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Love & Light

Hello beautiful,

I’m sending you a ray of sunshine bright enough for the whole week. Come back if you need a little more! I pray that everything you’re wishing for comes to you tenfold. I’m sending you positive energy and good fortune for all your days to come. Smile! 🙂

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I’ve been meaning to post about this for some time now. I want to talk about hair. In one of my very first posts, I talked about the “issue” with black women wearing weaves. I briefly touched on the reasoning for weaves. I believe that black women, whether they will admit to it or not, wear weaves because they do not feel that the hair growing out of their own heads naturally is beautiful. We have been programmed and conditioned dating all the way back to slavery to believe that white is right. We were taught that whites have long, silky, straight hair and that is beautiful. If you have anything close to the texture of white hair, then your hair is deemed “good”; that is the bottom line. From being called “nappy-headed-hoes” to the images that we see in the media, we have always been told that natural African American hair is ugly. This is not a new notion and I am happy to see that it is changing.

However, I wear the occasional weave and yes I do believe it is because of the issues explained above. I am making the transition from relaxed hair to natural and I chose weave as a protective style while my hair goes through the change. Now, I have friends who decided to cut all of their hair off and start completely from scratch. I admire them wholeheartedly. I have many friends who rock their natural locks, twists or afro’s proudly and that’s beautiful. However, there are different strokes for different folks.

I have noticed the amount of men that have been expressing their disdain about women who wear weaves. Something about wanting to run their fingers through a woman’s head without feeling tracks. I understand this. I love to run my fingers through my own hair and feel my scalp. However, every once in a while I will sew in somebody else’s 12-14″ mane in order to give my hair a rest. Sue me. I am noticing on Twitter that guys love to talk about how women need to rock their real hair and how much they hate weave.

Gentlemen, until you have spent hours and money getting your hair pressed only to walk outside to a sudden rain storm and have a curly, frizzy puff in moments, please locate the nearest exit. I am pleased that men want their black queens to get back to their roots and embrace their natural hair. On the other hand, how many afro’s have you actually dated? When you see a beautiful face and an afro versus a beautiful face and a 14″ weave, (and I’ve seen this happen), 9 times out of 10, you’re chasing after the weave.

Take responsibility for that sir. You want natural hair, put your money where your mouth is.

All my women rocking afro’s, twists and braids, I salute you. I will one day try those styles out as well. I believe each person should do what works for  them.

BLACK WOMEN, YOU ARE ALL BEAUTIFUL NO MATTER WHAT YOU DECIDE TO DO WITH YOUR HAIR.

For the record, if the way I’m wearing my hair deters you from talking to me or being interested in me, we didn’t have too much in common in the first place.  🙂

Thank you.

Black girls Rock!

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Friends and family say Kirby Brown was a free spirit who loved surfing.

Below is a link to a story from CNN.com about a woman named Kirby Brown who had spent her life trying to find her true self. The story is a bit lengthy so here’s a brief synopsis.

Brown was an artist and free spirit who traveled the world and went to different self help seminars in an attempt to find her true self. One of these retreats would result in her death. Brown died inside of a sweat lodge alongside two others. She used her life’s savings to attend James Arthur Ray’s “Spiritual Warrior” seminar in Sedona, Arizona in 2009.

Brown is described by family and friends as a wonderful, beautiful person who longed to find her purpose and build a family. Her friends an family say she was constantly looking for ways to improve herself but they didn’t think it was necessary.

This story caused me to question the whole self help industry. Many people across the world read books done by certain experts and follow their spiritual paths and rituals in hopes of becoming complete. There has to be a point when enough is enough and you have to look for some of the answers within yourself and your God. I believe that this story is a prime example.

Rest In Peace Kirby Brown.

James Arthur Ray has been charged with manslaughter and is currently on trial for negligence. Prosecutors say Ray did not follow proper procedures in regulating the lodge temperatures.

Read her story here

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Today is Friday, April 8, 2011. Today is also the final day the United States government has to reach a decision on the nation’s budget before a government shutdown is enacted. Reports say that the major hold up in the decision-making process is about cutting federal funding for Planned Parenthood. According to a recent report on CNN.com , Republicans want to cut federal funding for Planned Parenthood and turn the money for women’s health clinics into “block grants for states.”

This would mean that states would decide how much money goes to fund women’s health facilities and procedures. According to Planned Parenthood, this would include cutting funding for women’s cancer screenings, contraceptives and sexually transmitted infections.

Planned Parenthood released a statement on Thursday stating that: “by law, no federal funding for Planned Parenthood goes toward abortion.”

“Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nevada said Friday morning that the abortion issue is the lone remaining stumbling block for negotiators trying to reach a budget agreement that would prevent a government shutdown.” (CNN.COM)

Reid went on to say that all other issues preventing a decision had been resolved and that it all boiled down to this women’s health issue.

Conversely, representatives for Speaker of the House, John Boehner claim that the main issue is still government spending and not the abortion dilemma.

If a decision is not reached by midnight tonight (Friday), the government will go on a partial shut-down. This would put approximately 800,000 government workers out of work and cease the operations of  some government agencies. Payments to military workers and armed forces would also cease.

Oh! Did I forget to mention that congressmen would still be paid if the government shuts down? Whoops.

Let’s hope the government can reach a decision before the clock strikes twelve.

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Respect The Process

Every once in a while, you’ll find something on here that is completely random and/or unfinished and may confuse you. Don’t Fret. It’s probably a reflection of where I am either physically, spiritually or mentally. I appreciate you for reading it anyway. 😉 Here’s a little something; stream of consciousness, if you will.

Knowing the fall is coming won’t make me scream any less upon hitting the cement. It may, this time, actually leave a dent. Anticipating disappointment doesn’t pacify the upcoming appointment. We all lie, we all love, we all hate, we all die, eventually. I was told that chance favors the prepared; that doesn’t put my mind or body at ease too much. You’re saying that if I’m prepared for nothing, I may get a shot at everything, although everything is inevitable anyway. Or nothing. You may not get this. I don’t think that’s the point—for you to get it. I’m a pleaser by nature so I hope you understand but if you don’t, at least respect the process.

We are all rough drafts. Keep writing your story. Leave the editing to the Most High, THE Editor In Chief.

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I couldn’t get to my computer quickly enough after watching “Unwelcome: The Muslims Next Door” , a CNN documentary done by my idol, Soledad O’Brien. My fingers and heart are on fire as I try to jot down every comment I had about this piece. The documentary examined the controversy over the building of a mosque in Murfreesboro, Tennessee. One particular family that was featured spoke about feeling so accepted in the community until they began talking about building an Islamic mosque/cultural center. The potential site was vandalized and a lawsuit was filed against the construction.

I really don’t know where to start. I’m going to try to be as politically correct as possible but instances like this make it extremely difficult.

One of the major players in the filing of the lawsuit against the mosque was Kevin Fisher, a corrections officer. Fisher is an African American man.  Honestly, I was more upset by him than anyone else.

To be frank, I expected traditional caucasian Southern Republicans to feel this way about the mosque. However,  I couldn’t help but to be angered by Fisher and his intolerance for the Muslim community as much as he tried to veil it. A man whose ancestors and probably even parents or grandparents weren’t allowed access to certain restaurants or schools because of the color of their skin was protesting against Muslims for practicing what they believe. How brainwashed can you be? The man had the audacity to say that the mosque could damage the water quality in the area because of the way Muslims are buried. [Traditionally, Muslims are buried in a sheet, or in the clothes they died in, without a casket]. He was implying that the decomposition of the body buried in the ground could contaminate the water supply. I think I have now heard it all.

O’Brien interviewed a young Muslim girl who made a comment describing the opponents of the mosque. She said it was as if they were “taking things and throwing them at the wall and trying to see what sticks… and it hasn’t really stuck very well, but I think they’re still trying.”

I think she ‘s right. These people were looking for any explanation they could find to validate their opposition to the mosque, no matter how silly they sounded.  

The bottom line:  they are blaming the entire Islamic community for the actions of the terrorist extremists responsible for the September 11 attacks.

In the documentary we see that the potential site for the Islamic center was vandalized and burned. Real estate developer, Sally Wall implied that the Islamic community could have been responsible for the crime as a means to get attention and to make people think that “everyone is against them.”

 It is extremely hard for me to believe that these people actually hear the things they say and believe them.

They all say that they are not bigots and are not against religious equality but they are still protesting the development for a group to worship. I don’t get it. The suit against the development of the center went to court and we see a man argue that Islam is not even a religion.

“I think we’re worried about the American way of life. It would be great if the Muslims would try harder to realize that—that it’s not something personal against them”, said Sally Wall. 

Do you know what that translated to in my ears? “Listen, we let you people live here, don’t go getting carried away.”

I think as human beings and especially in this country, people are comfortable with categories and boxes. It is how we choose our friends, our careers and even our own religious beliefs and practices. The minute we set eyes on a person,  we are making judgements about them and placing them neatly into their respective boxes with all the bells and whistles that come with it. Black, white, male, female, muslim, christian or alien; some people cannot handle any of them spilling over into another or, God forbid, them spilling anywhere into their community.

One of my friends, Andrea posed a great question about these people. The people in this town had set the Islamic grounds on fire, vandalized the signs and ostracized the people there, who are the real terrorists here?

Wake up people.

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Destiny Fulfilled?

Que sera, sera. What ever will be, will be. I will be graduating from college soon and statements like this seem to make my days a little bit better. The millions of cares, concerns, and what-ifs that swirl around my head from the time I wake up to the moment I can silence them enough to sleep at night have been plaguing me. I always say that I am a writer, by definition. I can’t imagine doing anything else in this world but journalism. Writing, teaching, and informing through my words and documentaries, that’s all I want to do, and I want to be great at it, and I believe I will be.

I’ve reached that point where I’m being forced to address the fact that beliefs and dreams don’t pay back loans, and for lack of a clever metaphor, that sucks.

My family has sacrificed for my dreams and my future and I want nothing more than to make them proud and begin the payback. I mean that. I can’t wait to be able to provide for my family the way they have provided for me.

My parents and I have been going through this tug of war; they don’t seem to think I understand the reality of the world that I will soon be entering in to. I think I understand it all too well. I think about it all day, every day, did I mention ALL DAY?  I understand the notion of doing what you have to do now so that you can do what you want to do later. Does that mean working a dead-end 9-5 job to pay Sallie Mae for a few years? It may. I understand that, I’m willing to make that sacrifice. Acknowledging that does not make it any less frustrating. I get a sick feeling thinking that all of these years of training in the field of journalism may have to be carefully tucked away for a moment. I see so many of my friends who have recently graduated working these random, horrific jobs just to get the bills paid. I am not looking for any overnight miracle (although it would be nice).

I’m looking for stability, but I refuse to be satisfied by it. I may need to get out in the world and experience the “dust yourself off and try again” moment. I’m actually looking forward to it!  My folks think I’m living in a dream world because I want to apply for those editorial entry level positions in New York, Atlanta, or across the country. I just have to dream big, I just have to see myself in every dream. It’s the only way to stay afloat.

I understand my folks want the best for me. However, I don’t need their anxiety on top of my own. I have faith that I will be where I’m supposed to be. I will take the steps I need to take to care of business and give the rest to God. Rant Complete.

Thanks for reading!

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