Other Places to Follow


Other Places to Follow


Saturday, June 5, 2010

Spicing Up Yo Life Never Hurt Nobody

Hi Ladies,

I don't know about you all, but my decision to enter "Natural Hairdom" made me want to become more health conscious.

Living a healthier lifestyle can be truly rewarding; however, at times you can feel like a fish out of water if you're surrounded by people who could care less about putting down the fried chicken, hamhocks, and chitterlings in hopes of finding healthier alternatives.

This morning I found a great article describing the many health benefits of everyday spices. Ladies, if you do not have these eight spices in your pantry GO OUT AND GET THEM!

This Woman's Day article really points out some great benefits, and I'm sure y'all can sift through your own family lore to unlock other reasons to use some of these spices in your cooking. I know from my own family I've heard out-of-this-world stories when it comes to spices.

For example, my grandfather a few years back had a stroke, which made him temporarily paralyzed in parts of his face and body. In the hospital he had asked one of my aunts to go get him....can you guess? A stick of NUTMEG! After sucking on that nutmeg, the paralysis drastically lessened.

Today my eighty-four year old grandfather is fully recovered, talking a mile a minute and making his way all over the place. I don't know about y'all, but after seeing that 180 transformation in him, I became obsessed with those Back-in-the-Day folk remedies.

I'll never look at nutmeg the same again...

Click on the link to read this awesome article: Surprising Healing Benefits of Spices

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Untold Story # 1 - Aiyana Jones

Hi blogging fam,

So I've been out of town pretty much all this month, but I'm back home for a few days and wanted to start a blogging series on Untold Stories. So often I talk about telling your own story either on this blog or my YouTube channel; however, some of us never have that chance. I want to remember those little girls and women who never had the opportunity to share their story, or whose life's story is conveniently overlooked by mainstream media.

That's right.

I'm talking about those missing black girls, those murdered black girls...

Those forgotten black girls.
There is a major bias in our media coverage. The so-called newsworthy problems of the rich and famous are always televised.
  • Who broke up with who.
  • Whose house is the most luxurious/expensive.
  • Who has the best/worst body.
Need I say more?

Beyond the rich and famous, media coverage is also biased based on race/ethnicity. Take missing women for example. Who is often portrayed as the "Damsel in Distress?" Lets give y'all some stats for a certain region in our country. Arizona seems to be the hotspot:

A case manager for the Nat'l Center for Missing Adults in Phoenix, AZ reports:

MISSING FEMALE CASES (Daily Press Release)

47,828 Total Missing Adults
29,533 White or Latino
13,859 Black
1,199 Asian
685 American Indian

The same case manager asserts that even though Black/Latino/Asian/Native American women go missing, young white females are disproportionately viewed as victims in the national media than any other group.

I guess I'm not saying anything new here. However, I want to know "WHY?" Why are missing minority women more commonly found on Have You Seen Me? mail-in cards or milk cartons and missing white females more likely to be found on the national news?

Could it be...
  • Lack of minority representation in the newsroom?
  • Lack of public demand for stories on missing minority women?
  • The media is racist toward non-whites?

I think its a combination of these things. Y'all can tell me what you think. Whatever the reason, deaths of little girls like 7 year old Aiyana Jones (who was shot and killed in her sleep by Detroit police) never get JonBenet Ramsey type coverage.

Because of the media silence, people are ill-informed just to how common and devastating these "accidental" deaths are within our community. Whether we want to see it or not, our people are being killed off at alarming rates (AIDS, Homicide, War, Heart Disease/Diabetes etc). If the Nat'l media will not tell these stories, we "The Ordinary People" must become the media. 

To read up on Aiyana Jones' death, click on the links below:

Detroit police vow honesty in child death probe
Aiyana Jones, 7-Year-Old Shot And Killed By Detroit Police, Was Sleeping According To Family
As always ladies keep telling your stories, cause God knows no one else will.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Choices. Choices. Choices

Hi Ladies,

So I'm back from Colorado and I have some breathing time. I've uploaded my AWP conference video for you guys to view. You can check it out here:

Also I've posted my pedagogy paper on my website for my blog/vlog fam to view.

Do you guys ever get that feeling that things are happening WAY TOO FAST??? Well, I have that feeling (I dunno, maybe it's just anxiety :) I've been offered another fellowship (just for the summer). It requires that I move ASAP and put a lot of things I've been holding off until the summer, even further off. Whew.

This fellowship isn't A LOT compared to the one that's actually paying for my doctoral program. I'm weighing the pros and cons. For those of you that don't know already, I'm a writer and a soon-to-be anthropology doctoral student. The summer was supposed to be my WRITING TIME: surfing the net for publishing houses, developing my query letters, shopping out short stories, scouting for possible agents to represent my novel(s) etc. I definitely want to be on the right foot for my doctoral program, but I don't think I can hold off moving my writing career to the next level either. YIKES. Choices. Choices.

Well as always fam, keep telling your story. Funny, I think I need to start listening to my own advice.

Until next time.

Much love and many blessings :)

Monday, April 12, 2010

3 Weeks Until my 3 Year Natural Hairversary

Hello Ladies,

In a few weeks I will have been natural for three years. Even though I've been natural before, I was a teenager and did not really understand or fully appreciate the stuff growing out of my head. Like soooo many of y'all, I've been fried, dyed, and laid to the side (not really dyed but I didn't want to ruin the saying :) It took me to become an adult to try the natural hair journey again. I have no regrets and love every moment of it.

Below is a video about my hair growth up until this point. If you want to learn more about my natural hair growth subscribe to my youtube channel for future healthy hair growth videos.

Stay blessed :)

Monday, April 5, 2010

AFRO Life: A New Video Series

Hi ladies,

I'm going to be uploading some youtube videos that will collectively be titled AFRO Life in the near future.

The first vids will be a two part series on some things that have been happening in my life and why it seems I've taken a hiatus from the internet world. In that series, I'll touch on everything from recent news about me to inspiring my younger viewers to dream big and how hard work in the classroom will help them achieve that dream.

Another installment in this series will be on relationships.
Some topics will include:
  • Should Black Women date men less financially successful than them?
  • Can you be the "strong, independent woman" within a relationship/marriage?
  • Dating/Marrying someone of a different spiritual/philosophical/religious path than you 
I also have a two part series coming up that will discuss my kinship theory behind why we call each other sister and brother.

Lastly, I'll be uploading a video that'll introduce you to the Yamster, my father. I visit him and film him cooking Jamaican yams. I really had a blast taping him yall.

Again, sorry I've been out of the loop on making Youtube vids and blog posts, but I'll be back more consistently really soon.

Stay blessed y'all and thanks for following the blog!

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Layered Side Hawk: Photo Tutorial

Hi Ladies,

I came up with this new hairstyle that I wanted to show you guys.

Here's some hair products I used to achieve and maintain this look:

Knot Today: I'm a biiiiig fan of the Kinky Curly Knot Today leave-in conditioner. It leaves my hair smelling yummy and it has a short list of ingredients I can pronounce.

Economically Feasible Alternative: Since I have to order this conditioner online, I'll normally use my shea butter hair lotion. Also I've been using the Olive Oil Replenishing Conditioner by Organic Root Stimulator. It's about 1/2 the price of Knot Today; however, the downside is that it's not an all natural product (i.e. some of the ingredients I may need to get my scientific-savvy boyfriend to pronounce).

Organic Extra Virgin Coconut Oil: Y'all I love this stuff. Its raw, earthy smell is soooo heavenly to me. If you use this, please be sure to store in a cool place if you want it to be solid.

Economically Feasible Alternative: Extra Virgin Olive Oil works just as great for me. However, for you Harry Potter fans I love Professor Snape's profession--Potions Master. I like to mix all of these oils together (I'm extremely generous with olive oil). Use whichever one works for you.

Distilled Water: I use distilled or purified water (if I have it) in my daily spritz for added moisture. But ladies, I can't stress enough the importance of drinking LOTS AND LOTS of water. Around the time I started going natural (the second time around) I became more health conscious. I really believe my increased intake of water helped my hair grow like wild fire.

Economically Feasible Alternative: Um, there isn't one. But if you can't rack up on bottled water, faucet water can be used for the hair (but I would boil it before drinking).

The Layered Side Hawk is a great style for its versatility. The side hawk below is on a week old twist out. You can also achieve this same look using locs, braid outs, or kinky twists extensions.


Make sure your hair is moisturized and properly detangled.
Also have some hair pins handy. 


Gather a section of hair. Flat twist your hair away from your face.

Secure flat twist with a bobby pin.


Perform step two with a section of hair directly behind the first flat twist. With just 1-2 flat twists you could rock a side do that's not as bold as the side hawk. I also do this simple style when I want to minimze the frizz at the crown of my head.


Continue steps 2-3 until you achieve the desired look. The above right picture is with 4 flat twists. I like this style when I want to accentuate the contrast between the front and back of my head. Also its a great way to show off earrings.


That's all for now ladies. Stay tuned to my Youtube Channel AFR0ST0RY.
I'll be uploading a twistout tutorial video and other goodies soon.

As always...
Within all of us is a story.
So, sistahs, tell yours or no one else will. 


Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Are Black Children an Endangered Species?

Hello Ladies,

Abortion is like an elephant secret within our community. It's something that is frequently done among black women; however, it is an issue rarely discussed openly if at all.

The two questions I have are:

  1. Do you think black women are being wrongfully targeted by Say No to Abortion campaigns?
  2. Is abortion a form of genocide that is endangering black people?  

Below you'll find a great video that I think brings this discussion to the streets of Atlanta. I hope to talk more about this issue. So feel free to leave any comments.

Controversial Abortion Billboards - ABC News

Remember Ladies:

Within every black woman is a story. If she never tells you'll never know the woman. So sistahs, tell your story or no one else will.

Peace and Many Blessings.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Zora Neale Hurston Festival

Okay I went to the Zora Festival this past weekend. It was a great event, although I wished I could have spent more time perusing the shops and activities and not trying to flee from the pouring rain. Anyway, I saw the Sun of the Sun production with my boyfriend; it was phenomenal. The play touched on soooo many cultural dynamics of our community that I think are still prevalent today.

At the festival I came across some awesome business owners (1) jewelry maker (2) traditional artwork collector and (3) painter. Check out my interviews with each of them below. Also please visit my website if you know of anyone that would like to have their business reviewed/publicized or have an interest in a cultural ethnography to determine customer behavior. Last but certainly not least...

Stay blessed ladies

Monday, January 25, 2010

Hair Tutorials inspired by Traditional African Styles

February 1st is approaching which marks Black History Month (even though I believe the study of our history should be a 365 day endeavor). Anywho, because BHM is upon us I wanted to start making hair tutorials which are inspired by traditional African hairstyles. Below is the first part of my Cinnamon Bun Crown Updo tutorial. I hope to share more with you lovely ladies in the future. Don't forget to visit my channel AFROSTORY to watch the second part to this video.

As always,
Stay blessed :) 

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Our Brothers and Sisters in Haiti need Our Help

Hello Ladies,

Just wanted to thank you guys for following the site. I haven't spent as much time blogging as I probably should. However, since this is a great way to network with folks, I really want to do what I can in spreading the word about relief efforts in Haiti. Now I'll be honest, I don't believe every relief effort has good intentions. That's why I'll only post specific ones that I believe will bring the money and resources to our people. Here's a few tips to better determine if a relief effort is reputable:

  • Do they offer transparency in regards to how money or resources is dispensed?
  • Do they have insider cooperation?
  • Do they have an underlying agenda or are they linked to larger companies or services that get a "cut?"
  • What is their track record for organization and proficiency in response to mass disasters?
  • What do the people they help have to say about their services?

I decided to support The Yele Foundation because it passed the above checklist with flying colors. When you can, please visit to learn more about Wyclef Jean's Foundation. There you can make a donation or you can visit the wonderful blog There a donate button for the Yele Foundation will enable you to make a contribution.

If y'all don't know by now, I consider myself a part of the global African community. I am a firm believer in the Kwanzaa principle of Ujima --(Collective Work and Responsibility). I believe in order to build and maintain our community together, we must know that our brother's and sister's problems are our problems, and no matter where we are in the African Diaspora, we must solve them together.

The man of my life's family is from Haiti and my cousin's family resides there as well. Please pray a special prayer for them. Love you all and many blessings to you and your family.

Remember ladies, within all of us is a story. Black women we must tell ours or no one else will.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Avatar Revisted

Okay folks. As much as I love the Avatar movie, I can't avoid the different perspectives out there. If y'all are keeping up with the buzz (maybe I'm the only sci-fi junkie out there) then you've heard about the "White Messiah" theme in the movie. Now as much as I was enamored and still am with Avatar, I can't avoid talking about this theme. If I had to point out a weakness in the film, that I majorly ignored in my first blog, the white messiah theme would definitely be it.

But from a writer's standpoint, how would characterization and narrative structure change? The Na'Vi would fight the humans, a war against two species? I could see that. However, if I want to play devil's advocate, perhaps James Cameron did not want the invaders to be generalized by everyone being depicted as evil? Perhaps by one of them having a redeeming quality, he thought it could give his movie an added layer of complexity. Or is the message something else, and age-old punchline we've been forced to hear a million times?

To be honest with y'all, the white messiah theme definitely slipped my mind not after seeing the movie once but twice. Now that my eyes have been opened to it, I have to re-evaluate how I feel about the movie. Was that an underlying and covert message all along for us to subconsciously process? Or was I too deaf, blind, and dumb to see what was smacking me in the face all along?

Y'all be the judge.

Peace and stay blessed...

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Hair Products: The Good and The Bad

There are numerous products out there marketed to women of color. Hair serums guaranteed to make our hair grow, conditions that promise to treat our damaged hair, and shampoos that supposedly give our hair the shine we've always wanted are some examples. Since I started my natural hair journey (last relaxer May 2007) I have questioned the promises many hair care products have on their labels.

I am a firm believer that as black women we should be skeptical of products made by people who do not know a thing about our hair. We live in a new era; there is a resurgence of black female entrepreneurs who like Madame C. J. Walker are creating hair care products for us. However, these women are raising the bar and creating hair care products for our natural hair using natural ingredients. It can't get better than that.

Here are a few quick tips that have worked for me when deciding on hair products:

Read the labels. If you cannot pronounce the ingredients, more than likely there may be things in the product that are not good for your hair.

Avoid Sodium Laureth Sulfate or Mineral Oil. One of the two most common chemicals found in hair care products. They're very drying and strip the hair of its natural moisture.

Sistah Support. Research hair products created by women of color. Kinky Curly, Carol's Daughter, and Miss Jessie's are some examples.

Cost Efficient. If all natural hair care products seem too expensive, look for hair products that are cost effective that minimize damage to your hair.

Experiment. I love ramsacking my pantry and refrigerator for everyday household products that I can mix together and use on my hair. Remember you know your hair best, so do what works for you.

 Until next time ladies remember:

Within every black woman is a story, if she never tells it, you'll never know the woman. So black women tell your story or no one else will.

Peace and Stay Blessed!

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Loving the Natural Me Part 1

Hello Ladies!

In this video I get personal and talk about how I once struggled to love my body image. The events that led up to me going natural put an end to that struggle. To view the second part of this series please visit my channel:

Thanks for watching and stay blessed :)