Tag Archives: black men

Guys with Dreadlock Extensions: Yea or Nay? [VIDEO]

The other day I saw a young man with dreadlock extensions. I thought, “Hmmmmm…..” And really, I couldn’t think of anything else to say after that. His locs didn’t look like the man in the pic to the left. They were freshly done and a little too neat. They almost looked like braids. The man is the video below made the point if your are getting extensions then you are not enjoying the journey. Many women love a man with long. sexy dreads. However skipping A, B, and C to get to Z may not be the way. What what do you think, guys with dreadlock extensions, yea or nay? Please share your thoughts in the comment section below or on our Facebook page.

More Than Hoodies, We Need Radical Change


This was a tweet that came across my Twitter feed the other day. Now, I don’t cuss. But, when I saw this, a few choice words started to bubble inside of me. Thousands of people across America have taken to the streets in protest, wearing hoodies in honor of Trayvon Martin. This young Black boy just happened to be wearing a hoodie when he was murdered by a White man who thought he looked “suspicious.” Some, like the person who wrote that tweet have taken the symbolism of the hoodie and turned it into something trivial. My heart grieves over the senseless death of Trayvon Martin. Yet, there is something else that is troubling me.

Why is the death of 17 year old Trayvon so sensational? Especially since, our young African-American children are slain in the streets everyday and there is very little outcry. I think this hit home because when someone is killed, you expect there to be some sort of justice or resolution. The fact that to the date of this post, George Zimmerman his killer, has not been arrested is appalling. However, unsolved crimes are the norm in the African-American community.

The city of Harvey, Illinois, a troubled, predominately African-American suburb of Chicago, is only now under lawsuit for failing to process 200 rape kits from 1997-2007. That means approximately 200 women saw no justice for the crimes commited against their bodies. That means that the rapists who commited these crimes are still on the streets. In one weekend alone in Chicago, 40 people were shot and 10 people killed. This is not Afghanistan, but it sure feels that way at times. Our neighborhoods are under siege by gangs and crime and no one really knows what to do.Where is the outcry?

Perhaps there is no outcry in our communities because Blacks killing and mistreating each other has become a “norm.” In Trayvon’s case, you have a black boy, killed by a white man who has not been brought to justice, and everyone is outraged. Yet everyday, young Black men are pulled over by racist cops without just reason, coerced into confessions, given longer sentences than whites for the same crimes. I found out that a classmate of mine just lost her sister in a similar case to Trayvon Martin. Rekia Boyd was shot and killed by an off-duty police officer a few days ago. The officer said that the man who she was walking with pointed a gun at him, but turns outs that it was just a cell phone. Again, where is the outcry?

One can only hope and pray that the attention Trayvon’s tragedy is receiving can become the impetus for change in our community. President Obama in a speech weighed in the on the Trayvon Martin case, stating that we  all need to do some soul-searching to figure out how does something like this happen. There needs to be real dialogue on a social, political and even spiritual level about race, law enforcement and poverty. More than just hoodies, there needs to be a radical change is our culture, our justice system and society. But hey, if a hoodie is what is takes to build solidarity around these issues, then I will wear mine with pride.

Please share your thoughts on this topic in the comment section below.

What Whitney, Michael and Don Remind Us

In light of the news of the passing of Whitney Houston, I started to reflect on the pressure she must have felt to be the best and always stay on top. I started to reflect on our unhealthy obsession with celebrity’s lives and the pressure we put on them.  When someone passes, the first thing we do is look for someone to blame. We ask, what could we have done differently? Did we do enough to save her? It was Bobby’s fault! Yea, that’s it. Or, it was the yes-men that surrounded her. They should have snatched the drink out of her hand. The real truth is that celebrities like, Whitney Houston, Michael Jackson and Don Cornelius are ultimately responsible for their own lives.

Yet, even with knowing this truth, their death still hurts because we can all relate to the process of dealing with our issues. It’s that “process,” I feel many celebrities are robbed of through pressure from the media, pressure to put on a good show, the pressure that naturally comes with aging, etc. Fast success mixed with deep soul issues is a recipe for disaster. The praise, the accolades only mask the pain deep down inside. When the applause stops and everyone goes home you are left alone with just you and the demons that hunt you. The pressure of mega-success and super-stardom can sometimes be too much for a human being to handle.
Where I feel celebrities, and people in general, go wrong is that our craft cannot be who we are. Our talent is just an extension of who we are, not who we are. I’m not a celebrity, but as an artist I can relate to the anxiety that celebrities must feel to perform and be the best. If I have a bad design or the client doesn’t like my idea, I have learned (and still learning) not to internalize those negative feelings. I take no credit in myself, but it is the grace of God. Believe what you want, but there is no denying that you must be connected to something deeper than yourself in order to handle the pressures of life. Whitney, Michael and Don remind us not to carry around our pain and to take time for inner healing.
Another thing I reflect on is, “man, why did Whitney and Don have to die in such a tragic way during Black History Month?” Someone on Twitter said, “Black History is cancelled this month.” I don’t buy that. These legends, icons of our generation are gone, but never forgotten. We must not forget the lessons they taught us. Whitney and Michael taught us to perfect our craft. Sure, they had raw talent, but no one can ever say that they did not put in blood, sweat and tears to be the best. Don taught us to be innovators and savvy business people. He taught us to find a void (under representation of Black music and images in media and advertising) and fill that void. Don taught us to be the change you want to create. Lastly, they remind us that we are human beings, fragile and yet resilient, weak and yet powerful beyond belief. So be encouraged and know your greatness.

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“Wit Yo Nappy-Headed Self”

This is not my son…lol

So, I’m having a conlict with my husband. Our oldest son has my hair texture. What does that mean? It means that when he gets a hair cut the hair starts to grow back beaded up. My husband, who has hair that lays flat and has a loose curl pattern, is like “Ugh! It [our son’s hair] doesn’t lay down when I brush it” Stating, “You know yo’ hair is nappy when you go to the store and say give me the hardest brush you got.” LOL. Of course, we had a good laugh at that one. So then, we started talking about his childhood and the stigma of being “nappy-headed.” You see, the nappy-head little boy was the bad boy. He was the one who couldn’t sit still, was always acting up in class. “Oh, you talking about James, that little nappy-headed boy down the street.”

When, my husband sees my son’s hair start to bead up, it makes him want to go get the hair clippers and shave it off. The conflict is that I don’t want his head bald. When my husband gives him a mohawk, he cuts the sides practically bald. I’m like, “Bay, why do you have our son looking like Mr. T?” His reply,  “so that the hair won’t bead up as fast” He keeps going back to the stigmas of his childhood and he doesn’t want our son to be “that kid.” “Little boys, black men need to be clean cut.” Or, at least, that’s what society has told us in order to be something in life.

This is very aggravating. Though, I know that he is not alone in these sentiments. Growing up if you were arguing with another little girl you could usually win the battle by ending off, “wit yo nappy-headed self.” We’re not children anymore, but these deep-rooted sentiments have carried over into adulthood. To this day, when a little Black baby is born everyone is waiting to see if the hair is going to “turn.” Mothers are still smothering their baby’s hair in mineral oil hoping prevent the inevitable.

I’m thankful that my husband and I can laugh about this. It does not hurt any more to think that there is a part of me that he would prefer different (or, at least, tamed). These sentiments are just a part of our culture and history that comes with the territory. I will not stand in the way of my husband training our son to be a man. I will however, give our son the balance of loving self that a mother gives. I believe that as more of us embrace our natural hair and define beauty on our on terms, those old stigmas will not be an issue anymore.

Share your thoughts…whatever they may be…