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10

Jan

tedx:

Happy Friday! We’re loving this video from TEDxAden of a flash mob they set up in Aden, Yemen. Check it out: the song will totally get stuck in your head.

Watch the whole video here»

tedx:

Happy Friday! We’re loving this video from TEDxAden of a flash mob they set up in Aden, Yemen. Check it out: the song will totally get stuck in your head.

Watch the whole video here»

26

Aug

Feed Them Curls: Blog Colored in Henna

Henna could very well be the best botanical, for beauty, on earth. Also known by its given Hindi name, “Mehndi,” henna has been used by women and men in North Africa, especially in Ancient Egypt, the Horn of Africa, the Arabian Peninsula, the Near East and South Asia. Many people use henna to create impermanent tattoos. I like it in my hair.

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What You’ll Need:

  1. All natural Hair Care henna by Hissan’s (from India, or any other natural henna)
  2. Olive Oil (makes hair soft and shiny)
  3. Coconut Oil (helps retain moisture, proteins, and gets absorbed by the hair shaft)
  4. Citrus Conditioner (henna is very drying, use as much conditioner as you need to combat the drying properties of henna)
  5. Deep Conditioner (use a deep conditioner that really works-detangles, softens and adds moisture back to your hair)
  6. Optional: Instead of boiling water, you can boil tea or warm leftover coffee (the coffee and tea will help darken or deepen the effect of the henna on your hair)
  7. Optional: Paprika (if you want to intensify the red hue)
  8. Optional: Grapefruit essential oil (modify the smell of your henna-which will stay in your hair for a few days-with an essential oil)

Tips:

  • Make sure you choose a henna that is 100% hair care or body art henna
  • In many packets of henna, there will be other ingredients added to the henna sometimes for your hair’s benefit or detriment (in my henna pack amla, bhringraj and brahmi are the additional botanicals)

Benefits, Drawbacks, and Warnings of henna:

Benefits:

You Will Have Stronger Hair - The leaves of henna plants carry a red-orange dye molecule, lawsone. Lawsone reacts with the hair protein, keratin, in a process known as Michael addition. 

Henna Will Add Shine To Your Hair -  The henna helps fill in rough spots on the cuticle. With the cuticle rough edges smoothed over, the hair feels smoother and the cuticle takes a lot less damage during combing and manipulation. It takes several days for Henna to stabilize. It becomes more flexible and durable as it oxidizes and cures–it is in fact a plant resin that is flexible and solvent enough to penetrate the hair at the cuticle, carrying pigment with it.

Henna Tint and Dye- For dark hair, henna adds a subtle hint to hair color. Over time, the henna tint will fade or its brightness will get a little weaker. However, henna does not fade like regular chemical dye. 

Drawbacks:

Application and Mixing Processes - Henna application is a very long and messy process, compared to the regular hair dying process. It takes me 30 minutes to mix, 6+ hours to sit (for the dye to release in the mixture), and another 6 hours to sit on my hair. 

Experiment With Your Mixture - You can add more amla, bhringraj and brahmi. There are other botanicals like indigo and shikakai that will also significantly change the hue and tint of your hair. You can also modify (add to or subtract from) my recipe for a perfect mix for your hair!

Dry Hair - Like most protein treatments or products with protein enriching properties, henna is drying to the hair. The best way to combat this effect is by adding deep conditioners and hair oils. 

Warnings:

Looser/Relaxed Curls- Some henna heads report that their hair texture loosens after a henna process. I found that my hair felt controlled and less frizzy after my application.

Henna Smell - Henna smells like hay and green tea. This smell will be in your hair for a few days or more. If you don’t like this smell, I suggest adding ingredients with a pungent scent. I add essential oil to change the smell of the henna mixture. 

The Color- Henna will not lighten your hair. After several applications, henna will darken your hair. If you don’t want to change the hue of your hair, but still would like the henna application, try “neutral henna” or Cassia Obovata. Cassia Obovata only slightly changes the hue of the hair and is not permanent.

Try henna or any of the aforementioned botanicals if you want to naturally alter the hue of your hair, as well as deep condition and relax it!

Henna For Your Curls (by QenSzz)

18

Aug

Trying to lose weight? Want to get that Brazilian Booty? Don’t like to workout???

Well, watch this video and DANCE

5x a day=Lose weight

10x a day=Brazilian Booty

Uncanningly beautiful.

Uncanningly beautiful.

16

Aug

Bonde das Maravilhas and the State of Black Feminism

"Boom chock chock boom boom chock"  

The proverbial baile funk beat, which every funk listener knows.

"Boom chock chock boom boom chock"  

The rhythm always sounds familiar, as is beats bodies into motion. And all of a sudden I want to squat, hands on legs, buttocks oscillating, the totality of my body in constant movement to Mr Carta’s:

Senta senta senta senta senta senta senta senta senta

Senta senta senta senta agora vai

Before Twerk Land was established here in the States, Rio de Janeiro was brewing with generations of lascivious booty-poppin’, floor slappin’ adults flocking to funk halls in the favelas. Influenced by the popular sounds of the Miami bass, or booty music of the ’80s, funk is a gumbo with a filé of horns, a roux of a recurring drum beat, a dash of beat boxing, and a full serving of screeching voices calling a swarming funk hall to gyrate protruding body parts to stand erect.

Like many culture-praising Americans, I fell in love with Brazil the first time I set eyes on the glistening black bodies of Globo’s City of God and City of Men.image

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I was sold when I happened upon Marcel Camus’ Black Orpheus.

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Since then, almost eight years ago, I have been in love.

Enter O Bonde das Maravilhas, they are the most controversial people in my life right now:

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I first heard of As Maravillhas when I saw their viral Youtube video of their song “Aquecimento das Maravilhas:”

And you thought the twerk was serious here in the U.S.? 

Never mind that my comprehension of Portuguese is limited, did you see those girls?!?!?!?! On their necks?!?!?! Seriously, I cannot watch the Aquecimento music video without mouth cocked wide open in disbelief. This is a group of twerking goddesses. Honestly, to gyrate, undulate, and sway ass from the ground up displays a special strength of endurance and persistence. 

Each time I look at a funk video I cannot help but want to mimic the black cariocas who drop themselves to the floor every other ten seconds. They are cool to me. Their bodies are everything Black America wants mines to be. They are the epitome of sex and black and everything that has ever been hyper-sexualized under the sun. I refuse to lie about my simultaneous obsession and rebuke to such defiling behavior. I am at variance with myself. I cannot help but feel objectification when all that fills these little Youtube boxes are the skin tight jean shorts of a black woman’s ass convulsing to an unbounded beat. I mean, where are the feminist movements to help expose this? Or are we all a little less dumbfounded when misogynist behavior bull rides the gyrating back sides of Black and Brown women?

As a young Black, Creole, girl cocooning in a matrix of womanhood, I am a feminist by default (but shouldn’t everyone be this?). I realize that I am not above falling into the trap of hyper-sexualization and the prevailing definitions of what it means to be a sexy woman- a sexy BLACK woman- in a sexualized and racist universe.

But I twerk because my hips need it. They need to feel, shake, stretch and remember themselves beyond the fitted jeans and skirts that wear them. I twerk to funk music. Carioca funk music. I cry thanking the heavens of all things winding that these ladies can “funk” and “grind” upside down, and on their necks. My respects go out to all of those women out there who swivel their hips in a vain pursuit of self-freedom through fame and attention. Until I am no longer ‘bout that life, I will not stop listening to funk. No matter how self-degrading that act might be, my ears stay transfixed on such captivating melodies. Perhaps, today, I am the state of feminism in the world. 

A blog is coming soon as to why I cringe, love, and twerk with these girls all at the same time!

A blog is coming soon as to why I cringe, love, and twerk with these girls all at the same time!

01

Aug

Black pathology is big business. Two-thirds of teenage mothers are white, two-thirds of welfare recipients are white and white youth commit most of the crime in this country.

Ishmael Reed

(via mydearestlola)

That which is most pathological-the state of humanity.

sagababy:

Myra Andrade singing “Mana”

I love her- beautiful Creole Cape Verdean singer!

My father used to say, “Don’t raise your voice. Improve your argument.
Archbishop Desmond Tutu (via locsofpoetry)

dynamicafrica:

NOTABLE AFRICANS: Lilian Ngoyi

Born in South Africa’s capital city of Pretoria in 1911, Lilian Masediba Ngoyi, who trained as a nurse, would go on to become a politician and anti-apartheid activist, but most notably she would be known for her contributions to the fight for women’s rights in South Africa during apartheid as president of the ANC Women’s League 

Originally, when the ANC was formed in 1912, the organization problematically did not accept women as members, highlighting a deep-rooted negligence of women’s rights and intersectionality during the anti-apartheid struggle. It wasn’t until 1918 that the Bantu Women’s League (BWL) was formed as a branch of the ANC under the leadership of Charlotte Maxeke. But even with the BWL in existence, women in this branch were not considered as ANC members until 1948 when the ANC Women’s League (ANCWL) was formed with Ida Mntwana as its first official president.

Ngoyi joined the ANCWL in 1950 after being active in the Garment Workers Union (GWU) whilst working at a clothing factor between the year 1945-1956. In 1954, when the Federation of South African Women (FEDSAW) was formed, Ngoyi became one of its national vice-presidents and was elected president of the federation in 1956.

During the 1950s, Lilian Ngoyi became incredibly politically active and traveled outside of the country on various occasions, going to Europe and receiving invites from socialist delegates in Russia and China to travel to those respective countries. She spoke at anti-apartheid protest rallies in London, and whilst on her way to Switzerland she was arrested for traveling without a passport.

In 1956, Lilian Ngoyi would once again be arrested but this time in South Africa and by the apartheid police. On August 9th, 1956, Ngoyi led the women’s anti-pass march to the Union Buildings in Pretoria, protesting against the restrictive pass laws for women that had just been passed. One of the largest demonstrations in South African history, the women walked through the streets of Pretoria and Ngoyi made her way to the door of Prime Minister Strijdom to hand over signed petitions against the Pass Laws.

In December of the same year, Ngoyi, along with 156 other anti-apartheid activists, would be arrested on treason charges during what would be known as the four year-long Treason Trial. During this time, Ngoyi was imprisoned for five months spending most of that period in solitary confinement.

Although the trial ended in 1962 and saw all of the accused being acquitted, Ngoyi was issued banning orders that prohibited her from taking part in any kind of political activities and restricted her movement to the boundaries of the Orlando township in Johannesburg. These banning orders expired in 1972 but were renewed by the apartheid government in 1975 for a five-year period. These times proved incredibly tough for the always radical and highly active political leader who struggled to earn a decent living.

She eventually passed away in March 1980 at the age of 69 after suffering a heart condition.

Affectionately known as ‘Ma Ngoyi’, Lilian Ngoyi is forever remembered as one of the most prominent and influential women leaders during the anti-apartheid struggle, a system which she would unfortunately not live to see destroyed and dissolved.

AUGUST: Celebrating African Women

Beautiful.