Friday, April 25, 2014

The Natural Is Cool Enough, Getting Ready for Summer, Natural Hair Reading List!

The summer is nearly upon us, so I thought you might want a head start on getting your summer reading list together.  The item above number one below is a Book Project.  It is so adorable that I thought I would add that first.  It's an opportunity for you to help a book about Natural Hair come to fruition, so check it out.

After that, I have a list of five books that you may find to be interesting reads about natural hair. Writers are intrigued by this subject and many of you who may want to go natural or who are already natural, may benefit from this information. There are also books for children to enhance their self esteem regarding the beauty of their natural hair or to enlighten parents about how to care for their natural hair.

I hope you will enjoy your natural hair summer reads.  Hopefully, you will share your reviews/thoughts about some of these books as N.I.C.E. would love your comments as through words and books there is definitely acknowledgement that Natural Is Cool Enough!

Book Project
  Jamie Loves Her Natural Hair!  A Book Project!

Natural Hair Books
1. Milady Standard Natural Hair Care and Braiding First Edition

2. Better Than Good Hair by Nikki Walton

3. Natural Hair Care and Braiding, 1st Edition by Diane Carol Bailey

4. The Science of Black Hair by Audrey Davis-Sivasothy

5. Thank God I'm Natural: The Ultimate Guide to Caring for and Maintaining Natural Hair by Victoria Davis

Also, check out this link which has 28 natural hair books (including children's and adult books), which include some of the above: https://www.goodreads.com/shelf/show/natural-hair

This link is Amazon's list of natural hair books for children: http://www.amazon.com/Black-Childrens-Hair-Books/lm/R19IQ7NTNQYIYV

This link includes 20 Natural Hair Books for children, of which some are listed per the Amazon link above: http://www.chocolatehairvanillacare.com/2012/09/20-natural-hair-books-just-for-children.html

Enjoy!  This summer and every summer, Natural IS Cool Enough!!!

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Another Naturalista Moment in the Spotlight: Lupita Nyong'o Named People Magazine's Most Beautiful Person

In light of her talent, intelligence and obvious beauty, this is no surprise as the choice for People this year was clear, Lupita Nyong'o as the Most Beautiful Person.  But, there is also something else and that is her choice to wear her hair naturally as it grows out of her scalp.  Indeed, she is a Naturalista who shows the world everyday that Natural IS Cool Enough and she exhibits beauty from within and externally.  Therefore, there is pride in seeing her chosen as the Most Beautiful Person.  This is truly wonderful and N.I.C.E. wishes her continued success on her amazing journey!  Congratulations Lupita!  From one Yale alumna to another, YOU GO Girl!!

Monday, April 21, 2014

Announcing the 2014 Natural Is Cool Enough N.I.C.E. T-Shirt Winner: Congratulations Kawanda Foster!

Natural Is Cool Enough is pleased to announce the winner of the N.I.C.E., 2014,  t-shirt Giveaway.  Below is her wonderful entry.  Congratulations Kwanda for your wonderful Natural Hair Story and all of your amazing accomplishments!  It is fantastic to know that although your journey has had its ups and down, it has not changed your decision to embrace your natural coils, knowing that Natural IS Cool Enough!  Enjoy your t-shirt, which will be sent to you soon...You make Naturalistas feel proud!

Kawanda Foster:  Natural Is Cool Enough T-shirt Winner 2014 Looking Fabulously Natural!

Kawanda's Natural Hair Story:

Hello N.I.C.E Community,

My natural hair journey began as I was finishing up my bachelor's degree. I had always been a strong believer in relaxers but slowing started watching close friends around me give them up one by one. This really intrigued me and thus the natural seed was planted. I really loved seeing the freedom and versatility my newly natural friends had. And I myself had been experiencing a lot of breakage at that time, with my relaxed hair, so I was looking for a change. After I decided to enroll in a public health master's program, I decided that I really wanted to become a healthier person inside and out. I knew that relaxing was not healthy due to the chemicals and decided to give them up. For such a seemingly huge decision, it was very organic for me. I literally woke up one morning after graduating from my undergraduate institution and decided that I would not relax my hair any longer and that was it. Rather than doing the 'big chop" I decided to transition. I transitioned for about 15 months. During those 15 months, I had great hair days, good hair days, and rough hair days. Some days I felt really sad about my hair because I could't wear it down and I always wore my relaxed hair down. So wearing my hair up all the time due to the different textures really made me feel like a different person. I eventually began watching natural hair videos on YouTube and that helped a lot. I received a lot of great tips and advice on transitioning from the natural hair community on YouTube. But after 15 months I had enough. My initial plan was to transition for 24 months but I could not take it any longer. I wanted to be free of my relaxed hair for once and for all. So I went to a natural hairdresser near me and cut my hair. It was awesome and weird at the same time, also a little shocking. To give myself some time to get over the shock, I got twists put into my hair and wore them for a few weeks. I had planned on wearing them for a few months but I've never really enjoyed weaves so I promptly removed those as well. Since debuting my natural locks I have received so many compliments and so much support from close family and friends as well as strangers. It has been almost two years since I cut my hair and almost three years since my last relaxer. However, I'm still on a journey to learn how to take care of my hair and style it. I have my good days and my bad days, but I am so glad I decided to go natural. It was one of the best decisions I have ever made and I can honestly say that I will never get a relaxer again.

Posted by Kawanda F to NATURAL IS COOL ENOUGH....N.I.C.E. at April 19, 2014 at 11:00 AM

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Natural Is Cool Enough in the Media (Especially on the Melissa Harris-Perry Show), The Workplace and Advertisements: Professionally N.I.C.E.!

Of late, in the media, advertising and all types of work settings, Black women are wearing their hair naturally. The styles and textures vary and there is a sense of pride in seeing them so bravely and fiercely, choose to present themselves with natural styles.  Some may think this is not a big deal but it actually is. In the past, Black women were not considered "professional" if their hair was not straightened or pull backed.  But black women are moving beyond that so-called norm and showing the world that Natural Is Cool Enough. This seems to be clearly indicated on the Melissa Harris-Perry Show and other media and news venue.  I'll be watching this very closely as Natural Is Cool Enough in all settings continues to progress.

Curly Natural Advertisement
Naturalista Bartender and Natural Sisters in the Media


Wednesday, April 16, 2014

For Akintunde Ahmad (with a 5.0 GPA and 2100 SAT Score), Natural IS Cool Enough: Wonderful!

Today, I read about a young man that truly impressed me.  Initially, at first glance, when I saw the article, what struck me the most was his beautiful locs and of course the title, which is intriguing: "Oakland Teenager Akintunde Ahmad Has 5.0 GPA, 2100 SAT Score and On His Way to Ivy League." Fantastic!  So to Akintunde Ahmad, who not only is clearly brilliant, musically inclined and an athlete, N.I.C.E. salutes you because of all of that and because through your beautiful hair, we are once again reminded that Natural IS Cool Enough!  I hope you enjoy checking out the article and video about him below.  


Saturday, April 12, 2014

The Natural Is Cool Enough T-Shirt Give-away Contest: That's N.I.C.E.!

As many of you know, N.I.C.E. has new t-shirts!  The original N.I.C.E. T-shirt was lavender and yellow.  This time the shirt is White and Black.  Although the shirts are for sale with a portion of sales to be given to homeless shelters and food banks, there is also a give-away, for N.I.C.E. members.  So, here is how to win a FREE Natural Is Cool Enough T-Shirt.

1. Become a member of N.I.C.E. if you are not a member already!  For all current members, you are so appreciated. You must be a member to enter the t-shirt contest.

2. Share your natural hair journey with N.I.C.E.!  Write your story by commenting on this post with your story.  Make it as detailed as space will allow... the more detail, the better.

3.  Send a photograph of yourself, after you have been chosen as a winner, showing your beautiful natural hair.  Your photograph and hair story will be highlighted as a featured post, along with your natural hair story.

4.  All submissions must be in by Sunday, April 20, 2014!  Looking forward to your stories!

5. The winner will be contacted for detail about where to send your N.I.C.E. T-shirt! T-shirts will only be sent to locations in the continental United States.

 Good luck! 

Friday, April 11, 2014

A Natural Hair Journey: A Student's Natural Is Cool Enough Experience!

     Sometimes one might think a natural hair journey is trivial and not worthy of deep exploration, but of course I beg to differ.  To come to terms with the fact that Natural Is Cool Enough is not just about hair but a level of soul-searching and self acceptance.  Below is a video,  prepared by a young woman, who happens to be one of my students.  As I watched the video, I thought that indeed, it, and the rest of her YouTube series entitled DezNaomi, deserves wide coverage.  Other young women seeking to move forward with their natural hair journey will definitely benefit from her story so enjoy Deznaomi's natural hair journey with video and pictures, and then perhaps you will be interested in her entire series!  Her videos definitely exemplify that Natural IS Cool Enough!

Friday, April 4, 2014

A Tribute to the Beauty of Natural Hair with an Academic Twist: That's N.I.C.E.!

     I gave a lecture in my Introduction to Africana Studies course last year.  The title was "Getting Down to the Roots."  This lecture was all about the history of the hair of Black people.  I had given this lecture many times, both in class and during Black History month for other audiences, and each time many students told me that it truly impacted them in a positive way.  After one of these lectures, a young lady, Guerdiana Thelomar, walked up to me and explained that she was a student photographer and would like to take photographs of students, Faculty and Staff on campus with natural hair, for an exhibit during Black History Month.  Immediately, I responded, telling her that I thought the idea was wonderful!  To make a long story short, she followed through and began taking the photos, including my own, with signed, informed consent from each person.  The next step was the art exhibit, featuring her photographs, which happened at the University of Miami, along with a Natural Hair Poetry Slam Contest.  She also displayed her photos at the University Student Center...a wonderful wall exhibit. Next, during one of our meetings, in preparation for the exhibits, we came up with the idea of an academic calendar.  One of the students at the meeting, Eboni Person, thought it would be a great idea to add captions to each of the photos.  We loved that idea also and she accomplished that task.

     The result of this idea was the development of a beautiful, University of Miami, Africana Studies Program and N.I.C.E., Academic Calendar entitled "A Tribute to the Beauty of Natural Hair."  There are two versions of this lovely calendar depicted below.  The first month includes a picture of Guerdiana and brief "About the Photographer" information.  Behind her are some of the photographs on display as part of  the University Center wall exhibit. What follows in the calendar is a an array of beautiful photographs of women and men naturally adorned, in terms of their hair, with brief captions describing their style. The calendar is from August 2014 to July 2015 with a fantastic photo for each month.  The calendaer is a fundraising project for the Africana Studies Program.

     As stated by Guerdiana in the "About the Author" caption under her photo for the month of August, "with this natural hair project, I hope that people within the Black community will feel inspired and confident to be proud of the roots-- of their heritage as well as on top of their head."
Clearly she is indicating, without a doubt that Natural is Cool Enough and of course, that's N.I.C.E.!

If you would like one of these calendars, they are available, autographed by the Photographer, at Books and Books at 265 Aragon Avenue in Coral Gables Florida or you can just make your request via this Blog. Quanties are limited.

Student Photographer Guerdiana Thelomar holding the calendar (left)