Valentine’s Day is right around the corner! If you have last minute plans and are not sure what to wear I have some cute looks to help inspire your Valentine’s Day outfit.
1. If you want a cute but comfortable look, try a sweater dress paired with some colorful tights! This look can be completed with a heel boot.
2. If you desire a more elegant look, try a long panted jumpsuit with a pair of chunky heels. To take this look a step further, play around with bold patterns for a pop.
3. Speaking of patterns, try a flirty mini skirt with patterns like floral or plaid. If you add a turtle neck and some thigh high boots this look will be sealed!
4. If you really want to make a statement, try a tulle skirt! They come in a wide range of colors. If you want to “pump” it up, add a fur coat and a pair of pumps!
Remember that you do not have to wear red or pink. Personally, I’m not a fan of wearing those colors. Instead, I settle for blush or burgundy. Either way, confidence is what will seal your outfit. Make sure that you feel good, if you aren’t confident in your outfit it probably will show. However, don’t be scared to be bold!
American history is rooted in a culture that dehumanizes people of color. Throughout history, African-Americans have had to fight for their rights. From slavery to MLK, and now black lives matter; movements have been essential in the progress of equality for African-American lives. Today, in 2016, we are still fighting for human rights and so the question arises: why are we still fighting?
If you look at ladies such as Dorothy Height, Mary McLeod Bethune, Nina Simone, Rosa Parks or Ella Baker and compare them to others such as Laverne Cox, Amandla Stenberg, Bree Newsome, Michelle Alexander, Alicia Garza, Opal Tometi, and Patrisse Cullors you will notice that although times have changed, our desire for freedom has not. As Ella Baker once said, “Until the killing of black men, black mothers’ sons, becomes as important to the rest of the country as the killings of a white mother’s son, we who believe in freedom cannot rest until this happens.”
Black woman have played a prominent role in the advancement of black lives and culture. For instance Nina Simone, a civil rights singer, created music that addressed the Birmingham bombing, the assassination of Medgar Evers, and Martin Luther King Jr. Dorothy Height, the former president of the National Council of Negro Women, was an activist for black women, demanding that there be an increase in opportunities. We can not forget Rosa Parks, who refused to offer her seat to a white passenger on the bus thus leading a reform in segregation through the organization of boycotts. There was also Mary McLeod Bethune who was the president of the Florida chapter of the National Association of Colored Women. She served as the advisor of minority affairs for President Roosevelt, started the National Council of Negro Women and was the director of the Division of Negro Affairs of the National Youth Administration to help the youth find job opportunities, especially black young adults. Lastly, Ella Baker who organized the Young Negroes Cooperative League in NYC, was the national director of the NAACP, and was a part of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee.
Currently, black woman are still pushing for black lives. Alicia Garza, Opal Tometi, and Patrisse Cullors have started a movement in the black community called Black Lives Matter. Laverne Cox has become an advocate for black transgender lives; her document Free Cece, has addressed issues within the black and Trans community. Amandla Stenberg has become a very important voice for the black youth. She is a black feminist, who also happens to be an actor from Hunger Games, calls out culture appropriation and discontinues Eurocentric beauty standards. Stenberg has even asked, “As culture shifts and racial tensions are tested through the vehicle of the #BlackLivesMatter movement, it is important to question: Do female black lives matter too?” Bree Newsome is another courageous lady; she climbed up a pole to remove the confederate flag before being arrested. Newsome has shed light on the racist culture associated with the confederate flag and why we should not stop until it is removed permanently. Michelle Alexander shed light on the cruelties and harsh realities of the justice system and how it has impacted the African-American community. Her book, the New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness, explores how the government disproportionately and wrongfully treats black men.
A huge difference between the civil rights movement and black lives matter movement is social media. We live in an era where our phones are constantly in our hands; thus we hold the power of media at our fingertips. Black lives matter was started by Alicia Garza, Opal Tometi, and Patrisse Cullors after the acquittal of George Zimmerman for the murder of Trayvon Martin. This movement is meant to fight against violence towards the African-American community. Likewise, the civil rights movement was meant to end segregation and discrimination towards black individuals.
Thankfully the help of social media, has allowed us to expand the ways in which we fight for our rights. Recordings of violent acts spread like wild fire; just like black encouragement and self-love takes over social media. Hashtags such as #BlackLivesMatter, #BlackGirlMagic, #blackout, #MelaninGirls, and #MelaninMonday flood the internet. If you were to type any of these hashtags and search them on Twitter, Tumblr, Instagram or any other social media platform then you will find images, words of encouragement or injustice within the black community. “Black Twitter” has become a way for the black community to band together online and form unity to speak out against any injustices that we face. This current movement is fighting for freedom and to end mental segregation. As Nina Simone once said, “’Free’ is just a feeling. It’s just a feeling. It’s like how do you tell somebody how it feels to be in love.” Therefore, we will not stop fighting until we feel free.
“Whether you transition or do the big chop it’s not going to come quick.” says Faith Lumbus first year student at the University of Cincinnati. Although she is currently undecided, she hopes to major in social work with a minor in criminal justice.
After her mother refused to pay for another perm, Lumbus was forced to go natural. She spent about a year transitioning, and has been natural for a little under a year. When asked how she felt about her mother’s decision to stop paying for perms she said, “I’m really glad she made me do that, because it made me be able to take care of my hair and learn about my hair and myself.”
Lumbus’ favorite hair product is Cantu Shea Butter Coconut Curling Cream. She also uses Cantu Shea Butter Conditioner Repair Cream, Camille Rose Natural Curl Love Moisture Milk, Ecostyler gel, and when asked about shampoo she laughed before saying, “I am currently seeking some sulfate free shampoo products.”
Lumbus’ go to hair style is a flat twist with a side part. Her hair inspo is Aaliyah Greer (pictured above), @Hazel_Goddesss on Instagram. Faith has been following her journey and loves the advice that she gives. She claims that it has helped her with her own journey.
When asked what advice she’d give to a new naturalista she replied, “Don’t try to compare your hair to other people’s, you have to learn how to understand your hair type and don’t assume that just because a product works for somebody else it’ll work for you. It takes a lot of patience, whether you transition or do the big chop it’s not going to come quick.”
Tis the holiday season! You might have last minute shopping to do and have absolutely no idea what to get your naturalista. Here’s my gift to you, a gift guide to minimize the holiday stress when it comes to gifting your curly haired friend or family member.
1. Decorative bobby pins or clips
You cannot go wrong with a beautiful hair accessory like these from Elle’s line at Ulta. These make for the perfect touch to almost any hairstyle whether it’s a wash and go or a twist-out.
2. Kinky Curly Gift Set
This Kinky Curly gift set from Curlmart is perfect for winter. This time of the year, hair can become dry and brittle without proper care. Curlmart’s gift set is the perfect winter concoction; it was designed to lock in moisture while the tempetures are cold.
Headwraps are the perfect protective style for the winter. The Wrap Life provides a wide range of wraps coming in many different patterns and colors. There’s also an array of video tutorials on the website, as t the many different ways you can tie up your scarf. Wraps not only will protect a naturalista’s hair, but it’ll also keep her head warm during the winter!
4. Satin Pillowcase
A natural hair must! A satin pillowcase will protect any naturalista’s hair throughout the night. Natural Hair Shop has a nice selection of colors to choose from that any naturalista will appreciate.
5. Naturalista T-shirt Dearnaturalista has the perfect t-shirts for naturalista’s. The t-shirts boast phrases such as “DON’T TOUCH THE HAIR” or “BIG HAIR BIG DREAMS.”. This gift will be great for any naturalista; you simply cannot go wrong with a t-shirt.
Once again, winter is approaching and that means that hair is at risk for becoming dry. Why not buy conditioner? Whether you know your naturalista’s favorite conditioner or not Target has an abundant supply or hair products made specifically for African American hair. Find the African American hair aisle and have a ball!
7. Oils, Oils and more oils!
Coconut, lavender, chamomile, rosemary, tea tree, and many more oil options! I’m sure any naturalista would appreciate some oil for their hair. Just be sure to look into the benefits of the oils before you gift this gift. You would not want to buy your naturalista myrrh oil if he has extremely oily hair.
8. Curlformers Hair Flair’s Curlformers are a good way to achieve curls without heat. The Curlformers come in an array of sizes and types of curls.
9. Bobby pins
Naturalistas go through a lot of bobby pins, so why not buy them more? You can never have too many bobby pins! Sally’s beauty supply is a good place to go for some quality level bobby pins.
Another “can’t go wrong,” gel would be well appreciated. More specifically Eco Styler gel. It is affordable, plus there are multiple kinds to meet different styling needs!