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.

Written by Tiffani Greenaway of MyMommyVents.com

Tatyana Hargrove was biking home after picking out a Father's Day gift when she stopped for a drink of water in the 103 degree heat. When she turned around, three Bakersfield, California police cars surrounded her.

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The 19-year old told her story in a viral Facebook video  shared by the Bakersfield NAACP. Officers "mistook" Hargrove, a 5'2", 115lbs "soaking wet", 19 year old girl with braids — for a 5' 10", 170lb bald black man with a goatee who was allegedly threatening people with a machete outside a nearby grocery store.

“She appeared to be a male and matched the description of the suspect that had brandished the machete and was also within the same complex the suspect had fled to,” Christopher Moore, the arresting officer, wrote in a police report obtained by the Bakersfield Californian.

In the Facebook video, Hargrove, on crutches, describes how police demanded she hand over her backpack for a search. When she asked if they had a warrant, one officer pointed to a police dog. She says she was frightened and told them to take it. “I then got scared and then I was like, here, take the backpack, just take the backpack.”

Hargrove alleges that even though she complied, police grabbed her wrist and then punched her and threw her to the ground. An officer pinned her down with his knees while the K-9 “came and started eating at my leg.” She screamed for help. “I told him ‘I can’t breathe, I can’t breathe’ and then I started yelling out, ‘Somebody help me, somebody help me! They’re gonna kill me!’”

Arresting officers have a different story. Officer Moore's police report states that Hargrove tried to flee the scene after he pointed his firearm at her. “She turned and looked at me and said, ‘What you all stopping another black person for? I’m out of here,’” the officer wrote.

He claims that another officer approached the young lady and grabbed her hands to “gain control of her,” but she maneuvered around him, causing him to fall and become tangled in the bike before she “quickly turned over on top of Senior Officer Vasquez in a mounting position.” Moore acknowledged that Officer Vasquez punched Hargrove “one time in the mouth in an attempt to force her off of him,” before the dog was released.

Police claim they didn't know Hargrove was a girl until after she was handcuffed. “I asked what her name was and when she provided it as ‘Tatyana’ I said, ‘Don’t lie to me, that’s a girl’s name. What is your name?’” Moore says. “I’m a girl, I just don’t dress like one,” she responded.

Hargrove was arrested and charged with suspicion of resisting or delaying an officer and aggravated assault on an officer. No weapons were found in her backpack.

A Change.org petition has been created to have Hargrove’s charges dismissed, and a GoFundMe page is raising money for her medical bills and legal fees.

What can we do to prevent more situations like this from happening? 
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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.

Let's see if you can sum up your joy in 140 characters.

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Early this week, Twitter announced Candi Castleberry-Singleton as their new Vice President of Diversity and Inclusion.

Prior to joining Twitter, Castleberry-Singleton led the Dignity &Respect Campaign, a consulting firm helping organizations build cultural awareness and diversity.

“I’m so excited to join the team at Twitter to lead inclusion and diversity efforts for employees and the Twitter community,” Castleberry Singleton said in a statement to TechCrunch. “I’ve spent much of my career leading organizational change...and I look forward to bringing what I’ve learned to Twitter and building on the company’s great progress!”

While women make up 37% of Twitter's overall global workforce, Blacks and Hispanics, represented just 7 percent. Nine out of 10 employees are white or Asian and about two-thirds are men. Castleberry-Singleton's hire comes after controversy surrounding Twitter's previous pick for VP of Diversity and Inclusion, Jeffrey Siminoff-- a White man.

Castleberry-Singleton has resolved to bring more inclusion to the tech world. “I consider myself to be diversity and inclusion leader,” she said. “I get up every day believing there are more good people in the world than bad people and there is more good in the world than evil. It is the only way I can do this work.”

Her hire comes amidst the company's push to hire more minorities. In the last year Twitter has appointed Debra Lee, chairman and CEO of BET Networks to their board, and brought on industry vet Jayanta Jenkins as their global group creative director, helping Twitter reach its goal of having six percent or more underrepresented minorities in leadership roles.

“If we can move to a society of respect, we can co-exist in spite of our differences," said Castleberry-Singleton. "Some may call me a dreamer, but I know I am not the only one.”

What do you think of Twitter's new VP selection? Are you surprised? 
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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.
  • Clockwise from top left: Berkeley Juneteenth organizers Lucky R. Thomas, Delores Cooper, Orlando Williams, William Varner, David Varner, Ken Tramiel Sr., Larence Brook. Photo by Lance Yamamoto

Written by Tiffani Greenaway of MyMommyVents.com

“…the 19th of June wasn’t the exact day the Negro was freed. But that’s the day they told them that they was free… And my daddy told me that they whooped and hollered and bored holes in trees with augers and stopped it up with [gun] powder and light and that would be their blast for the celebration.” – Haye Turner

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Wrapped in twisted history, Juneteenth marks the day that enslaved Africans were given their freedom.

One June 19th, 1865, Union General Gordon Granger arrived in Texas with 2,000 troops, bringing news that the Civil War had ended and those enslaved were now free. While Abraham Lincoln declared "that all persons held as slaves" within the rebellious states "are, and henceforward shall be free" when he signed the Emancipation Proclamation in 1862, the Proclamation didn't become federal law until 1863. Because Texas was so geographically isolated, the law was essentially ignored until Granger arrived two and a half years later.

"On plantations, masters had to decide when and how to announce the news — or wait for a government agent to arrive — and it was not uncommon for them to delay until after the harvest. Even in Galveston city, the ex-Confederate mayor flouted the Army by forcing the freed people back to work," reports PBS.

But it was still a celebration for many.



Since that day, Juneteenth, or "Freedom Day" has been celebrated by African Americans--remembering those who sacrificed and those who were lost in the struggle for freedom. The first public Juneteenth events started in 1866, becoming an official state holiday in Texas in 1980.

The day's beginnings in Texas have spread across the nation. As Isabelle Wilkerson wrote in The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America's Great Migration, "The people from Texas took Juneteenth Day to Los Angeles, Oakland, Seattle, and other places they went." While Juneteenth isn't a federal holiday, 43 states and the District of Columbia recognize it as either a state or ceremonial one.

But even as we celebrate, many still wonder: are we truly free?

Trayvon Martin. Alton Sterling. Sandra Bland. Tamir Rice. Michael Brown. Eric Garner. Akai Gurley. Walter Scott. Freddie Gray. Jordan Edwards. Philando Castille. We say their names. We remember their stories. But we haven't received any justice.

"Black men are six times as likely to be incarcerated as white men, and Hispanic men are more than twice as likely to be jailed as non-Hispanic white men," says The Sentencing Project's fact sheet.

Until the day when we can sell CDs and cigarettes, drive our cars, play in the streets, walk in stairwells, wear hoodies, and just...exist without being harassed or threatened, without being feared, without our lives being taken--can we really be free?

What are you doing to celebrate Juneteenth?
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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.
  • Clockwise from top left: Berkeley Juneteenth organizers Lucky R. Thomas, Delores Cooper, Orlando Williams, William Varner, David Varner, Ken Tramiel Sr., Larence Brook. Photo by Lance Yamamoto

Written by Tiffani Greenaway of MyMommyVents.com

“…the 19th of June wasn’t the exact day the Negro was freed. But that’s the day they told them that they was free… And my daddy told me that they whooped and hollered and bored holes in trees with augers and stopped it up with [gun] powder and light and that would be their blast for the celebration.” – Haye Turner

Continue Reading


Wrapped in twisted history, Juneteenth marks the day that enslaved Africans were given their freedom.

One June 19th, 1865, Union General Gordon Granger arrived in Texas with 2,000 troops, bringing news that the Civil War had ended and those enslaved were now free. While Abraham Lincoln declared "that all persons held as slaves" within the rebellious states "are, and henceforward shall be free" when he signed the Emancipation Proclamation in 1862, the Proclamation didn't become federal law until 1863. Because Texas was so geographically isolated, the law was essentially ignored until Granger arrived two and a half years later.

"On plantations, masters had to decide when and how to announce the news — or wait for a government agent to arrive — and it was not uncommon for them to delay until after the harvest. Even in Galveston city, the ex-Confederate mayor flouted the Army by forcing the freed people back to work," reports PBS.

But it was still a celebration for many.



Since that day, Juneteenth, or "Freedom Day" has been celebrated by African Americans--remembering those who sacrificed and those who were lost in the struggle for freedom. The first public Juneteenth events started in 1866, becoming an official state holiday in Texas in 1980.

The day's beginnings in Texas have spread across the nation. As Isabelle Wilkerson wrote in The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America's Great Migration, "The people from Texas took Juneteenth Day to Los Angeles, Oakland, Seattle, and other places they went." While Juneteenth isn't a federal holiday, 43 states and the District of Columbia recognize it as either a state or ceremonial one.

But even as we celebrate, many still wonder: are we truly free?

Trayvon Martin. Alton Sterling. Sandra Bland. Tamir Rice. Michael Brown. Eric Garner. Akai Gurley. Walter Scott. Freddie Gray. Jordan Edwards. Philando Castille. We say their names. We remember their stories. But we haven't received any justice.

"Black men are six times as likely to be incarcerated as white men, and Hispanic men are more than twice as likely to be jailed as non-Hispanic white men," says The Sentencing Project's fact sheet.

Until the day when we can sell CDs and cigarettes, drive our cars, play in the streets, walk in stairwells, wear hoodies, and just...exist without being harassed or threatened, without being feared, without our lives being taken--can we really be free?

What are you doing to celebrate Juneteenth?
***********************
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.