a sisterlocks journey

(a sisterlocks journey)

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Read the very first post on this blog ~~~ "Pledging the Sisterlocks Sorority"

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Beautiful People Who Follow My Blog...

Beautiful People Who Follow My Blog

Saturday, December 26, 2009

On Chris Rock and the movie "Good Hair": The Sisterlocks Response

I was lurking on Mimi's blog, Naturally Rooted, and discovered this video - Dr. Cornwell's response to Chris Rock's "Good Hair."

You'll love the parade of styles at the end of part three of the video - Dr. Cornwell's gift to Chris Rocks daughters.

As Dr. Cornwell says, we don't have 'problem hair', we just don't know it yet...

Peace, love and self-acceptance,

Friday, December 25, 2009

Kwanzaa Decor at My Moms' Place 2009

Kwanzaa Heri Sisters!
(and lurking brothers :o)

Just a few pretty Kwanzaa decorations on my moms fireplace mantle for you to enjoy below.

Kikombe cha Umoja (Unity cup)

Cute circular kinara (candle holder)

Mazao (Crops)

Vibunzi (corn) and the Mkeka (woven mat)

Mom's fireplace Kwanzaa display

And a Kwanzaa decorating segment with Sheila Bridges featuring interior designer, Tangie Murray.

Monday, December 21, 2009

"Sisterlocks on Pipe Cleaners" Photos

My first Pipe cleaner set!

And I didn't like it :o( - Maybe I did something wrong.

Went back to binding, just a bit, since I had a couple sisterlocks come undone after I clipped my ends a few months ago.

I've been using Suave clarifying shampoo and Herbal Essence Drama Clean.

Sisterlocks on pipe cleaners...and the result...

Interesting. Sorta looks like...ummm...let's see...

...Pipe Cleaners!

I don't like it as much as I do when I set my hair on my "spongeless sponge rollers." The ends are flyaway and not coiled as I had expected.

Gonna be goin' back to using my trusty spongeless sponge rollers. My old flexible rod rollers were great for my braid-outs when I had permed ends, but I had to abandon the flexible rod rollers once my sisterlocks grew and thickened and I cut my permed ends off.

Still though, it nice to be "loc'd up and lye-free" :o)

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Sisterlocks Photos at 21 months...

I think I trimmed my permed ends a bit too much in the top and on one side of my head in the back.

Before my re-tightening this week

No photos for you, but one loc near nape and another near my crown came completely undone.

Julia decided to combine the few strands near my nape with a neighboring loc. She re-loc'd the one on the crown of my head.

After my re-tightening this week

Just showing some scalp. My parts are looks less like lines and more like intersecting grids.

Julia says that she will continue to do use reverse-4 pattern on my hair until she sees less of the pattern toward the middle of my locs.

When they say it can take a couple of years to be truly loc'd, they aren't kidding.

When I first considered locking my hair, I briefly had some of the African woman's "my hair is not straight enough" anxiety - but in the reverse. I was worried that my hair is not coily enough to loc quickly (I was thinking 6 to 9 months and viola)

Sometimes I see other women's hair and compare their hair to mine and I think, "My hair is not as coily as hers," as though it's inferior because it's not as coily.

It's surreal.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Sisterlocks Photos: 20 Months plus update

Remember Raheemah?

(see: Dr. JoAnne Cornwell speaks at the Inaugural Meeting of the Atlanta Sisterlocks Meetup Group - March '08)

Her sisterlocks consultant is Master Consultant, Calla?

Well, she trimmed her sisterlocks...

...and darkened them.

Raheemah's advice: Don't lift too much color, too regularly! Your locs will suffer!


Visit Blaqkofi's blog to read about her "loc loss" experience after too much bleaching...
20 month photos:

Monday, September 7, 2009

"Black women are ugly..."

The start of the school year and thoughts about our children brought this post to mind. Enjoy the re-run.


[Originally posted March 24, 2008 at 4:46 PM]

I teared when I first watched the film A Girl Like Me, directed by young Kiri Davis, 3 years ago. Below is a 7 minute clip.

This disturbing film documents the fact that the pivotal Kenneth and Mamie Clark experimental findings, are as valid today as they were in the 1930's. Sadly, our children still prefer the white doll to the Black doll.

Used to argue several Brown vs. Board of Education law suits in support of integrated schools, the actual data set is rarely if ever examined.

In fact, the Clark's data actually revealed that more children in integrated northern schools preferred and would rather play with the white doll than children in segregated southern schools.

I'd bet you didn't know that.

Moreover, the Clarks found that after Black children entered segregated schools, they approved more highly of the Black dolls. Translation: during the formative years, Black children feel better about themselves when educated in a nurturing environment of adults and children who look like them.

One of the actual data sets:
Children at northern, integrated schools vs. Children at southern, segregated schools

Prefer to play with white doll: 72% vs. 62%
White doll is "nice" 68% vs. 52%
Black doll is "bad" 71% vs.

None of the numbers above are good, but the trend is undeniable. What can I say except, 'Don't believe the hype.'

Support African-centered Saturday programs like the one my son has attended at Nsoromma School.

Additional web resources are available to you through the Black Homeschoolers Network and, here in Atlanta, AYA Educational Institute.

Recommended reading: Developmental Psychology of the Black Child and other books by Dr. Amos Wilson.

Finally, there is a wonderful article about sisterlocks, our daughters, self esteem and locking children's hair in Vol. 2, No. 2. of the Sisterlocks Journal. Giovonnie Samuels, the sisterlocked, Nickelodeon child-star is on the cover.

Dr. JoAnne Cornwell the innovator of sisterlocks has an academic appointment in the Department of Africana Studies at San Diego State University.)

Sunday, August 30, 2009

"How do you wash those things?" (and some lovely locs encountered this summer)

My dad asked the question..."So when you wash those things, they don't come out?

A sister wtih traditional locs from New Jersey that I encountered in the airport in Houston

I pretended not to hear him. We were on a tour bus at our family reunion and the engine was rather loud. He was sitting behind me.

A brother who was on our flight from Atlanta (Nice lats!)

But then he leaned forward and, rather loudly, continued, "I said, how do you wash those things?"

A sisterlocked mom and her daughter who just happened to be on the escalator ahead of us at Hartsfield-Jackson airport (Mom has been SL'd 8 years)

I turn around so he could hear me. "With shampoo. Like the way you wash your hair," I said in my most "uh-duh" -like voice.

A mom with traditional locs and her cuties atop Stone Mountain

That was it. I guess, since he last saw me this past spring, someone must have explained to him that I have locs.


Saturday, August 29, 2009

"...unfit to represent America..." ---Black Hair, Still Tangled in Politics

[New York Times ]

Skin Deep: Black Hair, Still Tangled in Politics

Published: August 27, 2009

SILKY straight hair has long been considered by many black women to be their crowning glory. So what if getting that look meant enduring the itchy burning that’s a hallmark of many chemical straighteners. Or a pricey dependence on “creamy crack,” as relaxers are sometimes jokingly called.

Getting “good hair” often means transforming one’s tightly coiled roots; but it is also more freighted, for many African-American women and some men, than simply a choice about grooming.

Anyone who thought such preconceptions were outdated would have been reminded otherwise by some negative reactions to the president’s 11-year-old daughter, Malia Obama, who wore her hair in twists while in Rome this summer. Commenters on the conservative blog Free Republic attacked her as unfit to represent America for stepping out unstraightened...read more here

Friday, August 28, 2009

A Question about Sisterlocks with Permed Ends...

On August 26, 2009 7:52 PM,

Ms. S said in a comment about the post entitled "The (BIG) Big Chop"...

Hello! How long have you been sisterlocked?
Have you kept the relaxed ends the whole time?
I plan on getting SLs soon but am not sure about a big chop soon after.

(My response)

Ms. S,

I've been loc'd 19 months.

I kept the ends 'til July (about 17 months), but I will tell you that in order to hold a curl at the end of my 'braid-outs', I would clip the ends a little to get them even.

Over time the ends will break off and bunching of permed ends can be a problem if you don't bind the ends with care EVERY time you wash your hair.

I found that braid-outs, minimized the difference in texture between the permed ends the locking, natural hair. Braid-outs also help to camoflage any bunching you might experience as well. It also makes your hair appear fuller and more abundant.

However, braid-outs (damp, braided hair, rolled on flex rods and dried VERY dry before removal of the rods), begin to take longer to dry as you gain length and texture. But without braiding your hair BEFORE curling it, the variation in texture is MUCH more obvious (and would have led me to cut off the perm sooner).

One of the upsides of having cut off the permed ends, is that I now roll WITHOUT braiding first, which has significantly reduced my drying time. Hope this inspires you!

Looking for lots of updates from you on your journey...:o)

Earlier post about Braid-outs

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

The (BIG) Big chop

Free P, that Memphis natural brown eyed beauty, was right...I am enjoying it more after the chop!

After my Big (Top) Chop, I started trimming here and there over the course of several week. It was weird. I felt compelled to clip, clip, clip.

After the 'top chop' but before the 'back chop'

Still, there were still quite a few ends that I had clipped below the bunching and I knew this would cause a little pain during my retightening and slow the process down as well. So I snipped them off.

Bye-Bye Binding and Bunchies

Then I trimmed the rest of my hair evenly across at the nape of my neck.

Ok. So there are a few ends with a little sliver perm left...but not enough for me to ever have to worry about bunching again...

...and bye-bye binding, once and for all!

After the Big Chop

Monday, August 17, 2009

I bumped into my old stylist yesterday...

Thought I would re-post this one for any SL newbies or 'contemplatives' who might be lurking this week. :o)


(Original post date February 27, 2008)

Yesterday, I was leaving JC Penney and I heard a friendly and familiar voice shout from across the parking lot, "Long time no see!"

I was genuinely happy to turn around and see Sarita, my old stylist. I hadn't seen her since September. But I felt a little guilty, I guess. Like I had abandoned her, I suppose.

She watched me approach, her eyes focused unblinkingly on my head. We greeted each other with a big hug. We exchanged niceties, all the while her eyelids narrowing slowly as she tried to decipher what was going on at the roots of my hair. I told her that I had recommended her to a couple of people, relieving myself of the twinge of irrational guilt that I was feeling.

Finally, I said, "I went on and got sisterlocks, so I won't be seeing you for a long while." All semblance of a smile left her face. She actually seemed crestfallen. I was a pretty big tipper. But seriously, it runs deeper than that...

What if hoards of African women realized that our hair texture makes us unique among all of the women on the Earth? That in days of old, before the oppression of our hair, our paradigm taught us that our tightly twisting coils mirrored the spiraling hair of the gods. Our hair was compared with the swirling of galaxies, the torrential, whirling, winds of a storm. Our hair is like unto the helical meanderings of DNA - the very essence of life.

Such an awareness, such an awakening is unlikely to occur so abruptly and en masse as to cause economic hardship to befall those of our sisters who are just trying to make a living by meeting a demand created in us by the dominant (dominating) culture.

That I traded my stylist for a loctician will have no impact on Sarita's pocketbook. But, that I traded my stylist for a loctician is of immense value if, by my example, just one young sister finds the courage to face the fact that it's not "just hair." The value inherent in one young sister feeling empowered to do the hard, introspective and often painful work of critiquing her assumptions, questioning her esthetic preferences and re-examining her political philosophy is immeasurable.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Dr. Joanne Cornwell Speaks at Adornment Natural Hair Health & Beauty

"Our hair is magical," says Dr. Joanne Cornwell at Adornment, the first natural hair show in the UK.

She discusses racism, culture, Black economics and the hair care industry, and sisterlocks.

My, isn't Joanne's hair 'short' in this video made about 6 years ago!

Dr. Joanne Cornwell, Originator of Sisterlocks

Highlight Video from this year's Sisterlocks' Homecoming

Here are the highlights from this year's Sisterlocks' Homecoming in San Diego!

Soul train line, Fashion show, Dinner dance and a "Thriller" tribute to Michael Jackson...

Lot's of sisterlocks styles to check out here...

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