Thursday, March 28, 2013

A Naturals' Man Viewpoint

OK “Natural Hair Family,” Derek J has had his say about natural hair and his comment has all the bloggers chatting, the Facebook News Feeds lite up and the twitter tweeties are still tweeting about it.  Personally, I’d like to hear what Madea has to say about natural hair…  But my guess would be she’d say “Heller…  I Love Natural Hair!”  (LOL)

Just last week, I attend “Naturals Nite Out” at Stuart McClean Art Gallery.  It was a wonderful event and the first of its kind held here in Atlanta for the Natural Hair Community.  The most exciting part for me was listening to the all male panel who shared their perspectives on “Natural Hair.”

One gentleman said that when he thought of natural hair he envisioned the “Afro” initially, but after dating a young lady with natural hair, he soon realized that there where many other styles you could do with natural hair besides the “Afro.”

Another gentleman on the panel spoke of women with natural hair exuding a high level confidence as well as noting their inner beauty shinning through too.  It was an experience and delight to hear what these men had to say, so much so that I called a friend of mine to ask him about “Natural Hair” because I wanted to get a little more incite and another perspective.  Here’s how that conversation went…

Me:  Tell me “Tab” what does the phase “I LOVE IT NAPPY.  Not Fake.  Not Straight.  I’m A Naturals’ Man.” mean to you?
Tab:  The natural scent of a woman’s hair.  This is what I get out of that…. “The Natural!” 
Me:  Let’s break it down….  I Love It Nappy!
Tab:  You see, when a woman washes her hair, you get that FRESH-NESS to it…  It’s beautiful when you look at it…  Boy, how FRESH it Smells! 

Me:  Not Fake…. 
Tab:  Weave is shinny like sugar, it doesn’t sparkle like grease.  (LOL)  And many women don’t look right in weaves and wigs, but yet and still they wear them... Some women truly don’t look natural in them.  (IJS)  Although some of these women think they look good, they don’t because they go off the deep end with them different colors… Red, yellow, purple, orange, green, looking like a rainbow.  (LOL)

Then you have some that have the weave in their heads for 6 months…  And others have it hanging all down their backs.  If you’re going to wear it, have some class about yourself…  Ask a man what he thinks and get his honest opinion, besides a man knows what he likes to see women in.  It should be yours anyway, not store brought.

Me:  (Laughing) Would you date a woman with weave?  Why or Why Not?
Tab:  Yes if she’s natural underneath…  I’d date her because, maybe I can convince her to accept her natural beauty and it would be better for her health too.

Me:  Not Straight….  I can’t wait to hear this one. (LOL)
Tab:  When you put them chemicals in your hair, you don’t know what’s really in it, just like our processed foods.  I don’t understand why women do it, and then they turn around and put weave in their heads too.

It’s all about the money, the people who make them perms don’t care what they give you, it’s what you’re giving them… The MONEY!!!  And a lot of them don’t use the chemicals in their own hair.  Why not wear a sexy natural hair style?  There are more styles available then just the “Afro”.

Me:  Now would you date a woman with relaxed hair?  Why or Why Not?
Tab:  Yes if they have natural hair that they’ve made straight, but not with chemicals.  A lot of these hair styles are hand cuffing women….  She can’t do natural???  How come you can’t, when this was your natural hair before?  If you don’t like doing your hair, then you’re lazy.

How did you come to this conclusion that you can’t?  Why can’t it be done?  Some women are addicted to the chemicals.  Here’s something to think about… what about all that money you’re spending?  Now that’s some serious money depending on how many times a month you’re getting your hair done.

Me:  Natural Women…  Relaxed Women….
Tab:  I’m really a naturals’ man.  Natural Women, Natural Beauty…  They are comfortable with who they are and a natural woman seems to be more concerned about her overall appearance and presence.
And to me, a woman who wears her hair permed, it’s about her look and how her hair is styled… “All eyes on them.”  You don’t see the fullness in their hair all the time.   I just like a natural woman.

"Tab" Sporting the "Naturals' Man Tshirt"!!!

It amazes me to hear the different viewpoints from men…  There are a lot of factors that come into play.  You have their personal preferences, their age differences as well as their level of maturity and understanding about “Black Women and their Hair.”  But all in all, we can gleam quite a bit from a man’s point of view and even get a few laughs out of it too…  You gotta love a “Naturals’ Man”.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

25 Years Ago...

Anita Verice (McKinney) Keaton

25 years ago today, my sisters and I awakened to the realization that our lives had changed forever.  It was a Saturday morning that we’d soon never forget; the women that we knew as “Mom” had transitioned during the night in her sleep at the tender age of 34.  

And just 38 days prior, I had turned 16…  A high school sophomore and an outstanding basketball player who had found her voice in playing sports.  I considered myself to be an introvert growing up, contributing it to the militant like environment I was raised in.

 My mother whom many called “Sug,” said what she meant and meant what she said…  If you didn’t want to know “the truth” about a thing, then you might as well not have asked her opinion.  She was fair, but stern, loving yet provided tough love as she was a woman who signified business and commanded respect.  

It was hard coming up as the oldest…  It seemed as if the rules and guidelines were just a little bit different for me which ultimately had a tremendous impact on our relationship.  My mother was highly intuitive, a natural critic and an acute analyzer of everyone and everything around her.   She was also a very detailed oriented woman, who was practical in her approach to things yet her mere presence demanded excellence.
These unique characteristics provided her with a hardy work ethic and discipline that allowed her to excel in her profession as a licensed cosmetologist.  The traits also made her a trust worthy friend and confidant as well as equipped her with the strength and resiliency to manage being a single mother of three.


But know, I can honestly say at this point in my life, the tough love she gave and the foundational principles that she impressed upon my heart and soul helped me to weather many storms over the years.  They also supplied me with the strength to carry on in uncharted territories…

Often times we question “why this had to happen?” or “why that didn’t work out?”  But know that all things work together for our good; my Mom’s physical absence (passing) permitted her spirit to be with me (and my sisters) every step of the way over the years.

The detailed oriented-ness, of her realistic approach and spirit of excellence created in me an inner compass that guided me along the path, helping me to navigate the waves of life prior to me coming into the realization that I was really going to be okay.  

It takes trust to understand that GOD always has a greater plan for our lives in the mist of tragic situations.  It also takes faith to believe that GOD didn’t make any mistakes by permitting her to go...  I’m grateful for the time He allowed her to share with my sisters and I during her short stay on earth.  And Now 25 Years Later, on this 19th day of March, I Celebrate Her Life, as Her Presences is STILL Felt through GOD’s LOVE to This Day!