My Sweethoney Glistening

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“It’s a hell of an honor supporting self reliant, little black girls and boys. Those who love themselves, or need extra support, but allowing them to love themselves nonetheless. Building self-confident, self-assured, aware, #blackchildren without fear, without burdening them with the worlds problems, or with our own needs and problems, without expecting them to fulfill all the things we didn’t, is a feat, that we’re working through. Shout out to all of the beautiful, black mamas and papas (to include loved ones of my own, doing it right now), raising RAD ASS, capable ass, black humans! It can be a difficult road, yet it’s not an impossible journey. Keep up the fantastic work. You got support! We got this!”

Had the privilege of spending a few hours with my 7-year old goddaughter, this afternoon. Her mother went on a job interview (that she scored, on the spot, by the way 🙌🏾)! I was asked to spend time with her until mama finished. We went to my goddaughter’s favorite store, or perhaps, favorite for most children her age, Toys-R-Us. As we walked through the maze of toys, she kept asking for things that I didn’t have the money to buy lol! Its a thing convincing a 7-year old that you’re not rich and barely have money to pay your rent, but knowing she’s still a child I decided to contribute to her experience the best way I could. I snappped photos of all of the items that me, I mean, she wanted, so we could show them to her mother (a big kid like me can dream right 😜 lol?!) She told me that I could show her mama the pictures, but that Santa 🎅🏾  was really the one to tell, since he did all the hard work on Christmas. I didn’t want to burst her bubble about Santa not being real, plus she was at a vibratory frequency, so elevated that I didn’t want to destroy a moment so pure.

I listened instead of talking at her. It seemed therapeutic for us both, the experience of walking through what I call a real live toy jungle #toysrus. We used the time to catch on previous weeks. She was rambunctious, yet mildly subdued while showing me her favorite toys, behaving almost well enough, so that I might buy her something (wishful thinking kid lol)! At any rate, she especially liked the #shopkins, some grocery store item toys and other funny things like that. She told me about doing well in school. I asked, what her favorite part was. She replied, “I loooooooooove reading #chapterbooks!” I asked, why? She told me a story about being able to read them really fast and that she likes all the big words. She went on to tell me that she wants a hundred chapter books to read. Talk about AMBITIOUS, you go girl 🙌🏾🤓🤪!

We walked around most of the store before my feet started to hurt lol! Before leaving, she suggested that we go over to the dolls section. Part of me was nervous because from my view, there was little representation of any dolls that looked like us. I had to trust her though. It’s something about trusting our children in their ability to lead, at least in that moment. Immediately, she gravitated to the few dolls that looked like us #blackandbrown. I was like, I’ll be damned lol! Not that I was surprised-it was more a refreshing feeling, if that makes since? I was beyond happy to know that she was intuitively paying attention! She asked me to take a picture of the first doll she liked. Talk about honored, I was! Photo below

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I captured the brief moment on video, perhaps two seconds too late because she raved on and on about this particular doll, or maybe I was right on time because she still got the point. The moment she chose a doll that had the same hair texture and complexion as her. She didn’t shy away from the familiar. She didn’t shy away from how she really felt. She was in awe of this inanimate objects reflection of herself! It was so much bigger than that. She exclaimed, she’s so pretty!” Here is the short video link from my Instagram page @girlrillavintage ⬇️

She went on to choose, several more dolls of color that she liked. She payed a compliment to her mother by showing me a doll that she said, “looked pretty like her mama”! She asked me to take more photos of dolls that she wanted for Christmas. Here are some of the photos I captured in those moments. I’m so pleased at how at age seven, she hasn’t yet been damaged by our society’s anti-black messages in that way. How inspiring it is to witness her mother, my best friend, raising, three, thriving black daughters. And to witness how the women in her family encouraged her sense of self (from her Nana, to aunties, to her older sister) all who wear their hair #natural and funky other styles!

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What an awesome experience to have had with her! How, I used the opportunity to empower the power within her. How, she sought a reflection of herself in that store. How, I watched her #fallinlove with her beautiful #afrikanface, despite, us being underrepresented in that moment. How AWESOME, witnessing her compliment the black girls in her life. How, she recognized the beautiful familiar in those dolls, and embraced the same within herself. God-mommy win of the year lol! Safe return to the little black girl inside me, living vicariously through her, and all those cool #toys lol! And although I never got to be a playful, little #blackgirl like her, look at how beautiful it is that she gets to be. Sweet honey, glistening! 🍯 ⭐️ 💫 🌟

 

Oh yes and after I showed her mother all the photos and video, she urged me to share this with the world on social-media because it made her proud too, so here we are with permission lol!

Warmest,

#TAG AKA #THEEAMAZINGGRACE AKA #GRACEBERRY #DJBOODESTANK AKA #SLEEPY AKA #MIKE AKA #BROWNSKINSKINNYKID

Scalp-Greasing: A Black Hair Ritual

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Greasing or oiling the scalp has historical roots for black Afrikans born in America. In fact as we’ve become more knowledgeable about the benefits of natural oils, scalp oiling has become common practice among people of all ethnicities to maintain healthy hair and scalp. This entry will highlight how it relates directly to the women in the #afrikanface show and to people of Afrikan descent. During enslavement, we no longer had access to #palmoil that we used in #afrika to care for our hair, so we used other oil-based products like #lard #butter #crisco to condition and soften our hair. Scalp greasing is a ritual.

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Dr. Kari explains perfectly, “The days of washing our hair at the kitchen sink, detangling in the bathroom, perhaps blow drying, and spending time on your mom’s living room floor on a pillow, nestled between her legs for that routine scalp greasing. It was a ritual that, no matter how busy life got, was NOT forgone. Part by part, inch by inch, your scalp was doused in a “miracle” grease”…

Scalp time was our love time (I wrote a poem about this). It was a time to bond, for mama to lay open her hands souls to literally groom you. It seemed almost therapeutic for both of us (even when my hair was tangled, still a tender headed ass), the way she would place a dollop of grease on the back of her hand, comb, then grease, then part, then grease some more, then plat or braid. The jewel was how she managed to have full fledged conversations, sip beer, and brushed my baby hair all fancy, adding her finishing touch. Those were the days, nights, afternoons I still long for today. Come to the show to see how the hair ritual unfolds!

Warmest,

Thee Amazing Grace B

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Naturally Nappily

I can appreciate honesty, but honesty don’t always mean right. My loved one posted a status about their detest of natural hair and how they won’t date a woman whose natural and furthermore when they see it they want to relax it. As I mentioned to them, when you see a woman with natural hair now a days believe me it’s one of the deepest acts of self love out here, so while you hate it, it does no good to hate on the love she got going on for herself. Women of color have suffered self hate of their own skin far too long and now we are falling in love with ourselves all over again simply by wearing our hair the way it was gifted to us at birth. This is our revolution, our birth right! I loooooove my nappy and all things nappy. heart emoticon ‪#‎naps‬ ‪#‎loveyourhair‬ ‪#‎naturalisbeautiful‬

-Gracie Berry

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Meh Jata by Thee Amazing Gracie Berry

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Meh Jata by Gracie Berry

No! My hair is not a fad. It is nothing less than a natural phenomenon. My birth right. Meh dreds, rasta, shiva, locs, jata. Yea…I Loc’d, following a sinfully addictive relationship. Rebelled the loss of my lover, so I Loc’d for healing. The rebellion sort of rid me of a sickness in mind, yet severed my vocal folds-silenced me whole. My spirit needed the calm centering from a weighted blanket, or to be doused with glitter to make pretty what was left and loathing. And that black magik woman didn’t allow me to stop feeling. In fact despondent inside from sad currents washing on and off the shores of my heart that had been kind. Maddening smiles of suicide ached me so like hamstrings after running. BENEATH my scalp was vulnerable, and those damn fingers gnawing beneath my scalp were RAMBUNCIOUS LIKE CHILDREN playing and teasing too much. Fingernails etched unmet needs into the fabric of my temples both sardonic and harsh. Oh but these locs made breathing natural again! They circulated everything CHANGED! Scars healed over. Replenished supplies of worthy and strong and pretty. And I can hear the GOT DAMN sound of my own voice again! IT’S Loud, raspy, rumbling! Meh jata, keeper of MY brown secrets, a visual poem, cascading downward, elegant, black, triumphant, CHANGED.

And my new growth stands for everything RADICAL! YET This NEW GROWTH ain’t always been treated kind. Been outcast while sitting peacefully at my local coffee shop, been molested while standing in lines at the grocery store, and protested by dead white eyes while PRACTICING Nadi Shodhana in the park. And their privilege always stalks me with their eyes-then averts when mine stare back. They glare-hate and curiosity-an immanently dangerous combination. And they have the unmitigated gull to blame all things considered on my pigment? Well I move to fucking strike and blame all things considered on their privilege! Check my locs! This shit is beyond skin deep! THIS SHIT IS INHERITED “bad behavior”, stitched into the framework of the universe-light moons-old of bullying and shaming the dark, causing trauma to those of us born from the dark before we even arrive on the planet.

And ENTITLEMENT makes them kick and break things while wearing rose colored glasses to combat every painful truth from US bloodied and trailing ALONG THE WAY. And they never consider our journeys-victims indeed. That have survived to tell our stories of hair more alive than dead! In fact umbilical cord commitments between US and the CREATIVE. And instead of owning these facts-they blame us for what they see, project onto us what they feel or cannot understand as if we have no understanding of such things. Or they are offended when we turn stone or jarring to protect what liberties their curiosities told them to take from our bodies. Shit! This dred right here just might be that little bit of curiosity that sets you free. Cause Meh jata will not cower for you! No! You can NOT touch! Meh jata will not apologize for what you see! Step aside-Stop taking up the whole got damn pavement! Meh jata is Afrikan and lives on American soil! Recognize us with more than Lincon’s copper pennies. Meh jata holds secrets for the universe-adorns our temples with love, and cowrie shells and copper elephants. Cause my hair is as historically significant to black culture as black skin. Know this. Believe this. Respect my locs! -Thee Amazing Grace #girlrillavintage #tag #theeamazinggrace