3rd Annual Poetry Contest Spotlight 2019: Kiyana Blount Returns

Kiyana Blount is not new to the spotlight. She’s a returning winner, placing fourth in Yecheilyah’s 2nd Annual Poetry Contest 2018.

Blount is a hard working, dedicated and strong single mother who is on a journey of living through self love, self awareness and true divinity. She is seeking her true purpose and living it to make an impact on the world.

“Keep watching me I’m coming like the Lioness of the jungle
Hunting the wanting of my universal platform
Perspiring strength while I join the revolution for my evolution
Fighting my way through the shed layers of my old self”

-Excerpt from “Lioness Strength”

Kiyana! Good to have you back.

Lioness Strength is such a powerful title and we are excited to read the whole piece in next years Literary Magazine. For now, please tell us, what inspired your poem?

The major life changes that I had to endure this year led me to a path of realizing I needed to love myself more. Even though much had happened, I used those down moments to build myself back up and be the Goddess I am. Now I am working towards building my empire and legacy to leave my mark and leave for my SonShine to carry.

Right now I have my own business of promoting a healthy lifestyle and providing whole food natural products to help aid in weight loss and a healthy, natural you from the inner to the outer.

Eating healthy is big right now. How does this relate to or help you with your writing?

Working on my inner has really helped me to express externally. Taking the healthy approach along with strengthening myself spiritually and emotionally has made it easier for me to tap into my art and connect with my poetry on another level! I read my poetry and see the growth from being an unhealthy me to working towards and being closer to a better version of me inside and out.

Beautiful. Any books in the works Kiyana?

I am not a published author YET but I am working on some pieces. Peace, love and light Kings and Queens! You’ll see me soon!

You heard it here first people! Look for her. She’s coming.

 

Be sure you are following Kiyana online!

Web. kiyanablount.itworks.com

IG: @kueen7

Facebook: Kiyana Blount


Jahkazia Richardson is up Friday! Hit the subscription button so you don’t miss it!

Peace and hair grease!

Hard Truth: Self-Love is Not a Social Media Movement of Posting Pictures of Yourself on the Internet


Hard Truth: Self-Love is not a social media movement of posting lots of pictures of ourselves on the internet.

And don’t twist my words. There is nothing wrong with posting pictures (I do it all the time).

You are allowed to post what you want.

But we also live in a time where it has become cool to post nothing but pictures of ourselves. To talk about ourselves and to make everything about us.

How many of us constantly posting pictures of ourselves actually have low self-esteem?

How many of us are seeking validation?

I don’t know when this became a trend, but it’s important to remember that a selfie is not necessarily a reflection of self-love.

Self-Care is an inside job. Most of the work is done in private and if done genuinely, has the power to show up naturally and authentically on the outside.

Self-love and self-care are also about balance. Thinking less of yourself is not humility. Low self-esteem is not humility. Constantly doubting yourself and being afraid to shine because of what other people will think of you is not humility. You are allowed to be both humble in confidence and courageous in character.

Everything in our lives, from our relationships to how we run our businesses reflects how we feel about ourselves.

Do the inside work.


When it’s cold outside, I sit in the house, drink coffee, sign and ship books. Does one of these have your name on it?? There is still time to grab your tickets to the Texas “Keep Yourself Full” signing on Nov. 30th!! Link below.

>>>Get Tickets Here<<<

Loc Journey (and a little History)

Last month my Locs turned eight years old!

I intended to write about this then but life happened.

I started my Loc Journey February 3, 2009. They were born in Norman, Oklahoma. The place I was traveling to when I got it done.

I decided not to cut my hair all the way off. I also decided to get it interlocked instead of twisted the regular way. The interlocking method is when the hair is basically put into knots. It is done with a latch hook (and is, therefore, sometimes also referred to as crocheting the hair or latch hooking) and involves pulling the hair/dreadlock through itself in a rotating fashion from the end of the lock to the root. I started out using the lactch hook (see below) but now I just use my fingers. Interlocking gives the hair a different pattern than the traditional twist. It is also the preferred method for locking hair that is naturally silky straight.

Interlocks

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Latch Hook

What I loved about the interlock method is that I was able to wash them whenever I wanted early on without worrying they would come loose. Interlocks are basically the hair put into knots (and are instantly permanent) and because my hair is super thick, it created a more natural type look, which I love. I am not very high maintenance about hair and prefer the matted look most people hate. I tighten my hair myself but that’s only like every four months.

The “Dreaded” Beginning

There are only a few photos of me with my short short look because in the beginning I wore lots of head-wraps. I was obviously not interested in taking a picture in that first one! Lol. Oh, memories. We were packing up to move that day and hubby thought it was funny to catch me looking like a hot mess. The fact that I’m showing you this is pure comedy.

Head Wraps

Growth – Taking Selfie’s Before Facebook Made it Cool

When I started to see growth you couldn’t stop me from taking Selfies! I loved that my hair looked different than anyone else.

Hang Time

Feeling my hair…

People ask me all the time what I do to my hair and I tell them (all the time) “Nothing.” Usually, I am not believed. “You must do something.” Nope. I wash them and keep it  oiled but other than that I literally do nothing. The style I’m looking for are formed by neglecting the hair so I don’t have to do much.

My hair is very thick and is starting to get really heavy!

Why I Call Them “Locs / Locks”

I rarely call my hair “Dreadlocks”. Not that I knock anyone else from saying it, I just prefer to call them locs. Here’s why:

Dreadlocks go way back; the most noted story is that of the biblical Samson and Delilah. Samson had been a Nazirite from birth and his strength linked to the seven locks of his head. Ezekiel also had locks as he explains being taken by the lock of his hair in Ezekiel chapter eight, verse three. In any event, historically, black guerrilla warriors swore not to cut their hair and when people would see them, their hair matted to their heads and sprouting up, they looked on it with disgust, fear, and dread. In short, the people “dreaded” to see these men coming with their dreaded hair. Soon the style would be known as dreadlocks.But…I don’t dread my hair!

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I love it and have come to affectionately refer to them by their original name, Locks / Locs.

And now, some literature!

These are some of the books I have on Natural Hair. They provide a great foundation for anyone just starting out.

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Hair Story: Untangling the Roots of Black Hair in America by Ayana D. Byrd and Lori L. Tharps  << A historical look at the culture of Black Hair.

The Lonnice Brittenum Bonner Collection

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These are great foundation books because Lonnice takes us through her entire natural hair journey, not just when she got locked. She also provides a good education on the maintenance of black hair.

Brown Skin

Mississippi lips

Lousiana tongue

West African shaped nose

Skin kissed by the sun

Israelite Culture

American Captive

Egyptian Color

russet brown

seal

dark puce

blue black eastern man

blue black woman

symbols of authority over her head

natural beauty no longer dead

hair like sisal rope

braided

coiled

nappy

strong

prayer hands that crack open the sky

from the place of the rising sun

to a land that sought to shackle their tongues

run aways

slave ships

cotton fields

those days

share

croppin

jim crowing

freedom ridin

no more hidin

Mississippi lips

Lousiana tongue

West African shaped nose

Skin kissed by the sun

brown skin

Natural Energy Drink Mix

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I’m getting ready for a meeting and another rehearsal (last night’s practice was canceled) and as I was preparing my drink I thought, “Why not share it?”

If you ever get tired of coffee, you can substitute your caffeine for a more healthy alternative. You’ll need:

  • Orange Juice
  • Apple Juice
  • Cranberry Juice

Mix 1/3 of each of these juices in a cup, stir, and serve! It is tasty, refreshing, and can give you an energy boost.

Orange Juice

Orange Juice has a wide range of benefits, as does these other drinks.

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  • Boost Immune System Function
  • Protect Against Cancer
  • Boost Cellar Repair and Circulation
  • High Concentration of Vitamin C

Apple Juice

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  • Promotes Heart Health
  • Contains Flavonoids that aids in preventing Asthma
  • Boost Immune System
  • Reduces Cholesterol

Cranberry Juice

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  • Urinary Tract Infection Relief
  • Aids in Heart Disease and Respiratory Disorders
  • Beneficial in preventing stomach disorders and diabetes
  • as well as Gum Disease caused by plaque

Going Natural: When LinkedIn Profiles Turns to Racial Profiling

How do we define professionalism?

(not) Mixed (up)

As I scrolled through my Facebook feed a few weeks ago, I came across a status update that was upsetting, though sadly not surprising: “That awkward moment when your decision to wear your hair natural comes up in an interview… and not in a complimentary way…”

My friend Sonia had interviewed for a position as a Social Media Specialist for a marketing startup in New York City. The interview took place in the common area of WeWork, a coworking office space where the startup had put down temporary roots. As distracting commotion took place around them, she and the rather cold interviewer had the following exchange.

Interviewer: “Is that how your hair is in your LinkedIn picture?”

Sonia: “…Yea.”

Interviewer: “Not straight?”

Sonia: “Nope.”

Interviewer: “Oh… Interesting…”

He then made qualifying statements, such as, “So you say you’re good at SEO,” and “You claim to be a good writer.” I…

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Writing 101: Assignment #5 – Hook ‘em with a Quote: Natural Revolution

In a time of deceit telling the truth is a revolutionary act.
― George Orwell

I remember the first year I got my hair loc’d. It was 2009, about three months before Chris Rock’s debut film “Good Hair”. There are moments in your life where people speak and you never forget what they say. When I read Orwell’s quote it reminded me of something I heard in that movie. One of the women interviewed said, “It’s like wearing natural hair is seen as revolutionary”. She didn’t say it as if she agreed, she said it from the perspective of why? Why is Natural Hair seen as being revolutionary? Why do we attribute people with natural hair as being part of some kind of Afrocentric movement? Those are good questions. Especially since I think we all have the common sense to know that every black person with dred loc’s is not necessarily positive or conscious for that matter.

Angela Davis
Angela Davis

To use the word “Revolution” for many black people is to hearken back to the days of black fists, panthers, pride and Afro’s. It is to wear hair that is natural, to welcome skin the color of coal, African garments, medallions, and to be at ease with the urban tongue. The word ceases to mean “to change” but also “to become” or “to transform”. Whenever black people get to a point where they want to embrace the truth concerning themselves one of the first signs of consciousness is natural hair and it stems from many of these movements where African Americans sought to do away with the pretentious manner in which we carried ourselves. Most importantly however, it stems from our welcoming of the truth concerning ourselves and this is why, whether conscious or not, natural hair is often seen as a revolutionary act because natural hair involves embracing the true state of ones hair and thus ones identity.

cutebaby
Random super cute baby I found on the internet

I should not be placed in the same category with Afrocentricity or Rastafarianism because I use the word “revolution”. At the same time, we cannot throw the baby out with the bath water and in this case the baby is Natural Hair and it is a form of revolution or change. Revolution is change and it is truth and because it, the truth, is so absent in this society the word “change” morphs into something that’s deeper. To change becomes more than to adjust or to amend, but to change becomes a movement and revolution then becomes simply a movement to change. This is why, in my opinion, Natural hair is seen as revolutionary because it is a change in perception and in thought. It is a movement back to the original state not just of a hair style, but of a way of thought and a way of life. My hair is not naturally straight so by wearing locs I am exposing a truth concerning myself; that truth being that I was born with thick and kinky hair.

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I rest on Saturdays so this is my last assignment until Sunday.

In Case You Missed It: This Week’s Assignments:

Assignment #1: Why I Write

Assignment #2: Write a List

Assignment #3: One Word Inspiration

Assignment #4: A Story in a Single Image