I. Write: race. faith. culture. hair. I mix it up with arts & entertainment and education articles. Bylines: The Root, Christian Science Monitor, Wash Post, Huff Post, TV Guide, L.A. Times, PBS SoCal
How Natural Black Hair at Work Became a Civil Rights Issue
In 2010, Chastity Jones eagerly accepted a job offer from Catastrophe Management Solutions as a customer service representative. The offer, however, came with one caveat—she had to cut off her locs. Jones refused, and the company rescinded its job offer.
4 No-Heat Natural Hair Hairstyles for Kids
Emmy-award-winning hairstylist Angela C. Stevens says these four no-heat natural hairstyles are sure to leave your young one feeling fly and fierce as they head black-to-school!
What I See in Jada Pinkett Smith
I was mesmerized the first time I saw Jada Pinkett Smith’s shaved head on television. So mesmerized that I remember neither what she was wearing nor the red carpet event she graced that day. I just remember thinking, Wow, she has a new look, and she looks GORGEOUS! Like regal, Queen-to-be gorgeous! Beaming on that carpet at just five feet, she stood tall in confidence. On Sunday, when she walked the red carpet at the 94th Academy Awards, I was in awe again.
The Heavy Toll of Virtual Learning
She was 11, active and creative before losing routines and connections during the pandemic. Then came the weight gain. Now she’s a teen taking back control.
Here's Why We Celebrate Black History Month in February
I’ll admit it — it’s easy for me to take Black History Month for granted. I’ve celebrated it for as long as I can remember; its presence is as constant and steady as choir rocks and handclaps in a Sunday morning service.
Tracing its roots reminds me that Black History Month is a fairly recent celebration, (considering the span of U.S. history), and that it’s just as critical today as it was when it was first established decades ago.
Rise in animal welfare laws? Thank Judie Mancuso.
It was a civil showdown over animal testing for cosmetics, but animal rights activist Judie Mancuso remembers the firepower bristling in the room. She and three other activists facing 20 deep-pocketed cosmetics industry lobbyists crowded into a state legislator’s office in Sacramento.
“We had like every large corporation in the world against us,” says Ms. Mancuso, founder and president of the California-based animal rights group Social Compassion in Legislation (SCIL).
Hair as Art: How styling Black hair became a cultural celebration.
It’s a buffet for the senses: dope music, grooving marching bands, flashing lights, and catsuit-clad hair models; hairstylists cutting neon strands in the dark and styling models’ hair upside down, underwater. The show-stopping pageantry and unparalleled floss of Black hair shows, including the Bronner Brothers International Beauty Show—the pinnacle of them all—are undeniable.
Chef Babette Davis & Angela Means Kaaya On Restaurants As Labors Of Love
Two veteran vegan restaurateurs in conversation on the tough but necessary work of feeding people with good food.
Reclaiming Their Space
Immigration attorney Siana McLean was just trying to see her client in a detention facility on a weekend. “I had to see them because I had court on Monday,” she says. “The facility officer was asking, ‘Why are you here?’ And I’m showing him the hearing notice. He’s like, ‘Oh, you just made that up.’ I didn’t even get to meet with my client in the attorney room because that officer decided I was lying—I couldn’t have been the attorney.”
Western lawmakers lead a movement to protect natural hair
In 2019, when Tekulve Jackson-Vann told his supervisor at the Payson Temple of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints about his decision to wear his hair in locs, he was fired. “We’re asked to have our hair in a conservative style so it’s not a distraction to the patrons,” Jackson-Vann told a local network news reporter. “My first thought immediately was, ‘This is a moment — this is a moment where I can help educate my brethren in the Gospel that there are standards which are not roo...
‘Low and slow’: Latino lowriders cruise for community
When agitators tried to loot the Nike store and surrounding shops on Whittier Boulevard in East Los Angeles last year, Juan Ramirez and his fellow lowriders stood guard.
The Los Angeles Lowrider Community (LALC) wasn’t about to let the shop owners along the famous boulevard where they cruise bear the rage of people taking advantage of the unrest following George Floyd’s death. “We weren’t having that [looting],” says Mr. Ramirez.
Explaining Kwanzaa's Traditions, History and Principles
The annual Kwanzaa traditions that Dele Lowman celebrated with her mom, brothers and surrounding community in Pittsburg, Pennsylvania, were the highlight of her childhood. “One of the things my family would do is write out African Proverbs in calligraphy on nice paper, that my mom would have me decorate them,” she says. “We would roll them up like scrolls and tie them with ribbon and everybody would pick one.”
Moral Budget: Spending Cash On Community Instead Of Jail
Los Angeles County’s Measure J is a dope idea, and everybody should study it
If 2020 taught us anything, it’s that the unexpected can happen in a flash. Your life can be taken by a callous police officer on a summer day; protests can erupt in response to a state killing captured on video; the world you live in can suddenly flip due to mandatory shelter-in-place orders that isolate you from those you love the most. But 2020 also taught us that race-related innovation is possible.
LA’s ‘Unapologetically Black’ Mile-Long Monument Rises in Crenshaw
Whether this beautifully engineered museum that showcases Black excellence will eventually become a monument of a community that once was but no longer is remains to be seen.
When Letha Muhammad’s son was in the third grade, he described to her a pattern that his 8-year-old mind couldn’t comprehend. “Mama, I noticed that [my Black classmates] always seem to get into trouble for playing with each other instead of doing their work, but when [my white classmates] do the same thing, they don’t,” he observed. “It’s not fair. Why does that happen?”