The Community (Jocelyn Hinton)

I pray for my peers and my elders
And the children going to school to learn the basics
And the unborn for my own.

I haven’t had the dreams of becoming the mother I once wanted to be
But I always have the goals of reaching lost souls.
How? You may ask me but never fully know
It’s my peers, elders, children and the unborn we still have left.

I have always had this caring heart. I’ve been told by the non factors to my life that I was selfish but just like me at that same time, they weren’t seeing the bigger picture.

So I ask myself time and time again
Jocelyn why must you have the heart God carries you in?
Patience.
It’s not about finding love
Or being the guidance to love
But loving yourself that is the key.

You wonder why you cry inside
Because you haven’t dug deep
In your heart.
Haven’t dug deep in your soul.
You gotta understand that people will respect you when they see how much you respect yourself.
Go around saying God bless but when’s the last time you prayed for yourself?

It’s my peers, elders, children and the unborn we still have left
We as a black community need to come together and teach to the lost souls and preach to the loved ones and not shoot to kill and laugh because of trickery.

Raise one another up to see the fire God has put in every single one of us.
Know that no matter what you go through he’s going to love you where you’re at.

Because it’s my peers, elders, children and the unborn we still have left.

Dark Skin, RED Lip

One day last week I was on Twitter and saw something that said “every black person on Twitter needs to rt this at least once, RIP queen, you won’t be forgotten.” In the photo below that text there were two pictures of Miss. Karyn Washington with a caption that read, “Karyn Washington, founder of ‘For Brown Girls’ and the ‘Dark Skin, Red Lips’ project has died at the tender age of 22. And this was not a natural death. This was an apparent suicide. Karyn, who dedicated herself to the uplifting of dark-skinned black girls and women, and worked so hard that they would have a sense of well-being, was struggling with depression and mental illness, and was unable to extend the love she gave to others to herself.” *Eyerolls to the second part of their caption.*

Immediately after reading this tweet I began to look up For Brown Girls and Karyn Washington. The first piece of information I found was an article that featured a video from one of her closest friends. Her friend talked about how loving and sweet Karyn was. She also confirmed Karyn’s death was not caused by self hate or “not extending the love she gave to others to herself.” Karyn’s mother passed away from cancer which seems to have had a major impact on her. (If you are struggling with any suicidal thoughts please call the national hotline at 1 (800) 273-8255 or reach out to me. It doesn’t matter if you know me or not, we can talk.) Articles on her death were posted everywhere I tried to search for For Brown Girls. Rumors and people being plain nasty should not overshadow the great work Karyn did!

I want to celebrate her life and everything she did because that work made a way for myself and others with similar missions! Karyn’s work inspires me. I would be grateful to have even half of the impact she had on black females.

The mission of FBG posted on their tumblr page is “www.forbrowngirls.com, an organization dedicated to celebrating the darker shades of brown while combatting colorism” (Colorism is described as “prejudice or discrimination against individuals with a dark skin tone, typically among people of the same ethnic or racial group.” – Google Dictionary.) “and promoting self love! FBG was founded in 2011 by Karyn Washington.” It looks like the website is now owned by someone else but I would still encourage everyone to check out http://forbrowngirls.tumblr.com/!

Karyn Washington, Founder of FBG and The #DarkSkinRedLips Project

The mission the #DarkSkinRedLip Project posted on their tumblr page is “Breaking Barriers and Building Confidence!” is the tag-line of ForBrownGirls’ latest ongoing online campaign that invites women with darker skin complexions to submit and showcase a photo of them rocking a red lip (www.darkskinredlip.com). Since April, the organization has been promoting this project through social media and word of mouth to help put an end to the notion that women of a darker hue don’t look attractive wearing bright colors, in particular, red lipstick. Along with abolishing that stigma, the project will serve as inspiration to any girl or woman who have given into this stereotype and shied away from wearing a red lip. In viewing such images, a darker skinned girl who is hesitant to try a red lip will find the confidence to step out of her comfort zone, disregarding the opinion of anyone else. The project has received much support and we look forward to reaching our goal of having 1,000+ women participate.” Find more at http://darkskinredlip.tumblr.com/!

Love the skin you’re in. I don’t care what anyone says about you, you are beautiful. (Read our Beauty Quotes post!) In order to continue Karyn’s efforts I encourage everyone to post a photo of themselves wearing their favorite red lipstick or saying why you love your skin tone.

Black History Month

Black History Month was created by Carter G. Woodson, who originally named it Negro History Week in 1926. There was just too much to celebrate so it became Black History Month in 1976. Since Frederick Douglass and Abraham Lincoln have birthday’s in February, this month was chosen.
Since it is the last day of Black History Month, let’s look at 40 who have influenced our lives and culture:

  1. Sarah Rector- One of the richest African Americans in the early 1900’s (at the age of 10.)
  2. Queen Mother Nana Yaa Asantewaa- Queen mother of Ghana who fought against the British empire.
  3. Ella Baker- Worked behind the scenes during the Civil Rights Movement. Rosa Park’s mentor and worked beside W.E.B Dubois.
  4. Nelson Mandela- Former President of Africa who worked relentlessly to end apartheid.
  5. Diane Nash – Freedom Writer, SNCC member, and Selma voting rights committee member.
  6. Septima Poinsette Clark- “Grandmother of the Civil Rights Movement.”
  7. Nat Turner- Led a slave rebellion in Virginia.
  8. Frederick Douglass- A former slave who lead the abolitionist movement.
  9. Claudette Colvin- Civil Rights Pioneer. Refused to give up her seat before Rosa Parks at the age of 15.
  10. Harriet Tubman- An underground railroad conductor who led slaves to freedom.
  11. Daisy Bates- Newspaper Owner; this paper was known as the voice of the civil rights movement. Served on the Johnson Administration. Worked to reduce poverty.
  12. Madame C.J. Walker- Creator of some of the first black hair products and cosmetics.
  13. President Barack Obama- The first Black President of the United States, and the winner of a Nobel Peace Prize.
  14. Nina Simone- Singer who broke many barriers. Civil Rights Activist.
  15. Michael Jackson- The King of Pop; a black music pioneer.
  16. Benjamin Banneker- Author of Benjamin Banneker’s almanac.
  17. Sojourner Truth- “Ain’t I am Woman”, abolitionist and women’s rights leader.
  18. Hallie Quinn Brown- Educator, writer, and activist who organized the Colored Women’s League.
  19. Phylicia Rashad- First African American actress to win a Tony for a leading role (A Raisin in the Sun.)
  20. Ava DuVernay- The director of the film Selma, with her own barbie doll!
  21. Rev, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.- A non-violent leader pivotal to the Civil Rights Movement.
  22. Langston Hughes- Poet and activist who wrote about black life in the early 1900’s.
  23. Josh Gibson- A Hall of Fame, Negro League baseball catcher.
  24. Ella Fitzgerald- The First Lady of Song, Jazz singer.
  25. Maya Angelou- Prominent poet, activist, and leader.
  26. Medgar Evers- Civil Rights Activist who worked on Voting Rights.
  27. Dorothy Dandridge- The first African American woman to be nominated for the Best Actress Academy Award.
  28. Colin Powell- First African American Secretary of State; Retired Four-Star General; The only African American to serve of the Joints Chief of Staff.
  29. MarShawn McCarrel- #BlackLivesMatter Activist
  30. Don Cornelius- Creator and Host of Soul Train.
  31. Angela Davis- Professor, Activist, and writer who was a member of the US Communist Party.
  32. Hattie McDaniel-The first African American to win an Oscar (1940.)
  33. WEB DuBois- American Civil Rights Activist, professor, author, sociologist, and much more.
  34. Viola Davis-Actress/ Elegant Role Model for Black females.
  35. Dr. Patricia Bath-First African American doctor to receive a medical patent.
  36. Mrs. F.E.W Harper- Abolitionist and women’s rights activist.
  37. Maxine Waters- Congresswoman “one of the most powerful women in politics.”
  38. Hydeia Broadbent- Born with HIV, but she did not let that hold her as she is a motivator; Humanitarian.
  39. The Greensboro 4- NC A&T students who performed the sit in at Woolworth’s
  40. Eric Holder-The first African American Attorney General of the United States

There are so so so so so so so so so so so so many more names that could be added to this list because there has always been #BlackExcellence! Let’s keep it going!

I Met THE Angela Davis

😁 When you get to meet the one and only, yes the one and only Angela Davis!!!

Angela Davis is an activist, author, professor, and so much more! She is most known for being a member of the Black Panther Party, appearing on the FBI’s 10 Most Wanted Fugitive list for a crime she did not commit, and her popping afro. She was later acquitted and resumed her activist work. Angela Davis is a legend, she will eloquently school someone in a hot second and always speaks up for what it right.

Ms. Davis was the featured speaker for my university’s Black History Month Kickoff. They gave her a brief time to speak but the tidbits we did get were jewels.
She spoke on the connection between African American’s struggles and movements in this country with other movement here and in places like Palestine.The abolition of industrialized prison institutions was a major point of the speech.
“Punishment has become a substitute for for addressing a whole range of issues: education, healthcare, and housing and jobs.”
Ms. Davis also talked about global capitalism, the recent “admission” of the woman who caused Emmett Till’s death, minimum wage, and reminding us that “we cannot forget that we want to change the world.”

This experience was truly an honor.