My Black is Beautiful, a Proctor & Gamble owned brand has released an incredible ad touching on that most sensitive of topics. It highlights the first time Black children have to contend with their skin color being seen as problematic.

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A young girl opens the ad, clutching a blond doll while her mother does her hair. "Who said that??" her mother asks sharply "That is NOT a compliment". Black women everywhere already know, just based on tone, that this child had heard something, said by someone, who was not black, that had made the girl feel less than.

It's common in our world, as black women, to come across the same feelings this girl did, most times in our youth. We hear the micro aggressions, from friends, from co-workers, and most of the time, brush it off and keep it moving. We put on a face as we struggle to sort out our feelings about how your crush things "you're pretty for a black girl." the same backhanded compliment this young girl received. We laugh nervously, before retreating to our desks when we hear "I just don't find black women attractive" around the water cooler.

In our society, there comes a time, where every black parent has to talk to their child about the fact that the color of your skin will make other people see and treat you differently. My Black is Beautiful & P&G do an incredible job of highlighting these difficult conversations, both showcasing the identity crises these children have, and the steel resolve of their parents as they guide their kids through the harsh realities of the world. This ad is stark in its raw honesty. It's the kind of honesty black people don't often discuss in public spaces.

The brand does a great job of introducing the topic of "The Talk" to mainstream audiences, in an effort to get the conversation started about why there needs to be a conversation in the first place.The ad ends with a phrase

"Let's all talk about 'The Talk'"

Six words flashed across the screen in the last seconds of the ad. It's a simple enough invitation, but the implications of each word hold the weight of a society burdened by unfair judgment. Ours.

Their goal is simple. It's the very next sentence.

"So we can end the need to have it."

A hundred thousand kudos to My Black is Beautiful and P&G for this ad. It broke me down, all while building me up.



So ladies, let's talk. Have you ever had the talk? Who sat you down? Or have you ever had to give "the talk" to someone else? a family member or friend? Tell us about it in the comments.
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Alma Hill is a freelance journalist, actress, and mother living in Orlando, FL. A frequent contributor to online and print media publications, she believes that the words from our mouths will change the world. Born in Charlotte, NC, she's a millennial with an old soul who appreciates a good meme as much as a Miles Davis album. Brave souls can follow her on Twitter @_mynameissoul,but you have been warned. 
IG: Jamie Loves Her Natural Hair

Ariane Roberts saw the stories of little brown girls bullied and teased about their natural hair. Girls like Vanessa VanDyke, who faced expulsion over her bountiful 'fro. Girls like Tiana Parker, sent home from school because of her lush locs. Girls who needed to be embraced, celebrated, and reaffirmed of their natural beauty.

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The natural hair enthusiast and blogger BlackNaps.org decided to write a book that would help build their confidence and teach them self love--and set a goal to raise the money she needed to create and publish her work.

"I thought why not teach kids from the beginning that who they are is just fine. Vanessa has such a strong sense of self, but there are many young girls her age who don’t," Roberts wrote in her Kickstarter campaign. "Even more troubling, this is not the only incident where young girls of color are told by their schools that their hair is unacceptable. This led me to the decision to create a character that would encourage children to embrace who they are."

Jamie Loves Her Natural Hair is the story of a young girl who realizes that her hair is different --so she loves and accepts who she is.



Jamie knows her hair is uniquely beautiful. It isn't like the other girls' in her class, her teacher's, or her favorite characters, but that's okay. She's positive and confident, and accepts her hair in all of its glory.

"What I love about this project and what differentiates it from others in its niche is the positivity that radiates from the character. At no point does she view her hair as unruly or hard to manage," says Roberts. "This is a book with an important message and value; teaching our children the beauty of self love."

The campaign brought in donations from hundreds of people who believed in Jamie's story of self love, raising almost $600 over the goal amount. You can support and inspire a little girl by purchasing the book here.

What do you think about this book? Was there a time you were teased about your natural hair?
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Tiffani Greenaway is the wife and mom behind MyMommyVents, a New York city parenting blog. Her tips have been seen on Yahoo Parenting, Mommy Noire, and Fit Pregnancy. Find more of Tiffani's work at mymommyvents.com.

The O.J. Simpson saga continues! After a 9-year stint in prison for his role in a 2007 armed robbery, 70-year-old Simpson has been released on parole. He was initially sentenced to 9 to 33 years for the Las Vegas arm robbery and kidnapping incident. The former NFL star also known as “Juice” had ensured the parole board that he’d been a model prisoner and he promised to not be involved in any further conflicts if released. The parole board unanimously granted his wish, with an expected release date of October.

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"I've done my time," pleaded Simpson to the Nevada parole board. "I've done it as well and as respectfully as I think anyone can."

Simpson was reportedly alert and energetic during the parole hearing, even laughing when parole board Chairman Connie Bisbee mistakenly cited his age as 90. "I feel like it," he quipped.

In case you’re wondering, there was no mentions of the infamous 1995 Nicole Brown/Ron Goldman case and acquittal. If you can believe it, it has been 22 years since the verdict heard ‘round the nation. That particular case has made Simpson a household name far beyond his NFL days, inspiring works such as the award-winning documentary O.J.: Made in America and the popular FX true-crime drama The People v. O.J. Simpson.

Simpson maintained that he was not fully responsible for the Vegas incident, citing his associates as misleading and turning on him in court. "Unfortunately, they got a get-out-of-jail-free card when they said 'O.J. told me (to do it),'" he said. "Nothing I can do about that."

Board member graded Simpson a “low risk to reoffend” to which Simpson smiled a simple “thank you” before silently lowering his head for a few moments.

Simpson plans to move to his home in Florida.

Source: CNN

What do you think about O.J. finally being released from prison?
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Tonja Renée Stidhum is a writer/director living in Los Angeles by way of Chicago. She is the co-host of the movie review podcast, Cinema Bun Podcast. She is made of sugar and spice and everything rice... with the uncanny ability to make a Disney/Pixar reference in the same sentence as a double entendre. You can follow her on Twitter @EmbraceTheJ, on Facebook FB.com/tstidhum, and Instagram @embracethej. You can find more of her work on her About Me page, https://about.me/tonjareneestidhum.
Photo: Getty Images

Following Michael Vick's illuminating advice on FS1's "Speak for Yourself" informing Colin Kapaernick to "cut his hair" and "just try to look presentable," Colin Kaepernick seemed to respond via Twitter with the definition of Stockholm Syndrome. Stockholm Syndrome is the psychological condition in which a hostage develops sympathy for and an alliance with his/her captors as a means of survival during captivity. If Kaepernick was indeed talking about Michael Vick then I couldn't agree more.

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We all remember how America reeled in horror at the cornrowed Vick having abused all of those poor, defenseless puppies. The dogfighting “thug” had to pay for his inexcusable crimes and he did so with a nearly two-year stint in prison. Upon his release, however, he shaved the braids, rebranded himself as an advocate for animal rights and re established himself as an upstanding citizen worthy of the NFL’s forgiveness.

It was as if Vick had spent his entire time in prison studying the philosophies of Booker T. Washington. And it kind of makes sense that he would. Washington had been born a slave and knew very well the horrors of the institution. An imprisoned Vick, especially after having lived as a wealthy and revered athletic hero, must have shared the same feelings as Washington. That feeling of “never again” and “I’ll do whatever it takes to be free” and “I know what these White folks are capable of so I’ll play by their rules and try to get ahead that way.”

Washington, who introduced and preached the idea of respectability politics, once wrote, "Labor to make yourself as indispensable as possible in all your relations with the dominant race and color will cut less figure in your upward grade." In an 1895 speech, Washington also made the claim, "The wisest among my race understand that the agitation of questions of social equality is the extremist folly, and that progress in the enjoyment of all the privileges that will come to us must be the result of severe and constant struggle rather than of artificial forcing." In response to Washington's ideas, American Whites offered great praise to the man and regarded him as a trustworthy leader, and perhaps savior, of his race. He was a "safe negro."

Yeah, that whole thing is Stockholm Syndrome alright.

I tend to have more sympathy for Washington than Vick though. Did Washington really have a choice during the era in which he lived? Nope, not at all. But Vick is a different story. He really didn’t have to fight those dogs in the first place. Plus he knows
good and damn well that respectability politics
doesn’t do anything for anyone who has been determined to be a threat to the American status quo.

Did Dr. King’s pristine suits or his beautifully orated talks of equality and non-violence keep him from getting shot down at the Lorraine Motel? Maybe King's Infidelity disqualified him from being truly respectable so let me do Vick one better. How about Barack Obama?

Obama, a Harvard alumni and the first Black president of the Harvard Law Review, an accomplished author, the fifth Black person to serve as a U.S. Senator and the first Black U.S. president was never caught up in any scandal of any kind, political, personal or otherwise. Loved, revered and respected the world over, winner of the Nobel Peace Prize, Obama always remained well-spoken, poised and prepared. The only time he rocked an Afro was during the 70s. Yet for all his many accomplishments, his commitment to his wife, his adoration of his children, and his occasional wearing of mom jeans, none of that stopped him from being called a nigger, terrorist, liar (during a State of the Union address) or an outright traitor to the country.

I do believe Vick meant well when trying to offer advice to Kaepernick but I find it laughable that Vick has somehow determined that Kaepernick has image issues. Kaepernick has committed no crime, has not been to prison and was otherwise exercising his first amendment right as an American to practice freedom of speech. To suggest that Kaepernick’s hair (or overall supposed appearance as a revolutionary) is somehow responsible for his unpopularity with football fans who feel that his peaceful protest was an affront to patriotism is equally ridiculous. Perhaps if Kaepernick takes up dog fighting, he should give Vick a call. Otherwise, Vick should take several seats and keep his PR advice to himself.

What do you think about Vick's comments?
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Nikki Igbo is an Atlanta-based freelance writer and political junkie. She holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Political Science from California State University at Fullerton and a Masters in Fine Arts of Writing at Savannah College of Art and Design. When not staring in disbelief at the antics unfolding on CSPAN, she enjoys philosophical arguments with her husband, 70's era music and any excuse to craft with glitter. Feel free to check out her freelance services at nikigbo.com and stalk her on twitter @nikigbo or Instagram at @nikigbo.

It's no secret that Colin Kaepernick still doesn't have a job in the NFL. Some would say that it has a lot to do with his protests during the National Anthem, while others would suggest it has to do with his inconsistent playing on the field. But if you ask Michael Vick, he'd suggest that it has to do with Colin Kaepernick's hair and image.

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Vick shared his thoughts on what it would take to get Kaepernick back in the NFL in an interview with Speak For Yourself.

"First thing we’ve got to get Colin to do is cut his hair. Listen, I’m not up here to try to be politically correct, but even if he puts cornrows in there, I don’t think he should represent himself in that way in terms of—just the hairstyle. Just go clean-cut. You know, why not? You’re already dealing with a lot of controversy surrounding this issue. The most important thing that he needs to do is just try to be presentable. All the social media stuff he’s doing—we get it, we understand it. It’s time for Colin to step up in a different way."

Vick adds,"It's time for Kaepernick to step up in a different way."



What do you think about Michael Vick's comments on Kaepernick's hair? What is he really trying to say?
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Mike "Orie" Mosley is the managing editor for CurlyNikki.com and a cultural advocate from St. Louis. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in Arts, Entertainment & Media Management from Columbia College Chicago and a Masters in Higher Education Administration from LSU. He is also the founder of www.afrotrak.com. In his spare time, he's probably listening to hip hop & neo soul music, hitting up brunch or caught up in deep conversations about Black music. You can follow him on Twitter @mike_orie or on Instagram @mikeorie