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With the best articles on caring for natural hair, Curly Nikki is your source for inspiration and advice. Find out about the latest styles and trends today!

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    Asking all them questions! Expecting the unexpected...

    The moment you discover and assume that your assumptions are constantly creating your life, you’ll swap out the struggly ones for empowering ones and FINALLY begin living your best life!  It's that simple.  So how do you do it?

    Remember, you don’t get what you want, you get what you expect. You can want a promotion all day, but unless you’re actually expecting it, it ain’t coming. A good example is your most recent order to Amazon. You’re totally expecting it, right? You can’t see your stuff or hold it right now, but you know it’s your stuff! It’s coming. It’s a done deal. No need for affirmations, vision boards or lengthy visualization sessions-- you just assume it’s yours already. Contrast that with a long held desire that you’ve yet to manifest. What’s the felt difference? That’s the secret. That’s the bridge, y’all! Figure out the different feels for wanting something versus expecting or having something. And then assume the feels of having it already.  And then that thing or something better will appear in your world to reinforce the feels you assumed.  Get it?

    So what are you expecting? What are you assuming right now? Still don’t know?

    It’s not a mystery. If you want to know what you’re assuming about your finances, check out your last bank statement. Wanna know what you’re assuming about your self-worth, look at the state of your closest relationships. The world and other people (which is actually just more of ‘yourSELF’) are constantly telling you what you think of yourself. Your current assumptions are constantly on display, in living color, parading before you as your circumstances.

    If you’re not happy with things as they stand today, know that you can begin changing it, right here, right now (there’s no other time, anyway!). Write out what you must believe to be true for your current circumstances to be as they are. What must you believe to be true for you not to be able to afford a vacation this year? What must you believe to be true about yourself for love to keep eluding you? Ask yourself this question when ‘negative’ stuff pops up into your reality. Then ask yourself, ‘what would I rather see?’ Allow the answer to come (abundance, peace, freedom, etc). And you’ll immediately feel lighter, better and more at peace. These peaceful feels will bring about the change you want to see. All you have to do is start.  It will seem difficult until it isn’t. Remember, your assumption that 'inner change is difficult', is just that… an assumption.

    Later Gators,

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    Photo courtesy of Kyleigh's Lemonade Stand & More

    Little Rock, Arkansas is HOT y’all. I’m talking 80 degrees in the shade on a cool day hot. When it’s that hot, there is nothing more satisfying than a nice cool glass of Lemonade and I know where the good stuff is.

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    Kyleigh’s Lemonade Stand is a new food truck in Arkansas that is getting the best kind of attention.

    Now sources say that their lemonade is reportedly the best in town, but it’s the owner that you need to see, to believe. When you order a cool summer treat from this adorable pink on yellow food truck, chances are you’ll be served by owner and operator Kyleigh McGee, who is all of seven years old.

    This business savvy little lady started the stand last year, after getting permission to set up shop in her grandmother’s front yard. Kyleigh quickly became very passionate about her little lemonade stand, and her mother, Gabrielle Williams, who is also an entrepreneur, took notice.

    “Last year she did so well with it. It’s something she enjoyed doing.” Williams said, “I have my own business going so, I decided to let her expand and do something on her own as well.”

    Williams bought an old snow cone stand and encouraged her daughter to work to her heart’s content. They were hoping to teach Kyleigh the basics of running a business, but now, their summer shop has become so popular in Little Rock that they’re already booked out until December.

    Kyleigh has hit it big in a way that has even gone beyond their town in Arkansas. The tiny tycoon has been making the rounds on the local and national news station. She even recently landed an interview with her business partners (aka Mom & Grandma) on Good Morning America.

    This little girl is learning about finances, entrepreneurship and customer service before 6th-grade y’all. If this isn’t Black Girl Magic in action I don’t know what is. Not only are the women in her life inspiring her to explore her talents, they’re supporting her vision, and making sure to do all the “grown-up stuff” while keeping the experience fun and educational.

    My favorite part of this story and perhaps the most important part is the smile that seems’s plastered on little Kyleigh’s adorable face. She’s young, so her smile is cookie cutter cute, and missing two teeth. In most interviews has appeared with her hair cornrowed to one side, with beads swinging over her ear. She’s beaming as she serves customers other items from their menu, like their famous Pineapple Sno-Cone.

    “Do you like it??” She asked a customer eagerly, during an interview wth THV11. There was pure magic in her eyes, and you could practically hear that toothless ear to ear grin, even off camera. It’s clear that Kyleigh McGee is having the summer of her life, enjoying the experience of being her own boss, with the added bonus of having two very strong black women supporting her, and her growing business every step of the way.

    Yes, Kyleigh. We love it.
    You go, baby.

    What do you think about Kyleigh's idea? How can we encourage more youth to start businesses at a young age? 
    Alma Hill is a freelance journalist, actress, and mother living in Orlando, FL. A frequent contributor to online and print media publications, she believes that the words from our mouths will change the world. Born in Charlotte, NC, she's a millennial with an old soul who appreciates a good meme as much as a Miles Davis album. Brave souls can follow her on Twitter @_mynameissoul,but you have been warned. 

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    Can’t stop won’t stop! A.D. Carson decided to turn his dissertation into a hip-hop love letter by submitting a 34-track rap album entitled “Owning My Masters: The Rhetorics of Rhymes and Revolutions” to Clemson University. The dissertation was nationally acclaimed and has now earned him a dream job.

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    Carson is now the assistant professor of hip-hop and the global south at the University of Virginia’s McIntire Department of Music! GOALS.

    "In my mind, I'm thinking about the hip-hop world. I'm making music — I'm still a part of this world," said Carson. "If the music is not dope, if I'm not a dope emcee, if I'm not good at what I do, then this all means very little."

    His dissertation served as his campus life story and and the style was one-of-a-kind at Clemson. "Being in the climate that is Clemson University really helped to push forward the thoughts I was having and how I would present my work," Carson mused. "My life every day in Clemson — the dissertation is kind of like a metaphor for that."

    Carson’s dissertation was basically a call-out in regards to the institutional injustices he and other students experienced at Clemson. Carson’s dedication to fighting these injustices aren’t just limited to him spitting hot bars, but he was also involved in a nine-day sit-in on campus, in which lead to his arrest for trespassing. So, for Clemson to be publicly applauding his work now seems disingenuous to Carson.

    "Being detained out in front of Sikes [Hall], then to have Clemson tweeting and posting on Facebook about this 'innovative dissertation project' as though it was always in support or as though it was their idea — it was really a surreal moment," Carson noted. "Just a year ago it seemed as though the institution had taken a stance against me and now the institution is championing this work. They’ve taken a certain kind of credit for it." Per Slate, Clemson University declined to comment on this issue.

    Though Carson credits his Clemson experiences for the quality of his dissertation, he is definitely ready to move on. "It was very impactful, I learned a lot. But there was no hesitation whatsoever with me packing up and leaving town," said Carson.

    And Virginia is excited to have him! UVA’s Associate professor of composition and computer technologies Ted Coffey, highly praised Carson as his dissertation was super unique. "I think that A.D. is rooted in black American intellectual history, both literature and theory. And the content of his dissertation — he has rap where he's ripping, sampling the rhyme scheme of Langston Hughes and of Jay-Z. He's synthesizing stuff that came before," said Coffey, who was a chair of the search committee that hired Carson. "I'm just really curious to see what he's going to do next."

    Clearly an ambitious person, Carson is already jumping in head-first into things, incorporating his music and literature background by performing at The Bridge Progressive Arts Initiative and collaborating with a UVA doctoral student on a new music project. "He's (in a sense) a freedom fighter. I have a sense that he's going to throw himself into the middle of the most egregious injustices he can find and work to make them more just."

    "I believe so strongly in hip-hop and have been so influenced by the culture that I take the responsibility very seriously and I have to be very mindful and very careful and very deliberate of the moves I make while I'm in this position," said Carson. "I want to establish myself as a scholar and artist and to really get a feel of the community that exists through hip-hop, especially at the local level in Charlottesville."

    I love it! Congrats to A.D. Carson! We have no doubt he will exceed in this role. The University of Virginia is lucky to have him!

    What do you think about A.D. Carson’s unique dissertation and generally thinking outside the box?
    Tonja Renée Stidhum is a writer/director living in Los Angeles by way of Chicago. She is the co-host of the movie review podcast, Cinema Bun Podcast. She is made of sugar and spice and everything rice... with the uncanny ability to make a Disney/Pixar reference in the same sentence as a double entendre. You can follow her on Twitter @EmbraceTheJ, on Facebook, and Instagram @embracethej. You can find more of her work on her About Me page,

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    Photo Source: @_naturallydemi

    by Mary Wolff

    Washing your hair can feel like a chore, especially if you have a lot to work with. For curlies looking to make things easier and more manageable, washing natural hair in sections is a good idea. An all-over cleansing might be ineffective for your hair and you may not be getting the clean you think you’re getting. For a better clean, let’s look at reasons washing natural hair in sections might be the solution you need.

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    Reasons It Works
    • You use less shampoo or cleanser because you are doing smaller sections. Most people tend to over use the shampoo or cleanser and use way more than they actually need. 
    • It ensures your hair is getting cleaner throughout as opposed to the possibility of parts, such as the underside or back, being ignored. 
    • It improves scalp health. Washing in sections lets you have more access to your scalp and pay more attention to it than an all-over wash. 
    • Washing in sections can also help reduce pesky tangles caused by washing. 
    A Few Tips 

    1. Section it off with duck-billed clips. You could just try to wash your hair in sections without actually sectioning off the hair, but you are bound to end up with tangles and confusion which leaves you in the same place as an all-over wash method. With clips, you know you have washed all your hair thoroughly. 
    2. Keep the sections smaller rather than larger. If you have a lot of hair or thicker texture, this will help you pay better attention to each individual section while keeping your hair manageable. 
    3. Don’t mix your steps. Some curlies will wash a section and then immediately condition it before washing the other sections. You don’t want to do this. It means you could end up with conditioner coating your unwashed sections which will interfere with the cleansing step. You might end up with shampoo on your conditioned strands. It is just best to wash all sections and then condition all sections instead of getting ahead of yourself.
    No matter why or how you choose to wash your hair in sections, the purpose is to give your curls a deep clean. A clean scalp and strands are the beginning of a healthy head of beautiful curls!

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    Photo Credit: @NaturalSilverSista

    I’m standing in the mirror with a tube of mascara, covering grey hair.
    I promised myself that I wouldn’t be caught dead with grey hair. My mom started going grey at 16, and by the time she was in her 30’s she was so tired of constantly coloring it that she let the whole thing go white. It was and still is beautiful, I have to admit, but I’m not going there, even at 45. I might as well break out the walking stick and cruise right into old age.

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    Sometimes, I think back to my modeling days when walking down the street was just glorious. The stares, the cars slowing down, the power. Then it stopped. Kids came along with a few extra pounds, wrinkles, and grey hair. Sometimes I feel like I could shrivel up like the bad witch in the Wizard Of Oz. Plastic surgery is not the answer, I’ve been down that road and it doesn’t end well.

    This is on my mind when the phone rings.

    It’s my bestie Tomiko, excited because she just signed with a modeling agency. A modeling agency?

    This wouldn’t be such a big deal knowing Tomiko’s background. She was the first African American woman signed to a cosmetics contract with Maybelline, and she’s been in tons of magazines. But the truth is she took time off to have babies, her twins are 3 years old, and she’s about to be 48. Modeling isn’t one of those jobs where you take maternity leave and come back. You go into it knowing there’s a shelf life.

    When I bring this up to Tomiko she says that she couldn’t ask for a better fit. “This agency is based solely on older models. They know my age, my weight, and that I’m a mom. I get to be completely myself.”

    Is she kidding me? Where do I sign up?! I clearly remember a time when something like this would never happen. I wonder what changed?

    Tomiko puts me in touch with Jill Perlman, an industry veteran who got her start working for Eileen Ford, and one of the partners of Iconic Focus Modeling agency. She’s more than happy to talk to me about what’s happening in the industry.

    “As a woman, when I look in catalogs or go to the cosmetics counter I can’t relate to a 19 year-old girl and wanting to buy the same products that she’s buying because that’s not who I am,” Jill says. “So we thought, why not open a model agency and bring back all those girls whose faces we saw when we were in our 20’s, 30’s and teens. Women that we used to look up to. Women that you want to buy from because you trust them, and want to be a part of their world.”
    It makes sense. I get excited seeing Iman and Naomi because I grew up with them and they really show how beauty has no age. I wanna know what products they’re using and how they keep themselves in such incredible shape.

    “But still, what about the advertisers? Do they care that we want to see women who look like us? People were asking to see curvy models for years and it’s only now that we’re seeing a change.”

    “Our girls are working,” she says. “There’s a whole market out there because we’re living longer and we’re not dressing like our grandmothers and wearing muu muus and taking out the garbage. We are very educated and worldly and we have so much to give, and money to spend. It’s the baby boomers from age 35-70 that are spending, not the 19 year-olds who are still being supported by their parents.”

    This makes even more sense because information that I’ve been picking up on, but never really thought much about, is coming back to me. I’m thinking about how the global population is aging at an accelerated rate, and Centenarians are the fastest-growing age segment. By 2050, the number of 100-year-olds is expected to reach 6 million, compared to just a few thousand in the 1950’s. They attribute the spike to advances in medicine, better diets and overall health improvement. The fact that we’re living longer and healthier explains why people who are 50 years old today look so darn good! Women like actresses Elise Neal, Halle Berry, and Angela Bassett are killing it; and let’s not forget Cicely Tyson who at 92 could pass for 72 easy!

    Think about it this way…back when people used to die at age 50, their 20’s was their prime. But when you start living to be 100, 50 really does become the new 20. I don’t know about anyone else, but that makes me smile.

    Erickka Sy Savané is a wife, mom, and freelance writer based in Jersey, City, NJ. Her work has appeared in, and more. When she’s not writing...wait, she’s always writing! Follow her on Twitter and Instagram or

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    By Sharee Silerio

    Nyakim Gatwech, a South Sudanese model with the nickname “Queen of Dark”, is using her platform to encourage, uplift and inspire black women and girls to love themselves and the skin they’re in.

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    Society has long associated the color black and blackness with evil, death and negativity, but Gatwech is having none of it, and is using her platform of over 200,000 followers on Instagram to make it known.

    She regularly receives comments about her dark-chocolate-hued complexion, and earlier this year, her Uber driver asked her a disrespectful question about her skin. Gatwech responded with power, grace and pride.

    SOUTH SUDAN🇸🇸🇸🇸 A country with people so dark you won't believe your eyes.. skin so rich and teeth so bright. Gosh how I love my country my people and everything that come with it.. I was ask my uber driver the other day he said, don't take this offensive but if you were given 10 thousand dollars 💵 would you bleach your skin for that amount? I couldn't even respond I started laughing so hard. Than he said so that a no and I was like hell to the f*king yeah that a no, why on earth would I ever bleach this beautiful melanin God bless with me. Than he said so you look at it as a blessing? I just 🤦♂️ you won't believe the kind of questions I get and the kind of looks I get for having this skin. On that note #melaninmonday🍫🍫 ||different melanin|| 📸 @piokky 👗 @isaacwest Models: @moliesha95 @odur @chudes0212 @queenkim_nyakim
    A post shared by Nyakim Gatwech (@queenkim_nyakim) on

    Since then, Gatwech has been regularly posting breathtaking photos of herself, including moving poems, words of advice and affirmations that shine a light on the beauty of black skin.

    MELANIN MONDAY🍫🍫👸🏿👸🏿🖤 Dear my moonshine dark skin, sun kissed complexion, burn skin or whatever they might call you, You are beyond beautiful and the love I have for is unconditional because you are me. you represent me and I represent you and let show the world how beautiful and intelligent we are apart from just being dark skin, because we are more than what this Society think of our dark skin let stand up for those who can't. Let's speak up those who can't. And stay beautiful while doing it❤️❤️🖤🖤 📸 @piokky 👙 @miss__aude @audeswim 💄 @queenkim_nyakim Model @queenkim_nyakim #saynotoskinbleaching☝😖 #slefloveisthebestlove #melaninpoppin🍫❤️✨ #nubianqueen👌🏿👸🏿 #queenofdark🍫🖤👸🏿 #melaningoddess👑🍫 #southsudanesebeauty🇸🇸🇸🇸😍😍🙌🏿 #blackgirlmagic💫✨ #nuerbeauty😍😍🙌🏿🙌🏿 #confideniskey❤️ #africanqueen👸🏿 #longlegadontcare❤️
    A post shared by Nyakim Gatwech (@queenkim_nyakim) on

    My black is flawless I've never been this proud before My skin never felt so good Was I not used to it? I can't remember when I loved this shade so much My color is dark and lovely. It sings with a rhythmic melody of beauty. My black is loud It yelled at this pale-faced lady the other day She tried to demean my black And just as quickly as she did My black screamed back. My skin roared with elegance Reminding you it is not afraid anymore My black is loved I rubbed it down tenderly today Making sure to touch every inch. Ever so gently it glistened and radiated My black shimmers and still catches attention. It's been kissed and hugged Yet still selfishly wants more My black isn't always easy But I am my black and my black is me. By Jennifer Asiedu 📸 @sethnocentric 💄 @queenkim_nyakim #queenofdark🍫🖤👸🏿 #southsudanesebeauty🇸🇸🇸🇸😍😍🙌🏿 #nubianqueen👸🏿 #melaningoddess👑🍫 #chocolate🍫 #melaninpoppin🍫❤️✨ #darkchocolate #confideniskey❤️ #slelove
    A post shared by Nyakim Gatwech (@queenkim_nyakim) on

    I was asked the other day "how do I feel about being nick name queen of the dark?" My answer was I actually like the name there is nothing wrong with darkness and be call queen is just Cherry on the top. Black is not a color of sadness or death or evil its just the way it has been portray for so many years. So I am the queen of the dark who bring light and love to those around me❤️😍🙏🏿 Project: ||.RARE.|| : : ||.Creative Director, Styled & Photographed By.|| Fashion Designer || @isaacwest : : : ||.Model.|| @queenkim_nyakim || #wcw😍😍😍 #queenofdark🍫🖤👸🏿 #chocolate🍫 #southsudanesebeauty🇸🇸🇸🇸😍😍🙌🏿 #melaninpoppin🍫❤️✨ #melaningoddess👑🍫 #nubianqueen👸🏿 #africanqueen👸🏿 #nuergirlbeauty💁🏿💁🏿 #saynotoskinbleaching☝😖 #myblackisbeautiful💋 #blackgirlmagic💫✨
    A post shared by Nyakim Gatwech (@queenkim_nyakim) on

    If you peruse her comments, you’ll find many that admire her skin tone, saying that they wish they had it. They say that, but to live and walk in her shoes is to constantly rise above oppression against who she was born to be.

    Most people aren’t ready for such a reality. Beauty on this level requires strength, self-reliance and unwavering joy.

    In a nation and world that praises light as “beautiful”, “right”, “good” and “better”, it’s important to see women who look like us encourage self-love regardless of what other people think, say or believe.

    Women all over the world, of various ethnicities, use skin creams and solutions to lighten their skin.

    It’s time that we stop waiting for the world to view us as beautiful, because that day may never come. We must recognize the beauty that we are, that we were created to be.

    We define beauty. We define ourselves. We are the gift that black is.

    Have you had a difficult time loving your melanin skin? What do you think about Nyakim Gatwech’s posts? How can black women love themselves in a world that tells them that they should hate who they are?
    Sharee Silerio is a St. Louis-based freelance writer, Film and TV writer-producer, and blogger. When she isn’t creating content for The Root or The St. Louis American, she enjoys watching drama/sci-fi/comedy movies and TV shows, writing faith and self-love posts for, relaxing with a cup of chai tea, crafting chic DIY event décor, and traveling. Review her freelance portfolio at then connect with her on FacebookInstagram and Twitter.

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  • 07/07/17--07:54: Why I Don't Do Vision Boards

  • #mysparklythings

    Create a vision board, they said. It'll be fun, they said.

    I'm not a scrapbooker, tho. 
    And for me, buying magazines (which I never do) and cutting out little pictures of stuff I desire would not only be unexciting but reflect the actions of someone who desperately wants something they don't have yet, not of someone who is grateful for already having it! 

    created by reader, Angela, back in 2013!  BTGH did earn an NAACP Image Award Nomination and hit 3 best sellers lists!

    Honestly, it would feel like a chore or a means to an end.  And that's not the point of tools like these.  Vision boards, visualization sessions and affirmations are some of the most popular tools used by people to seemingly 'manifest' awesomeness in their lives.  But what most don't know is that these tools aren't doing the heavy lifting. They're not making the magic happen (we'll talk more about what is, later). Vision Boarding isn't practiced so you can pull diamond rings and new Mercedes' out of thin air-- it's just one way to help you practice the feeling of whatever it is you're wanting to see.  It's giving you permission to see and experience more of yourself!  Your only goal is finding the feeling, in this present moment, and staying there.  Only the present moment expresses itself.  So choose peace, love and excitement right now, and right now, and now, and now and you'll see that reflected back as 'the added things' the Bible speaks of. 

    With that in mind, choose the tool that speaks to you, or don't choose a tool at all! Skip it and choose the feeling.  Affirmations used to be my jam.  They brought me into alignment back in 2008 and was born. 

    Later Gators,


    p.s. One of my favorite tools right now is the question, 'how does it feel knowing I'm already HER?'. That realization ('cause I am THAT) and the resulting feeling (lightness, clarity, peace, sometimes excitement) is what it's all about! Staying aware of the good feels brings the background awareness to the foreground. The background awareness, your true nature, is already THAT and everything else--it always has been and always will be.

    p.p.s. Another effective tool is simply realizing that as soon as the desire pops up in your awareness, it's already yours. It only came into your thought stream because it's already a part of your larger self. Allow yourself to accept it as fact and thus, experience it.

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    By Sharee Silerio

    I look forward to “Queen Sugar” every week, especially its wisdom, authenticity and relatable depictions of work, relationships, romance, family, hurt and healing.

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    In this episode, like many of the others, Charley and Ralph Angel butt heads – this time over Micah accidentally pushing Blue – but we also get to see them make up, in their shortest conflict so far.

    What’s refreshing in the fourth episode, titled “My Soul’s High Song”; is the real, raw love Hollywood and Aunt Vi have for each other. We also get to see Charley’s business savvy in action, while Nova contemplates her next career move.

    Once again, “Queen Sugar” surprises, encourages, teaches and keeps us wanting more.

    Here is this week’s “Reel Noire” recap, on the sweet lessons that stood out in Wednesday night’s episode:

    1. Working is just as important as relaxing. Don’t run yourself into the ground trying to do for the sake of doing. Take care of yourself and rest, so you can live life fully.

    Hollywood completes his “honey-do” list when he asks Violet if anything else needs to be done. She’s tells him that he’s completed all of the tasks and should sit on the couch, watch television, grab a beer and wait for her to get home from work so they can do the things couples do. It is clear that this will be difficult for him, based on the look on his face, but it’s his only option.

    2. To be a boss, you must have a vision, and you need to know your business inside and out.

    Charley and Remy are at the sugar mill with the black farmers collective, and Charley is offering an update on construction plans, equipment and expectations for performance. During the conversation, it’s clear that she has done her research as she’s speaking the farmer’s language with the technical terms she uses along with her descriptions of what’s going to happen. Her presentation was impressive, and a farmer or two even signed contracts to commit to using the Queen Sugar mill for harvest.

    3. Don’t forget to see the beauty beyond the world’s brokenness. In the fight for racial justice, dignity, equality, and truth, always make room to acknowledge the good that exists. It’s easy to get so wrapped up in the negative, so make sure you allow yourself to see the positive.

    Nova has a new editor at the newspaper, and he wants her to find more positive stories so viewers don’t go elsewhere for good news. She tells him that she does some of the most in depth social and criminal justice reporting in the area, and he says that she does great work, but he wants her to “cast her net a little wider” and help them balance the coverage. She responds by saying that it’s difficult to find the good things because “a lot is broken” in New Orleans. He says that not everything is broken, and he wants her to profile success stories, because they’re currently only writing about “problems, not solutions.” She tries to go in a different direction by interviewing an official from the local District Attorney’s office, but hits a dead end when the interviewee doesn’t trust her motives and halts the interview.

    4. Become one with the people you want to lead. Don’t forget who you really are – human.

    Charley is looking for a new place for her and Micah to live, preferably one that will remind them of home. After her and Remy’s tour of a luxurious spot, they go to the High Yellow for lunch, where they discuss the property. Remy starts with how living in the home, which is near the Landrys, will impact the farmers’ perception of her, and the implications of “black success” looking or not looking like “white success”. Remy tells her that if she wants to lead the black farmers and gain their trust and respect, then she should live and invest in the neighborhood where the mill is located, especially since her purpose for the mill is to uplift the community.

    5. You’re never too old to dream!

    Aunt Vi and Hollywood are getting ready for bed when Hollywood says that he enjoyed helping on the farm and that he’s going to look for another job. She tells him that he’s just restless and shouldn’t rush into anything. He adds that he likes working and Vi says that she does too.

    Auntie then dropped some gems, saying, “They got us thinking that we supposed to work until we die. Then if we don’t, we the problem. Well that ain’t my American Dream. Is that yours?” Hollywood replies in the negative then tells her that his dream is going to sleep and waking up beside her each day, and nothing else matters.

    She says that other things do matter, so he tells her, “What, and you don’t think you’re wasting your time at the High Yellow? I see the look on your face when you’re running around. That ain’t a look of love.” She says it’s the “look of determination” and that she worked her butt off for the promotion. Hollywood says that he always sees her most happy when she’s working in her own kitchen, then asks her what her dream looks like.

    Aunt Vi responds, “I guess, it looks like me making people happy with my food, my pies. I guess it’s me, having my own business,” with a puzzled expression. He says, “You saying that like it can’t happen. Look, let me figure out what to do next. But I want you to figure out the same thing. We ain’t too old to get ours, baby. We ain’t.”

    Did you watch the fourth episode of “Queen Sugar”? What moments do you remember?
    Sharee Silerio is a St. Louis-based freelance writer, Film and TV writer-producer, and blogger. When she isn’t creating content for The Root or The St. Louis American, she enjoys watching drama/sci-fi/comedy movies and TV shows, writing faith and self-love posts for, relaxing with a cup of chai tea, crafting chic DIY event décor, and traveling. Review her freelance portfolio at then connect with her on FacebookInstagram and Twitter.

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    Marjani Beauty Company is one you should know. They are a one stop shop online “beauty destination for melanin women by melanin women."

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    No more searching for hues that match your skin tone in today’s mass beauty market. Their company does the homework for you! To insure every product is melanin approved, they are tested by their own beauty panel. Each brand shares their passion for enhancing melanin beauty and provides quality, safe, on trend products.
    (L to R: Kimberly Smith, Founder & CEO; Heather Jennings, Brand Strategy; Kimberly Harvey, COO) 

    The Ivy League trained attorney, founder and CEO Kimberly Smith always had a passion for fashion and beauty. She states this is what Marjani Beauty is all about: “We aim to not just be a retailer, but a community where shopping becomes a memorable experience. Bringing international beauty and cosmetic products to the local consumer, and using this platform to empower women of color, across nationalities, age, hair textures, shades to embrace and claim their beauty.”

    What I love the most about their site is the capability to shop by hue: Fair, Golden Honey, Caramel, Bronze and Mahogany. Also, you can find everything from Makeup, Nail Polish, and Lashes, along with Skincare, Haircare and Bodycare products. You can utilize their Buy It and Try It™ Foundation Match Program where you receive a FREE matching sample along with your purchase. If the products are not the perfect shade, it may be return (unopened) within 14 days to receive a full refund. Lastly, their mission and vision for the company highlights and celebrates diversity amongst women of color.

    Have you heard of or ordered from Marjani Beauty? Share your thoughts!
    Monica is a Milwaukee native, wife, mother of two, step mother of one and working professional.  In her spare time she enjoys reading,  shopping and following the current trends of natural hair, beauty and health, all while pursuing her Bachelors Degree in Business Management and Leadership. You can follow her on Instagram@allbeautyandhair and Twitter @allbeautynhair.

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  • 07/10/17--10:48: Avocado Hair Treatments
  • IG: @kersti.pirte

    by Mary Wolff

    For hair care, it is always fun to try new at home treatments. With the growing popularity of avocados, it was only a matter of time before avocado hair treatments became a hot trend. Is this trend really worth it? How do you make avocado hair treatments?

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    Avocado is a Superfood
    If you're wondering if it is worth putting smashed up green gunk in your hair, the answer is a definite yes.  Avocados are a powerhouse of essential nutrients such as fatty acids and biotin. These two elements help make hair strong and promote growth. They also help with scalp health to help stimulate growth at the foundation.  Best of all, avocados are loaded with moisturizing properties, such as vitamin E and vitamin D, so hair will be given a nice thirst quencher from this superfood. While eating avocado offers tons of health benefits, adding it your hair in the form of a mask gives instant results.

    Avocado Mask 
    Since they are packed with so much good stuff on their own, it is really easy to make avocado hair treatments without adding a lot of other ingredients. Here are a few of my favorite recipes.

    Avocado and Banana 
    One of my favorites for battling frizz during warmer months, this mask is easy to make. Take the pulp of one ripe avocado and one ripe, peeled banana and blend until free of lumps. Apply to hair for twenty minutes, covering with a shower cap.  Rinse and shampoo as usual.

    Avocado and Olive Oil 
    This recipe is great for really dry hair in need of a pick-me-up. Combine in a bowl one ripe avocado pulp and two tbsp. olive oil until well blended. Apply to hair for 20-25 minutes using a shower cap to seal in the mixture. Rinse, shampoo, and style as normal.

    When looking to add some power to your next at-home hair treatment, avocados are the way to go. With just a few simple ingredients, your strands can reap the benefits of this superfood.

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  • 07/10/17--11:19: Hair Tea Rinses
  • Photo Credit: @mussettee@mussettee

    by Mary Wolff

    Beautiful, healthy curls don’t just happen on their own. It takes lots of TLC to get your strands looking and feeling their best. One of my favorite ways to add a little something extra to my routine is with hair tea rinses. Tea is known to offer health benefits when you drink it and it even offers benefits when applied to hair. Tea has amino acids to strengthen hair and polyphenols to stimulate growth and other benefits.  Here are a few of my favorite hair tea rinses.

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    Anti-dandruff Rinse 
    If you are dealing with a light case of dandruff, green tea is a great way to get a handle on this pesky problem before it requires professional help. Green tea helps stimulate the scalp and improve blood flow which in turn fights bacteria and fungus that cause dandruff. It also has a boost of caffeine which is great for stimulating follicles and encouraging growth so you get a two-for-one special with this rinse!

    Brew an extra strong cup of green tea by using two tea bags and two cups of boiling water. Allow it to cool to lukewarm temperature. Never apply it to your hair or scalp while it is still steaming! Always test it with your finger before applying it hair and scalp to avoid burns. Once the tea has cooled, put it in a spray bottle. Apply to freshly washed yet still damp hair.  Apply to your scalp and then massage the scalp in circular motions. Cover hair with a shower cap for 30 minutes. Rinse with cold water and apply follow up with your favorite conditioner.

    Stop the Shedding Rinse 
    Black tea is known to help with shedding. The power is in the high concentration of caffeine found in black tea and the way it counteracts a hormone called Dihydrotestosterone. This hormone is responsible for hair loss and hair shrinkage. Hair goes through what are called anagen (growth) stages and telogen (rest) stages. When there is an overabundance of DHT hormone, hair will experience shorter rates of growth and longer rates of rest which leads to smaller hair follicles and overall thinness. This contributes to hair loss, balding, and shedding. The caffeine found in tea is the perfect remedy because it stops the effects of the hormone by blocking it. While some hair loss is natural, there are instances where it is the result of an underlying medical condition. If you are concerned about your hair loss, you should consult your doctor. While tea rinses are a good remedy for non-medical hair loss, they will not be the answer for those with a more serious case of hair loss.

    For this brew, you want it to be potent. Brew 4-5 bags of black tea in two cups of boiling water. Leave the bags in while it cools to soak up all the caffeine. It should be lukewarm and safe to use before the next step. Transfer it to a spray bottle. Apply to your scalp until fully saturated. Cover with a shower cap and wait up to one hour for the best results. Rinse out and condition as usual.

    There are other tea rinses out there, but these two are my go-to recipes when dealing with dandruff or shedding. A few things to note about tea rinses are to make sure you throw out the mixture when you are done. You can store it in the refrigerator for up to a week, but left at room temperature or in the fridge for more than a week, it will start to ferment. Also, make sure you aren’t overusing tea rinses. They have great benefits, but it can be too drying for some and should be limited to once a week or twice a month.

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    Written by Tiffani Greenaway of

    You know you didn't do anything, but they don't believe you. Hot lights beam down on you, and they tell you that your friends have already given you up. They say you can go home...if you just tell them what they want to hear.

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    Coerced confessions, unjust incarcerations--this is the real life story of a group of young men wrongly convicted of a brutal crime. Dubbed "The Central Park Five," the Harlem teens would spend more than a decade in jail for a crime they didn't commit.

    Ava DuVernay is teaming up with Netflix to tell their story through a scripted five part documentary series. Her first project, the Oscar-nominated 13th, focused on mass incarceration and the criminal justice system.

    "The story of the men known as the Central Park Five has riveted me for more than two decades," DuVernay said in a statement. "In their journey, we witness five innocent young men of color who were met with injustice at every turn — from coerced confessions to unjust incarceration to public calls for their execution by the man who would go on to be the president of the United States."

    In 1989, #45 spent an estimated $85,000 on full page ads in major newspapers, calling for New York to reinstate the death penalty for "criminals of every age"--and has referred to the young men as guilty as recently as last year, although DNA evidence has proved their innocence.

    ​​They admitted they were guilty," he told CNN. “The police doing the original investigation say they were guilty. The fact that that case was settled with so much evidence against them is outrageous. And the woman, so badly injured, will never be the same.”

    Antron McCray, Kevin Richardson, Yusuf Salaam, Raymond Santana, and Korey Wise were freed in 2002, left to rebuild their lives after years behind bars. Spanning the years from 1989 to 2014, the miniseries will focus on each stage of the case and how the criminal justice system failed them all.

    "This is one of the most talked-about cases of our time," said Cindy Holland, Netflix's VP of original content. "Ava's passionate vision and masterful direction will bring the human stories behind the headlines to life in this series. After powerfully reframing the public conversation about criminality and injustice in 13th, Ava now turns a new lens to a case that exposes deep flaws in our criminal justice system."

    Tiffani Greenaway is the wife and mom behind MyMommyVents, a New York city parenting blog. Her tips have been seen on Yahoo Parenting, Mommy Noire, and Fit Pregnancy. Find more of Tiffani's work at

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    If you’re an active Twitter user, you must’ve heard about Matthew A. Cherry (The Last Fall, 9 Rides). Dubbed by me as “the social media hype man,” Cherry is always dropping positivity onto the timeline whether it’s a funny video or celebrating an undiscovered filmmaker.

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    A former NFL player and filmmaker in his own right, Cherry has recently announced a Kickstarter campaign for his new animated short film, Hair Love.

    In his own words, the film is created in a “Pixar-style” format and follows an African-American father (Stephen) attempting to do his daughter’s (Zuri) hair for the first time after being inspired by natural hair YouTube tutorials from a natural hair vlogger, Angela aka The Naturalista. Cherry will be co-directing the project along with 3D artist Jason Marino. Character design is by the clearly talented Vashti Harrison.

    So, how did this all come about? Well, Cherry had this idea brewing for a couple years but the recent viral sensations of black fathers doing their daughters’ hair catapulted his confidence in regards to truly making his idea into a reality. Cherry initially piqued my interest when he introduced us to the leading little lady, Zuri earlier last week and the excitement only blew up from there:

    Via his campaign, Cherry is raising $75,000 with an ambitious goal of $100,000. As we know, animated projects are challenging and equally expensive to create. This project would be a welcome addition to the black canon of animated films, of which we’re eager to expand our representation.

    Check out more information about Hair Love and the crowdfunding campaign here! Are you as excited about this film as much as I am?! Hurry up and take our money, Mr. Cherry!
    Tonja Renée Stidhum is a writer/director living in Los Angeles by way of Chicago. She is the co-host of the movie review podcast, Cinema Bun Podcast. She is made of sugar and spice and everything rice... with the uncanny ability to make a Disney/Pixar reference in the same sentence as a double entendre. You can follow her on Twitter @EmbraceTheJ, on Facebook, and Instagram @embracethej. You can find more of her work on her About Me page,

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    (Jay L. Clendenin / Los Angeles Times)

    By Sharee Silerio

    Months after winning an Oscar for Best Picture for “Moonlight”, award-winning writer and director Barry Jenkins has revealed his next project.

    His follow-up film is an adaptation of James Baldwin’s 1974 novel, “If Beale Street Could Talk” for Annapurna Pictures.

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    Jenkins wrote the screenplay in 2013, with support from the Baldwin estate, around the same time he created the script for “Moonlight”.

    The novel is a tale of love and injustice, and Amazon summarizes it this way:

    “Told through the eyes of Tish, a nineteen-year-old girl, in love with Fonny, a young sculptor who is the father of her child, Baldwin’s story mixes the sweet and the sad. Tish and Fonny have pledged to get married, but Fonny is falsely accused of a terrible crime and imprisoned. Their families set out to clear his name, and as they face an uncertain future, the young lovers experience a kaleidoscope of emotions–affection, despair, and hope. In a love story that evokes the blues, where passion and sadness are inevitably intertwined, Baldwin has created two characters so alive and profoundly realized that they are unforgettably ingrained in the American psyche.”

    An American novelist, essayist, playwright, poet and social critic, James Baldwin was an insightful, iconic writer whose words and stories spoke intimately and powerfully about racial and social issues, most notably the black experience in America.

    Jenkins will direct the film, which is his first feature since “Moonlight”.

    According to the “LA Times”, filming will begin this October.

    “James Baldwin is a man of and ahead of his time; his interrogations of the American consciousness have remained relevant to this day," Jenkins said in a statement, per the “LA Times”. “To translate the power of Tish and Fonny’s love to the screen in Baldwin’s image is a dream I’ve long held dear. Working alongside the Baldwin estate, I’m excited to finally make that dream come true.”

    Have you read James Baldwin’s novel “If Beale Street Could Talk”? Are you looking forward to watching Barry Jenkins’ adaptation on film?
    Sharee Silerio is a St. Louis-based freelance writer, Film and TV writer-producer, and blogger. When she isn’t creating content for The Root or The St. Louis American, she enjoys watching drama/sci-fi/comedy movies and TV shows, writing faith and self-love posts for, relaxing with a cup of chai tea, crafting chic DIY event décor, and traveling. Review her freelance portfolio at then connect with her on FacebookInstagram and Twitter.

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    Photo Source

    What would you say if someone told you, “You have a good heart!”

    Would you feel good about yourself and say thank you?


    But what if?

    One day, you went to the doctor and were told, “You have a bad heart.”

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    What would you say then?

    You’d probably be speechless.

    Heart disease is a touchy but relevant topic that should be discussed across all age groups. Your risk for the disease begins to develop as early as your childhood. Therefore, the lifestyle choices you make at a young age will have a huge impact on the health of your heart as you get older.

    Here are five facts about heart disease that everyone should know:

    1. Heart disease is the number one cause of deaths (1 in every 4) in the U.S. followed by stroke and cancer.

    Each year, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, about 610,000 Americans die of heart disease. And more than 700,000 people experience a heart attack every year. Almost a third of these individuals will have already had a heart attack at least once before.

    2. 2015 data provided by the American Heart Association states that 70,000 black men and 60,000 black women experience a Myocardial Infarction (heart attack) or death from coronary heart disease, every year.

    This means that black people account for almost 24% of all deaths from heart disease. More black men will experience a heart attack than black women, however, more black women will die within the first year following the attack.

    3. A balanced diet, frequent exercise, and effective stress management strategies can help reduce risk for heart disease.

    Factors such as hypertension (high blood pressure), excessive body fat, and diabetes increase your chances of developing heart disease. It is imperative to incorporate strategies for stress management and control throughout your daily life. This will deter you away from engaging in coping mechanisms that will increase your risk for heart disease such as overeating, smoking tobacco, or consuming excessive amounts of alcohol. Check out Curly Nikki’s post on worrying less here for tips on dealing with stress.

    4. Chest pain, especially during physical activity, can be a sign that there is presence of disease.

    When you feel tightness in your chest as a result of heart disease, your heart is working harder than normal as the arteries that supply blood to your heart have become blocked. Chest pain can sometimes be mistaken for less serious issues like gas or indigestion. This can cause a delay in diagnosis. If you or someone close to you is experiencing chest pain, fatigue, or shortness of breath during physical activity, medical evaluation is highly recommended.

    5. You are not guaranteed to get heart disease just because it’s in your family history.

    Regardless of whether heart disease, or cardiovascular disease, is in your family history, is not the determinant of your fate. Lifestyle choices are.The more active you are and the healthier the foods you consume, the lower your risk for heart disease. Increasing the amount of vegetables in your diet and monitoring your intake of saturated fats are good places to start.

    For more information on heart disease or other types of cardiovascular disease and how to take control of your health refer to the posts below on the American Heart Association’s website:

    African-Americans and Heart Disease, Stroke
    Coronary Artery Disease - Coronary Heart Disease
    Managing Blood Pressure with a Heart-Healthy Diet

    Use this fact sheet on heart disease provided by Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to inform yourself of the signs and symptoms.

    What can we do to help decrease the chances of heart disease in the Black community? 
    Ariel is a 23-year old SoCal native, working professional, and Alumna of the University of California, Berkeley. She earned a Bachelor's degree in Sociology and through her studies, acquired a passion for gaining knowledge that would improve the quality of her life and further allow her to interact with and touch people in a positive way. You can follow her own blog, The Freewoman Diaries, at

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    I've been thinking a lot lately about stress. First it was singer Brandy who recently collapsed on a plane due to the stress of traveling and working incessantly, says her publicist, and not long ago it was modelpreneur Tyra Banks who confessed that while she was at the height of her career, she was also exhausted and sad. Just today I saw a video that's been making the social media rounds of former ‘In The House’ actress Maia Campbell turning down LL Cool J’s request to get her help. It’s no secret that the once stunningly beautiful actress is addicted to drugs and in the footage she’s running a mile a minute. I couldn't help but wonder what will make her stop.

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    And then I turn the question towards me.

    Ever since I was a little girl I’ve been running. Running from food stamps, a father who was never there, bills, weight, myself.

    I only stop when I hit a wall. Like when I finally had to take care of my fibroids. Or when I was so stressed that I couldn’t pee. I’d sit on the toilet for hours waiting for a stream that would never come. It took walking around with a catheter strapped to my leg for a week, and eventually running to another city to shake it off.

    Even when I had my babies I didn’t stop.

    “Sleep when the baby sleeps,” people would say. But they were clueless about my life. When the baby sleeps is when the work begins. One time, just a week after giving birth I broke down on the way to Target. Mental and physical fatigue set in and I couldn’t remember what was so important that I needed to get in my car and battle horrific LA traffic. Before I knew it, I pulled over to the side of the road and cried till I ached. Maybe it was just hormones, but I cried like that earlier today and I haven’t had a baby in 5 years.

    Lately, I’ve been crashing into my husband and my kids. I’m either dismissive, not present, or just plain mean.

    My husband shared a poem he discovered online with me this morning and I was so far away. Thinking about work that needed to get done, bills I needed to pay. It almost felt silly to think that I could stop and listen to poetry. But I didn't say that, I half-listened with a blank look on my face, prompting him to scream, “After 12 years of marriage you still can’t tell me that your mind is somewhere else?!”

    No. ‘Cuz I’m going to try to handle everything with as little disruption as possible, so I can get to the next thing. It’s not that I don’t care. I absolutely care. That’s why I run. It’s how I show my love. If I run fast enough all our problems will disappear.

    Sometimes I envy my friend who just shuts down. She’s the only Black woman I’ve ever known to just stop getting out of bed for weeks. I never understood how she could do that because if I’m not moving I’m dead.

    This running didn’t start with me. It was my mom and her mom before that. My mom doesn’t sleep at night because her mind is running like a motor that never stops. She’s taken three sleep studies in the past three months and doctors don’t know what’s wrong. I do. It’s called Black Woman Syndrome and it's been in our DNA since enslavement. I know this because the only time I slowed down was in Africa. Don’t believe that lie that it’s so hard there because it’s not. There was plenty of help. Help for your kids, help to cook and clean, help for your help. It’s in America that a Black woman has to work till her back and spirit is broken. And for what? To be told that she’s a b-tch who wants to spend her life alone? Listen Sherlock, work is all a Black woman knows, and if she let it all go, if she truly depended on someone else and it didn’t work out the joke would be on her and then she might die. I don’t like being this way. I wish I could change, just trick my DNA into thinking I’m a white woman because they don’t have to do sh-t. They get to whine and be soft and vulnerable because the world doesn’t depend on them like they do us.

    So I run. And I’m not sure what will make me stop.

    This evening my daughter was looking at me with this weird look while I was plowing through the dishes.

    “Why are you looking at me like that?” I asked her.

    “I’m just watching you, seeing what you’re doing,” she said.

    I pushed pause to think about it for a minute...I’m doing the same thing I do every day, and I get faster and faster, I swear I can wash a whole sink full of dishes in two seconds. I saw her life flash in front of me, but the difference was she wasn't washing dishes she was taking a long walk in the park, smelling the roses. In that moment I realized that this is some straight bullsh-t’ and I sat my ass down.

    Erickka Sy Savané is a wife, mom, and freelance writer based in Jersey, City, NJ. Her work has appeared in, and more. When she’s not writing...wait, she’s always writing! Follow her on Twitter and Instagram or

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  • 07/12/17--07:00: Yes, Cut It.

  • I flew into St. Louis, MO yesterday to spend some time with the fam here in Ferguson.  Boogie had already been here for 2 weeks, so Max and I decided to join her for the next 2 weeks!  Moments after disembarking, I headed straight to Shi Salon.  I had Brittany remove my faux locs over the weekend (*tears*... I miss them already!), and after a henna treatment and some TLC, I wanted Marie to sharpen up this bob situation.  She met me at the salon despite it being her day off! 

    I immediately facetimed Dr. Daddy so he could see and he smiled and said, 'you cut it anyway!' He likes it longer.  

    A little below my chin, not jaw bone length again... that was my compromise!

    My Marie Simone of Shi Salon! If you're in and around STL or anywhere else in the world (she travels, hontey), she will slay your cut. Perfection.  Very professional, very inspiring, very funny! Love her!  Her team of future slay artists are amazing too-- thanks Gio and Alyssa! xoxo

    I've got two whole kids, y'all!

    Got my Boogie back!!!!!!  This was her, doing her, in the Schnucks in Ferguson! LOL!

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    The only thing equal about racism appears to be how it’s distributed, meaning your professional of class status doesn’t make you immune to its striking effects. Unfortunately, Florida State Attorney Aramis Ayala got a dose of that cold hard medicine after being pulled over by police in Orlando. Ayala is the only Black female state attorney in the state of Florida.

    The video comes from the Florida police officer’s body camera, which shows Ayala pulling out her license to show the two white police officers, who stood on each opposite end of her car. After handing the body-cammed police officer her license, you can hear him asking about the state attorney symbol on the license. She then confirmed that she was, in fact, a state attorney.

    Womp, womp!

    After Ayala began questioning the reasons behind the traffic stop, you can hear the officers stumbling over their words in attempt to find a reason. The reasons ranged from “tinted windows” to “routinely running tags for stolen cars.” The officer claimed that Ayala’s tag didn’t come up when they ran them and they were suspicious of her dark windows, despite not having the device to measure the window’s tint.

    Ayala, obviously knowing her rights, deftly asked the officers for their business cards, which they didn’t have on their person so they instead opted on writing their names and employee IDs on a piece of paper.

    Side-eyes abound! And I’m not the only one…

    Welp, I’m sure these officers won’t hear the end of this.

    Source: BET

    What do you think should happen to these officers? 
    Tonja Renée Stidhum is a writer/director living in Los Angeles by way of Chicago. She is the co-host of the movie review podcast, Cinema Bun Podcast. She is made of sugar and spice and everything rice... with the uncanny ability to make a Disney/Pixar reference in the same sentence as a double entendre. You can follow her on Twitter @EmbraceTheJ, on Facebook, and Instagram @embracethej. You can find more of her work on her About Me page,

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    Whether you are old enough or not to remember the day that the music video for Michael Jackson’s Thriller dropped, this iconic song/video is fully immersed within our lives and culture. What kid didn’t stand in front of their televisions mimicking the deft choreography or shivering whenever Vincent Price’s bloodcurdling voice reverberated throughout the speakers?

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    Well, that moment will be revamped for this generation! CBS has partnered up with the Estate of Michael Jackson to debut Michael Jackson’s Halloween, an hour-long animated special featuring music from his infamous discography.

    Michael Jackson’s estate posted the news via the late pop icon’s official Twitter account:

    Michael Jackson’s Halloween will follow two millennials, Vincent (Lucas Till) and Victoria (Kiersey Clemons), who “accidentally” meet on Halloween night and suddenly find themselves at a mysterious hotel on 777 Jackson Street called This Place Hotel, named after Jackson’s 1980s song of the same name. They are joined by Ichabod the dog and the trio embark on a magical adventure that eventually reach a dance climax finale, featuring an animated version of the King of Pop himself. You’ll also get to hear the voice work from talents such as Jim Parsons, Lucy Liu, Brad Garrett, George Eads, Alan Cumming and Christine Baranski.

    The animated special -- created and produced by Optimum Productions -- will be directed by Mark A.Z. Dippé (The Boxcar Children) and produced by Daniel Chuba, featuring animated by Hammerhead. Executive Producers will be John Branca and John McClain, who are also co-executors of Jackson’s estate.

    This is a cool idea, especially for the new generation to become introduced to Jackson’s work. I’m looking forward to it! His art will surely live on for many many generations to come.

    Source: Entertainment Weekly

    What do you think about this new reimagined Michael Jackson Halloween special? Will you be tuning in?
    Tonja Renée Stidhum is a writer/director living in Los Angeles by way of Chicago. She is the co-host of the movie review podcast, Cinema Bun Podcast. She is made of sugar and spice and everything rice... with the uncanny ability to make a Disney/Pixar reference in the same sentence as a double entendre. You can follow her on Twitter @EmbraceTheJ, on Facebook, and Instagram @embracethej. You can find more of her work on her About Me page,

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    IG: @jaelenmitchell

    by Mary Wolff

    When it comes to taking care of your curls, you know the main steps for healthy hair. The big three steps (wash, condition, and deep treat) are the building blocks of any good hair plan. Have you ever wondered if you are washing your hair the right way? When it comes to that first crucial step in hair care, there are a few things you should keep in mind abbot the right way to wash your hair.

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    1. Use less shampoo. Most people, regardless of their hair texture, are using too much shampoo. If you are one of those people that fills your palm with shampoo, you are using too much. In fact, the recommended amount of shampoo you should use is probably less than you think you need. For hair that is short to medium in length, you will need anywhere around the size of a quarter. For longer hair that falls past the shoulder blades, you will need closer to two quarters. This will really help cut down on shampoo costs!

    2. Work your way below root to tip first. The idea is to apply the product to your roots and massage them until around mid-shaft, and then let the rest of the solution run down your strands on its own. The reason for this is because shampoo can have a drying effect on your strands and natural oils act as the buffer between the shampoo and the hair. Since oil has a harder time traveling down to the ends of your hair, you need less shampoo there. This will prevent your ends from drying out.

    3. Do not rub the hair shaft. When you are washing, and rubbing as your means of cleansing, you naturally disturb the hair shaft and raise the cuticle. Too many people are rough with their strands when washing, and think rubbing them is the right way to wash hair. You should only ever run your hands down the hair shaft when washing, never rub up.

    4. Give hair a squeeze. After you have washed and rinsed your hair, giving it a squeeze before you move onto conditioning can remove excess water so your conditioner stays more concentrated. Hair can hold a lot of water and your conditioner will always work best at full strength.

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