Event Recap: International Natural Hair Meet-up Day – Columbus

All of us!

Last Saturday, on May 17, 2014 the Columbus Naturalistas hosted the International Natural Hair Meet-up Day (INHMD) at Long Street Studios.  I must say the event was a huge success!  The day was full of live entertainment, giveaways, hair demos, a product swap, a panel discussion, and great food!  We almost doubled our number of attendees from last year, we tripled our number of vendors, and had even more giveaways than last year!  We also donated hair products to our local domestic violence shelter, Choices, which provides safety to women in crisis for the INHMD Cares Initiative.  Lastly, of course we were able to come together as natural women, proudly rocking our natural curls and celebrating our beauty together.

I am so proud of the amazing group of women who came together and helped organize this important event for Columbus.  Checkout the recap with photos below.

Over 100 beautiful naturals showed up for the event!

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A new feature this year was a panel discussion about natural hair.  It included bloggers Sasha Day and Lynnie V from 2CurlsInAPod who talked about natural hair vlogging and social media, our natural hair stylist Rimmy, who discussed proper hair maintenance, and two men: one who loved natural hair and one who hated natural hair.  I respected both of their perspectives, but clearly the audience was in favor of the man who loved our curls!

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We had so many giveaways this year that almost everyone walked away with a prize!  I want to give a huge shout-out to all the businesses who supported us and donated such amazing items.

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The vendors we had this year were simply fabulous!  Many of them were women owned businesses with all-natural hair care products, handmade jewelry, fly t-shirts, and even self-defense weapons!

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The hair demo showed us how to create a pompadour and pony-tail.  Mr. Ty Davis who serenaded us with his acoustic guitar and smooth voice was our live entertainment for the evening.  Attendees also got to hear a presentation from one of our planning committee members who has been natural for 10+ years and her advice on using plant-based products.

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This event was so fun and fabulous that I can’t wait to see what we come up with next year!

#INHMD614

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Hey Natural Beauties Feature!

 

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Today, I’ve been featured on the blog Hey Natural Beauties and I am so honored!  Hey Natural Beauties is a wonderful site full of information on how to have healthy hair using all natural products.  Thank you Hey Natural Beauties for sending me some love!  Check out my feature on her blog.

For those of you who are here after seeing my feature on Hey Natural Beauties, “Hello, and thanks so much for stopping by!”  The Honoring Our HAIRitage blog is a way for me to share my thoughts on the Natural Hair Movement and how it all connects back to our history.  Feel free to take a look around and see what I’ve been up to lately…

Some of my most popular posts on pop culture discussed Rihanna’s most recent bad girl behavior and Prince’s appearance on the Arsenio Hall Show.  I also love sharing my perspectives on embracing your natural texture, and why some of us may struggle with that.  You should also check out my Black History Month feature in which I wrote all about our hair history for the entire month of February.

This site is also a place where I wanted to share my hair journey and some of my favorite products and hair styles for those of you who are Naturalistas like me!:-)

I hope you enjoy your stay and don’t forget to subscribe on the left or follow me on Twitter and Facebook.  I hope to connect with you again soon!

Jane

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And the winner is…Me!

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I am normally not a fan of chain letters masked as online awards, but I am a fan of spreading the love!  With that, I am excited to have been nominated for a Liebster Award by two of my fellow bloggers, Spirit Grind and HeyBetterMe!  I thank you both for believing I am pretty amazing!

Here are the rules for those who are nominated and want to participate in the Liebster award process:

  • Post the award on your blog
  • Thank the blogger who presented the award to you and link back to their blog
  • Answer the 11 questions given to you by the person that nominated you
  • Nominate 11 bloggers who have less than 500 followers
  • Create 11 questions for your nominees to answer
  • Notify your nominees by posting your nomination on their blog

Questions from HeyBetterMe:

  1. Where are you from?

I am from the Buckeye State, Ohio.

  1. If you could live anywhere, where would you live?

Montreal is definitely a place I would love to live one day.  It is diverse, culturally rich, and full of the arts.  It’s also not too far from New York (where I also love) and Ohio so I can get back home quickly if I needed to.

  1. What is something you have always wanted to do?

I have always wanted to learn how to play the guitar.  I’ve always admired women who play the guitar, it’s so bad a$$!  I took lessons about 5 years ago but stopped when I got too busy and never returned to learning.  One day I know I’ll continue my lessons though and hopefully become the next Bibi McGill!

  1. What do you do to relieve stress?

I do a ton of things to relieve stress!  Exercising and reading a good book always get’s my mind off of whatever I’m stressing about.  Journaling has also helped me tremendously.  When I write down my thoughts, it literally feels like they are leaving my brain and traveling to the paper.  It is very relieving.  Laughter is also the best medicine!

  1. Where are you presently?

Do you mean where am I physically located or where is my perspective in life?  Okay, I think I read too much into that sentence…anyways, I’m at a conference for work but not paying attention at all while I write these answers!  I’m so bad sometimesJ

  1. What accomplishment are you most proud of?

I am most proud of being right where I am in life at this very moment!  I have been through some tough situations and experienced very difficult times, but I am still grateful, compassionate towards others, open, and optimistic about my future.  With that kind of mindset, success, ease, and joy will come naturally.  To me, that is a tremendous accomplishment!

  1. What is something you cannot do without?

I cannot do without my imaginative spirit, some daily creative endeavor, and a strong belief in myself and the impossible.  I’m lost without those things.

  1. What is your favorite childhood memory.

When I was younger, every weekend, my Aunt would take me and my cousins roller-skating.  I loved roller-skating and having fun with my cousins.  Also, my parents were very religious so it was the only time I could listen to “worldly” music!

  1. What is your favorite book/movie?

My favorite book is a tie between two books.  Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neal Hurston was the first book that I fell in love with and still enjoy reading to this day. Also, Hair Story: Untangling the Roots of Black Hair in America by Ayana Byrd and Lori Tharps, is my hair Bible!

10. Sugar or Salt?

Definitely sugar, I have a huge sweet tooth!

11.  In one sentence, talk about your blog.

Honoring Our HAIRitage is a place where I discuss our history and politics and connect them to today’s Natural Hair Movement!

 

Questions from Spirit Grind:

  1. At the end of your life, what would you like others to know about you?  How would you like to be remembered?

This is a tough question!  My hope is that I am remembered for bringing positivity and compassion to the world and others.  I would like to use my blog as a platform for adding a fresh new perspective to the Natural Hair Movement and be respected for creating content that reveals the truth about our story as women of color.  I want everyone who experiences my blog to have a renewed sense of self-love and awareness.

 

My nominees are:

  1. http://kelzbelzphotography.wordpress.com/ – For photography that is so beautiful
  2. http://louisebleger.wordpress.com/ – For poetry that is inspiring
  3. http://augustrosepress.wordpress.com/ – For paying tribute to African American authors
  4. http://sunnydelyte21.wordpress.com/ – For being vulnerable and brave
  5. http://theartjunkie.wordpress.com/ – For amazing art education
  6. http://sewingstardom.com/ – For combining natural hair with health and wellness
  7. http://angirach.wordpress.com/about-lux/ – For the variety of posts
  8. http://new3creation.blogspot.com/ – For helping people create a new and better you
  9. http://maybemamablog.wordpress.com/ – For a fabulous blog idea
  10. http://naturesparklenow.wordpress.com/ – For photos that are so calming and healing to view
  11. http://aim4natural.com/ – For combining natural hair with great food recipes

Check them out and spread the blog love!

 

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Rihanna Calls Her Bantu Knots “Ghetto”

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Let me start by saying that I have been a fan of Rihanna since she first came on the scene back in 2005.  I’ve danced to her music since Pon de Replay!  Over her many years in the music industry, she has developed various brands to call her own: pop singer, fragrance developer, fashion designer, and actress.  In my opinion, she hasn’t been afraid to challenge our ideas about “appropriate” womanhood with her edgy fashion, hairstyles, choice words, and music videos.  She has also shown great strength in the midst of publicly experiencing domestic violence and thriving in spite of it.

Recently, Rihanna has been criticized for her recent statements about her bantu knot hairstyle she wore during the iHeartRadio Music Awards.  She posted a picture of herself on Instagram describing them as “ghetto.”  As much as I am a fan of Rihanna’s, I am disappointed with her.

Bantu knots are a popular style among naturals and is an effective protective style for curly hair.  It has also been a popular style within many African cultures for centuries.  Bantu knots should not be linked to a word that is used to demean people surviving poverty.  Using this type of offensive language to describe common natural hairstyles is nothing new.  Unfortunately, Rihanna is feeding into the same negative messages that have fueled opinions of black hair for centuries.  In my previous blog post, I gave a few examples of how negative ideas about Black hair have spread and existed for a long time.

This is just more of the same, but it cuts deeper because it has come from a fellow sistah.  Further, it has come from a prominent figure in pop culture and among black women.  Rihanna has many fans, including young girls who look up to her as an example.  When they see that she views a common natural hairstyle as “ghetto,” it discourages them from possibly going natural themselves.  It also undermines a deeper understanding of Afro textured hair and hairstyles that work for our natural tresses.

I am not expecting celebrities to solve all our social ills or save us, I am expecting them to have a small amount of knowledge enough to know the responsibility of their words and actions.  Rihanna may not have understood the weight of her words and how it would influence others, but intention is not as important as impact.  The impact has been a reinforcement of the idea that black hair is inherently wrong, and a growing amount of Instagram members swiftly un-following her (Rihanna’s Instagram account is now closed!).  Now that people have been vocal about how misguided her words were, I hope that Rihanna takes this as a lesson learned, gain some pride in her HAIRitage, and do better next time.

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