August 6, 2012

Gabby Douglas & the Nappy Weave

I'll admit...I noticed.  Any black woman that's been a black girl noticed.  Cause hair is a BIG part of our identity.  But Good God!  To make an issue about this child's hair to the point that actual articles are being written on major websites about the overdone weave and "hair hatin'"....shame!

I noticed, then I shrugged it off to HARD TIMES.  Obviously.  I mean, getting a fresh do was not a priority for her or her family.  She was too busy preparing to become the first African-American female to win team & individual GOLD at the Olympics.  And I guess her mama was too busy um.....paying BILLS!  Sigh.  So she did the best she could....with a truckload of gel.  Trust me, I've been there. 

I had become used to getting my hair done every two weeks after I transitioned from the curl (it was cute and wavy NOT the drip drip kind!...) to the relaxer.  That is until I went to college and my mother moved back to Chicago.    My every two week ritual was no longer a priority to my family. I was BROKE. So broke that one Easter, I couldn't bear the thought of NOT having my hair done so I scraped up a few dollars, bought a box perm, and went to my grandmother's house in the country to apply the chemicals like I THOUGHT I had seen the professionals do so many times.  How hard could it be??? Sigh.   Let's just say that was the first...and the last time I've relaxed my own hair.  I had so much new growth still after the hair was looking just like Gabby's.  Sitting fat on top of my head.  Thank God it didn't fall out!  Immediate tears.

Anyway, it's mainly black folks talking about her.  I bet it's been discussed on Tom Joyner & Steve Harvey...I'm not positive because I don't listen to all that foolishness first thing in the morning.  But I just know how WE do.  Cracking jokes.  Scorin'. Jesting.  And just plain tearing each other down in the name of "I jus playin'" and a laugh.  That's why so many of us are walking around with complexes  and self-image issues now!  My people.  Sigh.

bite of the day ~ Folks will praise you one minute, and tear you down the next.  Best thing to do is not let either go to your head or your heart.  Do you Gabby!


August 5, 2012

my my my....Youthworld

So I decided to listen to the playlist radio for New Edition on Spotify while I went through my tedious hair washing routine...which unfortunately, I didn't start until after 10:30pm.  Great music always helps. :-)

Of course the station played what are now considered my generation's version of oldies....90s hits from not only New Edition but BBD, Xscape, Al B. Sure, get the point.  My My My by Johnny Gill came on probably during the conditioning of my second section of thick not-too-tangled-this-time hair.

MY MY MY by Johnny Gill

Of course, a flood of memories from that time hit me and I thought about my old youth group at church.  My mother took my brother and I to Faithworld, a nondenominational church in Dallas...Oak Cliff to be exact, when I was about 11 years old.  We stayed there until she moved back to Chicago my freshmen year in college.  Needless to say, me and my youth group...which was proudly known as Youthworld, went through every type of growing pain, life lesson & teenage experience you can think of....together.

The summers were always....interesting to say the least.  Without the distraction of school, there was plenty of time for bonding over the soundtrack of crushes, breakups, make-ups, rivalries and other foolishness.  By sheer will of our parents, volunteers and youth pastors, there was SOME focus on God, Jesus, the Bible and the like.

We would go to a Christian summer camp practically every year.  Ahhhh...more opportunity for theatrics....and you know when the parents are away, the children will PLAY. lol.  Anyway, I remember at one such camp, after dinner and church services with its demonstrations of tongues, holiness and the like....a group of us found ourselves chillin' in a circle outside the bunks singing, of all things, Johnny Gill's My My My. When we came to "....and you're soooo damn fine", Marqui paused and said "Can I say it?" We were like "yeah!".  And she did, a little low....feeling mischievous.  But we all knew that any other time we would be singing "....and you're soooo DAMN fine" just as bold as Johnny did. Good times. lol

Now, we've all pretty much gone our separate ways.  Life has been hard for some and easier for others.  Life is over for a few of us.  (RIP Cynthia.  RIP Robert J.) But wherever life has taken us, we will always be Youthworld.  To my brothers & sisters, whether I ever see your face on this side again, know this....the love is deep and the memories will never be forgotten.  Even the unmentionables.  For those who know..... :-)

bite of the day ~ We shouldn't live in the past, but remembering what you've been through and who you've been through it with can help to strengthen you for the journey ahead.