [Read more…]

Frenemies? Women of Color & Corporate America

Multi-racial business team sitting around an office boardroomCorporate America is a very interesting place. In many respects, it represents opportunity, growth, and possibility. But, since it has always been an environment dominated by “good old boys” and mainstream American ideals, it has not necessarily been the most welcoming place for women of color. In many respects, the very crooked rooms that these women seek to escape in their daily lives are emboldened in the corporate realm, but opportunities for career growth still make mainstream industry very appealing for women of color.

In essence, corporate America has become the “frenemy” of women of color: sometimes friend, sometimes enemy. But, understanding oneself better, being uncompromising with one’s values and ideals, and understanding that every situation is not an always situation helps to mitigate some of these contradicting aspects of a central institution to America’s core capitalistic culture.

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Who’s Shining? Melissa Harris-Perry is…

melissa harris-perryDr. Melissa Harris-Perry, acclaimed author, columnist, MSNBC host, and professor, is no stranger to The Worth Campaign. In fact, it was her book, Sister Citizen: Shame, Stereotypes, and Black Women in America, that inspired our founder to create this organization. Her courage to deal with and make plain the issues facing black women and girls is one worth noting. Because of this, she is the newest addition to The Worth Campaign’s panel of “Shining” women of color. [Read more…]

Michaela Angela Davis Gives us “Bury the Ratchet”

michaela angela davis - bury the ratchetYou may know her as “MAD Free.” You may know her simply as Michaela. But, regardless of how you have come to know her, Michaela Angela Davis’ influence and efforts to better the images of women of color is well worth noting. She is the foremost image activist and public speaker on all things Black women. And, in December 2012, we learned of a new initiative she is spearheading called “Bury the Ratchet.” The campaign targets negative images of Black women in the media specifically those depicting Black women in Atlanta as “ratchet” and uncouth. But, the effort means so much more than that. [Read more…]