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Monday, January 28, 2008

Another Natural Hair Interview

While I was at my consultant's place getting my hair retightened. I took the opportunity to interview Sheena, her client and best friend. Sheena is a 27 year old mother of an adorable little boy. She is a massage therapist and kept me laughing the whole time.



NS: What is your natural hair story?
Sheena: I have been natural since around 2003 off and on. The first time I did the big chop. I have cut all my perm off 3 times now.


NS: Really! How did that happen?

Sheena: The first time I was just tired off the perm and ready to be natural. The next time I cut it was after my other best friends wedding. She wanted everyone in her wedding to have a straight hairstyle. The last time I cut it off was for Sisterlocks.

NS: Wow! You are a really good friend. What advice would you have to womyn considering the big chop or going natural?
Sheena: Just do it! It's better and free.

NS: How did you feel when you got rid of all your hair and how did you do it?

Sheena: Well the first and second time, I used clippers. The second time is was real short almost bald. There was nothing to hide behind. At first I really didn't like it, but it was me and I got used to it. The last time, I just cut it into a short afro to start Sisterlocks.

NS: How did your family react? How about men?

Sheena: The only person that had a negative reaction is one of my close friends. At first I felt boyish, but men still were interested. My family didn't react either way.

NS: Your hair looks fabulous. Julia did a great job.

Friday, January 25, 2008

I Love My Sisterlocks Consultant




This is a special post for my consultant and friend Julia. She finally received her official Sisterlocks Certificate from the home office. CONGRATULATIONS JULIA! You deserve it.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Beauty Role Model: Tomiko Fraser

I am reintroducing the beauty role model segment to this blog. I have been wanting to post this lady for a long time. I am presenting one of the faces of Maybelline and a spokeswoman for the Lupus Foundation of America, Tomiko Fraser. She is natural, beautiful, and involved in the community.
The excerpts from the following interview is sourced from IGN.com.


IGN: How did you get started modeling?
Tomiko: I got started working at a restaurant in New York called Lola. This woman with an agency would come in and asked me if I wanted to model. I needed the paycheck every week so I wasn't sure. Then I ended up at Ford.
IGN: What was your first modeling job?
Tomiko: It was a Seventeen Magazine shoot: fun, scary, simple. They gave me a lot of hair. I had a really long ponytail. It was just one picture. I wasexcited because I was a working model.

IGN: What are some of the fashion campaigns you have done?
Tomiko: Gap, Target, Tommy Hilfiger…there's a lot. At the Target shoot, there was red and white all over. I was pushing a shopping cart with red and white bottles of detergent with a big smile. It was so much fun.
IGN: How would you describe your look?
Tomiko: I have been described as the all American black girl next door--approachable, friendly...if they only knew the truth (just kidding). I get booked 9/10 just because of my smile.
IGN: Do you have a particular diet?
Tomiko: I like to eat. My family is from the south. I grew up on fried chicken, rice and beans. I find a healthy version of these bad foods. Instead of whole grain pasta, I'll get rice pasta. It still tastes good. My favorite soul food restaurant is Roscoe's and M&M's out here. In N.Y., I'd just go to my family's house.Fat Fish on Melrose Ave is one of my favorites. I never order the same thing because there are so many items on the menu.
IGN: What is your favorite country?
Tomiko: Italy--I like to eat. You have to go to Naples. I love traveling so I've been to Paris. I love the US because we have so much at our fingertips that othercountries don't have. They don't have take out in London. I mean youhave to pick it up.

IGN: You are a supermodel yourself but who do you look up to?
Tomiko: I appreciate a well rounded model--Iman, just because she's beautiful, smart and she's branched out into her own business. I like models that have taken themselves and made something bigger and better. AliLarter -- on Heroes -- love her, and there used to be such a stigma against models turned actress.

IGN: Where are you from? Tell me about your childhood. Any brothers or sisters?
Tomiko: I'm a child of divorce. My mom had 3 children and my dad has 4 kids. I'm somewhat close to all of them. I was very nerdy as a child. I loved school and I loved learning. I wanted to be a teacher when I was growing up. I went to catholic school. I even helped the nuns out. I liked school.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. on Good Hair


I searched for a long time looking for this sermon from Martin Luther King Jr. online and at the King Center in Atlanta. I am sorry to report that his speeches and sermons don't appear to be centralized anywhere. I found some resources at Stanford's website via The King Papers Project.


I wanted to share the audio of an awesome sermon with you, but instead I am forced to leave you the information only.


In the sermon below, Dr. King talked about "good hair". He addressing the congregation referenced his hair being good, that he washes it, combs it; and that we as a people should accept our natural hair as good also.

"What Are Your New Year's Resolutions?, Sermon delivered at Ebenezer Baptist Church." 1/7/68.

Photo coutesy of the US Library of Congress.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Why Naturally Sophia Stopped Eating Seafood!!!


80% of the fish and seafood sold in America is from foreign countries, and only less than 1 % is inspected. About half of the fish inspected by the FDA is rejected as filthy having contaminates like wisteria and malachite green which causes cancer. MOST FOREIGN FISH IS FARMED IN HUMAN SEWAGE! Farm raised fish is also high in mercury levels because the food fed to the fish is high in mercury. As always, do your own research. You are what you eat.


Here is a video that is particularly pertinent to the seafood lovers in the South. Everyone should watch this video.




Friday, January 18, 2008

Beauty Inspiration: YaYa Dacosta

Yaya, like many of the other Top Model girls, has been everywhere. She has mostly done commercials, films, and print/commercial modeling. She was in Atlanta recently, looking luminous and happy with her head full of natural hair. See:

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Locs & Professionalism

I was browsing the blogger world and came across a permie who said that she was concerned about Sisterlocks being unprofessional. If you are having the same concerns or are interested in the topic, here is my response.


Recently, I had an interview and wore my hair in the very chic and professional bun. I interviewed, panel style with 2 professionals that happened to be White. And I got the job! I think the people I have encountered that view natural hair as unprofessional have all been Black. I think all natural hair can be styled or covered so that the person being interviewed can feel confident and professional regarding their hairstyle. Honestly, I spent more time over which suit to wear rather than how my hair would be styled. Sisterlocks are extremely versatile. See:

PLEASE COPY PHOTOS ONLY WITH PERMISSION OR REFERENCE MY BLOG WHEN COPYING!!!

I would also like to add that almost everyone I know personally is educated and professional regardless of whether they have locs or not. However, most of them have natural hair. All of my blogger sistah sisterlockers are professionals. Most of them have varying collegiate degrees. The ones that are not students are professionally employed. I have personally met loced ministers, doctors, lawyers, nurses, accountants, and the like. Ultimately, your locs will appear professional if you are professional.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Naturally Sophia's 'Stache


I am blogging about this one a little behind schedule. Last year, I exchanged digits with this guy who went off on my voicemail after he perceived me as ignoring his calls. I was not ignoring his calls, just busy. Some of the things he called me were "nappy-headed". I take no offense to that one because it's not true. But if it were, it would not be offensive but perhaps a compliment. He also called me a "stupid bitch" who needed to "get rid of yo mustache". I laughed about that one.


Yes, I have a mustache and various other facial hair. TMI? I have it due to genetics and a condition called PCOS, a hormonal imbalance. And truthfully, I can't imagine myself permanently removing it. I have had the money at various other times in my life and never did it. Now, I don't want to remove it for good. I feel that it is a part of me, and I have truly learned to love myself, imperfections included. As a child, I hated the then peach fuzz that has thickened to a light stubble.


Now that doesn't mean that I don't Nair or pluck it with tweezers. Nor does it mean that a date or interview will ever see me sportin my stache. But all my friends and loved ones have seen it and just accept that it is a part of me like my fingernails or "too" big earrings. I am not perfect. I am beautiful. They are not mutually exclusive.

I want to give a shot out to Frieda Kahlo, my mom, my cousins, and all my "Stache Sistahs" for giving me solidarity and peace when I see the beautiful hair on your head and face.

Monday, January 14, 2008

My Miami Ridin Music

The top 10 New Artist/Albums I will listen to driving to Miami:

1. The Cool Kids! Pure, infectious hip-hop and a cool video:




2. Alice Smith- I like her whole album. But my favorite song is Dream. Her range and power are amazing. Just listen:



3. Jazmine Sullivan- I hear a union between soul and true R&B in her voice. She remade Andre 3000's Prototype superbly. Hear her now:


Prototype



Prototype from http://quietstorm.vox.com/

4. Ayo- her light, ethnic tone epitomizes clarity in singing. No runs or over-singing! I like her and think it's worth a listen. "Down on My Knees". You likey?



5. Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings. Just buy it. You'll thank me later if you love soul or funk. What a victory for Sharon! 30 years ago the industry allegedly told her she was "not what they were looking for". We'll she is perfect for my eardrums. The Dap Kings is also a good band of awesome musicians.




6. Res- With her album due out soon, it could not be better timing. I have been steadily bumpin' 2001's How I Do for 7 years now. She released this single/video for "There's No Way" on youtube. The reported title of the new album is Blak Gulz Rule. Plus her locs are fly!



7.Ceu- Brazilian charm and sweet singing. Whenever I hear that voice, I think of the "Girl from Ipanema" with a modern twist. Do you?



8. Emily King- I like this song even though the beat is from "Love Hangover". I usually don't like remakes, but I can appreciate the lyrics to this one. Plus, she partnered with Lupe who I will also continue to bump in Miami. Here is Emily and Lupe performing "Walk in My Shoes":




9.J*Davey- This group has a certain sound I can't quite describe. They are pop, electronica, and neo-soul all together. I like it in the way I like things and colors I thought wouldn't work before but actually do. If you click the video of their performance and listen, you'll hear what I mean:



10. My last choice is not least. Erykah Badu has invaded my heart and ears for the past 11 years with her version on Bohemian, Southern soul. I simply love her single "Honey". I looked forward to many more decades of music from her. I appreciate how she is continually reinventing herself.

A Moment in Obama's Life


"This is after I was in Harvard Law School. I was invited to attend a banquet... and was wearing my suit and tie, and as I was passing one of the tables to get to my seat, somebody turned and said, "Excuse me, can I get some hot tea?" And so, even... wearing a fancy suit, those assumptions and stereotypes still operated." -- Senator Barack Obama (Saul Loeb, AFP/Getty Images)

Sunday, January 13, 2008

I Got the Job...in Miami!


So, now that I got the job, what is there to do? EVERYTHING! I have to rent my house. But first, I have to declutter, pack excess stuff, and clean! And while I am doing all this, I am faced with all the what if scenarios! What if I don't like Miami? What if I don't like the job? What if my renters don't pay on time or at all?

The job I got is a good job. But it is not good enough for me to support 2 households. What's more than that is that I am moving with little or no relocation expenses as it stands. Ugh! And Miami appears to have a higher cost of living. Double Ugh!

And then, I have to decide what to do with my bulkier pieces of furniture that make my house look smaller. I think I will try a storage unit. Oh but my garage is under utilized. I think can move stuff in there.

Is this all worth it? I mean is living in Miami worth the inconvenience and risk. I am afraid once I consider the increase in housing expenses, that the slight increase in salary won't be worth it.

Where should I live in Miami? I have the choice of working in Ft. Lauderdale, North Miami, or South Miami near the keys. I have found you seem to get more house for the money in South Miami. I am looking for Sisterlocd's input here. lol!

I am anxious, nervous, excited and happy all at the same time. Wow! Well, back to cleaning for now.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

The Great Debators a Wonderful Movie! First Sunday..not so much!


If you haven't already seen the movie, please see The Great Debators! It was entertaining, funny, and inspiring at the same time. I particularly enjoyed the performances of the debators, although Denzel Washington was fabulous as usual.

I saw this movie along with First Sunday, as they were showing together at the drive-in theater in Atlanta. First Sunday was not as good as I would have liked it to be.

It was too silly at times, skimmed over some serious issues in the church, and the plot was not fully developed. It was average at best. Seeing this movie along with The Great Debators, just more clearly illustrated how much better The Great Debators was produced and written.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Tiger Woods, is Lynching Really a Non-Issue?


Since when is someone joking about lynching you a non-issue, Tiger Woods. You should have better friends whether you call yourself "caubinasian" or whatever; it's clear to your "friends" how black you are and how they feel about you.

The following was taken from Fox News online:

The Golf Channel suspended anchor Kelly Tilghman for two weeks on Wednesday for saying last week that young players who wanted to challenge Tiger Woods should "lynch him in a back alley."

Tilghman was laughing during the exchange Friday with analyst Nick Faldo at the Mercedes-Benz Championship, and Woods' agent at IMG said he didn't think there was any ill intent.
But the comments became prevalent on news shows Wednesday, and the Rev. Al Sharpton joined the fray by demanding she be fired immediately.


"There is simply no place on our network for offensive language like this," Golf Channel said in a statement.

Tilghman became golf's first female anchor last year when the PGA Tour signed a 15-year deal in which Golf Channel broadcasts the first three events of the year, weekday coverage of all tour events, and full coverage of the Fall Series and opposite-field events.


Faldo and Tilghman were discussing young players who could challenge the world's No. 1 player toward the end of Friday's broadcast at Kapalua when Faldo suggested that "to take Tiger on, maybe they should just gang up for a while."


"Lynch him in a back alley," Tilghman replied.

"While we believe that Kelly's choice of words was inadvertent and that she did not intend them in an offensive manner, the words were hurtful and grossly inappropriate," Golf Channel said in its statement. "Consequently, we have decided to suspend Kelly for two weeks, effective immediately."

Tilghman was helped when Mark Steinberg, Woods' agent at IMG, said it was a non-issue and considered the matter "case closed."

"Tiger and Kelly are friends, and Tiger has a great deal of respect for Kelly," Steinberg said Tuesday night in a statement released by Golf Channel. "Regardless of the choice of words used, we know unequivocally that there was no ill-intent in her comments."

Tilghman had said in a previous statement she apologized directly to Woods, and the immediate support from Woods' camp was critical.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Happy Birthday!

Just a nice mention for a cute little girl:


The cutest of the Jolie-Pitt crew turned 2 years old today. Happy Birthday Zahara. Zahara means "flower" in Swahili.


Sisterlock Article from the Boston Globe

My beautiful Sisterlocked sisters in Boston are doing it big. They had a natural hair potluck and the Boston Globe did an article on it. That's major! Jacqueline did the initial install of my sisterlocks. And Martine is a well-known consultant and make-up artist who has been featured in the Sisterlocks Journal; and she also locked the infamous sisterlocked blogger brunsli. PLEASE DO NOT COPY ANY OF THE PHOTOS without written permission from Jacqueline. Her fotki photo page is listed below for more photos and info. You can also see my initial install photos there at www.fotki.com/jlmashby or for more information regarding Sisterlocks, feel free to contact her via email at hairstoyounaturally@yahoo.com .
January 6, 2008, Roxbury

"Black women find freedom with new 'do"

Jacqueline & Martine
You might look at Akilah Cobham's hair and see neatly flowing locks. But it's not just hair, it's a cultural movement.

Cobham, a 26-year-old high school Spanish teacher who lives in Roxbury, leapt into Sisterlocks, a hairstyle for black women looking for a sleeker alternative to traditional locks.

"It was like my hair was controlling me," Cobham said of her old hairstyle. She feared sweating out the straightness while working out, so she would plan gym time for right before her weekly visits to the hair salon.

"I wanted a hairstyle that I can look cute in and still live my life," she said. She found the answer in Sisterlocks.

A national movement, Sisterlocks has a growing following in Boston. It's built around the wearers' pride as African-American women and their love of, well, their hair. Websites have sprung up, blogs written. Women chronicle the different stages of Sisterlocks in online photo galleries. They gather periodically in Dorchester.

"Hair is a big issue for black women," said Jacqueline Ashby, a Sisterlocks technician in Dorchester. "They want to end being ashamed of it and start being nappy and beautiful. Some women are even afraid of the word nappy."

Originated in 1993 by JoAnne Cornwell, a professor at San Diego State University, Sisterlocks - a trademark company - promotes not just a hairstyle, but a healthy hair lifestyle, advocates say. Wearers can wash and go, and they can roller-set, curl, and style their hair without using chemicals to change its texture.

The microlocks are increasingly in demand. Just ask Martine Bernard.

She doesn't own a salon or advertise. But her client list runs long, with patrons - including Cobham - across Boston and beyond waiting weeks to sit in her chair in her Roxbury apartment to get the Sisterlocks hairstyle.

Bernard's hair speaks for itself. Her long tinted locks fall gently around her face. You have to look closely to see that each lock is actually made up of 300 to 500 strands of the wearer's own hair, parted and woven together into a tiny pattern, something like very fine crochet. In fact, the locks are made using a kind of crochet hook that Cornwell invented.

Women who see Bernard want the look, and they're spreading the word to their friends, mothers, sisters - even husbands and boyfriends - anyone willing to pay $500 to $600, and to sit for two eight- to 10-hour sessions to install the locks. Upkeep on the hairstyle runs $60 to $120 every six to eight weeks and involves retightening the locks to keep their consistent and neat look.

Martine

"I never thought it would ever grow into this," said Bernard, the first certified Sisterlocks consultant in Boston, whose client list has bloomed from three to nearly 300 in five years. The city now has three trained Sisterlocks consultants and 10 trainees.
Women stop Bernard to quiz her about her hair. Some aren't sure what to make of it. Others wonder if it's real. But for many women who can fire off saga after saga of how chemicals destroy their hair, how weaves break it, how braids installed too tightly wreak havoc - it is beautiful hope.

more stories like thisThe style "has ballooned into a culture, into a movement, into a sense of community," said Bernard, who co-hosted a Sisterlocks event Dec. 15 in Dorchester for women to celebrate their naturalness, share stories, and be empowered by others in the natural hair journey. "I have met every woman from the African diaspora. I have African, West Indian, Afro-European clients. . . . At this point I'm doing daughters. I've done extended families, aunts, cousins, sisters-in-law. . . . Black women are looking desperately for a solution to their hair woes."

As with the defiance of the Afro, the matted rebellion of dreadlocks, and the neatness of traditional palm-twisted locks, Sisterlockers wear their nappiness with another layer of pride.
The locks offer women the flexibility, freedom, beauty and lightness they crave. Sisterlocks, many say, is about black women reclaiming the beauty of their hair - sleekly, naturally.

Jacqueline & Mya (my sister)

In fact, the kinkier and more nappy the hair is, the easier it is to lock and the more beautiful it grows, said Jacqueline Ashby, who has her own online photo gallery and recently locked her daughter Amira's hair this summer.

Women say they are attracted to Sisterlocks because it's not as thick as traditional locks and not as heavy. "It bounces," said Cynthia Cobham, whose daughter Akilah first told her about the style. "It flows."

And the woven technique makes it easy for women to transition to Sisterlocks even if they have chemically treated hair, other locks, or Afros.

Karen Williams, a Sisterlocks trainee in Roxbury, said women - even men - chase her down on the T to find out what she did with her hair. "It's amazing," she said.

Many black women, tired of compromising the health and beauty of their hair to conform to the mainstream, have been moving to natural hairstyles, said Aminah Pilgrim, a professor who teaches black women's history at the University of Massachusetts at Boston.

"In many ways it represents the pride, the strength that comes from self-love and self-care and nurture," she said of Sisterlocks and the natural-hair movement.

Still, Sisterlocks is getting some flak from traditionalists who say that the interwoven locks aren't real locks, as dreadlocks and other styles are, and that the high cost to install the locks excludes a lot of poorer women.

But Sisterlockers contend that the natural hair world is big enough for everyone and that the cost to maintain the hair is comparable to what it would cost over time to keep and maintain a perm or to rebraid the hair with extensions. Women can also take classes on how to retighten their own locks, Bernard and others say.

"It's healing hair," Bernard said of her work. "I know it's hair. But it's not just hair for us. We are healing some of the ingrained feelings about our hair.

Arndrea (makes jewelry) & Ladawn (my niece)
. . .God does not make mistakes."

Meghan Irons can be reached at mirons@globe.com.

© Copyright 2008 Globe Newspaper Company.

Friday, January 4, 2008

Guess Who's Coming to Dharma?


As with all bloggers, sooner or later, there comes a topic that you are not sure you want to share. But no one keeps a light under their bed or a candle in the closet. So, I want to share the light I have received. Right after Thanksgiving and shortly before the week of that holiday, I started to practice daily meditations which include Buddhist chants. It has indeed been life changing. Opportunities I don't think I would have had and discipline that I had not had previously coincided at this time. We've all heard, "Free your mind and the rest will follow." Practicing Buddhism along with Christianity has benefited me greatly!

Well, I have been practicing chanting and trying to practice "religiously" The Noble Eightfold Path:
Wisdom (Sanskrit: prajñā, Pāli: paññā)
1. Right view
2. Right intention
Ethical conduct (Sanskrit: śīla, Pāli: sīla)
3. Right speech
4. Right action
5. Right livelihood
Mental discipline (Sanskrit and Pāli: samādhi)
6. Right effort
7. Right mindfulness
8. Right concentration

My Buddhist experience has been a powerful one. I practice Nichiren chanting from the Soka Gakkai International sect of Buddhism, just like one of my (s)heroes, Tina Turner except she has all the prayers committed to memory unlike myself.

See her chant below. It's really spectacular:


Here are some resources below for other Black Buddhists or if you are Buddhist-Curious:
Resources for Black Buddhists

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Naturally, Sophia May Move to Miami

Miami


I think it's time to move. I really love Atlanta, minus all the DL men and roguish people..oh and traffic. Well, I have a possible opportunity to work outside of the office daily in beautiful Miami. This would mean a raise but relocation expenses are not paid. Beside that, I feel like I have gotten the true experience of Atlanta. I have done almost everything here I wanted to do. I love most of the people of Atlanta. There is a lot of Black history here, and the majority of black and brown people have a certain pride and polish. Not to mention, Atlanta is a loc lovers paradise. I see locs daily even if they have lost thier meaning upon most of the heads of the people who wear them here.

At this point, I am making a pro and con list. The positives include having a more active lifestyle, starting fresh in new town, not changing companies, living near the beach, and a raise.The negatives include moving away from immediate family, moving to a city where I have hardly no friends and family, having to buy a new "used" car, selling/renting my home, moving and packing.

I am scared, nervous,and excited all at once. I am asking all my blogger friends out there for advice. Have any of you ever moved away for a job or change in lifestyle? If so, tell me about it. I moved away for a study abroad in school, but that was temporary. This could be a permanent move! Thoughts?

Atlanta

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

What Dey Say U Is?

I heard regular laughter increases your life span by as much as 8 years. Live long with me:

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Happy New Year!

HAPPY NEW YEAR!
I am writing this post to wish you all a prosperous and healthy New Year! To all of you that have been wondering where I was or e-mailed me concerned why I haven't been posting, I have been very busy working, fasting, renewing myself spiritually, getting in shape, and taking the time to think and center my mind and declutter and mini-renovate my house. Let's just say I got started right after Thanksgiving on my New Year's resolutions. I will be posting more frequently. Stay tuned! lol!
I am grateful for the new friends I have made in the previous year and reading all of your blogs has become a new hobby. They are on the same list as my fashion magazines and Toni Morrison books. Thank you all for your thoughtful comments and great advice. And thank you blog stalkers friends for reading and emailing if you have questions even if you don't comment. lol!