feminism

What Empowerment Means to Me

 

What does empowerment mean to you?

That’s the question that Kristen Greenwood of GirlSpring asked me when she interviewed me for GirlSpring’s Sheroctober, a series of videos featuring Birmingham area women considered “sheroes” of the city. Girlspring is a nonprofit organization and online publication based in Birmingham, Alabama, that focuses on the issues, activities, and concerns of girls and young women. The “sheroes” interviewed for this series included artists, educators, entrepreneurs, and other professionals in practically every field. And so many of these women are true trailblazers. It is an honor to be included. You can see my video here (and be sure to give me a thumbs up while you’re watching. The shero with the most thumbs up will win tickets to see Janet Jackson live in concert!)

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How to Get Confident for Your Photo Shoot

You know you need to schedule a photo shoot. On more than one occasion you’ve been asked for a headshot and you’ve had to send an embarrassing selfie instead of a professional portrait. The Welcome, About, and FAQ pages of your website all have stock photos or no images at all. And you don’t even have a picture of yourself in the sidebar of your blog!

You know you need to schedule a photo shoot, but you just can’t build the courage to do so. Trust me, I understand. (more…)

Hair Story

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…

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Can Writers Be Entrepreneurs and Activists?

After the shooting death of Alton Sterling this summer I started carrying around this picture in my phone to remind myself that neutrality is not an option. // Image via Instagram

I often stand atop my soapbox to declare that writers need to be entrepreneurs because we need to learn how to market ourselves and build our personal brands. But once you are an entrepreneur can you also be an activist?

Most of the scribes in my tribe don’t simply want to use their words to make money; they also want to make a difference. But once you use your platform to speak up about the issues you care about, you, of course, run the risk of losing customers. That’s why many marketing gurus say entrepreneurs should never talk politics or broach any controversial topics. But in today’s political climate, it may feel impossible to stay silent.

So don’t.

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