January 3, 2018- Tribe Talk

Today has been very emotional. I lost someone who was becoming apart of my life. But life sometimes has other plans and that happens. Through my emotions I’ve been able to look at my life and analyze some things. This time that I was allotted allowed me to realize that life is actually going pretty well. It set a fire under my ass to get back on my shit and continue loving myself and everything around me.

Today I am thankful for my tribe. My tribe is small but mighty. There’s that voice in my head that I like to call “mom”. This voice is a constant reminder of the blood that flows through me. The voice that reminds me of who I am and where I come from.

Then there’s another voice I like to call “dad”. The voice that runs deep in my soul and walks me through the tough times. Allowing some sort of calmness but also a sense of urgency. Kinda like ” take your time but get it done!” That’s dad.

But then there’s the moments of laughter that I like to call “Crystal and Alyssa” . The laugh that takes away all the worry. A consistent reminder that this life you are living isn’t going to be easy but perseverance will get you where you need to be.

Then there’s the voice of reason I call “Chelsey”. That voice tells me to get off my high horse and operate out of love.

Then there’s ” Chauntee” the air that listens. The air that allows me the space to get it all out- the good, the bad and the ugly. The air that is refreshing when it comes around.

There’s so many factors of my tribe and I love every last one of them. It’s my tribe that keeps me smiling and keeps me going and I love my tribe more than they would ever know. I thank them for putting up with me and uplifting me. I thank them for cutting me down to build me back up. I will forever be grateful.

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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!)

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

Fall is Here

Fall for me is time to lay down my burdens. It’s time for me to recoup in a sense. This past summer was a lot for me. There was to much going and I was constantly moving. I had a blast but now I need to refocus and recoup. I need time to prepare for whatever is next. The leaves start to change and so do I. As I do everyday.

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I told myself this past summer that I would shy away from wearing all black. I bought brighter colors, a lot of grays and played with more patterns. But summer is over- what do I do now? I said I’ll keep the trend going and mix it up a little bit. Blacks with a pop color or my favorite, olive green. The plan is to match nature in a sense. As it changes so will I. Stay true to my roots (black and simple) but change when needed.

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I love fall is one of my favorite seasons honestly. Simply because it’s not to hot and it’s not to cold. In Atlanta, Mother Nature can’t make up her mind as to what she wants to do. But it’s okay because I’ve been giving looks.

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I’m excited to see what all this season has to bring and what lessons I’ll learn. I’m also looking forward to how my style will change and evolve to match my environment.

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.