I recently had the honor of writing a feature story on natural hair for the February 2017 issue of Birmingham magazine. The women I interviewed for the article — Alexis Barton, Akirashanit Byrd, and Keisa Sharpe — each had a compelling hair story to share and I hope you’ll read.
With one interviewee, fashion blogger Alexis Barton, I discussed the debate on whether or not a woman can still call her hair “natural” even if she occasionally straightens it with a tool such as a flat iron. Barton says, “To each her own, but I consider my hair to be natural because it’s not chemically relaxed.” She stressed that we must remember that a black woman’s hair isn’t always a political statement and “For some people, it truly is just hair.”
Nonetheless, Barton does believe that going natural can be a journey toward self-acceptance. It certainly was for me and even thinking about if I should straighten my hair or not helped in this process.
Back in 2012 I wrote a guest post for CurlyNikki.com on how natural hair made me a better feminist, a realization I came to after contemplating this question about flat ironing my curly tresses straight. Let’s step back in time and take a look at the post…
Last month I hosted the first See Jane Write Virtual Summit featuring live online Q&A sessions with 8 female writers and bloggers with noteworthy accomplishments to their name. During the summit, attendees learned how to build a tribe to support their blog, books, and other writing projects; how to work with brands as a blogger; how to start a freelance writing career; how to market and build buzz for their blog, book, or brand; how to use writing to discover their authentic selves; the art of personal blogging; how to lead a group book project; and how to use their blog to write and publish their first book.
I decided last fall that I wanted to host a virtual summit but it took me several months to finally pull it off because I kept making excuses. I don’t have the time, I told myself. I don’t have the money, I said. But eventually I looked at myself in the mirror and said, “Javacia, you can either make excuses or make a difference. But you can’t do both.”
So I got to work. Still a journalist at heart, I started by asking myself the 5Ws and H.
February 1st is here. We’re an entire month into 2017 and, unfortunately, I spent most of January feeling completely overwhelmed. And it was all my own fault!
My 2017 goals, the same goals that in December filled me with anticipation and excitement, in January started to fill me with apprehension and trepidation instead. I made a list of all the tasks I needed to complete to accomplish my January goals but the list was about as long as I am tall! And I knew exactly why. I wasn’t following my own advice, the very advice that I gave the ladies who took my e-course, The #GoalDigger Project. I wasn’t staying focused.
Tyece Wilkins of Twenties Unscripted once said, “Your core relies on your outer tribe and your inner scribe.”
And y’all know I live by the Danielle LaPorte mantra, “Find your tribe. Love them hard.”
My tribe keeps me going in part because they keep going — and keep wrting. I try to set aside time at least once a week to scroll through the See Jane Write Facebook group and read the blog posts, articles and poems See Jane Write members are writing.
Here’s a look at some of my favorite pieces my Janes published this month: