The Art of Hair as Adornment by Amira Ali.

In many African cultures, a woman’s hairstyle has often had varying social implications – mattering both socially and individually. Traditionally, in many African cultures, hair was usually dressed according to local culture complying with aesthetical standards. Beyond adornment and the aesthetics of identity, in cultural aspects hair has had a sacred element perceived as a substance with “supernatural power and spiritual import”.   

Often, cultural beauty, health and identity are intertwined - even in contemporary societies. In today’s highly globalized world deeply impacted by history, the politics of Black African hair, especially in western spaces, has many multi-layered social implications that can be both complex and deeply politicized. Outside of its traditional significance and the appreciation of beauty within whatever culture a specific hair style or type is standard, African women’s hair has and continues to be subject to shallow judgments and critique based on mainstream media’s Euro-centric standards of beauty that comes from the “ubiquity of whiteness”. Nevertheless, it seems that times are changing as a globally penetrating movement towards reclaiming one’s own authentic beauty continues to express itself through women in both Africa and the Diaspora. As adorning the head takes on the face of (re)claiming identity by purely wearing hair in its natural state of Afros and hair braided styles, the entire world is slowly having no option but to reframe their approach to the inherent beauty and diversity of black hair.

The tradition of braided hairstyles, predominantly in the Northern, Eastern, Central and Western African customs of hair grooming, date far back. “Depictions of women with cornrows have been found in Stone Age paintings in the Tassili Plateau of the Sahara that have been dated as far back as 3000 B.C.” History also reveals, “male styling with cornrows can be traced as far back as the early nineteenth century to Ethiopia, where warriors and kings such as Tewodros II and Yohannes IV were depicted wearing cornrows.”

Culturally, with its traditional significance, adorning the head implies more than merely a hairstyle of conevenience. Often pointing to the socio-economic status and characteristic of the wearer, as well as the link to the wearer’s culture, “the cultural significance and roots of braiding can be traced back to the African tribes. The braid patterns signify the tribe and help to identify the member of the tribe.“

Though many of us are unsure of the cultural significance and meanings of braided hairstyles today, and whilst many have been adapted to suit the styles and habits of women through time, customarily braid patterns or hairstyles illustrate “the significance of hair among various African cultures as an indicator of social status and religious function, a symbol of age and authority, a traditional aesthetic element or a statement of contemporary style, a substance with supernatural power and spiritual import, and an object of beauty and adornment”. In ancient Egypt, it is said that hair braiding was reserved for royalty and ceremonial rituals like weddings.

As braiding styles continue to gain popularity in the present, hair grooming, for the most part exposes modern age artistic designs that borrow from the past. In some African cities and parts of the Diaspora, though some of the cultural implications of hair such as braiding for ceremonial purposes such as weddings, and rites of passage rituals, patterns that signify ones ethnic group, and perhaps wealth and status, have been retained; for the most part, the traditional significance is less salient.

In the current trend, using synthetic or human hair, if possible, the wearer finds the most artistic braider or artisan of style that can sculpt a ‘do of the wearer’s choice. In general, sporting a braided style appears to be more of a fashion affirmation; while fashioning the body – physical appearance – is employed for self-expression and sole identity formation, with the exception of those who adorn themselves based on the conduct of a society, community or social group they belong to.  On the flip side, for some people of African descent residing in the Diaspora, braiding are considered as forms of “protesting standards of Eurocentric ideals of beauty, and both maintaining and retaining their links to Africa and African cultural traditions – claiming ancestral memory”.

No matter the meaning or purpose for how braids are worn, there is one universal that remains consistent in relation to hair braiding. The process of braiding offers a climate for the intimate exchanging of stories, and of bonding from one generation to the next, or between the worlds of the braider and client. It is symbolic to where women ritually share hushed or not so hushed stories in these spaces. In that way, hair has always had it’s own stories.

Nice to know


Serena Williams Wins 2014 U.S. Open Title and 18th Grand Slam Title

Serena Williams beat Caroline Wozniacki, 6-3, 6-3, at the 2014 U.S. Open, her 3rd consecutive U.S. Open title and 18th Grand Slam Title. (Photographs from Nike, The Boston Globe and Fox.)

According to The Associated Press:

Williams equaled Chris Evert and Martina Navratilova with 18 major singles titles, the fourth-most in history. Williams also matched Evert’s total of six championships at the U.S. Open and became the first woman to win three in a row since Evert’s four-title run from 1975-78.

WINNING! Congratulations to Serena Williams!  

Nubian Queen Goddess




Tahreem Zeus Rana,  an Atlanta police officer who allegedly murdered Vernicia Woodard, 26, a woman that he met online, was arrested at Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport on Thursday as he was attempting to escape to Mexico, reports

Police allowed Rana, who had been placed on a no-fly list, to go through airport security to ensure that he wasn’t armed, then arrested him.

Rana, who has been with the Atlanta Police Department for 3 years, will face kidnapping, murder and arson charges.

“We are shocked and saddened by these developments. The officer has been relieved from duty, and is in a non-enforcement status. Chief Turner will schedule an emergency hearing immediately today to determine the next course of action. We must allow the justice system to run its course. But these clearly are very disturbing allegations that are not in line with the expectations we have for our officers, and will be immediately dealt with,” said APD Public Affairs Director Carlos Campos.

Read more below from Huffington Post:

Woodward, who recently moved to Atlanta from New York. She was linked to Rana through her phone records, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. The two appear to have met on, a classified ad website that is often used to facilitate romantic encounters.

Hapeville police said her body was found by a city employee Aug. 22. She had been shot several times and set on fire.

“First he took her to a secluded area to do the crime and then after killing her, he used some kind of fuel to light the body on fire in order to cover up any type of evidence that may be there,” Hapeville Police Detective Stephen Cushing told WGCL.

WSB reports that Woodward has an 8-year-old daughter.

“It hurts a lot more to know that it was somebody in law enforcement,” the victim’s sister, Tashara Gilyard, told the station.

Rana appeared in court on Friday.

Fucked up thing is that he’d get away with this if he killed her while on duty

And if he was a little whiter.


Sad issue


AvaLynn was attacked by another student on the school playground. We are fighting for answers and for greater supervision at school.

My friend Lacey Harris’s 5 year old daughter was brutalized by another child on the playground at school this week, in Pascagoula, Mississippi. Her face is swollen and bruised beyond recognition, and the only thing the school can tell her is that they “are investigating”

This sweet little 5 year old girl is terrified to return to school. She is in pain and she has been MAIMED. This needs IMMEDIATE media attention. The school and local news are ignoring the mother’s and loved ones’ cries for help. This family needs justice for what has been done to their poor little angel, and not just to be swept under the rug, as the school district is attempting to do. PLEASE shine some light on this situation and force school administration and news media to get some answers!

The mother has started a GoFundMe page to request help for paying medical bills and legal fees, as it looks as though she’s going to have to pursue this route in order to get any justice at all for her little girl. Please, please, share this link on your page. Even if people are unable to donate, please just help us get the word out on what is going on with this poor family.

This is really heartbroken for me and extremely hard to look at.

This is the link to Ava’s donation page.
Please donate and share and PRAY!
God bless you all!

Justice please



Michael Brown’s dad before the burial. 
The emotion and all of the sweat…. shit is hard to look at, even if its only a picture

I didn’t want to reblog this because it’s hard to look at, but people SHOULD see it.
We SHOULD see a father mourning his teenage son.
We SHOULD see how a killing like Mike’s can take a toll on not only a community, but a family.
It’s as easy for young black men to become martyrs as it is for them to become victims. They can never just be humans. 
We can never just be.




Michael Brown’s dad before the burial. 

The emotion and all of the sweat…. shit is hard to look at, even if its only a picture

I didn’t want to reblog this because it’s hard to look at, but people SHOULD see it.

We SHOULD see a father mourning his teenage son.

We SHOULD see how a killing like Mike’s can take a toll on not only a community, but a family.

It’s as easy for young black men to become martyrs as it is for them to become victims. They can never just be humans. 

We can never just be.



My paternal line!! Haplogroup T!!!
In human population genetics, mitochondrial (mtDNA) haplogroups define the major lineages of direct maternal (female) lines back to a shared common ancestor in Africa.
Its highest frequencies are in two Semitic speaking peoples: the Amhara and the Tigrai

Elite endurance runners!!!
Possible patterns between Y-chromosome and elite endurance runners were studied in an attempt to find a genetic explanation to the Ethiopian endurance running success. Given the superiority of East African athletes in international distance running over the past four decades, it has been speculated that they are genetically advantaged. Elite marathon runners from Ethiopia were analysed for K*(xP) which according to the previously published Ethiopian studies is attributable to the haplogroup T[178] and specifically to the T1a1a* (old T1a*) subclade, according to further studies.[1] T1a1a* was found to be proportionately more frequent in the elite marathon runners sample than in the control samples than any other haplogroup, therefore this y-chromosome could play a significant role in determining Ethiopian endurance running success. Haplogroup T1a1a* was found in 14% of the elite marathon runners sample of whom 43% of this sample are from Arsi province. In addition, haplogroup T1a1a* was found in only 4% of the Ethiopian control sample and only 1% of the Arsi province control sample. T1a1a* is positively associated with aspects of endurance running, whereas E1b1b1 (old E3b1) is negatively associated.
Haplogroup T is common in northern Somalia and in the Somalis of Ethiopia. It is found in frequency of greater than 10 percent in populations of Kenya Tanzania and Cameroon. It is notable for being widespread in Tanzania where it is more common than Kenya . It has also been detected in the limba populations of Zimbabwe Malawi and South Africa. The distribution of this haplogroup has been suggested to be associated with mtdna haplogroup M1 as the two tend to be common in the same regions.