It’s Not Just Hair

There has been recent uproar about our favorite culture vulture, Kim Kardashian and her “Bo Derek braids” which is from a hairstyle worn by Bo Derek in the movie “10”. I wasn’t going to give this any more attention than it had already received because thats all this Kim girl wants, attention. But, Bo Derek took to Twitter  to weigh in on the topic and she said my favorite line when people are trying to dismiss culture appropriation in terms of hairstyles, “It’s just a hairstyle…” she said. But is it? It is just a hair style my girl or is it another thing that people of color can’t have for themselves?

As a natural, 4C crown rocking black man with locs , hair has become a part of my life. Its my thing. And what aggravates me is when people like to say “It’s just hair!” Let me give you some background on my hair and its current state. I used to be in that guy in the barbershop every week. over $100 a month on haircuts just to maintain my appearance. I had waves and I was just as cute as it got. Every year, I dedicate November to those who suffer from prostate cancer and participate in No Shave November. Last year I decided to hold on to my no shave commitment and what made me stick to it is because I stopped giving a fuck. I couldn’t stand when someone told me my hair wasn’t appropriate simply because it was in its natural state. My hair which is a well oiled machine, is my identity. And if you’re telling me that in its natural state its inappropriate then fuck off. So, a year later my hair decided to lock up and continues to grow and flourish.

When we’re talking about black hair in its natural state we’re talking about a revolution. Black hair in its natural state has always been described as wild and out of control and dirty. Non people of color (some, not all)would see natural hair and automatically think “they need to tame their hair”. White culture teaches us that if your hair isn’t neat and straight it’s wild and out of control. With this notion about hair, black people are then told their hair is inappropriate in certain settings and often makes people uncomfortable. But I thought it was just hair ? It doesn’t stink and FYI natural hair takes a lot more maintenance than you would think. If it’s just hair why does it make you uncomfortable or make you question it?

Fun fact. At some point in time in history, black women had to wear head wraps to cover their hair when dealing with anything white. Which means while cooking, cleaning or breast feeding a white baby that you didn’t brith 🙃. Another fun fact, black men were told to cut their hairs and brush it until they got “waves” to make them more presentable when they were being auctioned off to be enslaved people. Black hair has always been a symbol of blackness. The grade of your hair was a tell-tell sign that you had black in you.  Black hair in its natural state has been looked down upon for years causing women and men to burn themselves with perms and relaxers and what not to make there hair more “presentable”. But let’s also be clear, black hair is full of magic. Just because it isn’t nappy or course or whatever the fuck didn’t mean that person is trying to be white. Just like the color spectrum of black people, our hair comes in different forms too.

In regards to Kim Kardashian and Bo Derek, it isn’t just hair. Its a style that had purpose. Was used to help slaves escape making maps in their heads. It was used to protect our scalps from the elements. It’s a style for us and looks a million times better on us. Sorry not sorry.

So it isn’t just hair. It’s a reminder that I am black as fuck and I love being black as fuck and love everything, including my 4C hair, about it. It’s not just hair, it’s mine!

-Beanz Out

(HAPPY BLACK HISTORY MONTH! YALL KNOW THIS IS MY SECOND FAVORITE MONTH OF THE YEAR NEXT TO MY BIRTHDAY MONTH! I WILL BE CELEBRATING ALL OF OUR GLORY ALL YEAR BUT I WILL EXTRA THIS MONTH BECAUSE… WE FUCKING ROCK!)

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Dear White People,

This is an inclusive blog for all people who are interested. But this post right here is for my people off of the melanin scale, hello. My name is Darrius and this is my black ass blog where I talk about my daily life as a black man in America. I’m glad you’re here because it’s story time. Yes, my favorite time. This story is about the time one of your white male counterparts caught these black hands.

I’m out with a friend having a great time. We’re shooting the breeze, minding our business at a local bar in Atlanta. Not to many feet away from us is a group of white people, mostly female with one white guy. They’re playing a game as all of us are (it’s one of those hipster, nostalgic, arcade style bars) and out of no where one of the girls walks up to my friend and ask if she could touch his butt. It was a dare that was apart of their game, he says sure whatever, she does it and walks away. Proud of her for asking permission to invade his personal space and touch his ass (Kudos to Susan, yay Susan), ANYWAYS. The night goes on and I’m talking my shit like I do and all of a sudden this strong tug came upon me. My locs of glory were being attacked and man handled by some white devil. I was SHOOKETH! Yes ladies and gentlemen, this white man- unannounced, grabbed my hair. I grabbed his hand and very strongly and explained to him why thats not okay and why I wasn’t bashing his head into the ground (drinks, long days, not a good combination for a fight). He continued to explain himself saying he was dared to do it, instead of apologizing of course. So me being me, I went on to ask him why me? Out of everyone in here you thought it was okay as a white man to touch another persons hair that you did not know, not only that, you chose to grab another black mans hair. Now, its about to be 2018 we all have seen these Twitter threads and Instagram post about black hair and how it is not an invitation for your white paws, or any paws of that matter to touch black hair.  He couldn’t even respond. He eventually apologized but at this point I’m FURIOUS. But to make a long story short (don’t want to lose you guys before I make a damn point-I babble) two of the females in the group were trying to defend him, we exchanged some hands and my friend pulled me away before it got to crazy and I left.

Now, thats some crazy shit. First off, did your fucking parents not teach you to keep your hands to yourself? You don’t invade someones privacy like that. You’re a grown fucking man and you out here playing truth or dare and thought it was cool to touch someones hair. Then as a white man you chose the black guy who’s shorter than you with glasses and locs. Little did you know JOHN, this shorter black MAN wasn’t raised to be WEAK or to be treated as LESS THAN. JOHN( read white people), I speak on behalf of the black community when I say, we have the strength and courage of our ancestors but we are NOT our ancestors. WE WILL FUCK YOU UP! I don’t give a rats damn who you think you are, who someone told you were. Your privilege does not reign supreme. Your privilege will get you fucked up. No questions asked. Secondly, it is not your place Susan( read white people) to try to defend this act of privilege in which your white counterpart,John decided to act upon. You can know about the issues within the black community , know the history, understand that black lives do matter but baby girl, you will never be able to explain a black issue to another black person because you have not had the HONOR of walking around as a black person in a white ruled America. You can do all the research in the world but you will truly never get it. It is not up to you to try to explain what happened and why, I know whats up. However, you knew in your heart that something about this was wrong and should be stopped, but you didnt. So no Susan( read white people), I do not want to hear you out.

This situation is an ongoing issue in the white community. I know for a fact that not all white people are bad but I hate seeing privilege go to waste. It is up to white people to talk to other white people and explain to them why it isn’t okay to cross these boundaries. Why you can’t say nigga/er , why you cant touch another persons hair and why its even more offensive to touch a black persons hair, why black lives matter isn’t a hate group, why black lives matter. You can be invited to the cookout but you cant have a seat at the table unless you are doing your part. As my dad used to say, ” A man who doesn’t cook, doesn’t eat.” If you don’t contribute to the table, you cant eat from the table. I was mad but I’m not anymore. I stood my ground regardless of what the outcome could’ve been. As Malcolm X said, ” A man who doesn’t stand for something will fall for anything. ” I know something clicked in someones head tonight. At the least people will now know what could possibly happen if they cross that boundary. I will continue to discuss these issues and I hope you do too.

-Beanz Out

Acceptance of Self+Self Love= Happiness

For years I carried so much on my shoulders. I carried my skin as burden instead of a God given honorable shield. I carried societies standard of masculinity instead of defining manhood for myself. Eventually I grew tired. I grew tired of constantly fighting myself from myself. I was covering up who I truly was because I was scared of what other people would think or the fear of making someone else uncomfortable. As a nonconforming black male, you never know how people will accept you. After some time I stopped caring. I had to realize that I was the only thing that really mattered. It was my peace and happiness that was truly at risk.

We hide behind so many veils in order to conform to society and not to step on any toes. Under these veils we lose ourselves and we miss out on our potential. I had to accept all of my good and accept all of my bad in order for me to move forward in life. I stopped acknowledging what people told me was “bad” and turned the “bad” into moments of self observation. How is being myself bad? What makes these things bad? Who deemed it bad? And who the fuck are you to tell me, a grown ass man, that something about me is bad? Just because my life doesn’t necessarily align with your belief system and how you feel doesn’t make it bad.

Unfortunately we live in a white patriarchal, hyper-masculine society where young black  boys and girls are told their skin color makes them less than and that their hair isn’t straight enough or long enough. Basically that we will never be enough. This was my reality. For years I hated my skin color, I wanted to be lighter. Lighter would equal more people liking me. Lighter would equal more opportunities. Lighter was better in my eyes. When I first started to accept my skin color, it wasn’t because I genuinely loved my  complexion. It was because people liked my skin color. So in my head I’m like “Yes I’m accepted”. It wasn’t until college honestly that I truly loved my skin color. I realized it was mine. MY SKIN COLOR. No one else in this universe has MY SKIN COLOR. I realized that it holds magic and that I would do whatever the fuck I wanted because the DNA that ran through me came from people who looked just liked me who made shit shake. Once I accepted the love of me and my skin thats when I started to love everything else. My hair. For years I would spend half of my weekends in the barber shop in order to keep up the clean black boy look. Waves on swim, hairline so sharp I could slice you open with it with one strike. I even grew out my beard because someone else told me it was the thing to do, made me more attractive in a sense. Its been a year now with no haircut and I now have locs and I’m beardless. These were my decisions to love every strand of hair that grew from my head in its natural state. My beard did not define me. I now make decisions based on whats right for me and the spirit within helps me and guides me to making these decisions. I made the choice to not conform to what people and society claimed as acceptable. I choose what is acceptable for me everyday in that moment.

Once I accepted me for all the magic that I am, I gained my happiness back. The years I spent trying to please others is gone, I can’t get those back. The years under white rule are gone, I can’t get those back. But today I am striving to be the best version of Darrius Newton I can be. God has given me the tools to succeed its up to me to use them. My nappy glory, golden skin that turns blue under the moon’s light and my abundance of love that exudes through my pours will always be me. And I love every moment of it. I define who I am as a man and theres nothing anyone could say or do to change that. Love yourself , love others, spread happiness.

Beanz Out

So Dove Got Y’all Mad?

Naturalist and myself have been telling you all for a while that these companies really do not care about anyone, especially those us of color. The recent noise with Dove is their new ad that basically said “Black skin is dirty and white skin is clean and in order to get have perfect, white clean skin use Dove”. Now lets be clear, this isn’t the first time a company has displayed darker skin as dirty or evil or less than and I guarantee this won’t be the last.

Dove is apart of Unilever, a company who claims to be sustainable and blah blah blah. Granted they may have lessened their carbon foot print by recycling and other things which is great but like Dove and many other products there is a long list of toxic chemicals in these products that literally can cause major issues to your body including cancer. I’m not being extra here. These companies only care about ONE thing and that is making money. Everyone is going natural simply because no one wants to fear that their soap or shampoo is going to alter their DNA is some way, shape or form and eventually have major health effects. It’s kind of ridiculous.

I tell people all the time to buy black as much as possible. Buying black not only keeps the black dollar circulating but you know what is in your products, their natural ingredients and you see and know who is making your products. Theres an ease about knowing that legal drug lords aren’t making your soap and other household products. And since we’re on the topic of buying black and supporting black businesses let me say this. Black people LOVE to call out the customer service of black owned businesses but NEVER complain about the Asian owned nail shop who literally are talking about you in your face. Or the Middle Eastern gas station who literally tell people to get the fuck out. YET we complain about a black owned business simply because we’re judging them 10 times harder because… well…because it’s black owned. All businesses need to focus on customer service and just like I’ve received horrible service at a major department store I’ve also received amazing service at a major department store. I’ve also had amazing service at a black owned business- actually I have experienced more good than bad at a black owned business. So stop ostracizing black owned businesses only and lets start holding everyone to same caliber for customer service. Thanks in advance.

Read your labels people!

Sodium Lauroyl Isethionate, Stearic Acid, Sodium Tallowate Or Sodium Palmitate, Lauric Acid, Sodium Isethionate, Water, Sodium Stearate, Cocamidopropyl Betaine, Sodium Cocoate Or Sodium Palm Kernelate, Fragrance, Sodium Chloride, Tetrasodium Edta, Tetrasodium Etidronate, Titanium Dioxide (Ci 77891).

DOES ANY OF THAT SOUND LIKE SOMETHING YOU SHOULD BE BATHING WITH!!! FYI- thats all the ingredients in the basic white Dove bar soap. Not good for anyone of any race. I prefer to be able to pronounce the things I use and be able to identify with them. These products are not for us so why support them? There are over 1000 natural brands owned by people of color and you can check them out at WeBuyBlack. Don’t ever say I didnt do anything for you.

September 28, 2017 12:22 A.M.

I sit here and allow my thoughts to take over and do what they need to do. I explore each and every corner of the room in which they take me mentally. I’m aware of my feelings in each room and I am also aware that these rooms do not represent me. I am aware of the fact that I have control of these rooms because without me , they wouldn’t exist. I used to run from these feelings and thoughts but that did not work because they still came, they still exist, they are still present. I can not run from within but I can listen to what is going on within. Listen and watch and take note.

The rooms that my mind like to take me into put me through a number of emotions and a number of thoughts. I try to figure out- how did I get here? Why am I here? Who else is here with me? But I can’t answer any one of those questions which makes me angry to say the least because the one thing I like is to be in know. I don’t know how I got in this room, I don’t know why I’m in this room and as far as I know I’m in this room alone. I’m the only real thing that exist in these rooms. I have control here in these moments where I can stay and live in whatever emotion that the rooms bring or I can humbly say, no. That is not where I am right now, thats not where I need to be right now, lets move forward.

My mind has been on a rampage lately, filling me with anxiety and fear and a number of emotions. I have to constantly remind myself I am here, I am breathing, I am growing. I have to be hyper aware of the issues around me and within me but I have to also remind myself I am not my circumstances but my circumstances are here to teach me and to help me move forward to whatever the next stage is supposed to be for me. I have literally been stuck on dumb for days because of my rooms in my mind. I’ve been wanting to share so much but I couldn’t. I couldn’t articulate myself properly so even share what was happening in these rooms. Between health, politics, fashion and just everyday life I could not properly execute a thought. But again I have to constantly remind myself- I am here, I am breathing, I am growing. Those rooms don’t control me, those thoughts don’t control me. I am in control and I choose everyday to move forward. I’m moving forward and thank you for being here with me.

-Beanz Out