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Campus Contributor | @CurlyInCollege
#BlackOnCampus

#BlackOnCampus

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.

Winterize Your Hair Regimen

Winterize Your Hair Regimen

As the temperatures cool, leaves change colors, and shorts and tanks are substituted for jumpers and jeans, experienced naturalistas everywhere are gearing up for their cold-weather hair regimens. We all know that the cold weather makes our skin look dry and lack-lustre, but did you know that a similar phenomenon happens with our hair? To be quite honest, combating dry, dull hair in the winter is easy. The secret? Moisture.

Moisturizing the hair always seems more of a chore than a necessity, because let’s face it, laziness is too real and sometimes our hair just doesn’t want to retain moisture due to either the elements, color treatments, heat damage, or even wrong product usage.

Unfortunately, figuring out a regimen with products that work is the hardest part, however, follow these tips to winterize your hair regimen on a budget.

STEP 1: Cleansing the hair
Now whether this is with a co-wash once a week and a shampoo once a month (or any other washing method), what I can say is that you want to reach for shampoos, conditioners, and co-washes that are free of sulfates and parabens. Sulfates and parabens have a tendency to strip (or even over strip) the hair of its natural oils causing the hair to feel even drier and aid in breakage.

Instead, reach for those that have moisturizing agents in them. Some inexpensive products to try that I like are Suave Naturals Almond and Shea Butter Shampoo and Conditioner (retails for under $3), Herbal Essences Hello Hydration Shampoo & Conditioner (retails for under $4), As I Am Coconut Cowash (retails for about $7), Eden Bodyworks Coconut Shea Cowash (retails for about $9), and Organix Coconut Milk S/C or Moraccan Argon Oil S/C (retails under $8).

STEP 2: Deep Conditioning
This is the most fun part because creativity really comes in handy. A good deep condition to the hair really penetrates and rejuvenates dry, brittle, or otherwise “thirsty” strands. The best part about this is you can find ingredients to make your own in your kitchen, and tailor your recipe to what your hair needs. A simple recipe for a deep conditioner with all the benefits is as follows:
2 parts conditioner (acts as the base, adds slip)
3 Tbs. Mayonnaise (gives your hair a protein boost)
1.5 Tbs. Honey (is a humectant, which means it draws moisture to your hair)
3 tsp. Oil (moisturizing/sealing agent)
Egg (gives your hair a protein boost)

TIP 1: Hot Oil Treatment
I know that this can sound a little jaded, but doing a hot oil treatment gives your hair that extra boost of moisture-locking protection. If you do this before the shampoo, is disallows the shampoo to strip too much oil from the hair, and similarly, if done after the shampoo, it allows you to seal in any moisture that the conditioner left behind.

TIP 2: Steaming
Avoid that shower cap! When you shower, throw your hair up into a bun and allow the steam to work its magic. This probably sounds the most bizarre, but this little step does wonders. Steam is moist heat as opposed to dry heat and creates a humid environment for the hair, which is optimal for the absorption of moisture. It also promotes elasticity and strength, while enhancing your curl pattern by promoting clumping without sacrificing volume, and the best part is, it is completely free!

STEP 3: Moisturizing
This step is the most crucial. There are different methods to try, so finding a method and products that work for you will take trial and error, but what I can suggest is doing a method that is referred to as the L.O.C method (Leave-in, Oil, Cream). Essentially, you want to use a leave-in conditioner, oil of your choosing or a butter like shea or mango butter, and a creamy styler or gel (if you would like). During the colder months, it is almost imperative to use a thicker moisturizer no matter you hair texture. This will seal in the moisture and really keep your hair soft.
Some inexpensive leave-ins are Cantu Shea Butter (< $5), Giovanni’s Direct Leave In (< $6), and Elasta QP Leave In (< $5). As for the oils, any oil that works well with your hair is fine.

TIP 3: Protective Styling
Wearing your hair in a protective style shields your ends — and whatever else is protected — from the biting winds and chilly atmosphere. Wearing your hair in low-manipulation styles not only allows your hair to take a break, but it also aids in length retention. A style can be so varied too from crochet braids, to weaves, wigs, twists/braids, up-dos and sleek buns, the possibilities are endless.

Have fun with your hair, but don’t forget to moisturize!

Bye Bye Summer, Hello Fall!

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. Some teenagers will look at a Bitcoin Prime review and see if they can use their monthly budget to start investing but this is a long-term project, not one that’s going to be profitable as soon as they set it up. 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”

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

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.