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In Our Opinion Lifestyle

The Get Down in the Boogie Down

Netflix The Get Down

The Get Down in the Boogie Down

If you are a true hip hop aficionado, you will enjoy the sounds of The Get Down, although the first Baz Luhrmann directed episode took a minute for me to get through. A Netflix series that sets place in the late 70’s in the South Bronx, also known as the Boogie Down. The show revolves around the main teenage characters Ezekiel and Mylene, played by Justice Smith and Herizen F. Guardiola respectively. He loves her and she tries to keep him in the friend zone as she pursues a career in disco, with dreams of leaving the ghetto. Along for the six-part series, are a few friends including Jaden Smith who plays Dizzee, an eccentric character that displays his artistic talents on the walls, and subways of the neighborhood.

The highlight of the first episode is a poem Ezekiel doesn’t want to recite in front of his class on the last day of school. I loved the poem so much, I searched for it but came up empty handed. If you watch the show and know the words that make up the emotional piece of art, let me know. Something tells me that it may relate to lyrics to one of hip hop’s greatest lyricists Nas’, songs. Nas is one of the Executive Producers of this Netflix drama.

Netflix The Get Down

The idea of The Get Down is confusing at first, is it about teenage love in the controversy of poverty? Is it about the dynamics of forming bonds and relationships with different people in the same environment? Is it about the desire to be something bigger than you ever thought to be because of all the obstacles that lie before you, that show you cannot be this and cannot be that? All of these what ifs, make up the six first episodes of The Get Down. It’s the 70’s so there are drugs, there are afros, and there are bell bottom pants. In another universe, this is my era. Corruption in the government, the introduction to NYC Mayor Ed Koch, the big NYC blackout, family drama and disco music, lots of disco music. Along with the disco, we see how the music industry slowly introduces us to a new sound we know as the start of hip hop.

Hip Hop iconic Grandmaster Flash is portrayed by actor Mamoudou Athie who mentors Ezekiel’s troublesome friend Shaolin, to the art of being a great DJ. It is DJ Shaolin that sees “wordsmith” potential in Ezekiel and the desire for them both to put their frustration at life into their art. With Shaolin learning how to spin the records at the right time, and Ezekiel, now renamed Books, being the Master of Ceremonies (MC), they form a group called the ‘Fantastic 4 + 1’.

Netflix The Get Down

The Get Down, similar to other musical stories, has room to grow. The second part of this show premieres in 2017, and I’ll be tuning in to see the growth of Ezekiel’s poetry to a beat, and his love for Mylene; Shaolin’s battle between the streets and his passion for being a DJ, will his choice be what’s best for him and the group?

Have you watched Netflix’s show The Get Down? What do you think?

Natural Hair

10 Natural Hair Shampoos Under $10

10 Natural Hair Shampoos Under $10

Most naturals use the “no poo method” because general shampoos contain sulfates, stripping moisture out of the hair. As much as I love cowashing, it’s just not enough for me after swimming, when I haven’t shampooed due to long term protective styling or because of product buildup. If you’re looking for sulfate free, cleansing or moisturizing shampoos under $10, here’s a great list.

Jane Carter Moisture Nourishing Shampoo

Jane Carter Shampoo

Average Cost: $6-9

Uses:

Jane Carter Moisture Nourishing Shampoo is a pH balanced shampoo that gently cleans your hair and scalp. It is also safe for color-treated, gray and fine hair.

INSPIRE Creamy Coconut Cleanser

INSPIRE Creamy Coconut Cleanser

Average Cost: $8.99

Uses:

The INSPIRE Creamy Coconut Cleanser has a blend of shea butter, honey and coconut oil help moisturize and manage the hair during wash day.

PUREifying Cleanser

PUREifying Cleanser

Average Cost: $9.99

Uses:

Previously reviewed by Kat on her 4C Hair, Pure By Made Beautiful’s PUREifying Cleanser is part of Made Beautiful’s detox hair care collection.  It removes product build-up and impurities, giving your hair and scalp a fresh start and restoring your hair’s natural shine.

EDEN BodyWorks Peppermint Tea Tree Shampoo

EDEN BodyWorks Peppermint Tea Tree Shampoo

Average Cost: $8-9

Uses:

If your hair loves peppermint oil, the EDEN BodyWorks Peppermint Tea Tree Shampoo may be your holy grail. This shampoo is formulated to help alleviate dry scalp with pure peppermint extracts and increases scalp circulation.

CURLS Creamy CURL Cleanser

CURLS Creamy CURL Cleanser Continue Reading

In Our Opinion Lifestyle Natural Hair Women in Business

Lessons about Natural Hair in Business

Lessons

Lessons about Natural Hair in Business

Lessons

In the natural hair community, there is often the question of, how do I wear my hair in an office setting? How do I wear my hair to an interview? Am I able to climb the business ladder with natural hair? And the response that I find myself internally answering is are you kidding me? Yes, many of our culture before us including myself, have slathered the creamy substance on our strands to relax the curly texture. This was to fit into the perception that society placed upon us that relaxed hair was required to advance in your career. Natural hair in business is not like saying please and thank you. It is not a manner of behavior that you are taught to fit into a place and time, it is a part of our identity should you not alter it. There are several lessons I’ve learned while watching the rerun of Living Single, Season 2 episode 13 where Kyle was in turmoil about possibly losing his job because of his growing natural hair in the business setting. Kyle came to realize and expressed, our natural hair is a part of who we are and should not be seen as a deterrent for our success.

Lessons

With a somewhat interesting first and last name, I was not initially identified as being a “black girl”. The business school I attended, sent our resumes out to companies with our personal data removed. The first layer of bias was removed, so the hiring manager could only see my qualifications and not assume who I was based on the city and street my address showed on a resume. I could only imagine what my interviews beyond my qualifications would have been like at the time, had I came in with a mini natural afro or with the beginning buds of locs, if I was called in for an interview at all. Lucky for me (sarcastically speaking), I already know what that experience would have been just from the response I received when I came in after I big chopped. Some loved it, some did not. However, at that stage of my career, you could not openly discriminate against me because of my appearance. I neatly presented myself, articulated in the same manner and even advanced my education to reach the next step on the ladder. My hair was not and should not be a topic of conversation when it was my knowledge and qualifications that allowed for a positive or negative review of my tasks and the expectation for me to complete those tasks. Ultimately, it was not anyone of any power to remove me from my position that offered negativity about my appearance, but colleagues on the same level. Kyles’ director, another African American male with a short natural cut, put the idea that he would not be able to advance, and worse, be let go because of his hair. It is unfortunate that in the 1990’s, today and I’m sure in future years, there will be brothers and sisters that will feel a particular animosity when you separate yourself and acclimate to something different than what they are familiar with. The idea that you are able to still move in stride and advance in the business career despite your natural hair or how you carry yourself. I would guess the same as when you leave the environment you grew up in and come back to visit family, just to be greeted with fake smiles and disapproval of making something out of yourself. The nerve of you!

Lessons

I recently encountered a young gentleman, similar to the position Kyle was in. Unfortunately without hesitation, one day he had locs, the next day he did not. The pressure to look like every other male in the environment influenced his decision to remove his identity and blend in. To look like all the other young males in the business. I do not mention because I can only assume that he was interviewed and hired with this look. With his young demeanor, he was easily influenced to change his look to not only fit in, but with the illusion that he would be the next great professional because he cut off his hair? He was pressured into fitting into a mentor’s ideology, someone else not of his culture, and in my opinion slightly bias to the change of the business appearances. I often question, what does your hair have to once again, do with how you articulate yourself? If your qualifications match with the review of your tasks?

I learned that we as a people, are not as strong minded as we’d like to believe. If so, why change who you are and how you look when it comes to our natural hair in a business setting? As our culture evolves and the next new thing is in place, I’ll hope that accepting our natural hair was not just a fashion statement but a way of life that is carried into a boardroom. If we’ve also learned anything from Gabby Douglas, we have a job to do, as long as we are being and looking professional, putting our best foot forward while accomplishing that goal, our hair should not be of concern.

What lessons have you learned in business since being natural?

Natural Hair Product Reviews

Q-Redew on 4b Hair

QRedew_Large_Logo

I was sent a Q-Redew to review and give my honest opinion.

I’m a fan of hair steaming, it is really beneficial especially to type 4 hair. Steam allows the hair to get a boost of extra moisture in a natural gentle way. Here’s how Q-Redew describes their product: “The Q-Redew hand held hair steamer is a new, patented hair styling/treatment tool. The Q-Redew applies warm mist/steam to reshape, enhance volume and texture, and moisturize – in minutes – giving you styling control without re-wetting, and added moisture between conditioning treatments…”

 

Here’s my reasons why a Q-Redew a must have tool if you have kinky curly hair:

 

  1. Size. It’s smaller than a full size steamer and a table top steamer. It packs away easily and isn’t heavy.

 

  1. It’s easy to use. There are no complicated instructions. Just fill with water, plug it in and pull trigger for steam.

 

  1. Multiple uses. Use the Q-Redew to gently stretch hair, refresh a wash and go, or quickly deep condition hair. The possibilities are endless, I’ve even heard some use it facials.

 

  1. Time. The unit heats up quickly and the steam makes kinky curly hair extremely manageable.

 

  1. Zero hair damage. The units teeth are like that of a wide tooth comb, they are spaced far enough that they won’t snag curls. Also, steam comes from the tips which help hair glide through.

 

I’m a big fan of the Q-Rdew. I recommend that every curlista have one. Click here to get your own!!

 

Do you own a Q-Redew? Tell us about your experience.

Natural Hair

10 Natural Hair CoWashes Under $10

10 Natural Hair CoWashes Under $10

If you are a natural dealing with dry hair, cowashing may just be the answer. A CoWash is the short term for “Conditioner Only Washing”, a process of cleansing the hair without stripping it of it’s natural oils like shampoos do. If you’re looking for a cowash that’ll work for you, here are ten cowashes under $10.

True by Made Beautiful Cowash Cleansing Condtioner

True by Made Beautiful Cowash Cleansing Conditioner

Average Cost: $9.99

Uses:

The True by Made Beautiful Cowash Cleansing Conditioner is sulfate free and made with all natural ingredients. It also removes product build up and conditions hair without stripping moisture.

 

Creme of Nature with Argan Oil Curlicous Co-Wash

Creme of Nature with Argan Oil Curlicous Co-Wash

Average Cost: $8-9

Uses: Creme of Nature with Argan Oil Curlicous Co-Wash is light-weight, cleanses and removes product residue. It has a blend of Argan Oil and Argan Butter formulated to hydrate frizzy and dry hair strands.

As I Am Coconut CoWash

As I Am Coconut CoWash

Average Cost: $7-9

Uses:

The As I Am Coconut CoWash is a no-suds conditioning cream that spreads throughout your hair and removes residue. It is a personal favorite and a natural hair staple to many. It maintains moisture and helps hair retain moisture until the next wash day.

Cantu Complete Conditioning Co-Wash

Cantu Complete Conditioning Co-Wash

Average Cost: $4-5

Uses:

The Cantu Shea Butter for Natural Hair Complete Conditioning Co-Wash is free of sulfates, silicones, parabens and mineral oil. This cowash cleanses the scalp to avoid product build and provides deep moisture.

EDEN BodyWorks All Natural Coconut Shea CoWash

eden cowash
Average Cost
: $8-9

Uses:

The EDEN BodyWorks All Natural Coconut Shea CoWash is a no-suds, moisture rich, sulfate free cleansing conditioner that leaves hair silky, soft, and frizz-free. It has Coconut Oil to preserve the hair’s natural proteins, Shea Butter to protect, smooth and lubricate hair, and Aloe Vera to soften the hair. This product works well for mini naturals too.

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Family In Our Opinion Lifestyle

A Few Reasons Why Back to School Aggravates Me

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A Few Reasons Why Back to School Aggravates Me

With summer camp for my mini me officially over in two more weeks, I’m excited for the normal day to day functions to begin again when school resumes. Learning new things is a big thing in our home. Not only does our daughter learn and experience what’s new for the school year, we go through the learning process right along with her. What I’m not excited for is the foolishness that the school system puts me through. Don’t understand? Let’s go over a few reasons why mini me going back to school aggravates me.

Abundance of school supply requests – Before the end of the last school year, parents opened their children book bags – for those that still do, and found a packet. If I were a new mom, I’d think it was some summer activities, maybe some local events to attend during the warm months ahead. No! It was a never ending list of supplies needed for the following year.

Now I don’t mind buying a notebook, enough pencils to line up and cover my living room floor but what I won’t do is buy the whole class a supply of tissue for their boogie noses. How about ten notebooks? What are these ten individual color coded notebooks for? One book for literature, another for math, blue colored book for penmanship and purple for phonics. The intention is to have organization and teach the children the same however, when my child returns home at the end of said school year with notebooks with not even ten pages used, this aggravates me. I tried. I show my child that I tried. She will be the one in class that the teacher sees that has parents that tried. What I can’t do though is try to waste money.

Back to the point about the tissue, my daughter has her own individual tissue packets in her book bag, pocket sized Purell and even individual tissue in her pockets, why must 24 children in one class bring in 2 boxes each of tissue? If my math is on point, 48 boxes of tissue for 24 children if each brings in 2 boxes and then at holiday break, which is in December for those of you without children, they are requesting more? 24 rolls of Scott Toilet Tissue on sale, so of course you get 2, for a family of four don’t run out that quick. We’re not even going to touch the same thoughts about paper towels. Come on!!

Children grow, we expect our children to grow. My baby will be taller than me, I’ve come to accept this fact that I’ll be the shortest member of our immediate family. What aggravates me about her growth and buying uniforms is, due to the color choice of the uniforms for the school, I’m restricted to certain stores. Of course these stores don’t include factory outlets that I can buy a number of shirts at a decent price. My child is a weed between the months of October to December. So whatever we buy in September is slightly big and by the time she returns to school in the following year after the holidays, her pants are barely at the ankle, her skirts are mid-thigh and the only thing that remains to somewhat fit are her tops. Insert sad face. There should be an exchange or discounted program for these gently used clothes that can no longer be worn by my weed but by another shorter child that attends her school.

Final thing about returning back to school that aggravates me is the school lunch program. For the first year of her elementary school experience, my child decided that she would like to bring her own lunch. So we agreed since we didn’t want her hungry during the day being a picky eater. We would get up slightly early to make her lunch and pack it away in her lunchbox that she carried on her way to school. A month into her school year, we received a bill for school lunch. Confused, I called the school. Yes, my name is and my child is and she brings lunch in everyday, why did we receive a bill? Your child receives a try every day. My child, the slick con artist she can sometimes be, was weighing her options with lunch and we were paying the price. If peanut butter and crackers, her choice by the way didn’t look as great as the baked ziti, then baked ziti it was. I would guess it’s a good thing that they do not deny any child a tray of food but it aggravates me that my greedy child was playing us.

Lunch from home was final and ceased from the next day going forward.

Ok, final, final thing about returning back to school that aggravates me is the school’s option to stay current with technology. Reminding us constantly about school activities used to come in paper form in a notebook or folder. Now, it’s a recording to your telephone number. What can be so aggravating about this? My cellphone number is the primary contact number, because I’m the mama! So for every single activity that they want participation is, there is a phone call. In the morning, there’s a phone call, in the afternoon there’s a phone call, in the evening there is a phone call. I want to throw my phone sometimes. Never mind when school is in session and I’m thinking something is wrong at school with my child and I have to leave my job to attend to the issue and they are only saying – “This is a reminder that tomorrow is coffee chat with the principal. Please arrive at 8:45 am.”

No one needs that many reminders about coffee with the principal, seriously. What I do know is because this aggravates me so much, the first coffee chat with the principal for the new school year, guess who will be there bright and cheery eyed with their never ending list of things we should discuss to make the school environment and parent participation better.

Are you ready for the new school year? Have any reasons you’re not ready for it?