22 Reasons 22 Reasons

22 Reasons to Get Your Black Card Pulled

I don’t like collard greens or sweet potato pie. I don’t eat grits—with sugar, eggs, shrimp, cheese or salt. Don’t eat them period. I’ve learned how to play dominoes and spades probably 20 times now and for the life of me, I still don’t know what the heck I’m doing. I can’t remember the rules long enough to call them up the next time somebody tries to draw me into a game. I’ve never seen I’m Gonna Get You Sucka or Coming to America in their entirety. And I really don’t see what all the fuss over Anita Baker is about, although admitting that almost got me beat up one time.

For these and probably a dozen more reasons, I’ve had my Black card threatened on more occasions than I can rightly count. Even my own daughter tried to take it when it came out that she could beat me pretty easily in two Black girl rites of passage: numbers and double dutch. Forget that my graduate work is in African-American studies or that I can flawlessly transition from the Electric Slide to the Wobble Dance without being that person who gets the rhythm all jacked up. Doesn’t matter. You might be born with it, but holding on to it is a whole different story. Lawd don’t I know it. And you might just lose your black card if:

1. You stumble through the first stanza of Lift Every Voice and Sing (or you only come in loud and proud on the chorus) but you know “Moves Like Jagger” word for word.

2. You can name every character on Gossip Girl but struggle to identify the three original cast members on Dreamgirls.

3. You can’t celebrate Barack Obama being in the White House, even if you don’t agree with his politics.

4. You ease your hand down to lock your car doors or subtly grasp your purse strap tighter when you see a band of young, Black men approaching.

5. You brazenly use the N-word in mixed company or even worse, you call a person in mixed company the N-word.

6. You’d rather wear an offensively scaggy lace front or a ri-damn-diculous weave than be caught dead rocking your natural hair.

7. You don’t have at least one uncle living in his glory days, an aunt who’s hanging onto 35 when she’s almost 65, or a cousin who “went away” for a little while.

8. You cannot, on command, list five Luther Vandross songs.

9. You don’t support Black businesses—and you badmouth them to anybody who’ll listen—because you had a bad experience one time seven years ago.

10. You call Kool-Aid by its actual flavor instead of identifying it solely by its color.

11. You don’t get teary-eyed watching The Color Purple, Women of Brewster Place or that Disney commercial with the little boy talking to his grandpa in sign language.

12. You still identify folks as “high yellow” or having “good hair” (I mean, check your calendar. It’s almost 2012).

13. You don’t even pretend to show respect while folks are praying, even if you and God are on the outs.

14. You aren’t familiar with the historical value of the year 1619 but you think it sounds like a good number to play.

15. You believe the only way to celebrate your daughter’s Blackness is to give her a name ending in some variation of –ika, -isha or –ima.

16. You refuse to live in a neighborhood with too many colored folks because you only feel like you’ve arrived if you have a white or Asian neighbor.

17. You shake your hair out of your eyes, flick it off of each shoulder or wear a scrunchie around your wrist to put it up in a ponytail and take it back down, then put it up in a ponytail and take it back down, then put it up…

18. You don’t feel the least bit funny calling a man or woman old enough to be one of your grandparents by their first name.

19. You’ve never watched an episode of The Cosby Show (bonus points if you secretly wished you were a part of the family).

20. You vehemently claim HBCUs are subpar schools but you graduated from a state institution that stays on the accreditation hit list.

21. Your kids have burned through five babysitters, been kicked out of three restaurants and you’ve got a reserved seat at parent-teacher conferences, but you choose to remedy the situation with time-outs in the corner instead of digging in their tails.

22. You look baffled whenever the conversation about Black history veers from Martin Luther King, Harriet Tubman or Langston Hughes.

Your Black card, as my friend Shana says, is the one card that can never be declined, denied or falsified. But it sure can be called into question.

What’s on your list? 

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VIBE Vixen- Karissa Maggio

Best Of VIBE Vixen's Boss Talk Podcast: Saweetie, Amara La Negra And More On Making Boss Moves

VIBE Vixen's Boss Talk podcast amplifies the voices of women and she/her-identifying individuals in their respective industries as they discuss their journeys toward becoming the bosses we know today. From their demeanor and confidence and persevering through life’s pitfalls to make a name for themselves in their own way, being a boss is much more than 'just running sh*t.'

We rounded up some of our favorite pieces of advice from our first few episodes! Our bosses so far have ranged from rappers (Saweetie and Kash Doll), to authors (Karyn Parsons) to activists (Peppermint). Each of the bosses invited on the show have had some incredible journeys, and we thank them for giving us insight into how they've become the bosses they are today.

Whether they're thanking their mothers for inspiring them to be their best (like Amara La Negra), or chalking up some boss moves to being their authentic selves (Bevy Smith), this retrospective episode focuses on the awesome words these bosses have shared with us thus far.

Listen below to our "Best Of..." episode as well as all of the episodes of Boss Talk Podcast. Be on the lookout for new episodes coming soon.

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Photo by Chance Yeh/Getty Images for A+E

Andrea Kelly Says She's Been Attacked For Calling Out R. Kelly's Behavior

Andrea Kelly has found it hard to march for women as they continue to support her polarizing ex-husband, R. Kelly.

The former choreographer shared her sentiments on an upcoming episode of Growing Up Hip Hop: Atlanta shared on Entertainment Tonight. Speaking with close friend Debra Antney, Kelly tearfully expressed her frustrations with her ex-husband and praised Antey for sticking by her side.

The former couple was previously in a child support battle for their children Joann, 21, Jay, 19, and Robert, 17. During the time of filming, Kelly owed $161,000 in back child support to his ex. In May, it was reportedly paid off by a mysterious donor.

"When I think about the ways that I have been abused by Robert, from being hogtied, having both of my shoulders dislocated, to being slapped, pushed, having things thrown as me, the sexual abuse, the mental abuse, words can't even describe," she said.

In addition to the child support case, Kelly was charged with 11 felony counts of sexual assault. He's pleaded not guilty despite reported evidence of videotapes that reportedly show the entertainer engaging in sexual acts with minors. Andrea tells Antey how difficult the process has been for her since speaking out about Kelly's behavior in the Lifetime docu-series, Surviving R. Kelly. 

"Here I am, putting myself in a position because I want to help women, and they are attacking me," she said. "There's some things that I don't even speak anymore, that I feel like, once you give it to God, you better leave with God, because if I don't leave it with God, I'm definitely going to be somewhere with my hands on the glass, visiting my children every other Sunday."

Growing Up Hip Hop: Atlanta airs Thursdays at 9 p.m. ET/PT on WEtv.

Watch the clip here.

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Courtesy of Baby Tress

Baby Tress' Edge Styler Ensures Women Of Color Will Always Shake The Beauty Table

"Do you have edge control in here?"

It's an inquiry my niece asked me over the weekend as we got ready for our cousin's graduation. Atlanta's heat is friendly but mixed with nimbus clouds, frizz (and thunderstorms) are on the horizon. Given the circumstances, a high bun seems to be the best choice for me and my niece, a slick-back style with extra attention to our baby hairs. It's typical for either one of us to grab a toothbrush to slick and swoop our edges with pomade or gel, but with The Baby Tress Edge Styler, the process is easier and equally as stylish.

Created by boutique communications agency Mama Tress, the styler is everything baby hair dreams are made of. It's also a testament to the rise of the "style" in popular hair culture. With a dual comb and brush top, its pointed tip elevates a consumer to baby hair connoisseur.

But the styler isn't something created to appropriate black culture or piggyback on what boosts the most likes on social media. The handy styler was created by Mama Tress CEO Hannah Choi and her team consisting of other women of color like public relations coordinator Mariamu "Mimi" Sillah. The New York native tells VIBE Vixen the styler was made as a gift for an event they hosted but its intentions to propel black hair were always present.

"We try to make it clear that this is for women of color. Because we all understand the history of baby hair, we all have connections, we all have stories, we all do it differently, some people swoop it; if you see some of my coworkers they do the swirls," she said. "This is a product that we want everyone to see and think, 'I don't need to be using a toothbrush. I deserve more than a toothbrush.' This is a tool made thoughtfully with women of color in mind and we are women of color who came up with the idea because we know what we need."

Coming in six different colors, the styler's bristles are stronger than a typical toothbrush and give anyone's edges a look all their own. Over the years, styled baby hairs have gotten the white-washed celeb treatment. From the runways of New York Fashion Week to fans of black culture like Kim Kardashian, its recent love affair among popular culture crosses out its rich roots.

Many have attributed the actual rise of baby hairs to the '70s with pioneers like LaToya Jackson and Sylvia Robinson of CEO Sugar Hill Records sporting their luxurious edges with Rozonda "Chilli" Thomas being the all-time queen. Recent entertainers like Ella Mai and FKA twigs have made them fun and creative. There are also the many Latinx and black around the way queens who have kept the culture alive.

 

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“Our tool is more than a beauty product, it’s a conversation starter," Choi, who is of Korean descent, previously told fashion site Beauty Independent. "There are nuances of someone’s world that you won’t see if you’re not part of that community. And we felt that the conversation around why this market is so underserved should be brought to light and talked about. We are seeing such a big change now in fashion and beauty in terms of representation, and we want to be able to have that conversation without it being heavy. We want it to be approachable. Our brand is very approachable.”

When it comes to moving in the black hair space, Sillah feels empowered at Mama Tress. It also makes it easy to develop black hair tools like the styler. "I feel like my voice is listened to because I am a consumer of all these things. It's empowering to be in a position to have more control," she said. "If we're being honest, a lot of the black hair spaces are not owned by people who look like us. To be in a position where I can say "No, don't create this product, we don't wear things like this,' or 'Actually you should name it this because this resonates with this community,' I'm an advocate for my community. That's part of the reason why Baby Tress was created because it's about a larger conversation, about things not being thoughtfully made for us."

Baby Tress' next steps are to make the styler accessible to consumers and create even more products dedicated to black women.

“We need to be in retail spaces because this is a product you need to see up close and touch it and play with it,” said Shannon Kennard, account executive at Mama Tress tells Glossy. “Everyone who tries it falls in love with it.”

Sillah is more than ready for women of color to elevate their beauty regimen, one creation at a time. The future of Baby Tress includes an array of more products designed with women of color in mind.

"Anything that has to do with baby hair, we can bring to Baby Tress and make it beautifully designed and effective," she said.  "That's what this is about. It's about that step up. Again, we should not be using a toothbrush anymore."

Learn more about Baby Tress here.

 

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