Happy Birthday LeVar Burton!

Published November 8th, 2017

I LoVe-ar Burton

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DQfiWFwVF8M&feature=share

I met LeVar Burton at Florida SuperCon.

And I cried. Real ugly. Snot and all. Bad. Not a singular thug tear rolling gracefully down my cheek, but an awkward choke-sob. Bad.

I managed to be partially coherent. I did my best to form sentences in front of someone I hadn’t even realized was so important to me.


I stood in line, and it moved pretty quickly. From behind two other fans I saw his prices, and after scoffing repeatedly, I decided I would just talk to him. For free.  As I opened my mouth, my eyes filled with tears.

I’d spent years worth of Saturday mornings with him. For a three-year-old that could read it was like Oprah’s Book Club. The Reading Rainbow was a weekly wish list for the literate toddler elite.


LeVar Burton is black excellence. All in one singular pop-culture era he was our past, present, and future. He was history, literacy, and science fiction all in one breath.


He embodied Alex Haley’s “Kunta Kinte” turned “Toby”, hosted the world’s most diverse children’s show, and starred as Geordi La Forge; Chief Engineer and Lieutenant Commander of the USS Enterprise. All at once he was the unyielding  spirits of our ancestors, a buttress for our imaginations, and the ingenuity and hope of our future.


LeVar Burton was IT for me. And obviously, as evidenced by my tear-stained twenty-six-year-old face, he still is. Standing there in front of my pre-k idol, I cried unexpectedly. It snuck up on me clenching my throat and burning my eyes like an expired 4 Loko.

I loved him. I love him still. He was so effortlessly fly in his linen fit and 90s-magician jewelery.  His brow wrinkled in surprise and confusion before his eyes softened. He smiled and I felt a little less like a freak. He gave me two fist bumps and a handshake.


I wish I could have said all the things that I’ve written here. I wish I would have said any of this. What I did manage to squeak out was a snotty apology peppered with mutterings about the importance of representation and Saturday morning cereal binges. What I should have said was nothing.

He encouraged us to explore our ancestry. He encouraged literacy and incredulity. He showed us that we too have a place in the stars. His show highlighted characters, authors, and children of color. He showed me, me.


But hey, don’t take my word for it.

I love you. Go read books!

Roze Goes

Happy Birthday, Angela Davis!

Originally published May 12, 2017

A few years ago I in had the absolute pleasure of witnessing the greatness that is Angela Davis. These were my fan girl thoughts.

The morning featured a host of speakers; well traveled women (and one man, my BFF) that gifted us gems from their hard-won perspectives. Each one of them taught us about how women (and one man!) leaders frame ally-ship in the disabled, LGBTQ, and medically underserved communities.

We listened intently and applauded appropriately, but we knew who we were really there to see: The incomparable Angela Davis! With almost 60 years of activism to call upon, she is one of the best examples of what a woman can achieve as an ally, activist, and thought leader.

Needless to say, I was HYPE!

Recalling some of her lived experiences, she painted a vivid picture of the past while gracefully imbuing the future with her personal brand of realistic utopian hope.

It’s possible, she told us, to take what we [women, and women of color] are often given – resistance, racism, sexism, and capitalism – and mold them into narratives of progress. Mold them into avenues for reprentation and justice.

Davis, now 73 (and trust, she look goood), was born in Birmingham, Alabama in a neighborhood knows as “Dynamite Hill”. Aptly named as it was a hot bed of racial conflict that manifested in frequent and gruesome attacks on black families and institutions. It was notorious for fires, bombings, and shootings incited by white residents to scare off black families.

Who would have thought such a rocky start would be the solid foundation for one of our nation’s most prominent thought leaders?

Without her, we couldn’t accurately address some of the gravest ills in our society. Without the language necessary to pinpoint the structural violence that marginalized people’s face, we cannot name and shame our oppressors and their wrong-doings. Language is the framework for our thoughts; a powerful tool in addressing injustice. A powerful weapon in disenfranchising those considered less powerful. Write them out, and write them off.

Davis created and popularized unprecedented terms  like “heteropatriarchy”, “clandestine racialization”, and the now-ubiquitous “prison industrial complex”. Without which we wouldn’t have tongue and teeth to know the horrid specters that wither and steal away many of our brothers and sisters.

Davis counseled us to find our niches in the struggle. To use our gifts and passions in service to others. Perhaps, she queried, that protesting or community organizing isn’t the best use of our particular talents; that our voices may take the forms of paint and brush, song and dance, or pen and paper. But each, she asserts, is necessary. Vital. We’re not far off from a great change, she believes. And although it may not happen in her lifetime, she will be there in spirit because she labored, in part, to create it.

See Angela speak! Watch in 1080p!

Teaching, leading, writing, and always challenging. She is the ultimate #wcw 🤤😍
Roze Goes… crushing

DIY Wednesday: Jerome’s in the House!

I said Jerome’s in the how-oo-ow-oo-ah watchyamouth!

This smooth-talking fast-walking cool cat playa from the Himalayas was, and undoubtedly remains, one of Martin Lawrence’s most notorious characters. His signature theme song and pimped-out aesthetic made him a memorable and hilarious character in the community Martin created for his viewers.

His recognizable leisure suit can be yours for the low low price of a hot glue gun and a trip to Party City.

Let’s pretend this, and the many other “ethnic” pieces modeled by white-passing individuals isn’t problematic.
Jerome was so charming and pimp-nificent that his HORRID oral hygiene could be easily overlooked. I mean he snagged Pam for a while.



fleek

This look was simple to put together.

  1. I got a jogger suit from Goodwill for $7 and cut the sweatpants into shorts.
  2. I cut the sleeves from the jacket and used the white panel to overlay the shoulder and back branded patches.
  3. I Googled the look using HD pictures to draw on the logos with a sharpie. Looked good from afar, a little sloppy up close.
  4. I used a slightly darker foundation (my summer color) to complete my skin tone with baby powder to recreate his shockingly ashy knees.
  5. The toothblack tasted like mint if mint were on meth!
  6. The church shoes and tank top I had.
  7. I practiced my moves, and got as near as possible to his famous gravely drawl.
  8. The whole costume took forty-five mninutes to an hour to create and perfect!

It went over like gang busters! No one recognized me. I took so many pictures and did the dance till my back hurt. This costume got me free drinks! No more sexy costumes! 🎃

Just a little creativity and a solid pop culture reference is all you need. You don’t have to spend too much money, and you can be warm and covered and comfortable all night.

I said it’s Roze in the House!

“4 Essential Keys to Effective Communication”

🚨 MAJOR KEY🔑 ALERT 🚨

This one is going to seem like a no-brainer. It’s not.

It would seem as though we ought to have these skills down. We don’t.

I can only speak for myself when I say that literally anything can be broken down more effectively, or conveyed more empathetically.

Bento C Leal III (honestly, lets just take a moment to bask in the regality and phonemic fun that is this author’s name. “I am Bento, of House Leal, not even the first of my name!”henceforth referred to as BCL3) ‘s bite-sized book is an easy but nutritious read. It’s full of takeaways, and highly applicable.

Although tempting, DO NOT give it away to your best friend, or little cousin, or blabber-mouth coworker. Especially not in an earnest but shady attempt to get them to shut up and listen. You’ll find that to someone, and perhaps even to yourself, that you may be the blabber-mouthed, hard-headed, non-negotiator. Keep it and reread it. Find a few on Amazon, stock up for the holidays, or send them the PDF. This book makes an excellent turkey, stocking, or pie hole stuffer.

Trust me, I’m a person that was thinking about going to medical school doctor.

4EK’s twelve brief chapters set the scene and take the reader from symptom, to diagnosis, to cure. He starts in chapters one through three with an anecdote that rings all to true: routine conversations with friends, coworkers, strangers and loved ones. He outlines how we might easily convince ourselves that in our many years of travel around the sun, we simply MUST have picked up real and successful communication skills. We mustn’t.

Continue reading ““4 Essential Keys to Effective Communication””

4 Lessons Adulting Has Taught Me!

Adulting. Adulteration. Grownup-ism. Maturiosity.

On this quest to adequately love myself, I have realized quite a few truths. Peculiar truths regarding the accouterments of adulthood.

  1. Sometimes, adulthood is just making bad decisions (or ones that just feel bad) and sticking with them. Whether it’s seeing out a terrible job, paying all your bills early and leaving yourself nothing to live on, or eating lackluster Pinterest salads for the rest of the week. Sometimes you just have to suck it up to achieve your goal: making money, becoming debt-free, or leading a healthier lifestyle.
  2. Traffic is the manifestation of Satan. It may be difficult to see examples of God in our lives, but we can all agree that traffic, particularly the traffic on the way to work, is the hand of Lucifer in action.f7e128c37eb39f7e6bd918c2fa16eebf
  3. College throws you together with like-minded and like-scheduled youngsters. It also tears those bonds asunder when cap and gown are in hand. Now, out here in the “real world”, it requires effort [gags]. In light of this I have gone places, talked to strangers, and been added to TWO never-not-notifying group chats full of lively young persons. It is… fun?
  4. You will never just be “good”. You can never coast. You’re never comfortable. I will always want more or be just a little dissatisfied. There’s always more schooling to be had, and someone younger or seemingly more qualified. But you will always have the upper hand, so long as you are you. Free yourself of the need to keep up with the imaginary Jones’ {plot twist: they’re having an affair} or sustain appearances, just work hard and do your best. (Like Grandma taught me)

And finally…

Peep the link to my Pinterest board about Adulting,  hope you find it helpful! Also, this Buzzfeed post is my life!

Roze Goes

Happy Lociversary! 💇🏾‍♀️🔒🎂

You were born on August 7th, 2017!You’re two years old, Ru. Happy Birthday!🎂🎁🎉🎈 🍾 🥂

{whispers} Ru, short for Unruly, is the name of the mane formerly known as Afrobella.

From Bella To Ru. 🗣 to @trini4true on IG!

How does it feel?! Stretching long and strong from crown to soul. From polished and impermanent, to rough and ready. Still a few lumps and bumps, but better for the wear(er). A masterpiece mastering peace.

Day 1! The journey begins!

It would be easy to say the my loc journey has been a mission of internal growth made manifest externally. It would be. It isn’t.

I have dermatitis… so there’s that. 🙄😒🤦🏾‍♀️

It would be easy to say that through the baby wick, swelling, and generally FUGLY stages it was easy to envision them; fully realized and long AF. It would be. It isn’t.

On one hand, curls last forever! … 🤷🏾‍♀️🙄 I have to wash them out!

It would be easy to say that I feel more beautiful now than ever before, and my overall self esteem has been greatly enhanced. It would be. It isn’t. It hasn’t been easy. To navigate this shape-shifting adult body, redevelop my reemerging sense of style, and address a perceived increased in pressure to assume the accoutrements of coveted ✌🏾professionalism✌🏾

Sometimes I protest retwists✊🏾

Before

After

Today

In a little more than two years I’ve grown an appreciation for the quirky, inside-out sort of beauty that I am. I spend less time getting ready… on my hair.

I feel a sort of badass empowerment knowing that bigotry, so mobilized by tax payer dollars, and cushioned comfortably in the bosom of bureaucracy, has seen fit to force itself into our salons and places of business. That my hair, our hair, has once again come under laser-focused scrutiny in the form of a Supreme Court ruling. 👻🚨🗂🏦🗳📰

I’m a cocktail of a sort.

🍸A generous helping of pride and natural beauty

🍸A spritz of oils and aloe gel

🍸 A heavy-handed pour internalized white supremacy

🍸 A sprig of IDGAF for garnish

You’re two years wiser, thicker, longer, and stronger. Here’s to you! 🥂🍾

I’m thinking about turning this into a series. What would you like to see first?

💁🏾‍♀️Locs vs Dreds

💁🏾‍♀️Living with Locs & Dermatitis

💁🏾‍♀️How I Manage My Locs Solo

💁🏾‍♀️Freeforn vs “Fashion Dreds”

Reply in the comments.

Love you, Ru!