I Was Lied To

I was lied to.

I was taught that in America everyone was equal.

I was taught that individuals can make a difference when they fight the system.

I was taught that we fixed racism & now we all judged people according to their accomplishments.

I was taught feminism, communism, & talking back to adults was Bad.

I’m trying to re- learn. Dear God, what else did I get wrong?

Advertisements

Box Braid Tutorial using Micro Braids

I took some pictures while doing hair today, I’m hoping that I can use them to explain how to do synthetic box braids.

This is the hair, I like using the “curly” braids, the ends don’t have to be secured.

HairsyntheticbraidsI use two strands together…but the strands on the left are one strand of the braid, the strands on the right are another strand of the braid, and then Her hair will be the third.

hairboxbraidThese synthetic braids are often crocheted into corn rows, but I’m not talented enough for cornrows! So we do box braids. She’ll have about 45 when we’re done. It might look better if the boxes were even smaller, but Addis’ hair is very fine & if I make them much smaller there isn’t enough hair to hold them in good.

hairbeginingbraidThe synthetic braid just gets wrapped around Her hair. The first few times I used tiny bands, but they didn’t help much.

hairbraidingJust braid them in. Really simple. You’ve got to keep them tight & smooth, but if you can braid you can do this. Keep braiding down, using 2 strands together as each strand of the braid + the Hair, until you’re a half inch or so from the bottom of the natural hair.

hairsplittingbraidWhen you get close to the bottom of the natural hair, split one of the braid strands away & add it to the strand that is Her Hair. Now you will have 1 strand that is really 2 together, 1 strand that is 1 tiny braid, & 1 strand that is 1 braid & natural hair. Braid it keeping those ends tucked into the braid as much as possible. Braid all the way down.

That is it!

After a few days, the braids start coming apart, but usually don’t reach the natural hair until they’ve been in 2 weeks. Maybe I’ll braid them back down again, or maybe she’ll have curly ends.

And then after about 2-3 weeks, I’ll start re-doing sections, keeping this styling in for 4-6 weeks.

Good luck!!

 

 

Are Your Boobs Fake?

This was my Facebook status recently;

HEY WHITE PEOPLE:
Its fine to give a compliment, but WHY would you ask if a little girl’s hair is “real” or “fake”?

Two of my (adoptive mothers of black girls) friends “shared” this. Here are mine, & their, responses:

  • What about if a brown person asks?
  • Amen…
  • First of all Brown people know better .. second they dnt ask if tits r real…lol 
  • No they don’t, not in Florida! My son’s girlfriend complains about the invasive hair questions all the time
  • That only mean it looks too good to be true, doesn’t it? Plus, what does this have to do with race? I’ve asked the same thing about a blonde’s hair color
  • I hear ya, never known a little white girl that was asked if her hair is real or fake and I`m older then the moon ~~
  • Oh my. Why ask anything? Compliment or go away!
  • I was once asked if my daughter has a perm. Yes…. I permed my one year olds hair. Ridiculous.
  • Me:  Black people know what her hair is. When a child is asked DAILY if their hair is “real” it can affect her self-image. Especially if it s a feature which is very different from everyone else. We all know how to use google. I love the “nice boobs, are they real?” comment
  • Me: asking a blonde, who is old enough to color her hair, is different than asking a little girl ifs she is “fake”
  • First of all your little’s girl iS AWESOME!!!!!!!!!!! Is she alone when ‘RUDE’ people ask this question or not??? I HOPE SHE IS WITH YOU AND KNOWING YOU, YOU SHOULD BE ABLE TO COME UP WITH AN ANSWER THAT WILL BLAST THEM OFF THEIR FEET AND THEN GIVE THEM A BIG SMILE AND WALK AWAY I would like to be there when you do it!!!!! I have even come up with some answerrs in my own mind that I would say to them but that is you choice but make them GOOD!!!!!!!!!!  Let me know what you do do or say, please, and give your little a big hug/ Remember her hair is so awesome that when they first see her they are blown away by how awesome it just is!!!!
  • Me: She gets if with me and on her own. I’m saying something about it so that if people Don’t know, well now they will.
  • Me (to a deleted comment): A compliment is fine. Asking a 4 year old -especially an adult asking- “is that fake hair/is your hair real?” is not okay. Black people know what it is, or how to ask if they are looking for more information. Just about every day that my little girl has extensions in (which she loves) she’s asked if her hair is fake. By white people,children AND adults. There’s quite a difference if you’re asking an autonomous person a non-invasive question.
  • Me: It is a different context when a white person- particularly an adult- is asking. In our culture caucasian is the “default” setting. Whether or not You personally find black women attractive, our culture percieves caucasian as more desirable…black features are not the ideal, black hair needs to be “fixed”. I was told (by an Ethiopian-American woman) that its too bad Addis’ hair is so bad. Usually when it’s a white person commenting/asking they don’t KNOW about extentions. So, this is my Public Service Announcement. If you are about to ask a little black girl if her hair is “real”, go to google. That’s what it is for. Hearing comments DAILY makes a little one question themself…she wants to have Rapunzel’s hair. Let’s face it, it’s not likely to happen. So she gets extentions, & then is questioned continually to explain herself.
  • MeYES, I KNOW I signed up for this.I signed up to have my daughter quesioned “where’s your mom?” “how come your mom is white?” etc all the time. And, because I signed up for it, It is MY JOB to educate those around me. If you didn’t know, as a THREE year old, my daughter was subjected to a racial attack. The world we live in will only include more people unlike yourself, so if what you hear sounds odd, listen to it & see where the other person is coming from.
  • I know what you are talking about. The other thing we have had problems with, even with the boys is people       touching their hair without asking and then making comments. I can’t believe how many times I had to ask adults   “please don’t touch their hair”. The boys are bigger and scarier now but Tauni still has strangers touch her hair without   asking. sheesh people.

Ahairaccessories13

Apparently, several people found it offensive that I said “hey WHITE people”. I wasn’t out to offend people, but if You needed to hear the comment, it was my job to tell you.  This “conversation” occurred about 3 weeks ago, but is still coming up.

 

Went to the Salon

We (Addis & I) recently spent quite a bit of time in the south. I think it was good for her to be there, where there are just as many black people as there are white. And, she got to go to a black hair salon & get her hair done, several times! She also spent a week in daycare there, & one day when I picked her up one of the caregivers had done her hair! Yay!

My Kid’s Not Racist

image

My American Girl

Well, It happened.

Our beautiful girl has been home for 21 months. She’s almost 3 1/2 years old. And this beautiful, friendly, little girl has been told that she’s not liked because she’s black. And because she’s African, and nobody likes Ethiopia either.

By someone close to us.

I am so pissed. I am disappointed. I am sad.

This person is almost 11 yrs old, is the child of someone close to us, & is a neighbor.

Fortunately Jasmine was there. She yelled at him, she took Addis away, & she called & left a message on the parent’s phone. Not sure what I should do from here.

The thing is, I knew that this would happen, sooner or later. But by a friend?? And at THREE years old?? WTF?????

Bella Brown

It happened.

I knew it probably would. But I was hoping it would be another year, or maybe 2!, or more.

My beautiful perfect brown Princess said “I wish I white”.

Maybe she didn’t mean it with the depth I’m assigning to it. Even if that’s so, it’s a precurser to what she is likely to experience as an African growing up in a white family & community. A second later she was pointing out to her aunt “we match” to the palms of their hands. And then we talked about how the 3 of us match, we all have brown eyes. In fact, all the girls have brown & all the boys have blue.

And then that was that.

 

Look, Opians!

The other day we (Addis & myself) were driving home from playgroup. Addis was just babbling on & on about her new friend.

“You really like Ruthie, is she your friend?”

“no! She my sissar!”

“Well hon, she’s not your sister because you don’t have the same mom & dad”

“oh”

(long pause)
“Oofie my BRODDER”

A related story….

Ya know the picture boards they have in WalMart near the ceiling? Addis always points them out to me, “He eating PIZZA!” “ssh, dat baby SLEEPING”… there is one picture of an asian woman who she points out & says is her aunt. There is also an African American family located over the exit/entrance.

While we were checking out one day, she got all excited & told me “LOOK Mommy, OPIANS!” When I finally realized what she was talking about, I tried to break the news to her, in a way that a 2 yr old could understand, that they weren’t Ethiopian just because they were brown.

Now when we’re at WalMart (no! we’re not there EVERY day), she ALWAYS points their picture out to me, but doesn’t comment on it.

This is fascinating to me… It is the first time I know she’s recognized race (particularly her own), AND she’s pointing out to me that she knows I disagree with her but it hasn’t changed her mind.