By now many of us have heard about the recent events unfolding on the campus of the University of Missouri.  The racial injustice, protests, resignations, and now a movement across college campuses.  So to get to the present we must look at the past.

The population of Mizzou is predominately white institution (PWI) with about 79% white and 8% black undergrad.  Recently there has been numerous accounts of blacks being hurled racial slurs and a swastika drawn in feces in a dorm bathroom.  One graduate student, Jonathan Butler, took it upon his self to standup against these injustices.  On November 2nd he began his hunger strike to call for the removal of the University of Missouri’s system president, Tim Wolfe.  On the 8th, head football coach Gary Pinkel, via twitter, along side 30 black athletes expressed their unity by tweeting: “The Mizzou Family stands as one. We are united. We are behind our players.”Practice and other team activities for Sunday were canceled .

Tim Wolfe, who was hired in 2011 resigned on November 9th.

In the aftermath of Wolfe’s resignation threats against black students have been made, forcing an evacuation of black students.  One bully, who made threats against killing “Every black person [he] sees, was caught yesterday.  These protests and threats have sparked other institutions to stand by Mizzou.  Many students coming out and expressing their fears and concerns about their safety on campuses.  Today students are wearing all black to support the #BlackOnCampus movement and to show their support.

Even today we hear of the news of threats against Howard University students.  One anonymous post on a web forum last night prompted the university to increase security.

Many have wondered why target blacks? Why at college? Am I next? Why now? The anger and outrage that is being felt is not just because of today or Mizzou, but the from the summer of police brutality, a year of countless unsolved black murders, and a lifetime of discrimination.

Bye Bye Summer, Hello Fall!

Soon most of us will be waving goodbye to the hot summer days and care free nights. Now we have to get ready to go back to school and start thinking about that Thanksgiving turkey (or at least that is what I will be thinking about)!  Summer break is a time of reflection and that is just what we are going to do.

The summer of 2015 seemed so much different than others, and yes I used past tense.  Even though the summer is not officially over we need to get in the mind set that it is, if not when it actually is over we be overwhelmed.  We must prepare ourselves for the mental exhaustion and exploration of college.

Every summer there are those goals of losing weight, taking amazing Insta photos, traveling the world, and spending all the time you can with your friends before you have to hit the books in the fall.  But how many of us really truly ever achieve all of our summer expectations?  We want to do all these things and more but as most of us have realized there is not enough time and defiantly not enough money!  Not enough time to watch The Bachelorette season finale, see J. Cole in concert, or travel to Afro Punk!  Oh and I forgot to factor in that summer job that will occupy your time for probably 40 hours a week.  As teenagers and young adults we think it is possible to do everything, but as we see over and over again it is not.  This applies to college as well; we have the book reports, bio lab hours, math tutoring, computer assignments, and don’t forget about your friends, parties, campus events, eating, and going to class! Just thinking about this is tiring.

There are so many things that we didn’t get to do that looms over as we settle into this new fall semester.  But don’t get down because August and September are a new start where we can focus on new goals inside and outside the classroom.  Maybe you want a 4.0 your first semester or make a lot of new friends, but what ever it may be just know that there is alway next semester and another 3 years to achieve those goals.

Whether you are a freshman, returning student, or thinking about college just know that college is an amazing time.  This is the time where you finally get to find what you like and to figure out who you are.  There are no teachers telling you what to do and no parents to ground you, but this doesn’t mean to go crazy and slack off.  This is when you prove to yourself, your parents, and the doubters that you can make it on your own and be a responsible adult.  So out there, into the real world of college and find ur niche! And don’t forget while you are getting all those A’s … HAVE FUN!

If you could go back, what would you have done with just one extra hour each day over the summer? Maybe you would have watched one more episode of “A different world”on Netflix,  hung out with our friends for a hour longer, or took the oh so needed hour nap?


The “Haitian Problem”

Every year most households participate in spring cleaning, getting rid of the trash and making sure everything is spotless and to their liking.  Well the Dominican Republic decided it was time to get rid of the Haitians and do some ‘spring cleaning’ of its own.  In September of 2013, the highest court of the Dominican Republic ruled that persons born after 1929 with at least one Dominican parent were granted citizenship.

The whole act of cleansing did not surprise me.  The Dominican Republic takes pride in its ability to be a major tourist attraction, but I guess now they can no longer function with the growing numbers of Haitian ‘immigrants’ therefore decided to dispose and deport them back to Haiti.  While hearing this story my mind raised many questions.  Why now?  How are they defining cleansing?  Who is an immigrant?  None of this really made sense to me.  The Dominican Republic and Haiti are so close to each other, why implement this now?  The definition of an ethnic cleanse is the forced removal of an ethnic group from a specific area by a more powerful group in order to obtain a homogenous population .  Usually for historical event, this cleansing leads to the deaths of many.  Something else that struck my attention is the deportation of those who were born in the DR before 1929 and those born to parents of Haitian decent had to be deported even thought that is their birth place.

This all should sound very familiar.  The 1838-39’s Trail of Tears, the mass forced migration of the Cherrokee Native Americans as part of the Indian Removal Act lead by Andrew Jackson, who said there was an “Indian Problem”.  Ultimately thousands of Native Americans died on the journey.  The 1994 Rwandan Genocide is very similar to what the Dominican Republic is doing.  Rwanda’s great ethnic battle between the Hutu and Tutsi and the battle for control.  Now Genocide is very different from cleansing but one thing makes these synonymous, the way in which one ethnic group sees fit that another ethnic group is not worthy or entitled to the land in which they live on and even born on; and in some cases ethnic cleansing can can cause a genocide.

Now lets compare the two events.

In Rwanda the Tutsi thought that they should be in control because they had more european features known to be from Ethiopian decent which were the chosen people of God, this idea was also reaffirmed by the German and Belgium rulers.  The Tutsi began to kill Hutus and in retaliation vis versa.  There where identification cards which classified each person into a group, Hutu or Tutsi.  These classifications were not always based on factual heritage but often times off of aesthetics.  One with a large nose bridge may be considered Hutu verses someone with a small bridge who would be classified as Tutsi.  The media coverage on this issue was very controlled and most information was not known to the public until after the horrific tragedy.

Dominican Republic also has government issued identification cards which tell if a person if Haitian or Dominican.  Many “immigrants” that had at least one Dominican parent and born after 1929 were still denied citizenship simply because of their skin tone, name, or Haitian features.  Many Haitians born in the DR have never stepped foot on Haitian soil and fear the unknown.  The mainstream news has not covered this topic intensely but keeping all information very light and contained.

What are we being protected from? In most cases when the media does not cover an issue the government is trying to spare us something, but what do these events contain that they feel we need to be unaware of?  Every day on the news a new story about a shooting, killing, robbery, and arrest; war, global affairs, and presidential candidates.  Why not the mass removal and deportation of Haitians? Who decides that this issue is not important enough to focus on?  So now I ask you, have you heard about the Haitian deportation and ethnic cleansing?  What do you want to know?  and How do you feel about the lack of information presented on such serious issue?

Hero Bree

Brittany ‘Bree’ Newsome, is a 30 year old activist, who scaled the flagpole in front of the South Carolina Statehouse and removed the confederate flag. This event occurred on Saturday June 27. It comes 10 days after the shooting of the 9 churchgoers at Charleston’s historically black church, Emanuel AME Church. Much concern about the fate of the Confederate flag comes after South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley (R) expressed her support for removing the flag from the State capitol on Monday June 22.

For Bree, the removal of the flag did not come soon enough, “I refuse to be ruled by fear. How can America be free and be ruled by fear? How can anyone be?” Bree and others were fed up. Bree is from North Carolina and apart of a multiracial activist group who wanted an immediate removal of the flag. This would be both an act of civil disobedience and demonstration of how working together creates change. Ms. Newsome was not the only one arrested, along with her were a man and a woman, the man James Ian Tyson(30) is facing same charges as Newsome. Both could be facing up to three years in prison and up to $5,000 fine. The authorities ordered Ms. Newsome down from the flag poll after she was only half way up but she continued to climb the flag pole and remove the flag. After coming down Bree was very cooperative with the police reciting “The Lord is my light and my salvation — whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life — of whom shall I be afraid?” Psalm 27.

Unfortunately the confederate flag was put up 45 mins later. A pro confederate flag rally was scheduled for the later that evening. But for a lot of people there is confusion as to why the flag should be removed, Bree says she “removed the flag not only in defiance of those who enslaved my ancestors in the southern United States, but also in defiance of the oppression that continues against black people globally in 2015, including the ongoing ethnic cleansing in the Dominican Republic. I did it in solidarity with the South African students who toppled a statue of the white supremacist, colonialist Cecil Rhodes. I did it for all the fierce black women on the front lines of the movement and for all the little black girls who are watching us. I did it because I am free.”

Bree says that “the history of the South is also in many ways complex and full of inconvenient truths. But in order to move into the future we must reckon with the past.” Bree’s message advises us to learn from our past mistakes as catalyst for new ideas of change. Everywhere across America things are happening but only as a result of us trying to resist the past and just start a new. The past was just that ,the past; but if it is not thought about, brought up, and analyzed then more June 17th, protest, and innocent people will continue to be killed because of the color of their skin.

For the full interview with Brittany ‘Bree’ Newsome check out Blue Nation‘s one-on-one with the activist.

Love Won on June 26th

The subject of who can love who or who is allowed to love who has alway been an issue in our society. Are blacks allowed to marry whites? Are men allowed to marry men? and Are women allowed to marry women? Stipulations on love and relationships are written in our constitution. On Friday June 26 the Supreme Court ruled that Americans can legally, with out sexual orientation or gender bias, marry who they love.

This decision by the Supreme Court overturned the 1993 Defense of Marriage Act, which states same- sex couples whose marriages are recognized by their home state are prevented from receiving benefits that are available to other married couples under the U.S federal law. Under the 14 amendment states must recognized same-sex unions that have been legally aknowledged in other states and grant marriage licenses to same- sex couples.

To memorialize this great new victory hundreds of thousands people took to the streets in support of Friday’s Supreme Court decision on Sunday. Streets were filled San Francisco, Chicago, and New York City in jubilation for this new historic milestone in the gay rights. Similar parades happening around the world as well. Many believe the decision made on Friday is a catalyst for marriage equality everywhere.

While there is much to be celebrated in the black community there is still a whisper or silence on the issue of homosexuality and same-sex couples. Often times in the black community homosexuality has been looked at as a sort of taboo. It is simply something that hasn’t really been discussed. On ABC’s family show Black-ish a black family lives in the suburbs and the father must inform his family of the ways of blacks. Check out this episode where the father, Dre, talks about how black people don’t talk about their gay relatives.

It isn’t only the fact that the black community does not talk about it but it is also a problem in church. Just as most churches do not agree with homosexuality, some black churches feel like it is against their religion to be with someone of the same sex. Churches and religion have been such a strong staple in the black community and a model for life. In the recent decision many black preachers have come out to express their outrage on this issue.

Now we are forcing this issue to be talked about. It isn’t something that can be swept under the rug – but brought to light. We can only hope that this new decision will open hearts, eyes, and minds and to mend relationships, and celebrate the start of new ones.

The Makings Of A Perfect Wash Day

Wash Day, we all have to do it but seriously does it have to consume our day?  We wash, finger detangle, rinse, condition, comb through, rinse, and finally apply product. Sound familiar?

Whether you pre-poo or dive right into washing your hair; or you have short hair or long hair. Wash day can literally take over your entire day, so clear your plans and get ready to spend some one-on-one time with your curls!  Most routines are pretty standard and easy but remain time consiming.  Here we want to talk about how to simplify your routine so you can get back to loving your natural hair.

First step-Shampoo: We want to start off with the right shampoo for your hair.  This can often be a struggle because there are so many great shampoos for natural hair.  Some shampoos have sulfates and some do not, it is all about your personal preference and what you want to put in your hair.  So to help in the process of picking shampoos here are a couple popular shampoos for curly natural hair:

  • Carol’s Daughter Monoi oil shampoo
  • Giovanni Smooth As Silk Deep Moisture Shampoo
  • Kinky Curly Come Clean shampoo

Often times after washing your hair, your hair seems a little dry so to get some moisture back into your hair lets add some conditioner.

Second step- Condition:  Conditioner should be a curly girl’s BEST friend.  You can never have too much conditioner! whether your are using it as a leave in, co-wash, or as a follow up to your shampoo; conditioner is a hair saver.  So enough about how great conditioner is – lets get to some facts…

Conditioner softens and smooths your hair to make it easier to comb and detangle while keeping those gorgeous strands intact and not allowing breakage which prevents or lessens damage.

Moisture, Moisture, Moisture! Moisture is what your hair needs to keep it healthy and that is exactly what conditioner does; keeps the strands and ends moisturized.

The best part of all, conditioner leaves your hair shinny and silky unlike clarifying shampoo.  Now through trial and error you can decide what conditioner works best for you but here are a couple favorites:

  • Jane Carter Nutrient Replenishing Conditioner
  • Shea Moisture Raw Shea butter restorative Conditioner
  • Aussie Moist Conditioner
  • TRESemme’ Naturals moisturizing conditioner

The fun part begins, adding product.  This is where even more trial and error comes into play (notice a theme? lol).  It’s time to add your leave-in.

Third step- Leave- in conditioner:   I know we just talked about how great conditioner was so what is the difference?  Conditioner is to add moisture into the hair after it has been stripped by the use of shampoo.  You also wash (most) conditioners out of your hair after using. Leave- in conditioner is a leave in, there is no rinsing involved.  Leave-in can also be used as a styling product.  With leave-in conditioner it is there to keep and lock in the moisture and to prevent the breakage from everyday styling.

There is no such thing as too much moisture so use all the leave- in you want!  Just to give some suggestions, here are some great leave- ins:

  • Kinky Curly Knot today
  • Cantu Shea butter leave-in conditioning cream
  • Camille Rose Curl Love Moisture milk
  • Miss Jessie’s Leave In Condish

A lot has been said about how amazing and wonderful conditioner is but now lets talk about the tools you need to detangle and get all kinks and knots out.

Essential tools:  All the talk has been about which products to use in your hair.  These tools will help your curls bounce and make it easier to style and protect your hair.  Here are some things that maybe useful to you on wash day:

  • Wide tooth comb
  • Denman brush
  • Diffuser
  • Satin pillowcase or cap

Want to know what products Solange uses and styles her hair? In this great interview with Garance Dore we learn about Solange’s hair care regimen.

The Curly Chronicles will continue. Stay tuned!

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Resurrected Violence in Charleston

June 17,2015 is a day that most people will never forget and we now know as the historic Emanuel AME Church shooting, that killed 9 people.  A gunman, Dylan Roof, opened fire on a prayer fellowship around 8:00pm.  Oddly enough June 17, 1822 was the day that made this church so historic.  Nearly 200 years ago this same church, Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church, was burned down.  The founder of this church, Denmark Vesey was hanged for allegedly organizing a revolt against slaveholders.  Now on the 193 anniversary blacks at this very same church have been executed.

Roof was caught in Shelby North Carolina on Thursday June 18.  President Obama made a statement on Thursday, calling the horrible killings “senseless murders”, and using this as an example to bring up the issue of gun laws.  He brings the case of how too many times religion & places of religious practice have been sites of violence.  Black churches in particular have seen their fair share of violence, the Birmingham bombings that killed 4 little girls 50 years ago. It is sad to see the history repeating itself, as humans we evolve but yet our hatred remains.

Now we are left with 9 souls murdered and a great deal of grief; Rev. Clementa Pickney, 41, Cynthia Hurd, 54, Sharonda Coleman-Singleton,45, Tywanza Sanders,26, Myra Thompson, 59, Ethel Lee Lance,70, Susie Jackson,87, Daniel Simmons, 74, and Depayne Middleton Doctor,49 are the innocently murdered victims. So we must remember the words of Dr. Martin Luther King “They say to us that we must be concerned not merely with who murdered them but about the system, the way of life, philosophy which produced the murders. Their death says to us that we must work passionately and unrelentingly for the realization of the American Dream”.

Meet The Interns: Chloe Pearson

Name, College, and graduation year

My name is Chloe Pearson I attend East Carolina University with a graduation date of 2018.

When did you go natural? Did you big chop or transition?

I have been natural my whole life but about five years ago decided to embrace my curls.

What was the one deciding factor that made you go natural?

In middle school I started wearing my hair straight, so I would get my hair done every week. With my hair texture it is hard for my hair to stay straight it always wants to revert at the roots and ends. I was involved in dance at the time and often sweated out my hair. I was tired of my weekly routine and decided to try something new going into high school.

How has your perception about yourself, and others, changed since you’ve been natural?

My perception of myself hasn’t really changed, I have notice that I tend to be more confident when I where my hair out whereas when I first began to go where my hair out I was self-conscious about what others would think. My perception of others isn’t influenced by my hair choice.

Have people approached or treated you differently with natural hair?

I get a lot of stares from people at my hair and occasionally random people touch without asking. People always give more complements when my hair is straight, and maybe that is because I don’t straighten it very often.

What is your favorite part of your hair routine?

Detangling my hair while washing or co-washing is my absolute favorite part of my hair routine.

What are your top 3 must have hair products?

I love, love, love Carol’s Daughter products and use them religiously. My hair needs moisture but not products that are too heavy and leave it overly saturated. My must haves are Coconut oil, Carol’s daughter’s Tui leave- in conditioner spray (mixed with Carol’s daughter hair milk), and Lottabody’s Moisture Me: Curl and Style milk. I guess that is four but I mix my leave in spray with hair milk into one to make a more moisturizing spay.

What are your top 3 favorite hair tools?

My Denman brush (modified) and wide tooth comb are my essentials, curl formers come in handy when I want to curl with no heat.

Who is your current #MCM and #WCW?

Lately my #MCM has been Broderick Hunter. My #WCW is SZA her HAIR!!! But I also love her music and she seems to have this amazing spirit.

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