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so…in the past week or so i have been having an ongoing convo with a dear friend…no brother of mine who is an awesome guy…college educated…great sense of humor…incredibly intelligent…great dad…cool on the dance floor (hehe)…just an all around good guy (yes he has his flaws but dont we all?)…in the same time…well actually longer…i have been having a similar convo with my sister…the topic at hand you ask? why (full) Black on (full) Black love very seldom last in our generation…a friend of mine posted an article of a (full) Black on (full) Black couple who had been married for 84 years…me being in my…eehh er um…mid to late 20’s…ive already missed that option (i would have to live to be over 100!)…shoot…many of us can barely make the year mark…so here i have copied and pasted my response to my broham after he commented on my post assuming i was trying to say it was all the mans fault…quite contrary…i am definitely NOT one of those man hating women who thinks women are totally free of blame from all failed relationships…after all…there are always two sided to every story…enjoy…more to come…

…you need a hug? LOL!…i was not assigning any blame in this post (however…if you look down a few post…feel free to answer the question posed to men, hehe…) i was simply saying instead of sistas giving up all hope and calling it quits…look to the elder for inspiration…cause…its possible! though for many of us we are too old to hit that good 84 year mark…and i am not one to always side with women when it comes to failed relationships…i like to look at BOTH sides! so HA! yes…we hold on to things because those things affect us deeply while you all just dont give a rats a$$ at times (unless she sleeps with another man, then all hell breaks lose!)…men…no brothas need to realize that Black women are just as sensitive, emotional, gentle and vulnerable as any other woman and should be treated with the utmost respect and care because JUST like you all are dealing with “the Black man struggle” (which i am not at all discrediting, because i know you all have it hard) we have our own struggles and at the end of the day look to our men for understanding, compassion, and love. but i think you all are SO quick to think that just because we are strong Black women we dont need and yearn for those things. THATS where the fighting begins….neither side wants to be vulnerable and understanding of the others plight in the world…until we can do that for one another and learn to EFFECTIVELY communicate…we will never make it to the 84 year mark. :( this was a lot…but you know you cant make a statement like that without me coming back! LOL! see ya tonight broham!

*to clarify…i have (full) in parenthesis because for a lot of Black men…mixed women are replacing full Black women in their feeble attempt to say “she is Black…her momma or daddy is Black”…or “she identifies with Black”…i think and FULL Black woman can tell you that the treatment of a mixed race woman is very different than that of a FULL Black woman based solely on the assumptions and standards held by not only Black men, but Black women…but thats for next month! ;)

~live.laugh.love.

One of the things i love most about facebook are the videos my friends post…for the most part they offer a few cheap laughs to make the day a little easier…less stressed…then there are the ones that make you think…the ones that touch your heart and make life seem cold, hard, unfair, scary and dismal…especially if you are Black…such was the case today…when the first video i saw was that of the senseless murder of 16 year old Derrion Albert at the hands of 5 young Black males…ranging from 16-19 years of age…witnesses say that the young honor student saw a friend of his under attack by several gang members and in an effort to help instead of stand on the sidelines shouting obscenities and cheering the nonsense on…he stepped up….stood up…and got beat down…never to stand up again…he did what everyone else should have done…and paid the ultimate price…being the ONLY casualty in a senseless, ongoing war that will never end until we ALL begin to take a stand…he was in his own, small scale way a modern day martyr for what is right…for his community…for his people…he is what we need to be…we need to channel the strength, pride, courage and love of self from our ancestors and begin to take back our communities…we need to be the modern day martyrs our ancestors were during the abolishment of slavery and the civil rights movements…we need to realize that the government is NOT going to save us…if we want change we have to take it…our ancestors gave their blood, sweat and tears, literally for us to have the chances we have today…and what are we doing with it…throwing it away…they fought TOGETHER…with a communalistic mentality…if one of our children was in any way harmed at the hands of another… ALL of our children were…that is why they were so powerful because they functioned as a whole…a collective…they were a village raising our grandparents, our parents…in hopes that we would raise the future leaders of the country and take advantage of everything they never had… I look at my friends children and i don’t just see them as ‘their’ children…but as my little niece or nephew…as a child that I am responsible for looking after and caring for when he goes out into this harsh world…it is just as much my responsibility to encourage, nurture, guide and love that child as it is their parents…so today when i saw the video and read the article regarding Derrion Albert…the pain i felt was as if he were my own flesh and blood…we need to wake up and stand up against the nonsense…violence is NOT the answer…nor is jail…yes…these young men need to be detained…but while being detained they need psychological help…they need for us to realize that their actions are crys for attention…a need for something better…they need for us to step in and take over where their parents failed them…their parents need for us to get in their ass and guide them on how to be a proactive, supportive, nurturing parents and not just their ‘friend’, if they are that…those of us who are ‘making it’ need to come off out of our shell…extend a hand and pull the rest of us of are not ‘making it’ up…the days of saying ‘they don’t want any help’ are over…they want help they just don’t know how to go about asking for it…pride is a dangerous thing that leads them to early graves…we need to escape from our individualistic, pass the blame, self hatred, im better than you because i have xyz state of mind and realize we are all the same at the end of the day and without the help of our brothers and sisters we ALL fail.

*****i am trying to mobilize a day of solidarity in honor of all of

the young men and women killed by senseless acts of violence as well

as ongoing mentorship programs for these young men and women…if anyone

is interested and/or has any ideas as to how to make this vision a

successful reality in a step towards bettering our communities…please

feel free to contact me.*****

lastly…hug all of your loved ones…tell them you love them…encourage them…support them…cherish every second of everyday…and from here on out…smile…nod…maybe even say hello when you see a fellow Black person on the street…you never know what the next person is going through…it

just may brighten their perspective on life…smiling is contagious…i believe compassion and love is too…

R.I.P. Mr. Derrion Albert and all of our other modern day martyrs…

“the most potent weapon in the hand of the OPPRESSOR is the MIND of

the OPPRESSED…” -Steven Biko

~live.laugh.love.

So about 7 years ago, I decided to stop perming my hair. It was a very interesting process that started out as a solution to repairing my very damaged hair and led me on a journey to self-acceptance. One day I realized that my hair would stay straight with a simple flat iron. It was cheaper for my wallet and healthier for my hair. My edges grew back thicker than I can ever remember them being, my hair grew longer, thicker, and looked healthier. Then…I went to a party. NO sooner than I hit the door I could feel my hair rising. I tried to play it off for as long as I could, but after about 10 minutes I found myself pushing my way through the crowd and into the bathroom to assess the massive afro my hair had conformed into. To my surprise only the front of my hair and the roots had went back home. The rest of my hair was still straight, making me look like some sort of little troll doll. I desperately searched my purse for pony tail holder or large enough rubber to try to contain the mess that was now my hair. A young lady tapped me on the shoulder and with her hand extended, a rubber band dangling from her index finger, said “I’m already knowing girl.” We laughed, I thanked her, made a feeble attempt to contain the madness, and after about 10 minutes, returned to the party. When I returned home I vowed never to wear my hair straight to another party…ever. Then Friday rolled around. Looking in the mirror at my bouncy bob, so shiny and feather light, I wondered what I was going to do to counter my previous hair disaster. I began to have the following conversation with myself:

Taliah1: Just wear a ponytail.

Taliah 2: Won’t go with my outfit and hair’s not long enough to be cute for anything but going for a run, not to mention the edges with still snatch back and you’ll still look a mess.

T1: Wear a hat.

T2: Then ill have to find something else to wear, AND if my hat falls off ill have hat hair AND when my hair begins to snatch back its gonna get shorter and shrink up into the hat.

T1: As soon as you get in the spot, say your hellos, then find the air conditioner and stay there…ALL NIGHT!!!!!

T2: You’re a genius!

So for about a month this was my routine when I would go out. Say hi to all my friends, dance to MAYBE one song depending on how well ventilated the club was, then sit as close to the air conditioner as possible, very boring as you can imagine. I decided to go back to my high school days and rock a fro. Since I had been straightening my hair for some time, the wash and go was not gonna work. Some parts…the roots mainly…would go back to their natural kinky-curly state, but the ends, oh those ends…they just stayed straight…creating a very…unusual look. So I sat for about two hours, creating about 20-25 bantu knots on my head. The following morning (after a most uncomfortable sleep) I undid the knows, fluffed my hair out, and low and behold…a fro! Yes! I had done it! I had found a hairstyle that not only complimented me physically, but also would withstand any and all weather God saw fit to throw my way! Bring it on humidity! Bring it on rain! Bring it on gym! I was ready for the world!

Then I went to school and work where comments from peers and co-workers began to slowly chip away at my confidence. Many of my friends responses were along the lines of ‘Oh, that’s cute, what made you do that?’, or ‘Its cute, but you are so pretty with straight hair’. With my friends giving me this much criticism and they look like me I could only imagine what my coworkers would say. I worked in an office consisting of three Black women (including myself), one Latino woman, one white woman, four asian women, and two white men. Out of all 11 of my co-workers, only the older Black woman complimented my hair. She said I reminded her of a younger Angela Davis. The other Black woman stopped dead in her tracks, stared at me for a minute, head slightly tilted, eyes squinting as if trying to figure out the foreign mass replacing what used to be silky straightness, then said ‘Oh, that’s different, what made you do that?’ My remaining co-workers just gave awkward stares and side glances. I had never felt SO uncomfortable in my life. Had it not been for the Angela Davis compliment, I would have probably went in the bathroom and cried. I was not ready for the reaction of my peers nor my co-workers. That night I went home and played India.Aries’ “I am not my hair” until I fell asleep. I woke up the next morning, looked in the mirror at my hair, looked at the face staring back at me, and realized that it wasn’t pretty…it was BEAUTIFUL. I was beautiful.

It really didn’t matter if my hair was straight or nappy or if I had no hair at all…I was beautiful. No matter what anyone said. In my brief moment of weakness I had let other people dictate how I felt about myself and the decision I had made with my own hair. No mas. I reclaimed my self confidence and picked my afro out as big as I could get it. As I looked in the mirror I felt a sense of pride I had never felt. A sense of royalty. My glowing afro had a regal air to it and it made me proud. I left the house with a certain pep in my step that I had not had before. I had made the decision to break away from carbon copy straight haired girls and decided to be among the few proud to rock their natural naps.

Eventually my co-workers came around, but even now I have people in my peer group telling me I’m prettier with straight hair. Now I just laugh to myself and respond by telling them that I am beautiful no matter how I wear my hair, and I shall not be confined to a european sense of beauty. That is not to say that there is anything wrong with wearing your hair straight, just so long as you know that your beauty does not come from a box or hot comb or flat iron. Beauty comes from inside, how you feel about yourself. And so long as you remember that, embellish that in your soul, you will be beautiful with any hairstyle you choose to wear. I was so proud of Solange Knowles for cutting out the weave and making the decision to rock a close cut fro. Many people have and continue to ridicule her, call her ugly, say she should ‘holler at her sisters hairstylist’, but she has stuck with her decision. Sistas need to embrace one another’s unique beauty and not try to force conformity on one another. Never will you catch me trying to force another sista to stop perming her hair and rock a natural. I may suggest it if they mention damaged hair, but I believe we should do what makes us comfortable. The problem comes when we feel the pressure from others to conform to what society deems as beautiful, so even if we do feel more comfortable with a natural ‘do, we run back to the perm and stove at the first negative comment made about our nappy hair.

Discover your inner beauty and the rest shall follow. Yes, you will lose certain suiters because they are judging by whats on the outside and NOT whats on the inside. You may even lose out on job opportunities. However, in the end, would you REALLY want to be with or work for someone who judged you solely on your hair? A person who engages in such behavior has a very closed mind and would always find fault in how you lived your life if it were outside of their little box. You should never have to feel scared or worried that your man will leave you if you don’t look a certain way, nor should you feel your job is at jeopardy simply because you decide to change hairstyles (with some exceptions of course; if the job calls for you to maintain a professional demeanor, don’t come to work with a mo-hawk!)

So I say, do you boo! Whatever makes YOU happy and feel most beautiful…do it girlfriend! And be proud of who YOU are…not who others think you should be! Break free from societies box of standardized beauty and shape your own reality. Beauty comes in all shapes, shades, and hair textures. Love yourself first and be confident in your decisions…then others will follow…if not…oh well…who cares? Work on being beautiful inside out…and your beauty with radiate from within. Remember, God made NO mistakes when he created you, so those naps that grow from your scalp…realize they were put there by the Creator and that they are apart of the unique set of gifts and blessings He wanted you to have. In the words of Ms. India.Arie ‘I am not my hair’…I am SO much more…and so are you my lovely!

~live.laugh.love.

Straight hair…curly hair…don’t care! Lol!

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