The Perils of Blackness: Good Hair...Bad Hair...Now 'Nasty' Hair?


Sheryl Underwood Tiana Parker
A firestorm was unleashed when comedian Sheryl Underwood (top) made disparaging remarks about natural hair and a little girl in Tulsa, OK (bottom) changed schools because of her hair

I finally saw the clip of Sheryl Underwood’s comments about black folks' natural hair. I now understand why she was ragged on so much on Twitter and was nearly in tears in her apology on Steve Harvey's radio show. Underwood tried to chalk the situation up to a joke gone wrong but her statements were so incredibly hurtful and psychologically damaging it may take some time for her to get this behind her.

It doesn't help that Steve Harvey, in his attempt to support his friend Underwood, referred to the incident as "the little thing going on about the hair comment." Oh, no, the hair comments are not a little thing or Underwood wouldn't have realized such a backlash. Hair is a very sensitive issue for black people. Underwood could have let it go after after one remark, but no, she continued the black hair beatdown when other women on the panel were trying to move the conversation on.  


Lest we forget, while black folk are busy being angry with Sheryl Underwood, be mindful that Aisha Tyler, another black woman on 'The Talk," sat at that same table and didn’t say a mumbling word. Tyler did look uncomfortable but she didn't do anything to ease the pain, so she doesn't get a pass. 

What’s the message sent about kinky, curly or wavy hair? It’s ugly ---- straighten it! Even white people feel the same way so let's put this issue in perspective. At this juncture, the dots in this controversy could be connected by a discussion on white supremacy and idolization white European beauty but I won't go there. I do ask you to pay more attention to the images and words in the media and in our daily conversations and internet interactions. 

Deborah Brown Community School, a charter school in Tulsa, OK bans ‘faddish’ hairstyles like dreadlocks, mohawks and afros. Consequently, Tiana Parker, a little 7 year-old black girl, was sent home because of her hair which she wore in locs. 


It’s understandable that a school wants its students to look presentable but come on, there was nothing wrong with that child’s hair. Tiana, a straight-A student, according to her father, wore her hair in this manner last year  and it wasn't a problem. The school decided to enforce their policy this school year.

Tiana Parker’s father has been lauded by many for removing her from the school rather than conforming to the school’s dress code policy. That’s all well and good but Deborah Brown Community School is a charter school, as such, can establish its own dress code policy --- even if it is ridiculous.  Why would the parent of a black child subject him or her to a psychologically terroristic environment that blatantly demonstrates disdain for a child's natural beauty? Even with the school's good academic performance reputation, I don't think so.

The most flack I’ve gotten about my hair, in its natural state, has been from other black people. White people usually want to touch it, especially when my hair was in locs. It’s so sad and I wonder if it will ever change since images of black women in natural hairstyles are a rarity even in media by, for and about blacks. Check it out for yourself.

Sheryl Underwood and the governing board and administration of Deborah Brown Community School are all black which makes this black hair drama all the more pathetic. Perhaps one day, EVERYONE, will appreciate their God-given beauty. In the meantime, I strongly encourage Underwood and the folks at Deborah Brown Community School to watch Chris Rock's documentary, Good Hair.



Broadcast premiere of controversial film ‘Dark Girls’ airs on OWN, 6/23, ABPSI and CHN provide solutions to dilemmas posed by the film


Watch the world television premiere of Dark Girls on OWN. Tune in Sunday, June 23, at 10/9c.

Dark Girls is a fascinating and controversial documentary film that goes underneath the surface to explore the prejudices that dark-skinned women face throughout the world. It explores the roots of classism, racism and the lack of self-esteem within a segment of cultures that span from America to the most remote corners of the globe. Women share their personal stories, touching on deeply ingrained beliefs and attitudes of society, while allowing generations to heal as they learn to love themselves for who they are.

The Association of Black Psychologists (ABPsi) announced that, in response to a request from the Oprah Winfrey Network, it is providing resources to facilitate healing conversations about the ground-breaking film, Dark Girls, which will have its world television premiere on OWN on Sunday, June 23, 2013. ABPsi’s resources will be available at www.abpsi.org

In addition, ABPsi is providing information about its collaboration with the Community Healing Network (CHN), which is working to mobilize the Black community to overcome internalized beliefs about the inferiority of Black skin, Black hair, and other characteristics associated with people of African ancestry. 

Dark Girls explores the blows to self-esteem faced by dark-skinned women all over the world, and ABPsi psychologists have compiled a summary of the issues raised in the film and their psychological implications, emotional wellness tips, and links to helpful resources. 

To address the broad range of problems related to the idea of Black inferiority, ABPsi is working with CHN to create a network of self-help groups focused on emotional emancipation, healing, and wellness for Black people. ABPsi has developed a ground-breaking, research-based Emotional Emancipation (EE) Circles Toolkit and Curriculum in partnership with CHN, which will be available to the public in August 2013. EE Circles are safe, flexible gatherings in which Black people can come together to share stories, learn more about the impact of historical forces on emotions, and learn and practice essential emotional wellness skills. 

“We believe,” said Community Healing Network President Enola Aird, “that the only real solution to the problems illuminated in Dark Girls is a vibrant grassroots movement for the emotional emancipation of Black people, and it is our hope that EE Circles will be catalysts for personal reflection, dialogue, and action that will help heal, revitalize, and transform the Black community.” 

For more information, visit www.abpsi.org and www.CommunityHealingNet.org.



Related Links:

The Official Dark Girls Movie Website

Dark Girls





(BLACK PR WIRE) – ATLANTA – May 15, 2013 – GMC TV, America’s favorite channel for uplifting family entertainment, presents the original World Premiere Stage Play “Love Will Find A Way”(www.watchgmctv.com/stageplay, #StagePlay), the conclusion of a two-part romantic dramedy starring Christian Keyes (What’s Done In The DarkMadea Goes To Jail), Gabrielle Dennis (“The Game”), Jason Weaver (Drumline, ATL), Vanessa Simmons (“Run’s House,”Dysfunctional Friends.), Carl Payne (“Martin,” “The Game”), Shanti Lowry (“The Game,” “The Closer”) and Suveria Mota (Las Pandillas de Los Angeles). “Love Will Find A Way” makes its world television premiere exclusively on UP on Saturday, June 1 at 7 p.m., 9 p.m. and 11 p.m. ET/PT. 

GMC TV will officially change its name to UP on June 1, so “Love Will Find A Way” represents the first original Stage Play to air on the newly-named network. The network’s new name communicates a clear sense of its unique brand position, which has always been, and will continue to be “Uplifting Entertainment.”

Based on an original screenplay written by Siddeeqah “Sid” Powell (GMC’s NAACP Image Award nominated “Somebody’s Child”) and directed by Drue Powell (Somebody’s Child, “For Richer or Poorer” Series), “Love Will Find A Way” is a sequel to May’s Original World Premiere Stage Play “What Would You Do For Love.”.

UP’s “Love Will Find A Way” is produced by Swirl Films’ Eric Tomosunas, who has produced and taped numerous stage plays and feature-length films for television and DVD, including 35 & Ticking, Love for Sale, A Mother’s Prayer, There’s a Stranger in My House, “Love Will Keep Us Together,” “Love Me or Leave Me,” “The Ideal Husband,” “The Love You Save” and “Sugar Mommas.” Follow Swirl Films on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/pages/Swirl-Films-Inc/178293836335 and Twitter on @SwirlFilms.

“Love Will Find A Way” is the fifteenth original stage play to air in the network’s World Premiere Stage Play series following the success of GMC productions “What Would You Do For Love,” “Love Will Keep Us Together,” “Between Sisters,” “Love Me or Leave Me,” “The Ideal Husband,” “She’s Not Our Sister,” “The Love You Save,” the NAACP-nominated “Sugar Mommas,” “If You Really Love Me,” “For Richer For Poorer,” “From This Day Forward,” “In Sickness and In Health,” “To Love and To Cherish,” and “Community Service.” UP is the only network producing this popular medium and introducing new, original works to a broad television audience.

For photos and more information, please go to:www.watchgmctv.com/GMC/LoveWillFindAWayPressRoom

Mitt Romney Doesn't Care About Poor People

The “Mitt Romney Is Not Concerned About the Very Poor” video has gone viral. It is reminiscent of the Kanye West inspired video mash-up — “George Bush Doesn’t Care About Black People” by the Legendary KO.  



Surely someone is creating a remix spotlighting Mitt Romney. He has provided enough material to make a very informative and thought-provoking video. Remember his very cavalier $10,000 bet with Rick Perry during the December Republican debate; his statement that he likes being able to fire people; describing the more than $370,000 in income he earned for speeches as not that much money; characterizing people as envious if they questioned the economic disparity in the U.S.; and the fact that his 2010 income tax returns indicate he pays less than 15% in taxes while sheltering millions in offshore accounts

You already know the title of the new video mash-up — “Mitt Romney Doesn’t Care About Poor People.” Just make sure the video accurately reflects the demographics of the very poor in the United States. 



"Dark Girls" is Sad, Powerful and Haunting [VIDEO]

It's 2011, why are black people still dealing with skin color and hair texture issues?

Dark Girls: Preview from Bradinn French on Vimeo.

How many times do black people have to address the issue of dark skin vs. light skin...good hair...bad hair. It's so sad and so unbelievable by people who are not black, regardless of whether black American, Black Hispanic, Caribbean black, etc.

If the truth be told, the problem of self-hatred and skin color envy is so deep and pervasive. If the truth be told, it goes beyond blacks. The desire for blonde hair, blue eyes and light skin is prevalent throughout the  ethnicity spectrum and damages the psyche of many not naturally born with those genetic traits. It's easier and perhaps more damaging to blacks who are farther away from Nordic blonde, but others are suffering also.

This madness will continue until people start really loving their natural selves. It's okay to recognize beauty in others but when you do that while hating yourself, the cycle continues. Some of comments from blacks in this video make me angry and sad --- in that order. We know better, let's do better. And to my dark girl sisters, you are beautiful. Know it. Own it. Be it.


Black Actors Collaborate on Milk + Honey TV Series from Brown Paper Dolls [VIDEO]


Some of Hollywood’s top black actors have collaborated and created an excellent television series, Milk + Honey . The show, over three years in the making, was created to showcase diverse images of women of color that are rarely seen on the big or small screen and to create more opportunities for black actors.

So who are some of the folks behind this series? Idris Elba, Lance Gross and Debbie Allen for starters. Then add Brown Paper Dolls --- Chicago natives and HBCU grads: Dana Gills (Spelman College);  Asha Kamali May (Howard University); and Jeanette McDuffie (Florida A&M University).

The "Milk + Honey" scripted series will soon be seen on all platforms and is looking to be picked up by a television network. The company needs 1 million views of the trailer, so let’s help them surpass their goal. Click on the video below or visit the official website at http://www.milkandhoneyseries.com/.

Thank you. Spread the word!


milk + honey series trailer from brown paper dolls on Vimeo.



A Message for Chris Brown [VIDEO]

I sure hope Chris Brown sees this video from Jay Smooth.  I don’t want him to just hear about it from his management or a fan or a friend.  You see, I think Chris Brown is very talented, as a matter of fact, he’s multi-talented. I also think he’s headed down the wrong path or will not reach the pinnacle of his potential success without better career guidance. Now, if he is being better advice but just not following it, then that’s another story.

Chris Brown BETA2011 
Chris Brown shows off BET Awards

Brown was given the all-clear, we forgive you welcome at the 2011 BET Awards Show with his multiple award wins, especially that Fan Favorite award during one of the weirdest presentations I’ve ever witnessed.

What was most disappointing and telling about Chris Brown was his attire to the BET Awards. Now, don’t get me wrong, he wasn’t the only one to have committed a flagrant fashion foul but if he is to be truly forgiven for physically assaulting Rihanna, his career move should be less bad boy roughneck and more smooth operator.  Instead, rather than being perceived as fashion forward, trandsetting or classy, he just came across as disrespectful like many of the other performers.  I’m just  saying.

Well said, Jay Smooth!





– Much-anticipated webisodes hit FAILSHOW.com July 1st


Multi-platinum recording artist T-Pain worked his trademark vocals for the series premiere of “FAIL,” a fresh, new take on the black sitcom set for world premiere Friday, July 1, 2011, at 7 p.m. EST.  The new show, executive produced by James Bland of BET “Lens on Talent” fame, and Vanessa Baden from Nickelodeon’s “Gullah Gullah Island” and “Keenan and Kel,” will be launched on FAILSHOW.com and feature the new T-Pain track during the title sequence.  Before recording the song, T-Pain agreed to support the sitcom about college life after hearing a fervent pitch from the producers.

“Getting him was a stretch, but we are beyond excited and so grateful that a superstar like T-Pain took an interest in our show,” commented Bland, co-president of Hometeam Entertainment, LLC, the production firm he runs with Baden. “Our watchers will go crazy when they hear it – it’s going to blow their minds!”

The anticipated premiere episode of “FAIL” opens with a 15-second snippet of the track, which watchers can hear in its entirety when the music video hits later this month.  The show has already garnered a loyal following through the posting of unique video shorts introducing the cast of characters.  Each “FAIL Friday” for the past few weeks, viewers met one of six unlikely friends in a study group that doubles as a platform for foolish misadventures and tough college lessons.

“Each one sports an electric personality just like any group of modern young adults,” shared Baden on her cast. “Everyone who has experienced college life will fall out laughing – we kept it real, showing outrageous student life in and, far more importantly, outside the classroom.”

The sitcom follows the six study-mates that mostly end up getting caught in the many distractions their college affords.  From the absent-minded jock and sheltered daddy’s girl to the money-crazed gold digger, smooth-talking ladies’ man and “wanna-be thug,” the show packs big laughs into five-minute episodes airing biweekly on FAILSHOW.com.

Formerly with Sony Screen Gems, Bland, a Florida native and recent round-one winner of the national Shadow and Act Black Filmmaker Showcase, based the show on his experiences while a student at Florida A&M University, a historically black university in T-Pain’s hometown of Tallahassee. “FAIL” was conceived by Baden and him after getting fed up with the lack of opportunities for blacks in mainstream television.  They join Denzel Washington, Will Smith and others that have taken to the Internet as a self-produced outlet for their work.

“We kept looking for auditions that just weren’t there,” continued Bland. “Writers aren’t creating enough roles for young black actors, so we created a medium for ourselves.  We just want to add a new flavor to the market and we know ‘FAIL’ is it!”

Viewers can go to FAILSHOW.com to meet the characters before Friday’s premiere at 7 p.m. EST.  You can also connect with the cast and fans at facebook.com/THEFAILSHOW, where producers post behind the scenes footage and photos, twitter.com/THEFAILSHOW or youtube.com/FAILSHOWsitcom.  For more information on the show, cast and crew, email press@wearehometeam.com



Hip Hop Queen with a Refreshing Flavor: Miss Mykie

Missmykie I like hip hop, I really do. But those who know me, know that I’m also persnickety about the music I like to listen to. There’s a young lady who goes by the name of Miss Mykie who is a breath of fresh air in the rap game. She has a unique sound and flavor that doesn’t make you embarrassed or angry to be a woman, especially a black woman.

I can’t tell you I’ve heard everything she’s done but what I have seen and heard is impressive. In full disclosure, Miss Mykie and I are sorority sisters --- Alpha Kappa Alpha. I’ve never met her and could easily be her mom. Miss Mykie being my soror does not in any way color my opinion of her work but it does make me proud to acknowledge her as my sorority sister and not just my sistah.

Miss Mykie, born Mykel Gray, lists Houston as her hometown and is an alum of Howard University. I can only imagine she would have blown up super big by now if she would hoochify her image. Thank God she hasn’t because she doesn’t have to, the sister has skills.  

Check out  her latest video and see what I mean:


I had to throw this one in for my Alpha Kappa Alpha sisters. Pinky up, ladies.


Check out more on Miss Mykie at www.missmykie.com

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