Black Women & Girls: More Than Gorgeous, Curly Hair ~

 

 

 

 

 

Positive Propaganda:  Black Women & Girls Are So Much More Than Gorgeous Curly Hair ~

 

Hola, sistren!

I come to you now with a plea:

Can we tone down the zeal over our hair?  ;-)

No, really. 

I mean, I get it.  I soooo get #naturalhair.  I’m natural…have been for the majority of my highly eventful life.

I also must show appreciation where required and add that my mother provided the positive legacy of natural-hair-living to her daughters, who, after many (count ‘em, four each) bouts with chemically-induced textures, along with ever-changing lifestyles, imagination and imagery, bad decisions, master hair magicians, trickery, advice from countless, lively blogs, trial, error, and the requiste detours of big chops, fried locks, cooked, baked, crispy, and shaped, both, haggardly yet finally returned to “NO CHEMICALS ON OUR HAIR (not even color), EVER, and feel comfortable saying we both appreciate mom’s heads-up provided since birth.  Thanks, Mom.  :-)

Not sure how she knew.  I guess holding firm to her roots and the way she and all of her sisters grew up in the country of Lousiana, where pigtails and braids ruled the extremely warm summer days and nights, virgin hair was where it was! 

So, I get it.  My hair has been super long, super short, somewhere in the middle, straight, wavy, kinky, curly, balayage, blunt, razored, tinted, and rinsed.  I’ve personally grown and lost (to only regrow again), THREE whole heads of hair in my short 30-something years, and am currently in a new growth cycle after surgery, so trust me when I say I’m not hating.  I.  know.

I could, have, and will again, write a small pamphlet on how to grow hair long and strong, for all races, but I don’t talk about it much unless asked.

You know what I DO talk about; a lot? 

THE WELFARE AND HOLISTIC WELL-BEING OF BLACK WOMEN AND GIRLS.

That’s it. 

Eleven words.

It’s what runs me; what gives me that “zing.”  What helps me wake up in the morning.

It’s my pleahsuh!! *in my “Friday” voice*  ;-)

I love to talk about how great we are, and how we can be even better!

Let’s talk about heart health.  Mental health.  Emotional and spiritual health.  Nutritional and physical health and well-being, and let’s investigate how we’re currently (and can improve) mama-cat guarding our young girls…our kittens…to ensure they have a future worth living and can pass the baton to future generations.

Speaking of generations, do you know the Native American saying that what we do today affects seven generations of our people Sustainability.  lt’s all about sustainable living – sustainable being, breathing, and thriving (thus the swell of eco-friendly products living under the banner of “Seventh Generation or “7th Generation”)!

We must, and those of us who can, HAVE TO share the knowledge of our individual capacity to shine and connect for the benefit of all.  It’s our duty in this lifetime.

Did you also know, from a Black history standpoint, that we are in the fourth generation (that golden ”4″…I’ll break that down in another post, just for you) of enslaved Africans evolving out of the curse of slavery, and are the first to develop new foundations for wealth, current and future economic prosperity, and can both consistently and economically nurture those that both create and record the rich oral history that unceasingly binds us together as a people, our storytellers?  That’s a (responsibility-laden) gift, but as Peter Parker’s grandpa said…  ;-)

And as women, too…whew, I mean, say it again…as WOMEN, on top of all of that rich inheritance, we have supreme power in 360 full degrees, so why focus on only 10 percent…our hair?!

I’m perplexed.  Our next meme is gonna be a pic of ‘Hope the Cat’ slightly perplexed, ’cause we need to find those answers and make it happen, but it ‘ain’t gonna happen by worrying about ONLY our beauty.  We have to dig deeper.

If I hear one more skin color or hair-grade comparison for either gender, or witness any more jaw-dropping verbal or physical black-on-black crime, I’m going to lose it…and as you can so far tell, I barely have it!   As my mother also said more often that not:  “stop it; just stop it!”   LOL! 

And let’s please come together, sisters.  Outside of what we do to ourselves internally as a community, we could do so much better if we stopped all hair wars (naturals v. straights, weaves v. braids, bald v. shaved, thick v. skinny…wait…I went too far…  ;-)), and focused on joining forces against all enemies, we’d be in a stronger, truly impenetrable position on the planet, and as a people!  It’s harder to kill in a stampeding herd.  Never leave your girl to face a crowd alone.  Don’t mess with her after she calls her cousins!  Her family is no joke!! 

‘Yall feeling me? 

We need each other so much more than we can survive being torn apart.

Let’s let that pink water splash us in the face of reality, sisters, and awaken us to the need to congregate in order to get our story straight, so that we can then tell it and defend it by any peaceful means necessary!

Aren’t you ready to march for respect of black women and girls?   I am.

I see us all now, a flood of pink, black, and gold in the streets of the capitol, holding each other up and demanding that our men support, our artists listen and cooperate, our lovers protect, our children respect (and are respected), and that our futures and destinies are highly guarded and regarded.

In short, we have work to do, #sisters.

And if you wanna rock your freshest two-stand twist, your flyist box braids (maybe), your pin-curls, headdress, wash ‘n go, press ‘n curl, dippity do or God-knows-who, do you,  but support, love, desire, want more, demand more, love each other, love yourself, stop fighting, bickering, giving bad advice, telling lies, living in illusion, competing, and riding the train in the direction furthest AWAY from what we say we want for ourselves, including focusing and spending so much time, money, and attention on #hair!!

And put down the Moscato.  It’s a dessert wine anyway, and it’s silly and highly caloric to drink it all night starting sundown.  One or two glasses is ok, but after that it’s just a bad homage to a glorified song about stripping, which is neither lady-like nor pretty to glamourize.  Smooches.  ;-)

So, a little bitter with the sweet, but real.  Alll of the time. ;-)

Can you tell I’m on fire for the cause?  And so many others are too…so many of us who hear the clarion call for change…real, lasting, holistic, organic and timely change, that will touch lives beyond our capacity to envision.

Are you ready?  

Our site and movement is reaching one full year!  I admit, I must touch base more often.  How often is too much, how much too little?  As I recently heard, “you can’t start a revolution by meeting monthly” so I’ll post more.  ;-)  Today’s post was an exercise in following my weekly connection schedule, so kudos to me and high cat paws to all on that one!

I’m so in the pink flame for this, sisters!  I love you, and I want better for us all, as I know you do, too (along with all of our sis-supporters…you rock like EPMD!). 

First order on deck:  PositiveProp Pajama Parties coming to your area.  We need to converge, comfortably (maybe with woobies?) to get our feelings out and then develop and implement our ACTION STRATEGY.

We’re deciding whether to launch on the east coast or here in L.A., so stay tuned. Definitely more to say about the upcoming series next week.  Meow.

And one last thing:  if we’re gonna be obsessed with #hair, which we will to some degreee as humans and as women, let’s do it from the ownership standpoint, putting non-black haircare industries and vendors out of the game entirely and reinvest the loot into our own community. Done.

Until then, stay coiffed, but please do from a higher place, with a higher purpose, and with thoughts, words, and deeds of reunion, not division. 

Most imporantly, allow no division inside of yourself. 

Oooh…so deeepp!!  ;-)

Talk then,

Amie~

*  Whatchu say?:  @PositiveProp

 

Every Woman Needs a Woobie~

Woobies & the soft side~

Woobies & the soft side~

Positive Propaganda:  Black Women are Vulnerable~

OK…first of all I’m sitting here shocked and amazed that I’m writing this post, as it was not planned, but that’s how Spirit works.

MOVE! 

Lol!

So a sister C.A.T. has been feeling some sort of way, lately.  About life.

We’ve all been there.  It’s human.  It’s UNIVERSAL.  Yet it feels so deeply personal when the opportunity to FEEL finds you.

And we as black women have for so long run from this feeling of, well…feeling. 

The desire to let go…cry…talk…purge…giggle…laugh…and giggleandlaugh until you cry again.  And then smile.

We don’t give ourselves that “luxury” enough.  To receive that human need, enough.

Ish. hurts!!

Yeah, I said it!

Stuff happens in life that literally takes your breath away, and requires that you sit down and look it straight in the face.  And as black women, we do…more often that not, we do. 

But it’s what we don’t do enough of next that spawned this post:

We don’t STOP. 

We keep moving.  Trudging along, eyes straight ahead, being “the strong black woman” instead of doing what all of the softness of who we are REQUIRES of us - that we FEEL IT completely – walk to and through it, and heal it. 

By being soft and vulnerable, and quiet, so that afterward (and only afterward) we can smile.  And it’s over.  And we move forward to live another great experience on this spiral of life. all the sweet and the sour; sugar and mess.

We need this sisters. 

We need to let ourselves see ourselves…see REALITY…and act accordingly.  And I’ve found the best way to assist in this effort is

*drum roll*

The Woobie.

:-)

You can see one of my current woobies peeking out in the pic above (and “Hi”, C.A.T. sisters!  *waving* )  ;-)

My woobie has been through it:  good times, bad times, stains, rips, triumphs, failures, extasy and agony.  You betcha. 

Every.  woman.  needs.  a woobie.

What’s your favorite woobie?  Are they friendships?  Girlfriends? (they make the BEST woobies), your grandmother, or your mom?  Is it your puppy or your *le gasp* cat or kitten? 

Is it texting that ladyfriend whom you know will say just. the right. thing. at just. the right. time. to make it all better, and who you know knows you down to your socks and a peek of your soul?

Tell them.  Let it out! 

Is it your journal?  I also write when I’m walking through a challenge, and recently forgot about that as a passion and a release.

And then I picked up my journal (I have all of my journals…I love journaling), grabbed my favorite pen, and let it all out.  And cried.  And laughed.  Then I danced.  A lot!  And I moved on.

Onward, with a smile.

And then you can walk the land knowing and inhabitating that, as my friend Dominique strikingly said to me one day:  “wearing your heart on your sleeve doesn’t make you weak, it makes you stronger.”

Dope, and so true.  Our strength is in our sensitivity, and the ability (and the responsibility)for feeling and then fully and completely acknolwledging our feelings.

But back to woobies.  So soft.  Let’s not be afraid to be soft.  We’re WOMEN…we were created to be soft.  As I said before, ish hurts, and we feel it, but it’s the feeling part that can be the challenge, sisters (or am I out here alone “on the skinny branches” by saying that?).

I love soft things, sisters…I’m very tactile (like a cat…ha!).  I’ve recently learned to honor how much I love soft fabrics and soothing colors…blues, and soft greens and pale yellows…and cotton!  Heck, if my ancestors tended it, I’m gonna celebrate it, goshdarnit!  LOL!

Seriously, though, I love soft fabrics such as cotton and other natural textiles, and will cozy-up when need be to let the other stuff out.  And I try to make my everyday surroundings cushion me in softness and gentle luxury, ’cause I’m sensitive, darn it!

And I’m also learning to honor my sensitivity in all of my choices as well, such as who to hang around, who to let in (and stay in) my space, who to keep walking away from and for whom to give the swift & dusty boot. 

And I’m finding that the more I pay attention to the things, especially the small things, that I love, deserve, want, and need, it makes all the difference in the world.

And, a wonderful dish of whipped cream on the side, my world responds as if it’s so.

So, just from writing this, I’ve discovered that my woobies are actually, in this particular order:  my God, my angels and guides, my God voice, my blanket/cotton, my joys and wants, my family of friends and lovers, and my fur-children (past, present, and future).  Then the world, then the Universe, and back to God.

Works for me.

So, let yourselves be comforted, and live sensitively and strongly.  Sisters, we aren’t just one “strong” thing…we’re a cornucopia of ingredients that make a the pies of our lives.  Strong, sweet, soft, pink,  brown, tan, cocoa, gentile, warm, delightful, black women, sisters of Eve, Cleo’s daughters…onward and onward, and onward and upward.

Enjoy all of it, and embrace it.  Feel the other stuff, then it go.  And this includes how others think of you, speak of you, and perceive you, unless you’re hurting others and/or not being yourself, but that’s another post.  ;-)

So, this is me.  Raw.  I’m Amie, and I’m sensitively strong.  And I need a woobie every now and then.  ;-)

Know that when we talk again, I either will have just completed a kit-katting session with my girls (and/or certain homies), cried, laughed, cat-napped, become incensed, or rallied for a cause in my glasses, on my couch, with my cotton blanket woobie, and that’s OK.

We’re ok being vulnerable.  You don’t have to cover up truth, or stuff it down, or hide it, or drown it, or cloud it out, or disconnect from it, or lie about it, or stay in denial over it, or in the end have to memorize it to get your story straight…it just IS the truth.  You are.  We are.  This is how we were created, and we’re tapping into our biological inheritance to stay soft and gentle. 

Get in there and break down, sisters.  And come out refreshed.  Call in the help of your personal woobie, and step back into the spiral anew and ready for next, whatever it may be.  And we all win:  you feel better and wiser, those around you are spared your bottled-up, stopped-up wrath, and you get to remain, among many other wonderful things, soft and cuddly to all outside others, including your man.  ‘Cause you know our men who love us adore our soft sides!  *Shout out to our sis-supporters!*

So, I hope you found this helpful.  You’re not alone.  I truly do have your back, and I feel and know that you’re starting to have mine.

We’re coming quite the way.  And with our cat “Hope” (her name is Hope, like, for real) steady mascotting her way into the Community Mascot Hall of Fame, we’re ready.

I SO look forward to getting to know all of you, and you getting to know me more and better (as I continue to get to know myself…and ride the wave), and stay tuned for more sensitively strong posts and products down the line for our growing community.

I love my sisters!

A soft meow,

Amie~

*and whenever I post as ”We” I mean me and Hope; ’cause we ride hard.  :-)

WatchCatting: Bombshells Reign Supreme at CoverGirl~

We love CoverGirl

Janelle Monae_CoverGirl2012

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Positive Propaganda:  Black Women Grace Covers

See, sisters, told you we should keep an eye on Procter & Gamble (CoverGirl)!

Janelle Monae, CoverGirl 2012.

Stunning!

We love those who love us. 

*meow*

 

 

Death to “Bourgie”~

                                                                                                                                                  

Positive Propaganda:  Black Women & Girls Unashamedly Aspire to be the BEST!

“She’s so bourgie!”  Who she think she is, with her bourgie self!”  Walkin’ around here actin’ all bourgie!”

We’ve heard all of these sayings before; comments thrown in the faces and behind the backs of black women and girls on a routine and regular basis.  And these comments are anything but nice, when said.  From the tone and the sound of the person hurling the word, one would think the target was a horrible, wretched person.  A fake.  A fraud.  A thief, perhaps, or someone to avoid at all costs.  Witnessing this verbal assault, one would certainly not wish to ever be (shudder)  “bourgie”. 

So, what exactly does it mean?

In the black community, and according to the urban dictionary (yes, there is such a thing…smh…) to be bourgie means “to be pretentious in matters of taste or dismissive of other tastes, in a manner that follows a particular middle class mode of thinking. Generally derogatory.” 

Another, slightly less disparaging definition of “bourgie” is “aspiring to be a higher class than one is. Derived from bourgeois – meaning middle/upper class.”

Ahh…we see.  But, some would say…that’s not so bad?  What’s wrong with wanting to launch oneself to a higher station in life than one was born, or in which one finds oneself?  What’s wrong with reaching for success?  What’s wrong with being the best…with aspiring toward greatness?

And to that, my dear sisters, we say NOTHING.  There is absolutely nothing wrong with these desires…as a matter of fact everything is RIGHT with wanting more, better, best, and all of the greatness that life can offer.

Which is why we believe it’s time to pledge DEATH to “bourgie.”

Dear sisters, we’ve been so historically, horrifically mistreated and misinformed.  From the times of slavery, we’ve been trained to not want nice things; to not embrace our femininity.  To not educate ourselves or our families.  To not believe we were soft, and beautiful, tender and deserving. 

It harkens to stories from the plantation where black women, our sisters of yon, were forced to wrap their heads in tattered rags to keep themselves from looking and feeling beautiful.  When the ears of our sisters were cut off and our bodies mutilated and mistreated for transgressions of wanting freedom and liberty.  When all manner of verbal abuse was spewed our way when, even after these atrocities, we dared to hold our heads high, our shoulders back, and walk with pride:  “That haughty niggra” they’d hiss; “Somebody needs to put that gal in her place!” 

Now, fast forward to present day.  Not much has changed, except now we’ve taken the role as our own slave-masters…keeping our own people down and “in our place” whenever we, especially black women, aim to reach higher and achieve better.  And we’ve made it even easier, by taking all of the hatred, jealousy, callousness, and evil of our oppressors and shortening it into one negative word:

Bourgie.

“Always walking with her nose in the air…ole bougie chick.”  “She think she cute…bourgie broad!”  “I can’t stand her bourgie a*s.”

The hate.  The misappropriated anger.  All hurled at black women and girls who’ve dared to step outside and beyond the small box of shame and low-self worth that we’ve been conditioned to believe, and have decided to reach for something higher and better.  To be somebody.

What’s wrong with wearing nice clothes, or fixing your hair in a lovely style, or adorning yourself in lovely jewels?  Nothing.  What’s wrong with wanting a good education, reading books, learning from life and others, and soaking up all that life has to offer?  Nothing.  Where is the harm in craving fresh, healthy food, exercising your body, asking for what you want, need, and deserve?  Not a darn thing!  And where’s the harm in seeking out the best of the best in every way you can, for you, your children, your friends, and the ones you love?  Nothing.  At.  All.

Sisters, this is not “bourgie.”  This is being aspirational. This is taking by the reigns the desires of God for your life, and claiming the gifts he’s placed at your feet.

How are we ever to climb as a people if we’re too afraid to reach for the sky?  What in God’s name is wrong with wanting to look, feel, and BE your very best?  Again, we say nothing.

You know what IS wrong?  Hurling insults hidden in urban slang such as the word “bourgie” to our fellow sisters and young girls every time we witness them striving to be their best.  Our young sisters (our kittens) grow up hearing and feeling the covert negativity that we attach to those climbing and aspiring to be their best, and instead of letting their little lights shine, they dim themselves and bushel their lights out of fear and shame, so as to be accepted by their community.  They don’t want to be “bourgie.”

This is wrong, and it needs to stop.

We are gorgeous, talented, divine, beautiful women of God!  We have so much to offer ourselves, our families, and our communities.  It’s the so-called “bourgie” set that helped Michelle Obama reach the White House, and who suit-up every day to fight the good fight in corporate America to represent OUR needs and well-being, ensuring we have a voice at the tables that run our lives.  And we don’t thank them enough.  We don’t want to be LIKE them enough.  We don’t aspire enough. 

Sisters, we have to watch our tongues and check ourselves when need be.  We have to support each other and our sisters who’re brave enough to plug their ears against those who’d like to keep black women down, and uplift those who strive every day to be their absolute best (in spite of). We have to encourage our young girls to hold their heads up high, to not be afraid to shine, and to be, do, and have all that their little hearts desire.  We have to truly show solidarity and real sisterhood in this way; it’s only then that the oppressive voices from the plantation are silenced, and we all truly rise above the horrors of the past.

So again, sisters, it’s time to kill the negativity toward ourselves and each other.  Let’s uplift each other the best way we can.  If you see a beautiful sister out in the world “doing her thing” and looking fabulous, even if you can’t compliment her, don’t disparage her with the label “bourgie.”  Stay silent, search your own heart and life, and promise yourself to be and do the same.  It’s in you to be great, too!  There’s room for all of us to shine.

And when you shine, we all shine.

Death to bourgie. 

Live an aspirational, inspirational, glamorous, gorgeous, fabulous, healthy life; out loud, and with no shame. 

You deserve it.

With love,

PositiveProp~

Who We Are.

Positive Propaganda:  Black Women Are Divine

“I realized that they had already taken everything from me except my mind and my heart.  Those they could not take without my permission.  I decided not to give then away.  And neither should you.”   –Nelson Mandela

Well hello!  SO glad to be here. 

As Dr. King said, “I have a dream!”  And you are all included.  WE are in the dream together.

In the dream we are not just black women; not simply “strong black women” (am I the only one tired of that one-size-fits-all, slightly masculine descriptor?).  We are not simply the topic of vulgar, misogynistic rap songs sadly spewed from the mouths of some of our male counterparts - the black men whom God put on earth as our protectors, friends, confidants and help-mates, who, somewhere along the way, became our biggest enemy. We are not the scapegoat and laughing stock of society; the unwed, un-datable, street-fighting, eye rolling and neck popping, “nappy-headed ho” baby mamas of the earth, neither deserving nor commanding reverence, respect, admiration, or equal treatment. 

We are not women whose bodies have no boundaries and can be mocked, ogled, touched, titillated over, and violated without recourse.  We are not caricatures only good for a pop of color, comic relief, a needed maid, mammy, best friend, or “magical negro” for others in need, as portrayed in most movies and television programs.

We’re capable of being more and doing more in society than breeding children, collecting welfare, living in homeless shelters, yelling on the corner, popping gum as a career, being victims of domestic violence, riding a pole, dancing for dollars, working in the kitchen, marrying a baller (shot caller, brawler, rollin’ in the Benz with a spoiler) or happily ‘helping’ others rise to prominence, success, and fame. 

And we are NOT invisible.

How did it get this way, you wonder?  How did we allow the essence and reality of WHO WE REALLY ARE as black women to be so disgustingly and savagely mutilated, disguised, ignored, and maligned, and  how did we allow the lies of others to become our truth (if we let “them” tell it)? 

I’ll tell you how. 

Because we allowed it.

And in my dream, we rise up and stop it.  We stop it now.  And not through violence, screaming, yelling, or other less *ahem* composed ways of fighting injustice and evil.  We simply tell the truth – our truth.  And we no longer allow others…mainstream America…to tell our stories and own our image, projecting their distortions across the world and through the ether’s any way they darn well please.  We reclaim our image; our reputations – the essence of who we are and who we were created to be.

We know who we are.

We’re educated, and if not educated, intuitive, and if not intuitive, survivors.  We’re resilient.  We’re beautiful; the first women of earth, from which all life grew.  We’ll no longer believe lies that suggest our features disgust, yet sit back and watch while others emulate the same features they vilify through dark tans, lip injections, curly perms (kinda 80s, I know), heiny pads, cheek implants, and every type of plastic surgery known to man to replicate the shape that only the great architect could compose.  Everyone wants to be a black woman, but no one wants to be a black woman?!  Insanity!

We are brilliant and soothing, peaceful and spiritual.  Warriors, leaders, and both mothers and, sadly, fathers of households.  We run companies, marathons, nonprofit organizations, homes, and, *gasp* countries (head bowed to Ellen Johnson Sirleaf and second in Command to the POTUS, Michelle Obama).  :-)

We’re more than what we’ve allowed ourselves to be portayed as, and since perception is reality, it’s high time that the perceptions of the past were changed to reflect the reality of today.

So, in my dream, we come together as SISTERS to commune, congregate, put our brilliant minds together, and conjure up both the method and means to own and repair our image. We tell our truth, loudly.  And we bite the hands of those who dare continue to tell lies to our detriment.

And if we don’t, what’s at stake?  Only the mind of every young black girl on the planet, growing up in a hostile world that devalues her at every flip of the radio dial or television remote control.  To have her travel to other countries and be mocked, scorned, or looked upon as a strange, unfamiliar, slightly scary creature, with otherworldly, sideshow-like curiousity.   To be hired as the servant but never the master, and to never, ever, in this physical incarnation, be taken seriously, respected, and nor, God-forbid, revered.

I don’t want that for my future daughters.  I don’t want that for anyone’s daughter(s).  And I do not want what I see before me as the madness of today for me nor my sisters in Christ.

Because I know better.  And so do you.  And it’s time they knew, too.

It starts today.  Please join me.  We have a long, hard fight ahead of us, but our ancestors fought bigger fights, and some lost their lives in pursuit of victory.  We’re made of courageous material.  Tough stuff.  We have what it takes…we simply need fight back.

In my dream…in the not-so-far-away reality for which we only need to firmly grasp in our minds in order to manifest on earth, we are divine!  We are the chosen; the seat of femininity.  That reality has been stolen from us, but we’re here to reclaim it. 

Time to re-program our minds and change the perception of ourselves as individuals, sisters, lovers, mothers, children, and a species.

We are black women:  Resilient.  Divine.  Intuitive.  Stunning.  Captivating.  Curious.  Brilliant.  Striking.  Awe-Inspiring.  Leaders.  Mothers of Humanity. 

And we demand to be seen and heard for who we really are.