God, make me brave for life:
Oh, braver than this
Let me straighten after pain, as a tree straightens after the rain
Shining and lovely again
God, make me brave for life;
much braver than this.
As the blown grass lifts,
let me rise from sorrow with quiet eyes,
knowing thy way is wise.
God make me brave,
life brings such blinding things.
Help me to keep my sight;
Help me to see aright
That out of darkens comes light.
Rest In Peace Mike Brown
We have not posted much about Michael Brown. Mainly, because I/we haven’t known what exactly to say. Frankly, I still don’t know how to express my anger, guilt, sorrow and frustration that will ignite any real change. Even now, I fear that some of you are reading this thinking, “Here she goes again” or “She doesn’t even know because her mom’s white” or “Where is the hair post”. But that’s my own stuff. Not yours.
The following is a Facebook message and it says it all… everything I have ever felt but couldn’t articulate. My once mentor and now friend posted it. Sadly, I wanted to send it to some family members and friends of mine. I’ve been secretly waiting for someone in my circle to say something stupid to me about Mike Brown. Well, a couple days ago that wait was over and I wish my response was something like the statements below, but instead I eloquently informed them that “they didn’t know shit”. Smh. Please read below.
“A white friend expressed to me recently that my facebook and twitter timelines seemed more “radical” lately. In response, I told him that it is not radical at all. First, it’s obvious that we are not very close friends if you believe that spreading important information is radical expression for me. In fact, it feels quite passive. Additionally, and maybe even more significant, are my feelings behind the messages and tone of the information that I help to share.
It is not radical for me or anyone else to want to live. It is not radical for me to want to see my brother live until he is an old man. It is not radical for me to want my nephew and my cousins to not be criminalized because of the color of their skin. It is not radical for me to want my uncle to be able to work, pay taxes, provide for his family, and enjoy his life without the threat of violence and death from the police. These are not radical ideas. They are normal, reasonable ideas. So normal in fact, white US citizens very rarely ever have to think about it. You expect these realities and privilege and take full advantage of them with every breath. If you believe that it is radical for me to express this desire for myself, it is clear that you believe the notion of who we are and what we deserve as humans is fundamentally different from you. Moreover, when I talk about myself, I am talking about ALL of my people. ALL OF THEM. Every utterance of “but what about…”, “but not all…”, “but they should have just…” “but not all white people….” – each of these is an expression of micro-deviations between your level of humanity to mine.
To put it plainly, if you are a so called believer in human rights- you should be fighting harder to defend those who are constantly abused by and used as fodder for the system that you benefit from WITH EVERY SINGLE BREATH. Anything short of that brings me what I covet these days more than any other time in my life, clarity. How you feel about #michaelbrown is how you feel about my son and how you feel about me. When it comes to survival, this liberal rhetoric has muddied the waters for too long. At least I know where the other side stands. How you feel about the people of #ferguson is how you feel about my family. I very rarely quote the bible these days, but when it comes to survival, Revelation 3:15-16 seems extremely appropriate: “‘I know your works: you are neither cold nor hot … So, because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth.”
We are not fools. Here in the United States, Brazil, and many place in between, violence and oppression based on skin color, hair, features, and class are the dogs of war– this brutality is controlled by two leashes. Holding the leash tightest is institutional racism. Hiding behind, is his son white privilege. What a fucking coward. HE has the nerve to ask ME to teach HIM what HE should do to for ME to make HIM more comfortable as a so-called ally. Sadly, many of my liberal friends don’t see the violence inherit in these indignities. I am not comfortable and have never been. I don’t have that privilege. My life is full of the anxiety of being a critical victim. I have worried my entire life about living long enough to start a family and will spend the remainder of my life worrying about losing my children to structural violence. Needless to say, I am busy and have zero time for your lukewarm bullshit.”
It is not radical to want to live
Philly Native Areeayl Goodwin is returning with her bounty of beautiful, imaginative and unique jewelry for your hair, eyes, fingers, ears and body
“Our products are formulated for coarsely textured hair. We strive to use only top quality ingredients that aid in the overall health of Type 4 natural hair.
MILK + HONEY, meaning prosperity, has a mission to educate women with Type 4 hair and to provide premium products exclusive to this unique and beautiful texture. We invite you to join the movement of women who are confidently embracing their natural hair.”
Mascara that will make your lashes POP! 3D Fiber Lashes
This is a FREE EVENT for the public. It is a beauty bazaar meets end of summer block party with live music and food!
For more information on becoming a vendor please contact Shanti at email@example.com
Early Sunday morning, we whipped ourselves into shape and got ready. Antoinette skillfully beat her face to perfection and warmed up her voice while I slammed some blush up the side of my cheeks and felt nervous about the premiere of my accidental Malcolm X red hair color.
We arrived at the port early, boarded the boat and were met by a crew of busy, beautiful women with curls and kinks prepped and poppin’ for the event setting tables. Once the commotion was all over, the room was set really beautifully, guests started to flood in and Antoinette began to sing.
We had some really awesome company at the table where we were sat. We sat next to Whitney of Naptural85, Mahisha Dellinger owner and powerhouse behind the brand Curls, Julian Addo, a hilarious, bright, open woman who was the organizer of the event, Jenell of KinkyCurlyCoilyMe who moderated and a duo of two very handsome, gregarious men whose names I never
After we grubbed on some really delicious food and cocktails, Mahisha spoke to the room of guests and bloggers and shared her intentions for the brunch. Mahisha expressed that she wanted to extend herself personally as the woman behind the Curls brand. She felt she was now ready to share her story with others. She began to share with us her very turbulent and real obstacles she faced before getting to where she is now; abuse, poverty, single motherhood, racism. Many women in the room (myself included) fought back tears as she shared her dark past and the motivations which fueled her need for autonomy and self reliance. We were all attentive and inspired.
Mahisha Dellinger is a powerhouse and now I understand the history and significance of why she has a no hold bars way of being. She is confidence and competence personified. When we first met her that morning she walked into the room in 6 inch, bedazzled, chunky heels, with her necked draped with Chanel necklaces. With her right arm cocked back to support her oxblood red Alexander McQueen purse she extended her left hand weighed down by a large diamond engagement ring for a handshake. Her makeup was flawless and her eyes were bright and direct. With her smiling red lips she talked with us. She knew of us and expressed her respect for our “Around The Way” brand. We felt happy to be noticed and recognized. It felt good to know there was a real passionate and experienced person behind a brand we both support.After everyone had their Doctor Phil moments, we broke out onto the deck and did what bloggers do best - we took mad pictures.
Antoinette and I with Curls’ owner Mahisha Dellinger. The look like bosses. I look like a genie.
The awesome blogging sister duo Shalleen Kaye and Seanna-Kaye behind Natural Hair Does Care
Whitney is the absolute sweetest, dopest, cutest lady around. We love her!
Curly Girl Models and Reps for Curls showin off
Renee and us faking the funk. Fake laughs make great shots though huh?
Whitney being ratchet
Antoinette being cute. Ain’t she cute?
Me being even more rachet.
And we out…..
I met Anette, mother of three and wife to a loving husband a couple years ago when she attended one of our events in NYC. It was nice to finally put a face to the name that was always popping up in our comments section and various news feeds. She was a true blue around the way girl. There, dancing with her husband she was and still is full of life, love and happiness. As they held hands, smiling and kissing, I remember envying their relationship.
A few months ago, I saw that Anette had big chopped. I mean, the homey was straight rocking a baldy and killing it. I thought to myself, “Damn, she took a damn blade straight to her scalp and killed it”. I commented on how beautiful she looked and went on scrolling through my timeline. It wasn’t until recently, thanks to instagram, I realized Anette was battling Leukemia. Her posts were always so upbeat and inspiring that the thought never crossed my mind. Cancer? Anette? Wha?
I don’t know anything about battling cancer. But I do know that this woman needs some help. I spent less than 24 hours in the hospital this month and am haunted by that ER bill. I cannot imagine the type of financial burden Anette is dealing with, all while taking care of her children and trying to survive. At this time, she is in need of a transplant. This transplant is her hope at survival. So, if you have a dollar, two, maybe even 20 please send it her way. It really doesn’t take much because together, five dollars here and there will add up. It takes a village y’all.
See her GOFundMe Campaign Below…
“First, I just want to thank each and every one of you for taking the time to read this. My name is Anette Tillman. I am 24 year old stay at home mom of 3 amazing boys, Rondell Jr, Jayven, and Ivan. They are the light of my life and what keep me the most hopeful in this difficult time. My life drastically changed in January of this year. I was diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukemia. It took as all by surprise. I never expected to be 24yrs young and to be fighting against cancer. This hasn’t been easy on myself and my family. The financial burden is becoming a bit difficult to bare with. Even with medical insurance, bills seem to still pile up. I have an amazing husband that carries the world on his shoulders. He works a full time job and cares for our sons by himself while I am away. I just wish I could do more to help him. As you can imagine my medical bills have become a financial burden for us and each day we are struggling to make ends meet. I have a bone marrow transplant coming up soon. This transplant is my only shot at survival, I need this not just for myself but for my sons and husband as well. They need me and I need them. I just want to help my husband take care of us and take some of this burden away from him. I’m trusting in God and remaining hopeful always. Psalm 34:15, 17 The eyes of the Lord are toward the [uncompromisingly] righteous and His ears are open to their cry. When the righteous cry for help, the Lord hears, and delivers them out of all their distress and troubles. I know that God places people in your life to be a blessing in trying situations. Prayers and financial blessings are greatly appreciated. Again Thank you all and God Bless”.
To donate click the link http://www.gofundme.com/c7dd7w
Be grateful y’all.
Recently, Shanti and I went to critically acclaimed curly girl salon, Hair Rules in NYC. We went with the high hopes of complete color transformation and new do’s. We left humbled and educated. Watch the video below for details on our sobering experience.
Shanti’s Sun Kissed Summer Color
Antoinette’s Color Fix.
Was it worth it? What y’all think?