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The Blog

Black History Month 2015: What's the 411?

The Ankh

Black History Month (BHM) at Wesleyan has been a huge success with a number of well attended events that discussed various issues within the Black Community and celebrated black culture. Historically, BHM has been an active time for members of the black community to pause and reflect on the progress that has been made and the progress that has yet to occur.

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BHM Coverage- 50 Shades of Us

The Ankh

On February 19th in the CAAS Vanguard Lounge, DJ and facilitator extraordinaire, Kafilah Muhammad, set the tone for 50 Shades of Us-- an Ujamaa sponsored event promoting “a space for a discussion orchestrated for black and brown men and women as a way to have an open dialogue about why the fostering of negative stereotypes based off of skin tones is so prevalent in our community.”

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Be Happy Nappi or Get a Perm!

The Ankh

This is the article that inspired me to make the video:

I remember seeing that picture, thinking to myself "Yes that's right", but a few moments later I realized how twisted the statement I made to myself was. As many of us know, Ellis Ross has long loosely curled hair, aka mixed girl hair, that many women both natural and straight strive to have. What was even more disturbing that something that supposedly promoted natural hair, is also promoting this idea of what is "good" natural hair and what is not. I don't know about you, but I originally thought that the natural hair movement was a means for women of color ,specifically black women, to further embrace their identity and embrace the natural beauty they were born with. But as the years have gone by, and the natural hair movement has become a trend, many of the affects that relaxing our hair gave us ( like striving to make one's hair more straight or Eurocentric), we are begging to see in the natural hair movement. It concerns me that something that was supposed to be a safe haven for us, a means for us to support and love ourselves, has begun to create a hierarchy within itself. This in turn reverses the very pride in our type of beauty to begin with. I made this video to address a few of these issues and to hear what other's thought about it. For example, the need for a hair pattern chart is necessary for hair care, but has become something that many of us use as a means to put ourselves in a category that is "better" or superior to someone else. For instance, someone with 4a hair may dread not having 2 or 3 hair textures, but may feel at ease for not having 4b or c hair. ( - natural hair textures in this article). Instead of only providing us information about what we should do to take care of that specific hair type, we leave room to create lines as to where "bad hair" starts. I hope that my video sparks some thought about what the current natural hair movement is doing, whether we truly love ourselves or want to prove that our hair isn't as bad as someone elses, or some other motive. The video gives my personal opinion on it and I hope it sparks a bit of conversation. 

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Check out the "Black Directors Series"

The Ankh

This February we celebrate three landmarks of cinema history by Black directors who offer important perspectives on the African-American experience.


February 15 : Within Our Gates

February 19 : Boyz N The Hood

February 28 : 12 Years A Slave


Shoutouts to Natalie Hunter and the AfAm Majors Committee for helping organize this!

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The Ankh

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