“I want more Black women to feel beautiful just the way they are”: With inspiration from Mozambique, Ana Paula Xongani’s clothing line focuses on Black beauty

I love this! Uplifting and inspiring.
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Black Women of Brazil

capa

Note from BW of Brazil: If you’ve been following news out of Black Brazil for any amount of time you must’ve noticed that there is a sort of ‘fever’ catching on among Afro-Brazilians. Particularly among entrepreneurs, this fever that continues to spread is leading more and more Afro-Brazilians to stop waiting on a market that seems intent on ignoring their existence, culture and particular tastes, doing for self and tapping into a segment of consumer that is starving to represent with African and Afro-Brazilian styles that proudly show off ancestral origins. Designer Ana Paula Xongani is one of the women leading the charge and judging from the piece below, it’s only a matter time before her business blows up! Much success to you Ana Paula, keep it movin’!!

“I’ve never straightened my hair”, says afro fashion designer

Get to know the story of Ana Paula Xongani, whose clothing brand…

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TOYS: Nigeria’s “‘Queens of Africa” Dolls Are Coming to America

I sure wish these dolls had been around when I was a child…but, better late than never – and that doesn’t mean I can’t still buy some, now!
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GOOD BLACK NEWS

queens of africa doll

article via eurweb.com

Back in 2007, a Nigerian businessman Taofick Okoya struck gold you could say when he founded the “Queens of Africa” doll line with the motto: “Empowering the African girl child.”

The “Queens of Africa” range of dolls highlight various African ethnicities, as well as a variety of African hairstyles (customers may opt for dolls rocking an afro, or alternatively one with braids or braid extensions), reports Forbes.

Okoya’s mission is to spread a message which enforces young black girls their self-esteem, allowing them from an early age to have role models they can relate to. This summer, Okoya and his posse of dolls will travel across several cities in the United States, to meet and greet American clients, while further expanding the Queens of Africa footprint.

‘I got into the doll business by chance. At that time my daughter was young, and I realized she was going through…

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#BlackGirlsRock & Baseball!!!

I might offend some with this, but when have I ever let that stop me from doing or saying something, especially when it’s something positive? Answer: NEVER! With that, I add my voice to the shout that is echoing louder and louder with each passing day… BLACK GIRLS ROCK!!!”
Gawddamn right and FAWK YEAH we do!!! I bought T-shirts reflecting this sentiment for myself, my sisters, and my niece…daily affirmations are a good thing. Also, Saturday, 4th April, marked the birth anniversary of Dr. Maya Angelou. I’m certain she was beaming down on everyone last night!
Of course, there has been the expected backlash from the insecure and self-absorbed who whinge and moan about not being in the limelight for the equivalent of 15 minutes. White women and the legions of men who adore them – and they span the colour-charts, mind you – are up in arms over this celebration of self-affirmation, self-worth, and reclamation of self-esteem based on our own rules, not those which have been thrust upon us by those who are “blinded by the white.” I equate those juvenile responses and behaviour to that of a greedy child who, upon attending another’s birthday party, screeches loudly about the gifts that the celebrant is receiving. Rather than be happy for the other’s day in the sun, they feel the need to bring the desired attention back to themselves – they are the ‘Eric Cartmans’ of the world, to put it bluntly!
I am putting my own colourism aside for the moment and celebrating all of us, from the light-bright ‘Café-au-lait’ to the deep Mahogany and Ebony hues. I, myself, am ‘Cinnamon’ in the winter, darkening to ‘Nutmeg’ in the Summer…I’m spicy! I would say that I’m a ‘Bronzed Bombshell’ all year-round, and my happy hubby would attest to this!   😀
To my golden-skinned mother and niece, and to my ‘chocolate-drop’ sisters, and to all of us around the world…repeat after me…
BLACK GIRLS ROCK!!!!!
Finally, today is the official Opening Day of baseball – I’m ecstatic! First pitch for my Seattle Mariners is at 1:10 p.m. PDT (21:10 GMT) at Safeco Field in Seattle, WA. It is a pretty stadium, no doubt…but I still have fond memories of the Kingdome, which fell on 26 March, 2000. I still have a chunk of concrete from it!

Photo credit: Seattle Post-Intelligencer

With that, I’ll close with the classic song / video celebrating baseball, and some great Seattle Mariners advertisements…enjoy!

Seattle Mariners: “Kyle Seager – Hawt Corner

Seattle Mariners: “Fernando Rodney – Where Does His Arrow Go?”

John Fogerty : “Centerfield

#blackoutday – Friday, 6 March 2015

Image result for #blackoutday

Not sure how I missed this! I love it…I absolutely love it. The feed of images makes me smile with sheer joy! Celebrating our beautiful selves, the way we deserve to…

Of course, the insecure and racist whites have to try to make it about themselves, when it has nothing to do with them. Get over yourselves, already!

 

What Is Empowerment?

During my recent stay in Alaska, I was reading about a fairly new ‘movement’ in the U.S.A. I’m not certain if it is exclusive to this part of the world, but it was a recent topic on a blog I lurk on from time to time. It seems to be a topic that some people have issues with, because the comments section virtually exploded the minute the post was published! I was fascinated with the topic and the reactions to it, so I’ve been doing a little bit of research on this subject: Black Women’s Empowerment, or BWE.

What is BWE? From what I gather, it is a 21st-Century era, ‘neo-women’s liberation movement’ started by and for Black women/Women of Color (WoC) in an effort to move forward in this country and defy the skewed statistics thrown around about the ‘black community’. One way to accomplish this is by placing first focus on personal growth and achievements: health, education, political activity, and community involvement.

The health targets include: Learning about proper diet and exercise, not just settling for cramming greasy, fatty ‘comfort’ or ‘soul’ food down our throats. Learning how to cook with fresh, healthy ingredients. Keeping up with regular physical, dental, and eye checkups. Doing regular breast exams at home. Exploring ‘alternative’ medicines and practices, such as yoga, Tai Chi, chiropractic visits, and even acupuncture and meditation.

Education is crucial, because knowledge is power. However, the U.S.A. has a miserable education system which is nothing more than a propaganda machine geared towards making people into malleable, unquestioning soldiers. If you ask any typical American what they learned in high school history, for example, you will most likely receive this pat answer: “Well, the Pilgrims came over from Europe to escape religious persecution, and like, they almost died but Indians saved them, and then, like, the Indians went away and left the lands to the Pilgrims, and then there was a Revolutionary War so we could, like, gain our independence from the British Empire and we got free, and then there was, like, a Civil War but nobody knows why because, like, it wasn’t about slavery, and slavery wasn’t really bad because, like, Abraham Lincoln freed the slaves so, like, everybody was happy.” There was far, FAR more than that to the history of this country – and others, but I digress! The BWE encourages WoC to further their education beyond high school and above the vocational/technical training that we’re supposed to settle for; instead, we’re encouraged to reach for 4-year college (and higher) degrees – then bring those degrees and that education back to our communities and use them to benefit the next generation. Nothing wrong with that, right? But wait, there’s more…

Political activity: This is self-explanatory. The political structure is one of the constructs utilized to exert power over people and their living situations, and white men and been at the top of that particular chain for some time, with white women sharing the benefits of that imbalanced system. Other groups have melded together to gain their own political sway: gays, Latinos, Native Americans, Jews, etc. – dark-skinned WoC need to become more involved in politics and create our own group separate from men, because male politics have always had a separate agenda from women’s politics – simple as that. We need to get together and raise our voices and be heard. We have just as much of a right to be treated like human beings as every other human being does; until these divisive social constructs are dismantled and studied, it will take a lot of action on our part to start eliminating things that are harmful to us. That action has to start in the communities we live in, wherever they may be.

Community involvement should be easy, but uniting people from diverse backgrounds is nearly always a bumpy road! Yes, WoC come from diverse backgrounds, just like anybody and everybody else – you’re an idiot if you think that we all look, act, or think alike! At any rate, communities should generally focus on things that we all want: affordable housing in a nice neighborhood, free from crime so our children can play safely. Since the police don’t give a shit about crime in our communities, and church officials claim to take action, but do nothing but weep and moan at memorial services, we need to take action on our own against crime. Nobody else is going to do it for us, so we have to be determined and vigilant about what to do. It won’t be easy.

It would be wonderful to shop at a nice farmer’s market where fresh fruits and vegetables can be obtained. Get rid of the strip malls filled with ‘convenience stores’ and fast-food chains and focus on commercial and residential land-purchase opportunities; growing our own food to sell locally, building a sustainable plan and following through. We need to own our own businesses, yes – but we need to support those businesses as well! If people would rather go to Wal-Mart and Target for things, and not support your local mom-and-pop down the road, well…who can you blame for buying shoddy products made in China? You can let your money talk, you know! I, for one, have ‘gone natural’ with my hair by growing dreadlocks, and it feels good – no more buying fake hair from some Korean with a shitty attitude! I buy my own natural, hair-product-making ingredients from New Seasons, but I would gladly buy them from a sister if there were any close by! I’m digressing, though…

Yes, things like this require money and time – but I’d rather try to come up with solutions to problems, not bitch and moan incessantly about what’s wrong! Talking is fine, but sooner or later action needs to be taken, and that’s one of the main issues I see…people would rather talk about things but leave the hard work of problem-solving to others. At any rate, this BWE ‘movement’ seems to suggest the things I’ve mentioned above, and seems to be something that a lot of people would want to get behind, but there is one relatively small aspect of it which has been blown completely out of proportion, much like the burning of bras seem to be what people remember about the women’s liberation movement. This is the thing that has me furrowing my brow in confusion at some times, and laughing my ass off at others, over the comments I’ve seen in cyberspace about it.

See, part of the human condition is the desire (dare I say need?) for companionship. We are all social creatures, even those of us who aren’t afraid of our own company, so being in a relationship with another person can be a rewarding, fulfilling experience. Due to this country’s shameful history, however, relationships with our fellow humanoids can be quite strained – especially the relationship between the pale-skinned people of the ‘caucasian persuasion’ and the dark-skinned people brought here to be their slaves, and who were treated worse than animals for quite some time. Divisions created during the worst event in this country’s history exist prevalently to this day, no matter how many people try to claim otherwise. Slavery’s legacy of hatred and despair cannot be denied. At any rate, part of that legacy, which is a direct descendant of segregation and laws banning ‘miscegnation’ (inter-racial relationships, or IRRs) has many WoC refusing to date or marry any man who doesn’t share her skin tone. Part of the BWE advice seems to be, ‘expand your horizons, ladies – waiting for that perfect man is silly! Go out and find him if you want; if his skin is a different color and/or he’s from a different culture, then who cares – if he treats you right and is good for you, then he’s the one!’ Again, this is a TINY, INFINITESIMAL part of BWE, but from the comments I’ve seen, you’d think it was the only thing that BWE is about. Part of this perception seems to do with the small percentage of BWE advocates who go out of their way to trash brothas, and I don’t agree with that sort of behavior at all. I also can’t stand brothas who trash sistas with vile words and horrid stereotypes – it’s as if they buy into the worst racist bullshite that white people spew about us! Those men have their own ‘movement’, labeled as Black Men Venting, or BMV – they are the other side of the self-hating coin. They bitch and moan about the worst aspects of sistas and verbally attack them any chance they get. These same brothas have a hypocritical stance, much like anyone who makes excuses to justify questionable behavior, because they appear to have no problem dating white women with the negative aspects that they claim are exclusive to sistas – but, that will be a topic for another day. Meanwhile, the angry BWE members bitch and moan about the BMV. Both groups have completely turned their backs on each other and insist that they are worthless and a waste of time, yet they seem to spend a huge amount of time and energy bitching about and at each other – it’s insane!

At any rate, it seems that what many people don’t like about the angry BWE boils down to two things: for one, they advocate WoC not hold out for their ‘king’ to get over his vanilla fantasy, because it won’t happen. A brotha who isn’t with a sista basically doesn’t want to be with one. Period. The world isn’t over because of that! Besides, why worry about who is with who? Worry about your OWN self – that’s the only life you have control over! Secondly, and this might be the most important thing; the BWE ‘movement’ does what brothas have been doing for years, but in reverse: airing their ‘dirty laundry’, so to speak! For years now, brothas have been turning their eyes away from sistas and using the pettiest, most pathetic excuses do to so – so finally, a lot of women have become fed up with it and are giving the gander what he’s given the goose! It’s been brewing for some time, from what I can see. Personally, I find it childish and tiresome: people who are bitter and bent out of shape about things, and can’t learn, grown, and move forward from bad experiences in their lives, really aren’t good relationship material for ANYONE!

Do you know what is really empowering? Being yourself! If you happen to find someone out there who loves you for you, just the way you are, then that’s a bonus to treasure every day of your life…it’s grand!

On a side note, I’d say that this young lady is very much empowered and could care less about what a few ignorant, miserable, hate-filled people say about her hair – she’s a gold medal Olympian, and nobody can take that away from her! Way to go, Gabby! You ROCK…

http://www.nydailynews.com/sports/olympics-2012/london-olympics-2012-gymnastics-champion-gabby-douglas-overcomes-adversity-home-snag-gold-medals-article-1.1128493

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