“You know what I’m realizing… Black Women change their hair often. White Women don’t really constantly change their hairstyles like you all do… why is that?”, words from my white boss at my first full-time job as he observed my new hairstyle. I stared blankly at him, and my younger self nervously laughed it off. “I hate the first day of new hairstyles…,'' I thought to myself. I hated having to explain what my style was, or how my hair got longer or shorter overnight. I hated having to explain that my micro braids took approximately 5-6 hours, and that they would last over a month. I just wanted to show up to work, and go home.
You know who else maybe wanted to go to work and go home? Gabrielle Union. News story recently broke about America’s Got Talent’s recent firing of Union, and truths behind why started making its way to social media. She was told that her constant hair changes were “too black”. I couldn’t help but think about the statements made by my past boss mentioned above, and how too many times I experienced subliminally being told that my hair was “too black”. Or how I was treated as a spectacle, by fascinated white colleagues.
The Mondays after getting my hair done were always a workday that I prepared myself to receive some extra unwanted attention:
“You changed your hair, I barely recognized you!”, “Oh wow your hair got so long!!” , “so is this your hair or extensions?”... You barely recognized me? Really? To say this to me or any other Black Women highlights your inability to accept me in the workspace. By continually making these comments, you remind me that this workspace was never created to accept me. To accept me is to accept my hair, and the number of ways I style it. Today, many states have no choice but to accept these different styles as it has become illegal to discriminate against a person because of their hair. While this law protects you from relieving me and my other counterparts of our work duties, we are still subjected to inappropriate comments and questions about our hair.
To tell Gabrielle Union that her hairstyles are “too black” is to ask her to assimilate and abandon her blackness. To tell her that she changes her hair too much, and then fire her because of it is discrimination. We as Black women have the right to love and embrace our hair for being different. We should be allowed to love our hair and how it can be styled in a number of different ways in peace. I should not be subjected to being treated as a spectacle. It is not my job to teach you how to accept this, this should already be.
Lastly, I change my hair often and I don’t owe you an explanation.
See the #BlackHairChallenge that took Twitter by storm the night news about Union’s firing broke the internet:
expressing gratitude and relief.
Reflecting on life and the things I am most passionate about, and there are a number of things I’m grateful for. But I’m actually going to focus on more than just me… I am grateful for all of the beautiful black women who continue to fight for the protection and recognition of other black women. Growing up, complexion was EVERYTHING. We didn't see black women on the TV screen as much as we would have liked. We even experienced disrespect from the Black man.
I’m grateful for artist and celebrities like Rihanna who created a makeup line that compliments ALL shades of skin. I’m thankful for Beyonce (and everyone else on the song - BLUE IVY ESPECIALLY), for creating one of our 2019 anthems “Brown Skin Girl”. Thankful for Angela Rye, who continues to be the black political voice. I’m grateful for Scottie Beam who consistently makes noise for black women because she believes this is one of her sole purposes (we SO appreciate it). Grateful for Ava Duvernay, Lena Waithe, Bree Newsome... women film makers and activists who go above and beyond to make sure the black voice is not lost. And I’m extremely grateful for the black women who didn’t care if they’d lose a job opportunity because of what they stood up for.
Black women have called out anti-black movements (and anti-black women movements) within the fashion and music industry, and have demanded respect. We’ve brought attention to the high number of kidnapping and missing girls. We’ve yelled and screamed about men who kill us because we’ve said no. We are putting up a FIGHT and creating a world where our future black daughters will be proud to wear their natural coils, speak up for themselves, and bask in the worth of their complexion.
Thank you Black Queens. Thank you.
Self Care Can Be:
Taking a day off
Turning off your phone
Cutting off toxic family members
WHATEVER YOU NEED IT TO BE TO MAINTAIN YOUR PEACE.
My friends love telling me how I just do TOO MUCH.
And I really have to stop and be like... really? Because the truth is yes baby girl, you do a lot. But it has become SO normal to me that when my busy schedule slows down I'm lost.
My journey towards my doctorate degree has been one full of anxiety and a feeling of overwhelmingness (I know... not a word... and I'm getting my doctorate... crazy right?). Yet still somehow, I've been able to get straight A's, travel, and practice my DJ-ing. It's amazing realizing what you can get accomplished while being both passionate and consistent. I haven't been consistent in blogging, and that's ok... I'm learning to focus on the things that keep me sane.
Yea I do a lot. But I'm ok with that.
This was random, and that's ok.
1. Beyonce is King
2. Beyonce is King
3. Beyonce is King
The LEVEL of WERK put in by King Bey is UNMATCHED. So while the list above is straight FACTS, here's my actual list of 5 takeaways from Bey's Netflix documentary showcasing her Coachella prep.
3. Without passion, it won't work:
Bey handpicked each dancer, band member, background vocalist herself. She pushed them to let their passion push through the choreography. She wanted to see their personalities. Some of us so stuck in routine, but what can we add to these routines to make sure we don't lose US in the process? I'm speaking to myself, honestly...
2. Practice Your Craft. OWN Your Craft.
When Bey said they practiced for approximately 8 months, day in and day out... my jaw DROPPED. I knew a lot of practice went into these shows, and clearly here's our answer as to why she's so perfect. But legit, I'm thinking about this... as a musician practicing is SO important. And when you practice you can hear your improvement, you can FEEL the difference. I'm so inspired by the long hours they've put in. I'm motivated. Pushing myself to give my craft daily practice.
1. You Are Your Own Competition
Tunnel Vision. That's all I saw when I watched Bey's Netflix documentary. I got a peak straight into her tunnel vision. Beyonce has worked SO hard, that she is literally in a lane all by herself. She is her own competition. Watching her put in that work, has taught me so much about myself... and maybe why I haven't been as consistent as I would like. A lot of times I'm worrying about what others will feel... or trying so hard to be different... I should really just be focused on me.
And quite frankly, my tunnel vision gotta make it to Bey's level.
Tammy that is. I identify as a creative. I've been writing my entire life and love music. If you're here, you're in my brain.