All Articles Tagged "black women"

The NFL Doesn’t Care About Black Women, Suspends Ray Rice 2 Games For Assault Against Janay Palmer

July 25th, 2014 - By Veronica Wells
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AP

AP

Apparently, the NFL doesn’t take issues of documented domestic violence too seriously. Ray Rice of the Baltimore Ravens, the running back who dragged his then-fiancee (now wife) Janay Palmer, out of an elevator unconscious in Atlantic City, will only be suspended for two games.

The punishment is a result of Rice violating the league’s personal conduct policy.

In a statement, released by the Ravens, Rice said:

It is disappointing that I will not be with my teammates for the first two games of the season, but that’s my fault. As I said earlier, I failed in many ways. But, Janay and I have learned from this. We have become better as a couple and as parents. I am better because of everything we have experienced since that night. The counseling has helped tremendously. My goal is to earn back the trust of the people, especially the children, I let down because of this incident. I am a role model and I take that responsibility seriously. My actions going forward will show that.”

Ravens general manager, Ozzie Newsome called the ruling “fair” and added,

That night was not typical of the Ray Rice we know and respect. We believe that he will not let that one night define who he is, and he is determined to make sure something like this never happens again.” 

Rice is currently enrolled in a program for first-time offenders that includes family counseling and will also clear his record of criminal charges if he meets all the conditions.

Can we agree that this “punishment,” if you can even call it that, is completely unacceptable and sends a terrible message on behalf of the NFL?

As USA Today Maggie Hendricks noted, far lesser offenses receive stronger punishments. Repeat offenders who violate a drug policy will be suspended for four games. A violent tackle will get you kicked out of one game. And if you haven’t quite made it to the NFL yet, selling your autograph while in college will get you “sat down” for five games.

But apparently, proof of you beating your fiancee and the mother of your child unconscious and then dragging her out of a public elevator like she’s a piece of trash is only worth two games.

This is not even just about Ray Rice anymore. When 1 in 3 women will be abused throughout the course of her lifetime, often by a member of her own family, it’s a problem not unique to Rice. We’ve seen it play out far too many times just in recent months with other celebrities beating their girlfriends, wives or fiancees. I believe in redemption and all that and the counseling might actually be working for him. But a part of learning the lesson is being adequately punished. And a two game suspension is more or less an extended time out. It’s not good enough for Rice, it’s not good enough for the other women who suffered like Janay but didn’t have their abuse recorded and broadcast and it’s not good enough for the young boys who will grow up thinking this wasn’t “that big of a deal.”

With this puny suspension, the NFL proves that they don’t really take violence against women seriously. I know you’ve heard the comparisons drawn thousands of times by now, but Michael Vick was practically stoned in the town square for allowing his friends to use his property for dog fights. I love dogs and dog fighting is wrong but I value the lives of women far more than dogs. Sorry, not sorry.

The only message this punishment sends is that violence against women can be forgiven with a press conference, pathetic statement and a two game suspension.

As Hendricks writes to the NFL: “Don’t tell me you care about women’s health come October. Don’t pink wash the whole league and pay lip service to how much you care about women. Don’t trot out breast cancer survivors as symbols of the NFL’s close relationship with women and then give a man who threatened a woman’s health–ON TAPE– a two game suspension.” 

Amen.

The NFL is about money. And they know the majority of their revenue is tied to public perception of their image. Sadly, the league got the message that men, their target audience and demographic, wouldn’t care one way or another what happened to Palmer, a Black woman, that night. And they subsequently didn’t care about the consequences Rice, the perpetrator of the violence, faced as a result.

Yes, the NFL dropped the ball. But really, their decision is just a clear indicator of just how much the whole country (and various parts of the world) really value women and their well-being. If you didn’t get the message, ladies, your life and well-being are worth two football games.

Should Black Women Protest For Eric Garner?

July 25th, 2014 - By Charing Ball
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Well the debate around the death of police choke-holding victim Eric Garner certainly escalated rather quickly and in a peculiar direction…

In the piece entitled, Why I Will Not March for Eric Garner, Kimberly Foster, founder of For Harriet, writes in part:

When looking at Eric Garner’s lifeless body, I don’t have to imagine that he is my brother or my father to recognize the injustice of his suffering. My heart aches for the family he will never return to. And if the justice we speak of routinely is more than a figment of our imaginations, I pray it comes swiftly to Mr. Garner’s family.

But if the NYPD or the City of New York fail to act, I will not march for Eric Garner. I will not rally for him because I am reserving my mental and emotional energy for the women, the Black women, no one will speak for.

While the effectiveness of social media in spreading Garner’s story heartens me. I could not refrain from comparing the empathy shown him, particularly by Black men, to that which is heartbreakingly absent when Black women attempt to discuss the everyday terrors we experience both in the world and at their hands.

Watching black men show up for Garner after seeing so many derail conversations about Black women’s well-being leaves me with little more than a sinking feeling of despair upon recognition that the understanding so many of us crave will not come.”

Folks don’t realize the emotional strength and fortitude one must posses in order to put one’s self out here in these blogging streets, particularly as a woman. And more particularly, a woman with an opinion, which goes against how we have always done it or thought in the community. This essay has indeed pissed a bunch of folks off. However I sincerely thank Foster for putting this conversation out there – as well as the other Black women bloggers, who too have expressed similar sentiments over the last few months.

Personally, Garner’s death affected me. And it is not because I’m carrying water for team men or seek to put their well-being in front of our own. I’m affected by Garner’s because I watched a man take his last breath right in front of my eyes. Then I watch a video of the responding EMT and police fail to do their due-diligence to save his life, also right in front of my eyes. And I feel like this is a person whose death did not have to happen and occurred due to carelessness (in the least). And because of that, I feel like he is deserving of justice. And I also have a sneaking suspicion that he will be denied that justice, right in front of our eyes. But that is a blog post, for a later day – maybe during the acquittal.

Still watching the television news stories and photo slide shows from print publications from the various marches in his name, I can’t help but take note of how much of the crowd is represented by Black women. They march, sometimes with their children in tow, alongside with the men, chanting slogans about “Saving Our Sons” and holding up signs like “Stop Killing OUR Men.” There is an ownership to a cause, which by the numbers doesn’t directly affect black women. Sure, we can make the claim that police brutality and mass incarceration leaves the sisters without partners; but where in that debate is there acknowledge that many times, it’s not the police or the prisons, which makes the brothers leave? There is no condition of support and no debate about what he could have done to prevent this miscarriage of justice and violation of public trust. You hurt a brother, you hurt us too. And without pause or any trepidation, Black women show up. Each and every time.

It is not always the same.

As a former community organizer, it was not uncommon to attend meetings held in churches or on the actual block about important issues in the community, and the primary attendees are women. Old women; young women; married or single; the women showed up. Not to say that there would not be men present. Often times they were the most vocal and visibly noticeable, but by number and mass, Black women represented the strongest.

Same as with neighborhood block committees and captains. Some of the more visible voices and face were the men but it was the women, who humbly volunteered their time and even resources in the trenches: doing the calling and mailings, getting the people out to vote on election day, feeding the children, cleaning the abandoned lots and sweeping the streets, standing in the front lines of anti-violence marches, planning summer activities for the children, so forth and so on…

This is not to discredit the active menfolk in the community, who put in work (because they get kind of sensitive about that) but I’m just sharing something that was noticeable to me. And very problematic. It wasn’t that I felt like Black women were incapable of running communities. But it at times, I felt that the buy-in of “community” wasn’t always as important to menfolks, who seem to seek validation or riches elsewhere. And Black women, particularly those leading movements, were not always supported in their endeavors or even acknowledged. The caveat being Black boys and men are free to champion those causes – and provided plenty of platform to do so – like miniature versions of Michelle Alexander.

And it is a common thread, which I’ve seen has played out in various political and social movements throughout history within our community. Many activists during both the Civil Rights and Black Power movements have been pretty vocal about the treatment of women leaders. Most recently, unsung Civil Rights activist and leader Gloria Richardson spoke to The Root about how during the infamous March on Washington, women speakers/leaders were segregated and even kept from speaking on the big stage. And this article in USA Today, which talks about how women leaders like Rosa Parks and Dorothy Height (along with Richardson as she would confirm in The Root piece) walked down Independence Avenue during the March, while the men leaders got to walk with the press down Pennsylvania Avenue.

And how has this marginalizing and silencing of Black women socially and politically affected the community at large? It means that astronomical rates domestic violence and sexual assault are ignored in favor of not contributing to the “victimization” of our men by the criminal justice system. And worse we found ways to put the onus of marching, organizing and ultimately problem-solving domestic violence and sexual assault on the already feet-weary Black women while our menfolk, who are often perpetrators of such violence against us, are left to skirt around claiming ownership in the problem or even seeing it come to an end.

Not to mention how our emphasis on men has meant the almost totally obscure how mass incarceration, racial profiling and intimidation affects Black women. Like Alesia Thomas, who was repeatedly kicked in the groin and genitals by a lady cop until she blacked out and died. Or 93-year-old Pearlie “Miss Sully” Golden or 22-year-old Rekia Boyd, who were both shot and killed by trigger-happy policemen. And so was 23-year-old Shantel Davis. We barely speak their names if we know them at all. But we know and pay homage to Bell, Grant, and now Garner too.

So yeah, as a Black woman, who has screamed, cried, written letters, signed petitions, marched and even prayed for justice for our targeted Black women, I too like Foster am still waiting for our brothers to show up and out in the same respects for black women. And I really feel that women in general, who show up in full force to fight for the brothers, should recognize and then extend that same level tenacity and love to our fellow sisters.

However that does not mean that I stop showing up. As one of my fellow cultural critic Kirsten West Savali said it best in her response essay, Why I Will March for Eric Garner:

Knowing this, I do not need, want, seek, nor expect validation from those Black men who cling to archaic concepts of manhood and gendered community uplift. I am not waiting for those naked men to offer me their shirts. In the words of El-Hajj Malik El-Shabazz: “I am for truth, no matter who tells it. I’m for justice, no matter who it’s for or against.” And the truth is, my feminism encompasses our sons, brothers, fathers, male friends, partners and allies. My feminism finds strength in tough love, not passive hatred.”

It goes without saying that timing is important. And perhaps waiting until some time has passed or instead writing an essay on how we could support Garner’s wife during this difficult time would have been more appropriate. After all, Garner’s wife along with his surviving family members deserve, at the very least, some peace. But as someone, who regularly draws the ire of folks with provocative topics, when is it ever a good time to have these conversations we don’t want to hear?

How The “Hookie Do” Is Revolutionizing the Weave Industry

July 21st, 2014 - By Charing Ball
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Source: HookieDo.Com

Source: HookieDo.Com

In continuation of the conversation from last week about the financial independence black women have been able to carve out for themselves within the booming and increasingly diverse hair weave industry, let me introduce you to Demajali West, creator and founder of the Hookie Do.

What’s the Hookie Do? Glad you asked.

The Hookie Do is a patent-pending reusable hair extension cap, which allows weave wearers to install a head full of new hair in under a half an hour without harmful glueing or sewing anything onto the hair or scalp, and simply by hooking the weft of a track onto some hooks – hence the name. An instruction video of how it all works is available here, but the overall point is that a person using the Hookie Do can quick change a hairstyle without costly hair salon visits or wasting bundles of hair.

Sounds pretty cool, right? Well it kind of is.

And late last month, West officially introduced her cool concept to the public in a Kickstarter campaign in hopes of raising enough investment capital to complete her first purchase order of the Hookie Do. She is asking for $17,000 from potential funders and in exchange, is offering a pre-order of the prototype at the $45 level (she says that the Hookie Do is suggested to retail at $89.99).

West said that she wasn’t quite sure how folks would respond to her crowd-sourcing approach considering that those spaces appears to be more occupied by white males. But by the middle of this July, West has not only managed to reach her fundraising goals, she is a couple of thousand over $42,000 in donations. And she still has five days left in her campaign.

“People say that black women don’t support each other. I can tell you that we do. And I am so appreciative of all the women who donated – even those who donated at levels that meant they couldn’t get the cap like $5 or even a $1 – just because they thought it was a good idea,” she said.

The story has all the markers of a quirky novelty story but don’t count West as either an overnight success or some potato salad farce. The Hookie Do is a culmination of two years of sacrifice, struggle, lots of money and uncertainty. It was a couple of years ago, right before the birth of her first child, when the thought came to West. Money was tight and West, who has no professional cosmetology training and education, had taken to creating and installing her own hairstyles in hopes of saving her family money. But West said that the frequency in which she changed hairstyles proved to still be financially burdensome as well as time consuming. That’s when she started to seriously begin mulling over new ways to go about getting salon quality hair at affordable prices.

It was her father, who first introduced the idea of using hooks. “Like on a ship and on a bra strap is what he kept saying over and over again. I didn’t know what he was talking about,” she said, giggling. But eventually something clicked and West said that she would test out her dad’s theory, using one of her old bras. “What I noticed is that the weft of the hair extension fit perfectly inside of the hooks on a bra and that’s when I knew I had something here.”

Should Men Marry Women Who Go To Church?

July 10th, 2014 - By Madame Noire
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From EurWeb 

She cooks, she cleans, and she’s a Black woman who actually enjoys giving brain. Hallelujah! From the looks of it, you’ve found a winner.

Then again, it’s never smart to judge a book by its cover (even if she has the ability to make an entire Sprite can disappear in her mouth).

On the surface she may seem like girlfriend or even wifey material; but don’t go jumping the gun just yet. If she’s one of those self-righteous types, you’d better think twice before emptying your savings account for a wedding ring (she’ll pawn it after the divorce is finalized anyway). Having all the virtue in the world doesn’t mean she’s healthy for you.

Remember, Satan used to be one of the good guys (that went south real quick—literally).

To all my brethren out there looking for a good wholesome woman, answer this question: “do you really want to marry a church girl?” It’ll cost a piece of your soul (and a larger piece of your wallet). When she’s angry, she’ll threaten to burn you with hot chicken grease. When she catches the Holy Ghost in church, she’ll flail around like she’s in a mosh pit. On Saturday, she’ll call you a trifling Negro. On Sunday, she’ll call you a heathen and beat you over the head with her Bible. It’s the type of behavior that belongs in a Tyler Perry movie; or better yet, the psyche ward.

God help any man brave enough to marry the daughter of a preacher. The last time you agreed to have dinner with her family, all hell broke loose. You forgot to pray over your food and her mother nearly flew over the dinner table to stop you from biting into that chicken wing (she’s had reservations about you ever since). And let’s not forget about your father-in–law: before giving his life to Christ, he was a hustler and a pimp.

Read more about marrying church girls at EurWeb.com 

Why Guys Who Are Too Damn Nice Finish Last…

July 10th, 2014 - By Erica Renee
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Source: Shutterstock

Source: Shutterstock

I love a respectful man. One who was clearly raised right and has mastered the art of being a gentleman. I’m attracted to a man who opens doors, insists that you walk on the inside of the sidewalk, and most importantly, one who knows what to say and what not to say to a woman. I enjoy a man who is mature and respectful enough to not loosely throw around the B-word or other derogatory terms like he’s part of Lil’ Wayne’s entourage. A respectful man can steal my heart…but a nice guy, not so much. This may sound contradictory, but in my mind, you can be respectful without being too nice. Let me explain.

While dating one of the most respectful and nicest guys that I had ever met, I learned a startling truth about most nice guys: the majority of them are simply that way with everyone. Where’s the exclusivity in that? I want the man that I’m with or the one pursuing me to be respectful to all women, but ‘nice’ to me.

The guy I was dating complimented me, held doors, made sure everything around me was well-suited for me. He made me feel like a queen. However, I soon realized he made every woman feel like one. He was just that type of guy.

I was in awe of how much of a nice guy he was without being too corny and appearing too desperate, but other women were also in awe. While he may not have hit on these women or asked them out on dates, his mannerisms sure gave some the impression that he was looking to be more than just nice. He was most certainly a good guy, but I wasn’t sure if he was a great catch. There is a difference.

No one could argue that he was a gentleman, but some women, like me, might find that his choice to be a little too nice with everyone, aka, women in general, a little off-putting. Other women could easily deem his overly-charismatic traits as flirting, and honestly, I couldn’t blame them. His female co-workers doted on how sweet and kind he was. The cashier at the grocery store blushed when he complimented her. It became sickening.

Initially I thought I was trippin’ and simply not used to a man who was a bonafide gentleman. I had to question if what was filling my mind formed because of feelings of insecurity. I eventually realized that they were not. Instead, they were the feelings of a woman who wanted a man who was a little less nice and a bit more attentive to her, and not the whole world.

I used to cringe at the saying that nice guys finish last, believing that it would cause more men to shun the idea of being a chivalrous gentleman, but now I get what it really means. Being too nice, and there is a such thing, is not always a plus in relationships. And in my case, this nice guy finished last.

Don’t Throw Stones: Roland Martin Tells Black Women To Cover Their Stomachs, Gets Slammed On Twitter

July 3rd, 2014 - By Veronica Wells
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Source: WENN

Source: WENN

If you’ve ever followed Roland Martin on Twitter for just a few minutes. You know he’s known for making some very inflammatory statements against…just about everyone. We all remember the David Beckham fiasco. And today, as he arrived in New Orleans for the Essence Festival, Martin thought it would be a good idea to offer up a bit of advice for the ladies out there trying to stunt. It was a part of his #RolandsRules hashtag and it was supposed to be all in good fun but given the source, Twitter was not here for it. See what he had to say and the swift and brutal response on the following pages.

    Check out some of the more hilarious tweets on the following pages.  

Are Drag Queens Trying To Steal Black Women’s Femininity And Take Our Men?

June 30th, 2014 - By Charing Ball
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Shutterstock

So let’s just skip over the fancy lede and jump right into the fuckery: is there a gay agenda to turn black women into drag queens so that gay men can steal all of the available straight black men?

Yeah, when it is written out like that, it does sounds kind of stupid and paranoid. However you’d be surprise by how often I hear this belief casually slip out of the mouth of so-called reasonable, rational and even educated women.

Take for example, this blog post on Eden Decoded,“The ‘Dragging’ Down of the Black Woman’s Image, which was written by Nya Major, who according to her bio is an expert in Biotheological Psychology. What the hell is that? Good question and we’ll discuss more on that later. But just know that she is an expert in this mystery science. And she also likes hashtags, particularly: #PROFamily, which she also made sure to include in her bio. Anyway, Major the hobbyist biotheology psychologist and hashtag #PROFamily-lover, has raised an interesting question about the evolution of black women’s appearance on television and in the larger black community. And by interesting, I mean: hey y’all, you got to read this sh*t…

She writes:

I gotta get this off my chest: I’m noticing more and more Black Women choosing to look like men in drag aka transgender women.

From the fake yaki hair, to the fake bat wing lashes, to the mounds of over-the-top eye & face makeup, to the clownish platform heels, to the over-exaggerated facial expressions and mannerisms…it’s all just too much.

When did black women stop looking like women?”

Hashtag: #OhItGetsWorse…

Major goes on to recount how she has been viciously assaulted, almost daily, on her many trips to the local Walmart and out to eat at restaurants by this “drag-queenish Woman,” who, she says, walks around “mean-mugging” her through one-inch fake eyelashes. Why these meta-RuPauls have issues with Major in particular is beyond my full comprehension considering she thinks so highly of them. However Major speculates that it has something to do with the evil and diabolical gay agenda, which she says is being implanted by the drag culture present on these reality television shows – by way of black women-characters with “unclean faces” and fake hair – in order to brainwash the black women into flare and extravaganza.

The ultimate goal of the agenda, Major writes, is to steal black women’s femininity away from us. Just like Gollum did to Frodo’s precious ring. These rainbow colored Smeagels are going to steal our femininity, mix it with some shea butter to make a spreadable souffle, and smear it all over their gay bodies. And they will use this magical potion, made from black women’s stolen femaleness, to swindle women-only loving black men out of some peen. And that is how middle Earth will die.

Good thing Major and all her biotheological psychology expertise are around to hip us to the scheme or we might have continued being unsuspecting pawns in a ploy meant to get all the black women of the world to mimic black men, who mimic black women (because we should all know that female impersonation, aka the drag queens, are just the pageantry and commentary based on womenhood?) Unfortunately this bit of knowledge is too late in the game to save many black women in the community, who by Major’s estimations, have already fallen prey to the spirit gum and the platform pumps. However there is glimmer of hope as Major has a plan. And it’s a good one. She writes:

I refuse to knowingly allow a gay man to style may hair, coordinate my outfits, dictate my makeup style or teach me how to switch my ass when I walk.

My black sistas, I’m going to let you in on a secret that many gay men know amongst themselves: They really want to phase out the very things that make you truly beautiful, your GENUINE FEMINITY.”

Let’s just pause here for a second to emphasize that a word or term is neither important unless you write that shit in all caps. But I’mma let her finish:

Gay men have cleverly fed into your insecurities, all the while they coordinated a collective effort to level the playing field so that there’s physically no superficial difference between transgender women and Black Women. And guess what, too many black women have fallen for it.

So now we have a generation of women who have embraced every fiber of homosexuality, including its look, at the expense of losing their true femininity.

And worse of all, black women have made it very easy for cross-dressing, ‘transgender’ women, to pose as women. Transgender women have lowered your stock value as naturally-born woman, and raised their stock as a “best of both worlds.

I hear ya’ Major: the pickings of available men, particularly black men, at times can feel frightening. But listen Linda listen, this big gay conspiracy theory to steal the straight men, is just not working for me. And here’s why…

First off, let’s acknowledge that sexuality is complicated. And I agree with Majors that it is possible that a person can spend their entire life into one gender and “suddenly” switch teams. But our personal sexuality is a little more concretely shaped than what she might believe. Right after Antoine Dobson announced that he had prayed the gay out of his life and joined the Hebrew Israelites, I interviewed a human sexuality coach, counselor and educator, who informed me that it is “our orientation, which tells us what we are attracted, or sexually stimulated, by; our behavior is what you act on; and your identity is basically how a person sees themselves, which explains why we have folks out here, who might be orientation and behaviorally queer, but identify as straight. But while your behavior and identity can change, your orientation, who you are attracted to, pretty much remains in tact.”

In other words, if a man likes women, there is no amount of trickery or magic voodoo, which is going to suddenly not make him stop desiring women. Moreover there is nothing that women can physically or emotionally do to push men into to loving people, who physically look like women but have a penis.

Now what is more likely is that the men, who go cross gender lines sexually, just was already oriented to want to do so. And you know what? It happens. And probably lots. Even with men. We don’t like to talk about it much because Westernized black men are typically more guarded about sexuality. I think it has something to do with slavery.

However as the human sexuality coach I interviewed suggests that other influences includes “internal and external environment factors, including not being settled emotionally with who they are, pressure from family and others in their social networks and of course religious influence.” And of course, religion.

And that brings me to biotheological psychology, which after a quick google search shows that outside of Major, there are no other searchable experts in the field – nor is there much in the way of evidence to even suggest it is a field. In fact the closest thing to another expert in the field is a website called Horses Helping Troubled Teens.com, which has a whole bunch of stuff on there about deserts, horses and God. I still have no idea what any of it means. However this essay on biology theological (minus the psychology) mentions that it is a field of spiritual psychological study, founded by Emanuel Swedenborg, which in layman’s terms, is like cognitive therapy with religious based twist. Sounds divine – or hellish

You do have to wonder about a field of study, which is instructing people that it is okay to treat homosexuality as a problem to be fixed or avoided. Or that doesn’t even acknowledge how transgender and drag queens are not the same thing. And how a transgendered person can also be a woman (unless he is a transgendered man), just not one biologically born one. Now I am aware that the last statement will cause all sorts of controversy but really, why does it matter?

As human beings, we can only control ourselves and our decisions. And as women, we really shouldn’t have to be thinking this hard and leaning on these extreme beliefs just to keep and force men to stay around. That’s just not love; that’s actually fear, insecurity and jadedness about the opposite sex (because you have to be super jaded about men to believe that they all can be “stolen” away by the gays) masked as love. My advice is to let go and truly let God. As what is meant for you, doesn’t require any sort of conspiracy or super-sleuthing from you. But what do I know? I am not a biotheological psychologist.

However if any of you really feel that biological women are going to become obstacle, I assure you that there is no need to fret: someone has to be the hand maidens of the world and birth the biological children for our gay overlords, which is not that much different than what some of us are doing for our heterosexual massas…

 

“It Makes Women Clean:” Kenyan Women Speak Out On Skin Lightening Injections

June 2nd, 2014 - By Madame Noire
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From BlackVoices 

Controversy has always surrounded the practice of skin-lightening, but not enough to hinder its popularity in various communities around the world.

On River Road in Nairobi — a crowded marketplace with a reputation for black market transactions and bribed law enforcement — a beauty fad has taken Kenya’s elite by storm. Expensive injections of topical skin-lightening cream has become wildly popular in the Kenyan capital.

Elite Daily reports that the mercury level in skin-whitening creams hint to the dangerous nature of the chemicals used to alter complexion, but without regulation there is still much to learn about the bodily effects of the relatively new craze. Harvard graduate and dermatologist Dr. Pranav Pancholi explained to Vice the danger in exactly how little is known about the health risks involved with the process.The products used on the streets are not used by certified professionals. The trade in black market creams and injections is completely unregulated. There is no way of knowing just how dangerous they are.

But health risks are no match against the cosmetic phenomenon’s rooting in colorism — what Oprah describes as a “light skin dark skin prejudice, when people of color discriminate against each other with people within their own race.”

Rose — a River Road vendor who has been whitening her own skin for years, as well as her clients’ — explained to Vice its cultural significance in her community, where everyone from national celebrities to clients from India and Somalia pay up to $70 for one treatment.

“The injection lightens you from inside. It makes women clean. If you want an even color and fast results, injecting is much better than a cream.”

Read more about skin-lightening injections at BlackVoices.com 

Serious Question: Naturalistas, Would You Perm Your Hair For $3 Million Dollars?

May 23rd, 2014 - By Veronica Wells
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natural hair intimidating

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First, let me preface this article with a statement of fact. I love my natural hair. I’ve had a perm from the time I was five years old, with a variety of hair styles, until I was eighteen. Today, at 26 I’ve never liked my hair more or felt as beautiful as I do now with my locs. And truth be told even my TWA (once I got used to it) was pretty bawse. Love my hair! And while it took a minute for me to 1. accept my natural texture and 2. get my locs to the place where they are now, my hair is certainly not my everything.

So I say all of this to say that yesterday, my sister, who is also natural, came home and read this question posed by this natural hair Instagram page embraceyour_natural. The question is “Would you perm your hair for $3 million dollars?” 

As much as I love my hair and as many nightmares that I’ve had where someone holds me down while they applied a perm, I still didn’t have to think about it. My answer was and still is HELL Yes! No question!

Now, I know money is not everything and we shouldn’t sell our soul for it but I could do a helluva lot with three million dollars. I could do a lot with $300,000. Even $30,000 would take care of most of my student loan debt. So I’m in no place to turn my nose up at $3 million.

Furthermore, my hair, while awesome, doesn’t define me in such a way that I would be willing to miss out on $3 million dollars, essentially a better quality of life. I don’t say that lightly. I’m certain with $3 million dollars, I’d have fewer bills, more vacations, a better apartment, money to take care of my parents and money to finance my own dreams. Definitely a better quality of life. My hair is important but it can’t give me what $3 mill can.

Maybe there was a time when I would have been more disturbed by the notion. But I have a mother who’s a breast cancer survivor and seeing her lose her hair during chemotherapy taught me that at the end of the day, hair is not that deep. Life goes on with or without it.

Plus, it would be nothing for me to get a big chop and start all over again in six weeks when the chemical had grown out.

But that’ s just me. What do you natural haired ladies think? Would you do it for $3 mill? What’s the lowest amount of money for which you’d perm your hair?

 

Long Hair, Don’t Care! 15 Stylists Who Will Inspire You To Grow Your Tresses

May 22nd, 2014 - By Madame Noire
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Courtney Natural Hair

Courtney Natural Hair

 

From Style Blazer 

Aiming for bra strap length hair and beyond? You’re not alone. Many women of color, natural or relaxed, are constantly on the quest to reaching new lengths when it comes to their hair. Thankfully, there are tons of gurus who share their secrets and offer endless inspiration for those of us with hair length goals. We listed 15 of our favorite “black girls with long hair,” featuring a variety of natural hair textures and some relaxed hair hotties. These ladies have amazing hair and, on their various channels and blogs, also share their tips.

Learn more about hair care at StyleBlazer.com