Why Natural Hair?

Since the launch of a new natural hair movement somewhat reminiscent of the 1970s womanist culture ala Angela Davis, women have begun trading in their weaves and perms for their kinks and curl creams.

The ‘70s movement was motivated by rejecting the White man’s repressive regime, which included the assimilationist hair styles of straight, flowing bobs and ponytails that swayed in the wind.  The movement of the new century is motivated more so by natural health.

Healthy lifestyles have caused Americans and other westerners to move away from chemical-based household, skin and beauty products. Thus, Black women began to question themselves: Why do I continue to douse my hair and scalp with a harsh chemical when in fact “healthy” is the way to go? It’s only natural to go natural, they decided.

So, there you have it. Black women are cutting the chemicals out of their lives: this includes relaxers, heat-based tools and straighteners, hair sprays, sulfate shampoos and paraben-laced conditioners.

So, if none of those are an option, how can a women style her very tightly coiled natural hair and still look presentable for the boardroom, school, weddings and other special events?

Well, it takes a lot more ingenuity. Websites, blogs, vlogs and offline natural hair communities have begun cropping up to support women in creating new Black natural hairstyles.

Black women haven’t had this much fun in years when they get together. They gab about natural hair styling products, the latest doos like frohawks and wash and go styles for short, natural hair. They even host product swap days and natural hair nightlife events to encourage each other to embrace what some may deem a very intimidating lifestyle.

Brackenson and Knowles Launch Natural Hair Website

Brackenson and Knowles Enterprises, LLC (BKE), the company that five years ago gave birth to the online art and culture Christian publication NEWD Magazine commemorates the final day of Women’s Month by launching its brand new online web venture: a natural hair website.

BKE, a company co-owned by Yannick Brackenridge-Jackson and Tiffani Knowles, launched BlackNaturalHairstyles.org on March 31 as a testament to the power that women have when they join forces to honor what is naturally theirs.

You may or may not be surprised to know that the Black hair industry is a very lucrative ethnic-specific industry as it provides women of color an opportunity to express their individuality using weaves to wigs to styling tools to appliances.

Yannick Brackenridge-Jackson and Tiffani Knowles created BlackNaturalHairstyles.org to celebrate the plethora of ways a Black women can style her natural hair. The site boasts styles for short natural hair including mohawks and curly wash and gos as well as for long natural hair including dreadlocks and textured buns. It also recommends tips about straightening natural hair and what every naturalista should have by way of products for natural hair such as tips on trusted natural hair shampoos, natural hair conditioners, styling products and equipment.

Ethiopian Hijacker Claimed May Have Been Mentally Unstable

A grief-stricken, mentally unstable co-pilot hijacked an Ethiopian Airlines jet on Monday on its way from Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa, to Rome and diverted it to Geneva, Switzerland after locking the official pilot out of the cockpit when he went to the bathroom, according to Swiss officials. 

Passenger Francesco Cuomo told Italian news agency ANSA that the hijacker, 31-year-old Hailemedhin Abera, threatened to crash the plane if the pilot did not stop trying to get back into the cockpit. Then, the oxygen masks came down.

Once the plane landed in Switzerland, the hijacker climbed out of the window of the jet’s cockpit using a rope and surrendered to police.

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NEWD Dare of the Week

Be conscious of what you eat, avoid stress, and exercise to keep your heart healthy and pumping.

(Source: newdmagazine.com)

Body+Soul: I Heart You, Heart.

This month we are surrounded by reds and pinks and heart-shaped everything. With all of this, one can’t help but to think about the heart. And what a coincidence – February is American Heart Month*. It’s never too soon to think about the health of our hearts and those of our loved ones.

The heart is a big muscle and pump. Through contracting and dilating of different chambers of the heart, it is able to receive blood and then pumps it out to the rest of your body once it has been oxygenated. With it serving such an important purpose, it’s absolutely necessary that we take care of this precious organ. A healthy diet and lifestyle are essential to heart health. There are dozens of little things you can do to keep your heart in top shape, but we’ll discuss just a few…

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Natural Hairnamix: What Not to Wear…in Your Natural Hair

Beautifully styled hair often requires the use of one hair accessory or another. Natural hair, in order to realize its full styling versatility, needs to be set or held in place with objects that will uphold a particular style. In an effort to do so, care must be taken so as not to compromise the health of your hair. There is a plethora of tools and accessories that naturals use to achieve that drop dead gorgeous hairdo. These range from something as unconventional as an old stocking foot, to something as technical as a Croc Jaw hair clip. 

There should never be a time when you become comfortable with trading your hair’s health for a “cute do.” Stay away from those accessories or styling aids that may cause damage to your edges, roots or strands. Sometimes the item itself is not the cause of the damage but the incorrect way in which it is applied…

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Comcast Hoping to Merge With Time Warner

Comcast Cable, the largest cable company and home Internet service provider in the United States, announced a merger with Time Warner Cable on February 13, displeasing several shareholders and government officials.

One day after the $45 billion all-stock acquisition was announced, shareholder Breffni Barrett Filed in the Supreme Court of New York (read it here) a class-action suit accusing TWC, its chairman and CEO Rob Marcus, former Sen. John Sununu and other members of the company’s board of fattening their pockets while breaching a fiduciary duty.

While it is easy to file an action such as this one, it is very hard to prove that a board acted as badly as Barrett alleges. However, Barrett may have just cause because not only is the merger subject to approval by shareholders from both companies, but also by the Federal Communications Commission and the Department of Justice, which already is observing a conflict with anti-trust law…

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Just Thinking: An Immigrant’s Chronicles

People are shaped by their thoughts, perceptions, experiences and their sources of information.This becomes their reality and whatever they think, believe or perceive is written in stone, engraved, if you will, with an iron pen in the rock forever. This is the foundation of prejudice and stereotyping. 

You become suspicious of anything that disturbs that point of reference and threatens to undermine the world as you have always known it. People who are different from you become scapegoats and easy prey for all that is wrong in your universe and the reason for all your failures and shortcomings.

So whenever you see, hear or read anything that reinforces that attitude you swallow it hook, line and sinker.

Most people are too lazy, lackadaisical or prejudiced to consider or find out another side of the story…

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NEWD Truth of the Week

How do you move past grief and despair?

(Source: newdmagazine.com )

Christian Grammy Nominees Shun 2014 Awards Show

An uber-sexy burlesque routine by Beyonce and her husband, a faux-wedding ceremony performed by “Reverend” Queen Latifah and a Dark Horse witch performance by Katy Perry may have been the cause for famous Christian artists like Mandisa and Natalie Grant to stave off all or some of the 56th Annual Grammy Awards Ceremony on January 26. 

Grant was nominated for Best Gospel/Contemporary Christian Music Performance for “Alive (Mary Magdelene),” a song she wrote with her husband Bernie Helms, as well as Best Contemporary Christian Music Song for her chart-topping “Hurricane.”

Grant and her husband went to the Grammys to represent the gospel music industry along with other Grammy nominees like Tye Tribbett, Toby Mac and Deitrick Haddon, yet stated on her Facebook page that they checked out of the party before it was finished…

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Natural Hairnamix: The Froward Approach

The Afro dates wayyy back but became really popular in the mid ’60s. During the era when disco music, bell bottoms and chunky heels were in trend, the Afro hairstyle became the fashion statement that validated one’s fashion forwardness. The Afro, sometimes referred to as a “fro,” is a hairstyle worn naturally, usually by individuals with kinky or curly hair. The hairstyle is usually created by combing the hair away from the scalp in an upward and outward motion. The hair usually takes on a rounded shape and varies in height and length. 

Two decades later, women began to move away from the “fro” fad and traded them in for chemically-processed hairstyles such as relaxers and perms. Women were no longer very comfortable wearing their natural hair and for a very long time only a small minority of women wore their hair that way.

Fast forward to today. Natural hair has begun to gain popularity in the hairstyling realm as there is again a rise in the number of women who are deciding to embrace their “natural roots…”

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Body+Soul: Sprains and Strains

At some point in your life, either you or someone you know has experienced a strain or sprain.  From playing rough and tumble sports to walking in a pair of fierce high-heels – there are half a dozen ways in which we can sustain such injuries.  For simple sprains and strains, there are plenty of things we can do at home to help ease the discomfort and aid the healing process. 

More often than not, people are unsure of the difference between the two injuries.  See if this helps:

A sprain is an injury to the ligaments around a joint, usually through a twisting (or wrenching) motion. It can be due to a fall or stepping on uneven surface.

A strain is an injury to the muscle itself.  This can be due to excessive use or stretching of a muscle or tendon…

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Just Thinking: Deep Despair

A man posed the following question to Joyce Meyer, author of the book, Enjoying Everyday Life.

“My wife has asked me for a divorce. I have lost my job. My savings are almost depleted and there are no job prospects in sight. How can I find contentment?”

An intriguing inquiry, and immediately I started reflecting about this idea of contentment.

Since evil is rampant and iniquity abounds, this world is not prone to happiness

Where it does exist, it is at best brief, fleeting and not permanent.

Without effort or thought everyday of our lives, there is something with the potential to make us discontent.

We live in a fallen state where we are always inclined to see and recognize everything that is wrong and negative. So happiness is not a privilege nor a right. We must pursue it. We have been admonished, “Ask and it shall be given, seek and ye shall find, knock and it shall be opened unto you…”

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The Seahawks-Broncos Upset: Is Prayer The Culprit?

The Seattle Seahawks’ Super Bowl win was a shock to many.

1.       Their city has seemed to be cursed for the past decade when it comes to professional sports. And their weather may have something to do with it.

2.       Seattle ranks as one of America’s most secular city based on a Barna Study in 2013, precisely labeled as #13 on the Post-Christian list. So, God’s favor didn’t seem likely.

3.       Their quarterback is practically post-adolescent at 25 years old and he went up against the league’s greatest quarterback Peyton Manning.

And yet, while everyone’s jaw was on the ground and their hands were clutching their heads, the Seahawks would sweep the board for a 43-8 victory over one of the classiest NFL teams the Denver Broncos.

So, how exactly did this young, hungry, zealous team completely dwarf a team that has suffered only six losing seasons in 35 years, have won seven AFC Championships and two Super Bowls, and have four players in the Pro Football Hall of Fame?

Well, there are some theories floating around the blogosphere. Well, really just one theory…

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NEWD Dare of the Week

Demonstrate love with your actions. Don’t merely say you care, show it.

(Source: newdmagazine.com)