Recent Articles

Military’s ban on nappy hair

African American female service members comprise the highest percentage of women in the military. And with these sister servicewomen enlisting in the military at higher rates than their White, Asian and Latina sisters to serve and die for our country, the last thing the military should be squawking about is our hair. In March the Army released an updated policy on appearance and grooming, titled ”AR 670-1,” limiting or banning hairstyles — braids, twists, cornrows, and dreadlocks — inimitable to African American women. The Congressional Black Caucus outraged sent a letter to Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel stating ”that the Army policy’s language was ‘offensive’ and ‘biased.”

While many sisters today might use a hot comb on their hair, hot combs (also called straightening combs) were around in the 1880’s, sold in Sears and Bloomingdale’s catalogs to a predominately White female clientele. Madam C.J. Walker, the first African American millionaire for her inventions of Black hair products, didn’t invent the hot comb; she popularized its use by remedying the perceived ”curse” of nappy hair with her hair-straightening products that continues to this day to bring comfort to many Black women. Continue Reading →

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Cultivate an attitude of gratitude

The holiday season is upon us and the hustle and bustle has begun. This time of year promotes a spirit of giving and gratitude, but this can be short-lived as the holidays fade into the past and we begin our New Year, especially if we over-spent, over-ate and over-extended ourselves. Gratitude can be defined as a feeling of thankfulness and appreciation and is the essence of good mental, physical and spiritual wellness. Spiritual leaders have long promoted the benefit of being grateful even in the face of challenge. The physical and mental health communities have also begun to identify and promote the benefits for wellness of having an attitude of gratitude. Continue Reading →

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Restoring the ‘Beloved Community’

How the enslaved African was stripped of his humanity

I want to take a moment to remember with our readers how and when the African was forcefully brought to the Americas; it happened during the 1400s. This time in our existence on earth is only a placeholder for some of the worst experiences African people have had with physical, emotional, psychological, spiritual and structural violence. It is the direct result of the Africans’ forced shipment to the Americas to provide free labor and creative, innovative ideas and skills for building the United pStates of America as a “world power.”

Having gone through a most excruciatingly brutal and painful catharsis of suffering during the approximately 22 generations’ experience of “chattel slavery” leaves us without a land base, with scars, open wounds and a deep resounding FEAR. We are NOT!!! —I repeat; we are NOT!!! Continue Reading →

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Bookworm’s best reads of 2011




You were such an efficient shopper this year. You remembered everybody on your list: the kids, the spouse, Grandma and Great Aunt Judy. None of the cousins went without a gift this year. You even remembered the neighbors and your boss. But there’s one person you forgot to buy a gift for this year. Continue Reading →

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