Friday, January 24, 2014

A Natural Is Cool Enough Black History Month Event at the U: Definitely N.I.C.E.!

At the University of Miami, we are getting geared up for Black History Month and exciting Natural Hair Events.   Information about the first event is depicted, with information below.  This is exciting because there is no doubt that there is a natural hair revolution going on.  An attitudinal survey was conducted by me, to determine,  if the notion of a natural hair revolution is something that the individuals who took the survey agree is true.  Responses from 90 women were received.  Of those women, 70 are affiliated with UM and 20 are not.  The results are very informative! So if you are interested in the survey questions and the results, stay tuned as I will be releasing them at the end of February.  In the meantime,   we will begin with the Photographic Exhibit and the Poetry Slam.  If you are in the vicinity of the event,  join us!  It's going to be a celebration of the reality that Natural Is Cool Enough and that, of course, is N.I.C.E.!!

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Richard Sherman--A True Scholar-Athlete with a healthy head of lovely locks: That's N.I.C.E.!

 A big dialogue has ensued about Richard Sherman's outburst at the end of the game and essentially, I am not going to take a position on this at all.  All I have to say is that Sherman is from Compton  in Los Angeles, was the Salutatorian of  his High School class at Dominguez High School, received a degree from Stanford University with a 3.9 GPA and is working towards a Master's Degree at Stanford, if not already received.  The conclusion from the vantage point of N.I.C.E. is that the word thug would not be an accurate word to describe Sherman, no matter the tone of his commentary.  Instead, he is an accomplished, scholar-athlete with outstanding dreadlocks, so at the end of the day, within the context of the Sherman upheaval, it is clear that he knows and thinks that Natural Is Cool Enough and that's N.I.C.E.! 

Of all the commentaries and discussions that I have heard about Sherman, I think the conclusion of this one sums it up best: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hQCEd6vr9ro

and here is his debate about Good Hair/Bad Hair with Winston Guy: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pk_Qi9njnyE

Again, an indication that Richard Sherman knows that Natural is Cool Enough!

Friday, January 17, 2014

Sasheer Zamata, a Natural Hair Comedic Diva with DRAKE on SNL: That's N.I.C.E.!

Saturday Night Live has chosen a new comedian, who is also a Black woman, after a 6 year lapse of doing so. That alone, is great news.  What is also great is that she will be another black sister on television, sporting her natural hair. http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/jan/08/saturday-night-live-saheer-zamata-change-writing.  For those of you who are SNL fans, this is big!  This is exciting!  Natural Hair is infiltrating the media/television and beyond, on every level which is quite exciting.  So to Shasheer Zamata, there is not much to say yet until you are seen in comedic action on this Saturday, July 18, when Drake will be the host.  Good luck to you Zamata and there is great appreciation that you know that Natural IS Cool Enough for SNL and beyond.

Friday, January 3, 2014

Natural Hair and Taking Charge of Your Student Loans: Two Smart Steps Towards Becoming Financially Savvy in this New Year!

Let me begin by asking some questions.  How much money do you spend on your hair?  How often do you go to the salon/beauty parlor? How much do you pay to get your hair permed or touched up?  How much do you pay for natural hair products? How much money do you spend on weave? Truly ask yourself these questions and perhaps, if you have time, sit down and add up the costs.  Are the figures reasonable?  As the author Iyanla Vanzant says, "tell yourself the truth about yourself."  Look in the mirror and tell yourself the truth about how much money you spend on your hair whether your style is natural or not.

The reason I am bringing this up is because I just finished writing a new book.  Actually it is the second of a series and is entitled Forgiveness for Your Student Loans, Part II:  The Information You Need to Avoid Default!  I wrote this book because this nation has over a trillion dollars in student loan debt.  Students are paying or will be paying as graduates, over 6% interest on these loans and the debt is steadily piling up for most people who are pursuing higher education.  It's an unfortunate situation but perhaps, an investment in yourself.  Jobs are tight and you may or may not be able to find a job in the field in which you studied after you graduate but you will be educated, if you take the matter of your college experience, in the classroom, seriously.  So, because some are unable to pay their student loan debt, for various reasons, I wrote books about this to try to provide important and useful information because student loan default is a serious financial problem for many.  Why not avoid it, if you can? To acquire my new book, here is the site: http://www.amazon.com/Forgiveness-Your-Student-Loans-Part-ebook/dp/B00HNF3XWC/ref=sr_1_4?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1388776071&sr=1-4&keywords=forgiveness+for+your+student+loan 

The book is in kindle format so if yo don't have a kindle, you can go to this site and download the free kindle app: http://www.amazon.com/gp/feature.html?docId=1000493771 The app can be downloaded to your smart phone, ipad, iphone, Windows 8 PC or tablet, Blackberry or Windows Phone.

I share this book with you because if you are a student taking out loans or a graduate of a college/university and have loans as a result, the above information may be useful to you.  I bring it up in the context of getting our act together, in this new year, in regard to finances and perhaps spending less on our hair, as an immediate step.  Personally, I believe it is cheaper to maintain your hair naturally.  Literally, all that is needed is to wash your hair and take care of it yourself, which eliminates the cost of anyone else being involved.  So what do you need?  First let's begin with product.  For some individuals, within the context of deciding to go natural, a need seems to arise to spend significant amounts of money on the purchase of hair products.  Why?  Truly, all that is needed is a good, thick, creamy shampoo and conditioner (if you can get them both in the same bottle, that is particularly great) and a good moisturizer. If you do not have locks, you need a good comb and whether you have locks or not, a good brush.  That's truly it! There is not even a need for a blow dryer, which is very damaging to your hair and runs up your electricity bill!

Personally, I have reduced the costs in regard to taking care of my hair so significantly that I am extremely proud about it.  There is very little money made by anyone in regard to my hair.  All of the money that would be used to line someone's pockets in the billion dollar hair product industry is saved for me.  All of that money and time that I would use to go sit in a chair for someone to do to my hair, what I can do for myself, is saved for me.  I wash, condition, moisturize, twist and brush my own hair and have been doing so for over 20 years.  I did go a little crazy with product when I decided to start my locks 22 years ago, and prior to that I spent lots of money getting my hair braided until I learned how to braid my own hair, including adding extensions and I don't even want to think about how much it was costing me when I was getting a perm.  I've never had a weave, so luckily I was saved from that expense and time consuming endeavor while others would have made a lot of money off of me just so I could wear somebody else's hair that grew out of their scalp.  As mentioned above,  even when I braided my own hair, adding extensions, I lost way too much of my time and money for the purchase of the hair.  So, I decided to stop that!  Locks require me taking care of my own hair as it grows out of my scalp and it grows very, very long.  Why would I need extensions, synthetic or otherwise? These were very personal decisions for me but it was when I came to these conclusions, in terms of my hair, that I realized that I was conscious and awake and this spread rapidly to many aspects of my life, financially and otherwise. 

Ultimately, in this New Year, perhaps taking a moment to consider where we are spending money unnecessarily and taking charge of situations that can truly mess us up financially, like student loans, is a great place to start.  Natural hair is so absolutely beautiful.  There is no doubt about it.  Styling it on your own and stepping out looking beautifully natural is a gift that you can give to yourself.  All of the money you save can be used to travel or pay for portions of your education, reducing your need for loans or for anything else that you deem worthy of your money that benefits you.  I have chosen these two topics, natural hair and student loans to focus on, as money saving/financial management considerations for the new year.  I suggest that you start with your hair and work your way down to your feet and look all around you in terms of everything you are experiencing and decide what you may want to reconsider, in terms of how you spend your money, and how you manage your finances. In 2014, perhaps debt no more, is the way to go.  If you ARE in debt, how can you acquire the knowledge to make it less stressful and so you can handle it in an empowered manner?  The bottom line is that being natural, in terms of your hair, and taking care of that aspect of your life, financially, is a starting point to opening your consciousness about what matters to you.   As you look at yourself in the mirror, in the year 2014, will it be better for you financially if you embraced your natural hair and decided Natural IS Cool Enough and took charge of managing your own hair?   That would be and is definitely N.I.C.E.!

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Idle, Wild, Love: N.I.C.E. Salutes A New, Young, Sister, Novelist, Shaida Escoffery!

   First, let me begin by saying Happy New Year to all N.I.C.E. Readers.  I hope that this year brings you peace, prosperity, love, joy, good health and that you will embrace the reality of knowing that Natural IS Cool Enough!  

   I want to share some good news with you to begin our New Year on this second precious day of 2014. Sometimes, in your midst, there is something wonderful happening that you are unaware of.  A person who you may have exchanged very little words with is creating an experience that you will truly appreciate, but you have no idea that it is occurring.  This just happened in the midst of my reality so N.I.C.E. readers, check this out! A young student in one of my courses whose name is Shaida Escoffery, wrote her first novel!  How amazing is that? As a writer, who has published several books, I have a deep appreciation for this effort.  The name of her new book is Idle, Wild, Love.  I just ordered it in the form of an e-book for my Kindle/Ipad.  This new book is also published in paperback.  I am so excited to share this with N.I.C.E. readers because we have the opportunity to experience  a brand new creative piece of work, at the start of a new year, written by a young Black woman who made her dream come true!  It's a special moment for her, I'm sure, and an opportunity for all of us to  experience this moment with her.  It is fantastic when a person takes the thoughts that are in her/his head, types them meticulously from her/his mind, from where each word emerges creatively and from inspiration, and then watches those thoughts go from the intangible to tangible for others to read and experience.  Sometimes, we take that process for granted but truly we should not.  It is no small measure but quite an accomplishment!

So today, in early 2014, N.I.C.E. shares with you something that is brand new, born from the mind of a young sister, Shaida Escoffery. She has graciously shared her writing experience with you below, which I hope after reading it, you will buy her book and take that journey through Idle, Wild, Love.  

N.I.C.E. Salutes this young sister!

A guest post by new Author, Shaida Escoffery
I first started working on the novel Idle, Wild, Love in the spring of 2012. It started off as a quick one-page opening, just to get a creative writing assignment for class off my back. Soon, when I started my Senior Thesis at the University of Miami in the spring of 2013, with revered author A. Manette Ansay, I picked up back that one page intro and decided to do something with it. 

At the time I was reading up on some historical black towns and became immersed in the community of Idlewild, Michigan. I decided that would be the setting of my novel and went full force into writing. Problem: I had never been to Idlewild, Michigan. I had never even been to Michigan! Solution: I went on a mission trip in the summer of 2013 to Detroit, and also won a grant from the Atlantic Coast Conference in Innovation and Creativity to travel to Idlewild and do my research. My family and I were blessed to travel there and take part in the tranquility and historical significance of Idlewild. Not to mention, they have one of the best ice cream shops that definitely competes with my beloved Devon House in Jamaica. 

I released Idle, Wild, Love in both print and ebook on January 1, 2014. In such a short time, I have been so grateful to see the support of friends, family, and people I don’t know from all over. This leap of faith to pursue my dreams and become an author has taught me so many valuable life lessons.

If you would like to get a copy of this book, please visit my website at www.shaidaescoffery.com