Friday, May 29, 2009

THE BIG CHOP...LIVE

For those who don't know, I did the BC.  Here is the clip.

PS: Don't mind my amateur editing. Kiiiiiinda horrible.





video(THIS VIDEO IS  NOT TO BE COPIED/DUPLICATED OR USED WITHOUT MY CONSENT) 































6-16-09 cut



















Friday, May 22, 2009

Change Yourself, Change the World

I’m 100% sure that if we change ourselves, we have the ability to change the world. Why am I so bold to say change the world? Here’s my train of thought:

  • black woman changes/reinstates her true standards=
  • black man has no choice but to (eventually) oblige=
  • black family gets stronger, and is more prevalent
  • black family=strong values, morals, goals, pride, REAL education=
  • less fatherless children= less black juvenile delinquents, teen pregnancies
  • black family= important= less foolishness (b/c more to live for) =less (adult black male) jailbirds
  • once the black family in in tact...there is NO stopping us!=
  • then comes the stronger black community...again there is NO stopping us!=
  • more black owned/supported businesses
  • then we’re taking over!


The rest of this may not be cohesive because I am emphatically overzealous about this topic so here it goes. MMMAAAAAY sound like a rant, THAAAAT’S because it is....


We first need to respect ourselves, our sisters AND our brothers.

Just the rudiments of self-respect will change your world, and the world around us. I promise. You won’t take ish from anyone, because you respect yourself enough not to. You won’t let people walk all over you, because they obviously don’t respect you, and you KNOW the respect you deserve. You’ll have a different outlook on life. Surround yourself with respectful people. No more drama. You’ll have a new strut a new walk. You’ll attract a-whole-nother breed of people in your life. Your light will shine brighter than ever before.



But first let’s discuss a few factors...How do we get this self-respect?

  • how we dress
    • your body is NOT the only thing you have to offer men. REALLY, it’s not. You’re soooo much more sis. TRUST!!!  Nor do/should you need that male attention to validate you. AGAIN, you’re soo much more than that. Think about it,  if that’s the attention you seek, exactly WHAT kind of man do you think you’ll reel in slinging THAT bait? The one who wants to objectify and use you, that’s who. 
  • how we speak to/about each other
    • cursing is NEVER ladylike. try to keep it at a minimum. 
    • when’s the last time when a sister walked into a room, you greeted her with a smile instead of checking her out and assessing how much of the threat she may be in the inter-room dating pool
  • How we act
    • can we GET anymore divisive?
    • respect is a verb, not just a noun.
    • cursing people out in public, is not an option. be civil. get your point across eloquently as effectively without the added drama. realize that people WANT to see you act a fool. People pray on your downfall. All you’re doing is giving them the pleasure of getting under your skin. Recognize that’s ALL it is. Scoff. And move on. 
    • how we dance in the club....like, seriously!
  • “chivalry is dead” ...the hell if it is. WE allowed it to vanish. WE allowed men to get comfortable NOT opening doors for us (store doors, restaurant doors, car doors etc)
    • if we’d just stand outside the place until he opens it, he’ll damn sure come around and open it. 
      • I MEAN EVERY WOMAN....EVERYWHERE
      • if we ALL wait for a door to be opened, I GUARANTEE a man will open it 
      • yeah we might be standing outside of a few places, or loosing relationships along the way but it’s for the greater good. I look at it like sit-ins. 
        • There was an inequality that was going on. One person/group of people refused to move until they were served. They might not have been served that day but these demonstrations were for their and generations to come to be able to reap the benefits of their tenacity.


All it takes is one person at a time to realize their role in the grander scheme of things. And once we’re all on the same page, at the same time, there’s no limit to what can come of it. 


Call it over-ambitious, call it being true to my piscean ways, call it whatever you want. But until I see it tried and failed, this is what I will believe until the day I die. And will be a living example. I challenge you to join me. 



Peace.


Monday, May 18, 2009

Embrace Your Hairitage: Stop Living the "Lye"


There are two types of chemical straighteners that dominate the hair market today. Sodium Hydroxide “Lye” perms and Guanidine hydroxide (also known as Lithium Hydroxide “No Lye” perms. With pH (potential hydrogen) levels between 12%-14%, sodium hydroxide is an extremely corrosive alkali chemical. Anything with a pH level higher that 7% is alkaline and anything below is acid- the lowest being 1% and highest being 14%. The FDA banned the use of more than 10% sodium hydroxide in it’s household cleaner liquids. 


Guanidine hydroxide or “no lye” relaxers doesn’t imply that there aren’t any strong chemicals used or that chemicals used are somehow less potentially damaging. There is really no difference between the two. A lower pH level is only replaced by more acid causing the same damages to both the hair and scalp.


BOTH SH and GH have extremely high pH levels. BOTH immediately strip the hair of all it’s moisture, due to the fact that any retention of moisture would reduce the effectiveness of the relaxer. 


..::put your thinking caps on::..

when you get your relaxer...ever notice:


-your stylist has to wear GLOVES in order to apply the relaxer;


-you can’t keep it in more than 5 minutes, otherwise it will burn AND scar;


-if your stylist is pregnant, she must wear a MASK to apply the relaxer; 


-as the instructions state, you have to NEUTRALIZE your hair directly after washing it out



There are specific scientific reasons for ALL of the instructions. 



Aside from the effects to the hair, these chemicals are absorbed through the skin into the tissues, cells and bloodstream. Just as there are drugs that absorb through the skin ie. niccotine patches, birth control etc, the relaxer is no exception.  Relaxers aren’t drugs but the skin definitely absorbs everything. There are not only short term, but also long term harmful effects to the hair, skin, circulatory system. 


For more information you can read this or visit this site or this site.


-Hotep SistaS

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Embrace Your Hairitage: A Little History

As I come into my naturaldom, I've notice an unwritten, nonverbal tension between women who straighten their hair versus those who wear their hair naturally.  If I wasn’t interested in going natural, I don’t think I would have noticed this tension. My contention is that the “straighteners” think the “naturals” are lacking in beauty or the concern with it.  Meanwhile the “naturals” are thinking the “straighteners” are lacking in knowledge/love of self. Please correct me if I’m wrong. This is merely my hypothesis. The next piece is taken from a lovely web entry I stumbled across- which sites information from Willie Morrow’s book “400 Hundred Years Without a Comb”- intertwined with my personal thoughts as well. 



Our Hairstory:


We come from a continent where our hair was maintained, styled, and adorned based on the customs and traditions of our ancestors. The comb was considered a work of art.  Through the designs of the combs, one would be able to tell the owners tribe, his/her rank in the tribe, wealth, history and culture.   In fact, grooming and the art of haircare found unique expression in the African society. When forcibly brought over to America, our ancestors had their hand-carved wood combs confiscated because they were seen as potential weapons.  To replace this, they were given the fine-toothed European combs that proved useless for their naturally thicker, curlier hair.


Even though our ancestors were violently forced to submit to their new environment, their hair refused to co-operate and didn’t relinquish it’s unique characteristic. In my opinion, this is one of our eternal ties to our ancestors, who we truly are, and who we are destined to become. 


In addition to being denied the tool for grooming, under the slavery regime there wasn’t exactly much time allotted for hygiene and beauty.


As a result, our ancestors were condemned to constant scalp diseases and unhealthy hair that fell out in clumps. Female slaves took to wearing a head rag, usually made from discarded grain or feed sacks to cover up head sores and bald spots.  They also used the rag to protect their exposed scalps from hovering flies.


At the beginning of the 19th century, slave masters began to allow more time for personal grooming, in order to improve the market value of their “property.” Slaves were given old combs and dull scissors for their hair instead of animal shears. The house slaves were given strict rules for their appearance; men were forced to keep their hair cut extremely short and the women had to keep their hair covered if it was braided, or straightened with a hot iron. When slaves were finally permitted to groom, the goal was to make it long and straight, emulating their “masters.”


Friday, May 15, 2009

Embrace Your Hairitage: The Introduction

I feel a hair-volution in the air. And the hair-volution will not be televised. 


The next few entries will be a series for “embrace your hairitage.” This topic has been on my mind for the past few months.  With the stories in the media about Michelle, Sasha and Malia Obama, Oprah and the recent Tyra show episode, I felt compelled to share my research and opinions for this “good hair vs. bad hair/ straightened vs. natural debate.”  Let me just say that I am NO expert on this topic but I have been doing research since I started my journey into “naturaldom.” In my heart of hearts I knew I was making the right decision to go natural but I wanted all the scientific evidence to back me up so it wouldn’t just be a phase, but rather a definitive, informed decision such that I’d only be the ULTIMATE hypocrite to go back.  PS: I’m doing the “BC” (big chop) this June, as it the optimal time in this year’s lunar/ solstice schedule. 


..::lesson learned::.. If you seek knowledge on any particular topic, there is nothing to stop you from getting it; no matter what it is!


Some of the information I share will be from websites, books, or blogs etc. I will also have a list of references/hyperlinks so that you too can seek this type of information if you so choose. 


Come on this journey with me...

Sunday, May 10, 2009

{Insert My Mother's Full Name Here}

First, I'd like to wish all mothers and mother's-to-be a wonderful Mother's Day. Thank you for the gift of humanity Queens. We'd be no where without you, literally.

Now...

I'm dedicating this entry to my mother (I feel as if I should put her full name here, but I'm not going to put her on blast in cyberspace, pa-lease). 

Anywho, I love my mother, mom, madre, "Sher" (as I like to call her). I was just telling my best-friend: "you know how when some people go to church and get overwhelmed with love and appreciation for God, they might start crying...I do the same with my mother."  At any given tme, if I sit and think of all the amazing things my mother has done, said, shown, sacrificed etc, I will begin to cry. 

I don't know how/when it happened but I think our love has been reciprocated. The way a mother loves a child is now child to mother- on the same level, if not same VERY close. She is: my best-friend, my confidante, my supporter, my #1 fan, my teacher, ears that listen, shoulder to lean on, arms that embrace, door that's always open, hand always willing to help, Queen, selfless, giving, nurturing, under(over)standing, energy, wisdom, love. My mother. She just IS. 

I am forever grateful that she and I were paired up in this lifetime to change each other's lives. There is ABSOLUTELY NO relationship/spiritual connection comparable to that of a mother and a daughter, ours in no exception.

Mom if you are reading this, I LOVE YOU DEARLY.  WORDS CAN'T DESCRIBE HOW MUCH.

..::started crying::..


Peace. 


PostQuote: "The reward for doing well is doing well" -Mi madre!


..::While typing this entry I was listening to this. Gets me EVVVVERYtime::..

Friday, May 8, 2009

Compare Not

I was in a store recently and a woman said I looked great and she’d love to be my size. I never know how to respond to comments like this. All I could say to the sista was “you should embrace yours.” (in the most un-pretentious way possible- sounded like sweetie should've been attached at the end). I know we can be our own worst critics but comparison takes it to a deeper low. I wish we would all just love the bodies that we were given. The good the bad and the (seemingly) ugly. WHY do you think _______ is ugly? Who says it’s ugly? And do they REALLY matter? REALLY? 


More often than not, you feel worse about yourself once you compare yourself to other women. Why even do it? I think it’s becoming instantaneous to compare. We need to catch ourselves if we find ourselves comparing. We should just stop at the “admiration” stage of this thought process and simply compliment the sista on whatever it is we appreciate about her look. ...OH and comparing to make yourself feel better is just mean-spirited. I won’t even address that type of energy.  I don’t think you’d be reading this blog if that’s your nature.


..::fade to black::..


OK! Mini-experiment: Try NOT watching music videos and consuming celebrity gossip media for a week (or even a month-yes I said a month!) and see if/how your confidence increases. At the same time, get to know “the mirror you” especially the “naked mirror you.” Check her out, every facet. Greet her everyday with a positive message. “You are beautiful, Queen” “Have I told you how gorgeous you are today?” “I am strong, beautiful, independent and a good person” ...etc. The list can go on, get creative.


Who said self-esteem only had exterior elements?  I honestly think beauty glows from within. Self-esteem starts from within. We have to have the inner confidence in order for the beauty to show on the outside- NO MATTER how “gorgeous” you think you are, or people say you are.  Real beauty is effortless. Beauty doesn’t need expensive clothes, shoes, jewelry, cars, etc. Those are all, arguably, signs of the lack of inner beauty from within. I love to see a sista with a GLOW. No frills, just a glow that silently speaks volumes. Those are the people with whom I like to surround myself.



When you glow...you shine. 



PostQuote...well PostPoem: By the illustrious Maya Angelou









Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Our Inherent Power

Women of pan-Afrikan descent have such power.  We have a mystical/magnetic power about us that many of us don't even realize. If we knew the power we had, we would have a whole different stride, a different outlook on life, higher self-esteem/self-respect/self-confidence etc. We come from QUEENS. Most societies were began matriarchal for thousands of years. We ran the planet! Our ancestors were great therefore we are inherently great. It's in our blood, in our womb. We just need to tap into that energy. Walk around with the power and pride of Auset, Nefertiti, Neferati, and Hapshepsut. Research these queens, look at the impact they had. That's you! Your are them and they are you. 

Men don't pick us, we pick men- regardless of the circumstances in which we meet. You ALLOW them to enter your life, your realm, your sphere. A wise hue-man once made the analogy of a magnet versus all other elements. I'm going to remix it make a point. Black woman, you are the magnet, the men are the other elements. It's a fact that when any other element comes in contact with a magnet it becomes a little magnetic (if only for a short period of time).  The magnet remains a magnet but some of it has been "rubbed" off on this OTHER element, giving/lending it a little magnetic power. 

With that in mind, have you ever been in a (bad) relationship or "situation" where the man either drains you, sucks you dry of your energy, leaves you feeling less than? This is because you've gotten into a situation with the wrong "element." He's sucking all the good goodness that you naturally poses and living off of it like a leech. You don't notice it because it's a gradual/systematic/subconscious process. HE might not even know he's doing it-but some men do. Slowly but surely, your magnet is losing the strength of it's magnetic pull, you're light is dimming, and you're wondering how/why you feel the way you feel: worse off than when you got into the "relationshit."

Don't allow anyone to dim your light, tarnish your magnet. 

You ARE a queen, act accordingly.


Peace Queens.


PostQuote: "The most common way people give up their power is by thinking they don't have any" 
-Alice Walker

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Introduction's First


Peace blogosphere,

I guess I'll make this one my formal introduction/mission statement and any other randomness that comes to mind while "fingers meet keys."


Allow me to introduce myself: Peace sistas, my name is Janine. 

But this blog isn't about me so I won't delve into details about myself.  If you have questions feel free to ask. This blog's about the advancement of black women everywhere.  I am convinced that if women change (specifically black women), the world will change. We have so much inherent power and most of us don't realize it. The title was inspired by Bill Cosby's book Come On People. I'll be channelling his candor when I write. 

Most of what I have to say will be in reference to knowledge of self- (which is manifested into self-respect, self-esteem, etc), relationships, social awareness, health awareness, and overall sisterhood. Feel free comment whether you agree, disagree or would like to build/add to the post.

Oh yea, Let me also preface this entire blog by mentioning that I am no expert on any of these topics nor do I have all the answers to all the questions. I come to you in the roles of both a liberator and vessel. Im at a place where I know a lot yet I have a lot to learn.  I have my life experiences and those around me, coupled with my personal esoteric/afro-centered studies. I'm just here to share my knowledge as well as learn from others. Here.To.BUILD....in every sense of the word build. 

OFF THE RECORD: Ideally I would like to create a COSistasCircle where we all can come together and build. Cyberspace is extremely distant. We're a tactile gender, we need more than 'fingers meeting keys' to feel the community I would like to see built...to juxtapose the divisive nature to which we've grown TOO accustom.


Let us learn and grow together.


Peace Sistas.


PostQuote: "The true worth of a race must be measured by the character of its womanhood."
-Mary McLeod Bethune