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Black Folks Can Be So Embarrassing At Times

My, how I love my people and all of the idiosyncrasies of our Blackness. I do. But that doesn’t mean that every once in a while, something or someone will crop up and make me want to issue a press release on behalf of Black America in general. Any time I see Flavor Flav or Herman Cain respectively—Lord help me, never let them show up anywhere together—I get nervous about the impending and inevitable shenanigans about to befall our people. Celebrity coonin’ aside, there are other things that Black folks do that make me want to hang my head in shame.

We dry hump TV game show hosts. Bob Barker must be somewhere heaving a huge sigh of relief that this girl didn’t come charging down the aisle at him when her number was called to come on down. Black folks have been known to cut up on game shows—the potion of competition and the possibility of free money makes us giddy—but there seems to be a special place reserved on The Price Is Right for our tomfoolery. And although I can certainly appreciate this particular contestant’s jubilance, all the big money spins in a hour-long show can’t justify wrapping her legs around Drew Carey like she’s an extra in Dirty Dancing. Yeesh. Calm down.

We browbeat each other for overpriced sneakers. If I don’t ever hear the word “Jordans” and the number “11” in conjunction again, it’ll be too soon, particularly as it relates to top news stories that involve watching grown men mollywhop women, children, and the maimed and disabled to score a pair of sneakers that cost all of 25 cents to make in some faraway sweat shop. Every single time the news covered a story about some simple-minded crime involving those doggone sneakers, I held my breath waiting for the name of the assailant. And every single time, it was something like Derquan Jackson or Otis Jenkins and I knew, without a doubt, that another one of us had drunk the Kool-Aid and paid dearly for it.

We refer to all Asian people as "Chinese." My apologies to the entire Asian community for the continuous oversights of some of my brethren and sistren, who seem to think that the whole big continent is comprised only of China. I once heard a frustrated woman in a beauty supply store declare that she could. not. stand. Chinese people, which would’ve probably stung more if the owners of the establishment weren’t Korean.

We don’t code switch enough. Not every Black person speaks Ebonics, but those of us who are fluent in that tongue should know when to turn it on and when to shut it down. I want to pull the lever that opens up the floor and swallows me up when I hear a brother or sister all loud and proud in a corporate setting talking about some “ain’t got no’s” or “I be doing’s.” I’m as improper as they come—English major and all—but my mama taught me early to talk one way around us and another around them.

We beat our kids mercilessly in public. Let it be known that I believe in corporal punishment. My daughter has sprouted up about an inch and a half taller than me now but that chick knows if and when the situation ever calls for it, I’ll climb a step ladder and Macho Man Randy Savage her tail to get her behavior in check. However, however, that type of punishment is reserved for home. Outside, she gets The Look, maybe a scold, but never the full-out hand combat some of our parents are laying on their children in public.

We're mesmerized by white folks. They ooh and ahh over their hair. They hang on their words. They’re hot on their heels. They throw around terms like “ghetto” in mixed company and crack jokes at our people’s expense. They make me want to tap them on the shoulder and remind them that they are in fact Black, despite their best efforts to be the opposite. They don’t have enough sense to be humiliated by their own shucking and jiving, so I am on their behalf.

We mispronounce all kinds of words. Where oh where do reporters come up with some of the folks they find to interview? Last night on TV, a woman in a headscarf with about three good teeth and maybe four or five bad ones covered up her exposed collar bone after the journalist asked her about the cold snap we’re experiencing here on the east coast. As she was bundling up for effect, the local celebrity shook her head, looked straight into the camera, leaned into the mic and announced that she hoped she didn’t catch ammonia. Now, I’m not a snob, but dammit. Get it together.

Get it off your chest: what do some Black folks do to embarrass you?

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Kush & Splendor: 5 CBD Beauty Products That’ll Take Your Self-Care Routine From 0 To 100

Lotions, creams, and salves—oh my! With cannabidiol (CBD) popping up in just about every product you can imagine, the cannabis-infused beauty industry is clearly on the come-up. In fact, analysts predict that the “wellness” movement—as well as the legalization of Mary Jane across the world—will help rake in $25 billion globally in the next 10 years, according to Business Insider. That’s 15 percent of the $167 billion skincare market.

And what better way to up the ante on one’s wellness routine than with all-natural CBD? Just ask Dr. Lana Butner, naturopathic doctor and acupuncturist at NYC’s Modrn Sanctuary, who incorporates CBD in her treatments.

“CBD is a fantastic addition to acupuncture sessions for both its relaxation and anti-inflammatory, pain-relieving effects,” Butner shares with Vixen. “The calming effects of CBD allows for patients to deeply relax into the treatment and really tap into the parasympathetic nervous system, which is responsible for rest, digestion and muscle repair/regeneration.”

She adds that CBD’s pain-relieving effects are “far-reaching,” from muscular and joint pains to migraines and arthritis—and even IBS and indigestion.

The magic lies in CBD’s ability to impact endocannabinoid receptor activity in our bodies. Without getting too wordy, our bodies come equipped with a system called the endocannabinoid system (ECS), which is the HBIC over our sleep, appetite, pain and immune system response. Also known as cannabidiol, CBD teams up with this system to help reduce inflammation and interact with neurotransmitters. According to Healthline, CBD has also been scientifically shown to impact the brain’s receptors for serotonin, the neurotransmitter responsible for regulating our mood and social behavior.

All that said, it’s important to note that not all CBD products are created equal. Many brands cashing in on the green beauty wave use hemp seed oil, sometimes referred to as cannabis sativa seed oil, in place of CBD... which doesn’t make them any less great! Hemp seed oil is actually high in antioxidants, amino acids, and omega-3 and -6 fatty acids—all of which are thebomb.com for your skin.

“It’s generally viewed as a superfood and is great for adding nutritional value to your diet,” Ashley Lewis, co-founder of Fleur Marché, told Well and Good last month. “In terms of skin care, it’s known as a powerful moisturizer and skin softener that doesn’t clog pores or contribute to oily skin.”

However, when companies start marketing CBD and hemp oil as one-in-the-same, that’s when things get a bit tricky.

“The biggest issue is that hemp seed oil and CBD are two totally different compounds that come from different parts of the hemp plant, have different makeups, and different benefits,” Lewis added. “Marketing them as the same thing just isn’t accurate and does a disservice to consumers who are expecting certain benefits that they won’t get from hemp seed oil and who are often paying more for what they think is CBD.”

So if you’re looking to benefit from the perks specifically attributed to CBD, make sure you’re reading labels before buying, and don’t be afraid to ask questions. Hell, ask for a product’s test results, while you’re at it. It never hurts to be sure.

Now that we’ve got that out of the way, are you ready to see what all the hype is about? For this 4/20, we rounded up a few CBD (and hemp!)-infused products to help give your self-care routine a bit of a boost. Looks like your holiday just got that much kushier. You’re welcome!

Note: Data and regulations surrounding CBD and its use are still in development. That said, please don’t take anything written in this post as medical or legal advice, and definitely double check the laws in your state. Also, please do your body a favor and hit up your doctor before trying any new supplements. We’re just tryna look out for you. Okay? Okay. Read on.

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Vivica A. Fox Explains Past Hesitance Behind 'Two Can Play That Game' Script

In a new interview with Essence, actress Vivica A. Fox discussed how she initially turned down her role in Two Can Play That Game based on the script. The established entertainer said it's her mission to ensure that black people are positively portrayed onscreen, and noticed the aforementioned film's prose didn't live up to those standards.

"I think the reason why—no I know the reason why—I've been doing this for such a long time is that I fight," Fox said. "When we did Two Can Play That Game, I fought for the way we talked, walked, the way we loved each other." The Set It Off actress continued to state that she consistently declined Two Can Play That Game before signing on to play the lead role. "Because the script, when I first got it, I turned it down three times because it just wasn't a good representation of African-Americans, so I fought them on everything," she noted. "I want to make sure that the images of African-Americans are as positive and as true as they can possibly be."

In 2001, the romantic comedy debuted to fanfare, boasting an all-star cast of Morris Chestnut, Mo'Nique, Anthony Anderson, Bobby Brown, Gabrielle Union, Wendy Raquel Robinson, and more. Directed by Mark Brown (Barbershop, Iverson, How To Be A Player), Fox plays a career driven person named Shante Smith who navigates a curveball when her boyfriend Keith Fenton (Chestnut) cheats on her with a co-worker.

After its release, Two Can Play That Game raked in over $22 million at the box office.

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Actress Gabrielle Union attends the Being Mary Jane premiere, screening, and party on January 9, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Bennett Raglin/Getty Images for BET)
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BET To Unveil Edible Billboard For 'Being Mary Jane' Wedding Finale

As Being Mary Jane comes to an end, BET is willing to offer fans a taste of what's to come in the series finale.

The network has enlisted the help of Ayesha Curry, celebrity cook and cookbook author, to create an edible billboard that also doubles as a wedding cake. The sweet treat will commemorate Mary Jane's (played by Gabrielle Union) nuptials in the two-hour series finale.

On April 20 from 1:00 P.M. to 7:00 P.M. at Brooklyn's Atlantic Terminal in New York, fans will be presented with the edible billboard. At the intersection of Ashland Place and Hanson Place, the closer Being Mary Jane enthusiasts get to the billboard the quicker they'll notice that the four-tiered wedding cake is created from individual boxes, each containing a slice of Curry's prized wedding cake.

All fans have to do is pull a box from the billboard, snap a picture for the 'Gram, take a bite and enjoy. Although lovers of the show won't be able to celebrate with Mary Jane herself, biting into a slice of her wedding cake, for free, is the next best thing.

Don't forget to tune into the series finale of Being Mary Jane on Tues. (April 23) at 8/7 c.

Also, check out what's to come on the series of Being Mary Jane below.

Save the date! 👰🏾It'll be worth the wait. Join us for the series finale of #BeingMaryJane TUES APR 23 8/7c only on @BET! pic.twitter.com/jEwkbC71OW

— #BeingMaryJane (@beingmaryjane) March 29, 2019

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