Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Hair Story-All Natural

I've begun a transition in my life that I must say is one of the hardest things I've ever tried. I'm taking my hair to a new level, a level that I hope will revive it, a level that I hope will revive me and give me more confidence, a level that I haven't been to in I don't know how long. I've decided to go ALL NATURAL! Now, those who know me should know that this is a journey that is horrifying for me. Those who don't know me and are reading this are probably like, "So what?" LOL!! Well, let me start from the beginning:

From the time that I can remember, I've always had thick hair. I remember my mom or my grandma braiding it, or putting pony tails all over my head. My favorite hairstyle was when my mom braided it and put beads on the ends. Man I loved that style! I remember for Easter, I'd go to the hairdresser and get a nice hard pressing with some Shirley Temple curls all over my head. When I got a little older, my mom would send me to the hairdresser where I would get my hair pressed straight. I would get one of those old fashioned pressings where you would come out of the salon with shiny straight hair, with the cutest ponytails on the side, and bangs. If I didn't go to the hairdresser, I remember being in my mom's kitchen as she attempted to straighten out my kitchen with the hot comb. My neck would get burned and Lord help my ears. LOL!! But even through all that, my hair was healthy and thick. I think I've always been kind of obsessed with my hair. I remember begging my mom to let me get a Jherri Curl. I thank God and her now that she wouldn't let me get one. She always told me that I was too young, I could get one when I was 16. Well, 16 came and went and so did the Jherri Curl fad. I'm so glad I don't have any pics that can come back to haunt me. LOL!!

I don't know when I got my first relaxer, probably as a teenager. But even then my hair was healthy. I put braids in my hair occasionally, and then get relaxers, then braids again, then back to relaxers. I've worn my hair short, had color, grew it out, cut it again, relaxed it again, and I guess through all of that, my hair just slowly became unhealthy.

As you all know, hair is a woman's crown and glory. We love our hair, it is a part of who we are. We love to change styles and color. We adorn it with bows, clips, headbands, and sometimes we add more hair. Just look at all the hair care products on the market for women. These companies are making a killing! When our hair isn't right, we will hide out in the house until we get it right.

My decision to go natural is tough because, for one, I've had to deal with the negative images of black hair all of my life. I bought in to the nappy hair good hair thing. I am one of those nappy hair girls, my hair would never be classified as "good". Another thing is that my hair is very damaged. It's easy to relax it, or get a nice hair cut and keep it moving. But I'm realizing now that I need to maintain and take care of my hair, not just cover up the damage. That just creates more damage. Lastly, I have very thin hair at the top of my head. I don't know if the damage was caused by all the relaxers or if it was caused by a particular medicine that I was on. I'm not on that medicine any longer, haven't been for a long time, so you would think that the hair would have grown back by now. But it hasn't.

Every day for the past 2 weeks I've been searching the Internet, trying to find ways to make my transition from the relaxer to natural as easy as possible. I was amazed at all the women who blog about their journey to natural, how freeing they all say it is, and how they have begun a love affair with their hair. I love seeing the different styles they create and reading the product reviews. They've given me the courage I need to keep going with this. The one thing they haven't given me the courage to do was the Big Chop or BC as it is affectionately called. I could never cut all the relaxer out. Needless to say, this process has also made me aware that I'm a little more vain than I ever thought I was. :0

I want to thank the women out there in cyber world who are encouraging me to keep going. You don't know how much your posts help a sista like me. Thank you to: Natural Diva, The Coarse Hair Diary, Curly Nikki, and all the others who pour out knowledge in this journey to be natural.

So today, I guess I don't really have a tidbit, or maybe I I find my way to a love affair with my hair, I hope you all out there can find your way too. Be encouraged.

Sweet T

Wednesday, August 12, 2009


Hmmm, interesting question. And if you ask a room full of black women you will most likely get a room full of "Hell Yeah's!" This question is a very tough one for me. The reason why is because I was raised by a black woman who did her thing alone. I was surrounded by black women who made it happen for their kids regardless of the absence of men in their lives. My grandmother, God rest her soul, was the proud mother of 11 children. She did not complete her education, but she worked and took care of her children without the assistance of welfare and unfortunately without the assistance of a man. See, my grandfather left her. To this day, no one really knows why, there is plenty of speculation, but no concrete answers. I've seen those children grow up to be productive adults, not without bumps in the road, but pretty much productive. So on one hand, I feel that yes, a woman can do it without a man.

But then I look at myself. I am the product of a single mother, and as I said, my mom put it down for us. We didn't have a need or want that was not met. But emotionally, I was missing something. I didn't realize until later in life that what I missed was my father. Yeah, I knew who he was, I knew where he lived, and he wrote and called occasionally. I even spent time with him during some summers. So, he wasn't totally absent, but I needed him more than what I got.

I've also had conversations with my friend who did not have his father, and he too feels that he missed a lot not having his father there. I also look at our black boys today. They seem so lost. They don't seem to know what it takes to be a man.

So to answer the question, can we live without men? I don't think we can. Yes, women have come a long way. We run our own businesses, we buy our own homes, we even make more or just as much money as men in the workplace now, but does that mean we can live without men? We've raised our children without men for years, the majority turn out great, but some fall by the wayside. We should not have to raise our kids alone, but we've been left to do so, and we do it. I once heard that there are more fatherless families now than there were during slavery. That to me is outrageous! The fact that fathers were a part of the black family during a time when we were separated based on need, money, trade or whatever, than what they are now is disgusting to me. Think about that. I'm not saying that people who are not happy together should stay together for the sake of the children, because that is another issue, but what I am saying is that we should be able to be adults and if we do break up, don't break up with our children.

Black women today have this thing where we feel we are strong, and honestly we are. I think we have to endure more than any other woman on the planet. We are often heard saying, "I'm a strong black woman", and there is nothing wrong with being proud and strong. But what does that really mean? Do we need to be in a relationship to be happy, no. Do we need a man to survive, no. I think we are strong black women, but I also think that statement can be taken way out of context.

My tidbit for today is: When you are asked whether or not we can live without men really think about that question. I don't think we can live without them just as they can't live without us.

Friday, August 7, 2009


That's what LL said back in the 80's, but I beg to differ today. I can definitely live without the radio today. Remember the days when Hip Hop was making its way into the mainstream, and there were battles against the rappers that stayed on wax and not brought to real life? Remember how LL killed Cool Moe Dee on Mama Said Knock You Out? That was REAL Hip Hop. Remember how Public Enemy always brought us the truth in their lyrics, even with crazy looking Flava Flav up front with that stupid looking clock, asking us if we know what time it is? Remember Salt & Peppa bringing us knowledge on Lets Talk About Sex? Man! Those were the days!

I was definitely what I would call a Hip Hop head back in the day. I loved watching BET, to get my fix of East Coast rappers, and styles of that time. I loved hearing how the rappers flowed. They rapped about things like Adidas, Love, killing other MC's with lyrics, around the way girls, and dancing. Their flow was so tight, that you would recite the lyrics along with the song and at the same time gain some knowledge and black pride. Not only that, you had fun! They smiled in the videos, they danced and most of all the creativity was THE BEST. I wish I would turn my T.V. to BET now!

Now, the so called "rappers" all look alike, sound alike, and it seems that the only thing they can rap about is sex, drugs and killing. Wow! Now, that's what I call creative. NOT! I get in plenty of disagreements with my family about Lil Wayne. They say, he's got swagga, he can flow. I'm like O really? I guess telling a story about how much money you made selling drugs and the millions of woman you've slept with in a different way means you can flow? I beg to differ. Then we have the clones of Lil Wayne. Who are all these dudes that want to wear the dreads, look dirty, pants hanging so low I can see your butt, and rap about the same things that the other dude rapped about yesterday? Why do they all have to have that Autotune mess on their songs now? And by the way, it's not new, Roger Trout did that a long time ago. I can't thank Jay Z enough for D.O.A. (Death of Autotune):"na na na na, hey hey hey goodbye. I know we facin a recession But the music yall makin gonna make it the great depression" No truer words have ever been spoken. Every thing is so gimmicky now, it's ridiculous.

I miss the days of Salt & Peppa "My Mike Sounds Nice", and LL crooning to us as he says "I need Love". Don't get me wrong, I think there are still some rappers that can flow like no other. We still have Jay Z (the greatest), Kanye (the best), Common (so smooth with it), Mos Def (no words), T.I. (what can I say) and Nas (yo, where you at?). Yes, they all speak on some things that I would prefer not to listen to, but you can't deny the flow they all bring. That's what I call SWAGGA!

My son's IPOD is full of songs from back in the day. I am proud to say that I've introduced him to some music that kids his age probably have no clue about. He loves "old school" rap, and I love hearing him recite the lyrics from back in the day. Yeah, he also likes the crap they play on the radio today, but believe me, I sensor it as much as I can. In my car, it gets no play.

Bring back the days when music was good. When music was fun. When rappers were just as arrogant as they are today, but had the lyrics to back it up. I miss BIG. I miss Pac before he started trippin. I miss EPMD, Special Ed, MC Lyte and Queen Latifah. I could go on and on, but I won't. I won't even touch on R&B today, that's a whole other post.

If you all have something from back in the day that you miss, Holla at your girl. I'm feeling like Mary J right now, I want to Reminisce on the love we had.

My Favorites

  • My Son
  • My Family
  • My KD
  • My Friends
  • Kindred Family Soul
  • Eric Roberson
  • Fred Hammond
  • Jill Scott
  • Mary J. Blige
  • Left Behind Series
  • Love Jones
  • Coming to America
  • The Bridges of Madison County
  • The Color Purple
  • The Kite Runner
  • The Wire
  • Boomerrang
  • The Notebook
  • Love and Basketball


"I'm calling out to You, for a strength exchange. I'll gladly take Your Joy, for my weakness"