Category Archives: Winning Women

Posts about and related to some of the best curly women around.

The Black Hair Alphabet with BlkWmnAnimator Deborah Anderson

Representation in all fields is important as we think about our future and how we inspire those who come after us. This is in part, what is so great about Deborah Anderson of BlkWmnAnimator.

Recently, I learned that Deborah was working on a special graphic project that featured natural hair. When I reached out to her about the impetus to start the project Deborah said:

The original premise came from the fact that a lot of people who play video games, namely guys, are aggravated by lack of representation in hairstyles when making avatars. It’s always dreads or an afro, maybe a low-cut. This is the beginning of my journey in figuring out black hair in a 3D space.

And with that, the natural hair alphabet came to life. Check it out below!
Click image to enlarge.

 

To see Deborah’s natural hair alphabet in all its glory, you can visit her website at blkwmnanimator.com. You can also follow all of Deborah’s professional pursuits in bringing animation to the masses on her Facebook page at @BlkWmnAnimator.

6 Tips to Keep Your Dog Safe this Winter

I know that many of you out there have pets that you care for, so much that you might consider them your fur babies. As we’re now in the winter months and dealing with some real cold as of late I thought it might be helpful to share some tips on taking care of your pups in the colder months.

I’ve touched base with expert Erin Askeland from Camp Bow Wow for her tips for smart winter pet care. Check out her tips below!

Never let your dog off the leash in snow or ice. Although it may seem like a fun option to let your pup frolic in the snow, it can prove to be extremely dangerous. Dogs tend to lose their sense of smell in extremely cold weather and become lost. Believe it or not, winter has the highest rates for lost dogs!

Thoroughly wipe down your dog when he comes back into the house after being in the snow. It is common for dogs to ingest salts for melting ice as well as anti-freeze, which can prove to be very toxic. Not only is ingesting toxins a problem, but snow being left between your dogs’ toes can cause ice chunks to freeze on their fur, possibly causing your dog to rip their fur or pads.

Use Dog-Friendly/Pet Safe Ice Melt whenever de-icing outdoors. Again, the toxins in most products are NOT safe for pets or humans to ingest.

Similar to how you should never leave your dog in the car during the summer, the same goes for the winter; a car can act almost like a freezer in the winter, trapping heat outside and causing your pet to freeze to death. Likewise, a shelter is always a necessity! Whether always an outdoor dog or just outside to play, make sure to have a shelter for them from the wind and snow.

Consider getting your pup a seasonal jacket or sweater to help ensure they are both comfortable and fashionable as the temperatures drop.

Fresh water is a must at all times, as your dog may be more likely to lick ice and eat snow if he/she is thirsty from lack of water. Similar to the above point, it is common for dogs to ingest snow-melting-salts and antifreeze.

8 Reasons You Want to Touch Black Women’s Hair – And Why They Mean You Shouldn’t

Originally published on Everyday Feminism. Reposted with author’s (Maisha Z. Johnson) permission.

There are a million ways to compliment a Black woman.

You could tell me I look radiant. Say you like my lipstick – it’s hard to find the right shade. Tell me you appreciate how my mind works.

I’m not just fishing for compliments here. I’m giving you options to avoid the dreaded “compliment” of touching my hair.

I’m sure you’ve come across the warning not to touch Black women’s hair before. But do you really understand why it’s so important to keep your hands out of our tresses?

This is a super common racial microaggression, which is a subtle form of racism often done by someone who doesn’t mean to be racist. I’ve had lots of people (usually white people) touch my hair, and in most cases, the touch came with a well-meaning compliment.

But you probably don’t know what the temptation to touch Black women’s hair means in US society – or about the impact if you follow your urge.

The objectification of Black bodies has been part of US culture since slavery, and it’s still going strong as one of our everyday struggles. This behavior affects all Black folks, but for this piece, I’m focusing on racialized sexism against women.

But wait – when you touch Black women’s hair, you don’t have racist or sexist intentions. So how does this relate to racism or sexism?

The answer comes down to the one of our core feminist values, consent – respecting everyone’s agency over their own bodies, including their hair. Having our hair touched is just one of the ways Black women are often denied this agency in our society.

Let’s go through the most common reasons I’ve heard for touching my hair, and how they relate to patriarchal white supremacy.

1. You’re Curious

I went to a writing retreat where a woman was insatiably curious about how my hair feels. She’d never been around hair like mine before, and she stared until I thought her eyes would bulge out of her head.

I finally gave in to letting her touch it before the poor woman had a medical emergency.

She asked the same questions every curious white person asks: “Is it real? How do you get it like that? How do you wash it?”

I understand the curiosity. But do you know why you’re so curious? It’s because the texture of my 4C hair is often invisible in mainstream society.

Eurocentric beauty standards mean that white women are a lot more common in the media than Black women. The Black women who are visible tend to have chemically straightened hair. Even I struggle to find care tips for and images of my hair type. So it makes sense that you haven’t come across those, and I appreciate that you want to correct your lack of information.

But unlike the white people who don’t notice how unusual my hair seems until they feel the urge to touch it, I notice the invisibility of my hair type all the time.

And that invisibility sends the constant message that my hair is unappealing – which is just one of many media messages about Black women’s inferiority. It’s hard to feel good about yourself when popular images of “beauty” don’t look like you.

So if you really want to learn about our hair, find information through research instead of reminding a Black woman that her beauty is rarely celebrated.

If you know a Black woman well, you could respectfully ask how she’d feel about answering questions. Some women don’t mind, but you’re not entitled to her answers. The expectation to educate people can get tiring, so lots of Black women just don’t feel like talking about it anymore.

2. You Find My Hair Fascinating

Sometimes my hair evokes more than curiosity – it fills people, like the woman at my residency, with wonder. Here’s how being fascinating can be a bad thing.

Black women are often “othered” in US society – like being treated as if we don’t exist in the media. Our hair is othered with insults and misunderstandings like the interpretation of braids on Black people as “gang affiliations.

Even when the othering seems “positive,” it doesn’t feel good. It disrupts our efforts to simply exist without being treated like we’re abnormal. At the writing retreat, for instance, I’d hoped for quiet introspection.

Instead, I had a stranger’s hands in my hair. And “compliments” that essentially said, “Wow, you’re different!” And pressure to answer questions that basically covered why I’m so strange.

It was a little dehumanizing, even though she didn’t mean it to be.

When you rarely see Black women in the media, and even “positive” images objectify us, you’re influenced to treat Black women as objects. That’s not a good thing, even if we’re fascinating objects.

My hair is one of the ways I have control over my own image – it’s not just some anomaly for people to touch. Let me reclaim my own beauty and exist without being exotified.

3. You Want to Compliment Me

You may think this is my favorite reason. Who wouldn’t want a compliment?

This is tough, because I appreciate the good intentions – and then I feel bad for rejecting your compliment. Let me explain now so I don’t have to see your disappointment as you realize this is the wrong way to compliment me.

Say you’re at a party and I arrive with my afro combed out, shimmering, and on point. I wouldn’t mind at all if you say how great my hair looks. But then you reach out, telling me my hair is so beautiful and you’d give anything to run your fingers through it – and I have to stop you right there.

You’re shifting from a kind compliment into fascination territory. It’s not flattering to be exotified like some strange creature – even if you mean it in a “good” way.

Besides, if my hair’s looking good, don’t mess it up! I didn’t put time into it just to go around with a dent the shape of your hand.

Imagine a different scenario. You’ve crafted a beautiful, hand-made hat, which you’re proudly wearing at the party. I walk up, eyes wide with fascination, and say, “I like your hat.”

Then, before you can say “thank you,” I reach out and smash it with my palm.

Wouldn’t that be frustrating? Wouldn’t it be even more frustrating if you got upset and I replied, “You should appreciate it! It’s a compliment”?

That’s just rude. So please, respect Black women and stick to verbal compliments about our hair.

4. You Think It’s Not a Big Deal

Touching my hair is relatively harmless compared to other ways Black women are dehumanized, so I could try to “get over it.” But first, let’s be clear about what I’m “getting over.”

There’s the history of white people’s ownership of Black bodies. The obvious example is slavery, when Black folks were considered property, not people, by law. They had no power over their own bodies – which included being raped by slave owners.

That’s horrendous enough, but there are plenty more examples throughout history. Like the fact that Black people in the mid-1850s were considered such a deviation from the “norm” that they were exhibited in zoos and freak shows.

One woman, Saartjie Baartman, was displayed in a cage, mocked, and gawked at. Even after her death, scientists dissected her body to investigate the difference between the “savage” (Black) woman and the “civilized” (white) woman. Then her genitals and brain were put back on display until 1985.

“Jet-black and woolly was her hair,” a Victorian poet wrote.

Saartjie Baartman wasn’t buried until 2002. Amid racial tensions, her burial site in South Africa was recently defaced.

This is our history as Black women, and it hasn’t just stayed in the past.

White stars like Miley Cyrus and Amy Schumer liberate themselves by using Black women as props. Meanwhile, Black women experience daily microaggressions – including other degrading phrases meant to be compliments, everything from “You’re pretty for a Black girl” to “You’re not like other Black people.”

And while none of these acts alone may seem like a big deal, they don’t happen in a vacuum. They combine to give Black women the constant feeling that our bodies are always up for objectification, judgment, and othering.

By the time you take the seemingly simple action of touching my hair – no matter how well-meaning you are – I’m tired of being an object. It’s not a big deal to you, but it may just be the last straw for me.

5. You Wouldn’t Be Offended If Someone Touched Your Hair

If you treat others like you’d want to be treated, you should respect Black women’s boundaries like you’d want yours respected – even if their boundaries are different from yours.

I have a white friend who once asked me to put her hair in a french braid. She didn’t mind my touch, even though I was terrible at braiding it, because for her, it’s “just hair.” But when she wanted to switch roles and braid my hair, I stopped her.

Because for me and many other Black women, it’s more than “just hair” – it’s a vital source of empowerment.

For many of us, natural hair is a political statement of embracing our beauty instead of the idea that we have to change to be acceptable.

As a result, we’re called “ugly,” discriminated against in the job market, and profiled as criminals. We’ve been told since we were children, often from the women in our families, that something was wrong with our hair, and that the world wouldn’t accept it as is.

So owning and loving our hair is a revolutionary act of reclaiming our worth. It’s an integral part of our cultural experience. A white person touching our hair carries a different context than when you, as a white person whose humanity is affirmed far more often, have someone touch your hair.

This applies to all kinds of situations. People of different races have social conditions affecting them in unique ways. Usually, the question of “Would a white person be offended?” is not an accurate measure of whether or not something is harmful for Black folks.

6. You Have No Idea How Often We Have to Deal With This

Black women deal with people touching our hair a lot. Now you know. Okay, there’s more to it than that: Black women deal with people touching our hair a hell of a lot.

If you approach a Black woman saying “I just have to feel your hair,” it’s pretty safe to assume this isn’t the first time she’s heard that.

Everyone who asks me if they can touch follows a long line of people othering me – including strangers who touch my hair without asking. The psychological impact of having people constantly feel entitled my personal space has worn me down.

If you’re not a Black woman, and you’re doubting that this happens so frequently, consider that…well, that you’re not a Black woman, so you’ve never walked in my shoes, or under my afro.

Do me a favor and take my word for it – or find the many other Black women speaking up and writing about this for more confirmation. Then find some empathy for those of us who so often have our boundaries violated.

7. You Know Someone Else Who Didn’t Mind

Do you know a Black woman who doesn’t mind when people touch her hair? So do I! We all have different preferences, and I don’t claim to be the authority on all Black women’s boundaries.

Even my preferences vary. For instance, I’ve let curious children feel my hair because – unlike adults who should know better – they don’t understand why I wouldn’t want them to. Many Black women’s boundaries include no hair touching, but that’s not even the whole point of why you should keep your hands to yourself.

The point is that everyone deserves to have their personal space respected. As feminists, respect for consent is one of our fundamental values. That should include not assuming that a Black woman consents to touch, even if another woman didn’t mind.

What if you ask for permission? We’re used to consent meaning asking first, and proceeding if you get a “yes.”

But just like sexual consent includes things like body language and inebriation status, getting consent to touch a Black woman’s hair includes more than just asking. You also have to consider the broader context. Even the fact that you’re curious points to a problem. It means you’ve internalized society’s othering of Black women – and you should work on that before you satisfy your curiosity.

There might be situations when Black women don’t mind touching. But there are also situations like that writing retreat, when I let the woman objectify me because I wanted to avoid any issues. And times when the person who wants to touch me is in a position of power, like an employer – and there’s a lot of pressure to be “nice enough” to let them touch.

So it’s better to err on the side of keeping your hands to yourself – even if you’d give the courtesy of asking before touching.

8. You’re Offended By the Idea of Not Being Able to Touch My Hair

Still think it’s no biggie to ask? Let’s talk about those “issues” that might come up if I say “no.”

Whenever I write about how white people can avoid being oppressive, some white people inevitably object to being told what they “can and can’t do.” You don’t want your freedom limited, but in many cases, this reaction isn’t about freedom. It’s about entitlement.

Touching my hair is the perfect example.

It’s an act that invades my personal space, and if I don’t want that – even if you don’t understand why I don’t – you should respect my choice. I mean, you’re trying to pet me. Even my cat sets her boundaries when she doesn’t want to be petted, so shouldn’t I, as a human being, have my boundaries respected, too?

As a woman, I’m subject to rape culture that says men are entitled to my body. As a Black woman, I’m under even more pressure to be available for other people to touch.

I’ve been called “uptight,” “angry,” and “overreacting,” for saying “no” to having my hair touched. Hopefully you’d never do such a thing. But if you take it personally when a Black woman doesn’t let you touch her hair, it’s time to let the defensiveness go.

Having people feel entitled to our personal space at all times puts us in a vulnerable position. We’re pressured to let you touch us, and then we’re demonized for asserting our boundaries.

So don’t act offended if a Black woman turns down your request to touch her hair – you really have nothing to be offended about.

***

Those are most of the reasons I’ve heard for wanting to touch my hair. Did you catch all the good reasons not to?

With this simple act of self-control, you can help change culture around, you including:

  • Helping Black women feel safer by respecting our personal space.
  • Preserving Black women’s fly hairstyles.
  • Being a more supportive ally.
  • Creating consent culture by respecting Black women’s boundaries.
  • Resisting the influence of white supremacy’s othering of Black bodies.

These goals are worth prioritizing before your curiosity. Next time you’d like to touch a Black woman’s hair, remember how your reasons, no matter how well-meaning, support white supremacy.

And if you see me on the street, feel free to let the compliments flow – I’ll be happy to accept them without your hands in my hair.

 

Maisha Z. Johnson is the Digital Content Associate and Staff Writer of Everyday Feminism. You can find her writing at the intersections and shamelessly indulging in her obsession with pop culture around the web. Maisha’s past work includes Community United Against Violence (CUAV), the nation’s oldest LGBTQ anti-violence organization, and Fired Up!, a program of California Coalition for Women Prisoners. Through her own project, Inkblot ArtsMaisha taps into the creative arts and digital media to amplify the voices of those often silenced. Like her on Facebook or follow her on Twitter @mzjwords.

Solange Reaches the Top on Billboard

There’s always a healthy, and sometimes, unhealthy amount of competition between siblings in everyday life. There is certainly no exception when it comes to celebrity siblings.  Now Solange and Beyoncé are entering into new celebrity-sibling territory as Solange’s latest album A Seat at the Table reaches the number 1 spot on Billboard. Congrats Solange! With this achievement, Solange and Beyoncé become the only sisters in Billboard history to have reached the #1 spot…and they did it in the same year!

Everyone’s little sister, Solange, has had her share of success over the years. She’s released several albums since she left her days of helping write and dance for Destiny’s Child.

Billboard charts these days aren’t only about album sales. They also take into account streaming and digital purchases. This, I think, follows the trend of music but also levels the playing field for artists who wouldn’t typically get the kind of shine or PR (public relations) push that artists like Beyoncé or Britney Spears might get, for example.

Not one to shy away from using her voice, in her latest effort, Solange’s latest is personal and politically charged but maybe not in the way that you might expect. From what I’ve heard so far (which is only two tracks), she is in perfectly pure, unforced Solange form.  If you’re looking for a big pop belter Solange isn’t your girl and never has been. This, I think, only adds to her the dynamics of her talent and makes her incredibly unique. The dimension of movement in the album’s first videos and the space in which her natural voice exists make for a really enjoyable musical experience.  Simply put, she’s dope.

Check out the video for “Don’t Touch My Hair” from A Seat at the Table below:

Hair Loss Myths & Facts with Hair Restoration Expert Dr. Alan Bauman

It is estimated that men and women spend more than $3.5 billion a year in an attempt to treat their hair loss. That’s a lot of money!

Hair loss is a big concern for a lot of men and what has been thought of as a traditionally male issue has seen an increase in women seeking out hair restoration procedures as well.

August is National Hair Loss Awareness Month.  To make sure that you have the information you need to battle hair loss, I recently spoke with Dr. Alan Bauman, a board-certified hair restoration physician, treatment pioneer and member of the prestigious Pantene Hair Research Institute. He regularly trains other doctors in treatment techniques and is ‘recommended’ by the American Hair Loss Association.

Myths and misconceptions continue to make it harder for the estimated 80 million U.S. men and women with hair loss to get the right kind of help.

Here are some myths and facts to help you be informed about hair loss:

“Cutting or shaving your hair make it grow back thicker.”

MYTH! – Hair fibers are ‘dead’ tissue. Your follicle doesn’t know when you cut your hair short. It is an illusion. When hair is shorter is appears to grow faster because the added length over time is in greater proportion to the total length.  [i.e., adding 1-inch when the hair is 5-inches “looks” like faster growth than adding 1-inch to 10-inches.]

“Higher testosterone is linked to hair loss.”
MYTH! – It’s not the amount of testosterone, actually.  What you inherit is the sensitivity to dihydrotestosterone or DHT (a breakdown product of testosterone) that can cause hair loss in men and some women.  It is true that if you are a male and you use testosterone, this gets converted into DHT and can accelerate hair loss.
“Hair loss comes from the mother’s side.”
 MYTH! – Baldness is inherited, but it’s a combination of genes passed on from both the mother’s and father’s side of the family. Anyone who has close relatives with androgenetic alopecia (i.e., male- or female-pattern hair loss) – on either side of the family – is at a higher risk of developing the condition later in life. However, new genetic tests, like the HairDX Genetic Test for Hair Loss, can accurately predict a man or woman’s likelihood of losing hair as they age.
“Medications can cause hair loss.”
FACT! (kind of) – While medication alone might not be enough to cause hair loss for someone who isn’t genetically predisposed to hair loss – it can speed up the process for someone who is genetically susceptible. Various medications, such as certain anti-depressants and birth control pills, list hair loss among the possible side effects. Hair loss is a rare side effect, but must be taken seriously.
“You can grow back dead follicles.”
MYTH! – Medications, laser therapy, PRP, nutritionals, etc. can help stimulate hair follicles grow thicker healthier hair, but once the follicle is dead and gone, the only option for regrowth in that area is a hair transplant.
“Wearing a hat can make you go bald.”
 MYTH! – This statement is completely 100% bogus and false in so many ways, and is a great example of the myths that continue to be perpetuated by the uneducated. Hair follicles are mini-organs located under the skin which produce hair fibers. Over time, they naturally cycle on and cycle off—producing hair for years, then degenerating/resting for ~90 days, then regenerating and the cycle begins again. While you may see hair loss suffers wearing hats to cover bald spots or re-frame their face in a youthful way, hats DO NOT and CANNOT cause male pattern hair loss!
“Once hair loss becomes visible it is time to seek treatment.”
MYTH! – How early you spot your thinning hair determines how much hair you save. If you wait until the hair loss is visible to the naked eye, you’re too late – 50 percent is already gone! The best tool in fighting hair loss is early detection, making it essential for patients to seek the advice of a certified Hair Restoration Physician as soon as possible.

Dr Alan Bauman

Alan J. Bauman, M.D. is a board-certified hair restoration physician, treatment pioneer and member of the prestigious Pantene Hair Research Institute.  You can learn more about his practice and hair restoration services at baumanmedical.com.

Sunne’s Gift Author Ama Yawson Talks Identity and Self-Acceptance

Back in December 2014 I featured a post on Sunne’s Gift by Ama Karikari Yawson, a children’s book that helps promote self-acceptance and healthy self-esteem in young children.

Today, I’m even more excited and happy to share with you Yawson’s Tedx George School talk about the same ideas that she discusses in her book. She is a fantastic storyteller and really brings home a message that we all need to hear.

Check it out!

Karen Tappin of Karen’s Body Beautiful Launches Talk Show “Karen Says”

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Karen Tappin of “Karen Says” at Loc’d & Loosed A Natural Hair Celebration of Unity in 2014.

Natural hair maven Karen Tappin is delving into new territory this evening as she launches her new talk show “Karen Says”.

Karen Tappin is the CEO of Karen’s Body Beautiful which is a widely known brand dedicated to helping women embrace their natural hair. The brand boasts a great collection of high performing products with the amazingly popular, and highly craved, Sweet Ambrosia Leave In Conditioner leading the pack.

Karen will host the show that is expected to focus on topics related to not only natural hair, but also family, career, relationships and of course beauty.

The show’s first episode airs tonight June 1st at 7 PM EST and will feature a monthly segment called The Beauty Bubble, which will feature natural beauty enthusiasts such as Imani Dawson, Editor-in-Chief of A Tribe Called Curl; Natasha Gaspard, CEO of Mane Moves; and Lurie Daniel-Favors, Esq., author of Afro State of Mind.

You can catch the first episode of “Karen Says” on the Karen’s Body Beautiful YouTube channel at YouTube.com/karensbodybeautiful. And feel free to join in on the fun and call in with questions and comments at (800) 628-2210.

Caring for Curls, Kinks and Coils Recap!

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This past week I was invited by some devastating divas from Barnard College here in NYC to speak on their panel for Caring for Curls, Kinks and Coils and I had a great time!

I really love doing panels, I really do. To me it’s great to have an actual interaction with the participants as well as fellow panelists and in this case there was a great amount of diversity of perspectives which made for some insightful and enriching discussion.

As we were addressing natural hair in the professional spectrum we had a range of professionals from different fields like everything from hairstyling to strictly corporate environments.  It was even eye-opening for me!

We covered everything from Giuliana Rancic’s comments about Zendaya at the Oscar’s to battling dry hair, gender role stereotyping and how to fight for your scalp at the braiding salons on 125th street in Harlem.  All I can say was it was a great privilege to sit on such an intelligent and illustrious panel.  And the audience participation was spot on.

We wrapped by raffling out some prizes by the event’s sponsors and I took home some nice samples too.  All in all it was a great event and it’s very encouraging for me to see students having these very real and meaningful conversations about natural hair and race in the workplace.  My biggest hope is that every person left feeling encouraged to enter the professional world knowing that it’s possible to embrace natural hair and thrive professionally at the same time. I definitely look forward to more events like that in the future!

Here are some snaps from the event:

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Members of Delta Sigma Theta at the event.

 

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Engaging in some good discourse and some shots of the participants.

 

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Closing up with some conversations and a quick photo of the panelists and hosts.

 

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And here are the product giveaway winners!

 

 

What’s New In Reading: Sunne’s Gift by Ama Yawson

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This week instead of offering you some of my latest weekly obsessions, I wanted to spotlight a new book that I have recently discovered, Sunne’s Gift by author Ama Karikari Yawson.

This past weekend when I spoke at the Locs Revolution organized #LocdandLoosed event, I was fortunate enough to run into the book’s authort.  She was kind enough to give me a peek into her book and the powerful messages inside.

Sunne’s Gift is not only about the power of natural hair, but it’s really an allegory for self-acceptance.  Inspired by her own son’s challenges with bullying, Yawson created the story of Sunne, a young girl who wears a big, beautiful fro.  Because of that, she’s isolated from the other kids (who,in this case, happen to be her spiritual siblings).

Aside from the main message of the story itself, I was inspired by Yawson’s use of natural elements in the novel.  To me, it shows the value in the earth and the universe’s elements while delivering this incredibly powerful message of living your truth and embracing who you are.  On top of that, Yawson also created an entire section at the end of Sunne’s Gift that focuses on children’s comprehension and personal development. The discussion questions and personal reflections prompt, in my opinion, some really great dialogues among family members which makes Sunne’s Gift a standout book for children.

Yawson even indulged in an impromptu reading at the Loc’d and Loosed event and her energy was palpable.  This is someone who is very passionate about her work and addressing the issues of bullying and culturally responsive education. She’s a force to be reckoned with.

If you would like to purchase Sunne’s Gift, please visit Mascot Books. The book retails for $19.95 and is also available via Amazon.

 

Weekly Obsessions 10.30.14

Here’s what’s on my radar this week!

If any of you have been following me on Facebook then you know that I’ve really been enjoying Viola Davis in How to Get Away with Murder. The show is great and has gained a big reputation for a lot of reasons.  By far, one of the most impressive scenes was when Davis’ character removed her wig and makeup at the end of a recent episode (she was previously seen wearing a head wrap to bed, which we never see on TV).   This obviously resonated with a lot of people, particularly Black women, and was even the subject of discussion/celebration on a recent segment on Melissa Harris-Perry’s show.  View the clip below:

Truer words (about living in NYC) have never been spoken

This weekend is Halloween and if you’ve been procrastinating on what your costume is going to be then you may want to go the easy DIY route.  Here are some recommendations from Popsugar for those of you looking to celebrate this weekend.  Be safe everyone!  Conversely, here are some costumes you probably should avoid come Friday…

And finally, a few days ago the video below was released to highlight women having to deal with street harassment.

It spurred a lot of controversy, with some people even suggesting that there is no problem with the comments this woman experienced over the course of a day.  Here’s the thing, I can’t imagine what it’s like to walk down the street and have people constantly referring to my body or the way I look. That’s a problem that guys don’t have.  I would imagine that experience to be isolating, confusing and sometimes frightening (especially if someone continues to walk alongside you for minutes on end = by the way, that makes you a stalker).

Anyway, as guys we need to be more mindful about how our desire to speak to someone does not entitle us a response, period.  So if you see a woman walking down the street and you think she’s beautiful, say “Good morning” and keep it moving.  If she wants to talk to you, she’ll stop and do it. I promise.

On the same topic, Jon Stewart correspondent Jessica Williams (who also has an amazing head of hair) weighs in on street harassment in this humorous clip. If you don’t watch anything else today, it should be this.