NATIONAL PRETTY BROWN GIRL DAY IS FEBRUARY 22ND
Feb22

NATIONAL PRETTY BROWN GIRL DAY IS FEBRUARY 22ND

‘Encouraging girls to celebrate all of the beautiful shades of brown skin’   — Nationwide (BlackNews.com) — Established during Black History month in 2012, National Pretty Brown Girl (PBG) Day embodies the mission of the Pretty Brown Girl Movement to celebrate the shades of brown all over the world, while inspiring positive self-esteem and confidence. This celebratory day takes place each year on the fourth Saturday of February during Black History Month. “This is a day of camaraderie girls of all ages to have fun, bond with others and reflect on their inner beauty,” says PBG Founder Sheri Crawley. The movement, which was sparked by the native Detroiter and her husband’s creation of the Pretty Brown Girl Doll “Laila”, quickly developed into a full product line and platform of dialogue and engaging activity for girls ages 5-18. Launched on PBG Day 2013, there are now 85 Pretty Brown Girl Self-Esteem Clubs throughout the U.S and 6 in Metro Detroit. In addition, the first three collegiate Clubs were announced in 2013 on Spelman’s College campus, The University of Michigan and DePaul University. There are already over 350 members that are now benefiting from healthy discussions based on the Pretty Brown Girl Pledge in a celebratory environment. Girls can bond, meet new friends and learn to love the skin they’re in says Sheri Crawley. The concept for the movement was inspired by Sheri and Corey Crawley’s two daughters and their experience with skin tone related issues when they relocated back to Michigan. The Pretty Brown Girl Club is the first gender specific national club for girls whose mission is to address skin tone and self-esteem as well as character building, leadership development and community service. “It is long overdue and our girls need a healing to combat the hundreds of years of negative messaging received through slavery, mass media and society at large,” says Crawley. In a setting catered to girls, they can connect with each other and a Club Leader who can invest in them through dialogue and activities and help them grow in their understanding their self-worth and discover the answers to the questions they face. The organization also offers principals and school districts a revolutionary After School K-12 model that supports Common Core Standards with a 15-week instructionally designed package for groups of 15 or more students. All are invited to join the movement and celebrate Pretty Brown Girl Day by uplifting, empowering, and encouraging girls to love the skin they are in. There will be flagship events in Atlanta and Detroit, as well as community celebrations nationwide. More details can be found on the company website at...

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In This Issue…
Feb14

In This Issue…

Love is an action word. Therefore, how often do we show love to others? As songstress Alicia Keys sang “Some people need three dozen roses, that’s the only way to prove you love them.” The February 2014 issue of ColorBlind Magazine reveals and reminds us all that there is more than one way to show love to others, and it doesn’t have to be in a romantic manner. This issue explores the love between a brother and a sister, and mentors and their mentees. See how you can relate to or apply these examples in your own life. Also, we share our love of learning about other cultures through our health and beauty story regarding women in Thailand, and meet an Indiana college student to see if you share her thoughts on healthcare. Rounding out the issue we encourage you to read our 2nd annual Black History Month and Women’s history month special section as we honor past and present “She-ro’s”. As you read these articles, we hope you sense our love for you and your support of the work we do! Sincerely, The ColorBlind Magazine Team Enlighten. Encourage....

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Thigh Gap… Really?
Feb11

Thigh Gap… Really?

As females, we have so many aspects about our body that we over examine. Are my teeth white enough? Is my stomach flat enough? Is my butt big enough? But there is a new part of the body that’s been getting some new attention that I find more than ridiculous. The thigh gap is taking over social media and it’s more than frightening. We all understand having the desire to be thin. But as females in this thin-crazed world, we need to fight society and show that not just one body type is the definition of “beautiful.” Women are all built different, and that’s the beauty of the human body. No two are supposed to be the same. Some body types can be short and curvy and some can be tall and thin. How boring would this world be if we all looked like manufactured Barbie Dolls? I don’t know about you, but no thanks… I’ll keep my curves. Even when I was a child, I don’t think my thighs were ever so far apart that they didn’t touch. Nor did I ever aim for them to be and I am perfectly okay with that. I am a proud Puerto Rican woman, full of curves, and I will never be a size zero. Of course I go through phases where I wish I could shed those extra pounds fast but that’s normal. But this new ‘thigh gap’ phase has got to go. A writer for Cosmopolitan named Kendra Alvey, wrote an article on their website entitled, “Why the Thigh Gap Obsession Needs to Stop Immediately.” It’s definitely worth the read and really puts into perspective how stupid this “new trend” really is. Alvey opens with the first time she ever heard the term “thigh gap.” “I remember when I first heard the term. I was sitting outside a Los Angeles yoga studio waiting to go into class. A beautiful girl in Lululemon yoga pants told another beautiful girl in Lululemon yoga pants that her body looked “amazing.” The first girl responded, ‘Thanks, but I still can’t seem to get a thigh gap. No matter what I do my legs still touch. I’m so depressed about it…’” I decided to Google this new and startling body trend and the results the popped up were alarming. The first thing I read was a WikiHow link with the title, “6 Ways to Get a Thigh Gap.” I was a little less outraged when I read the article and it repeatedly stated that this isn’t achievable for all body types. But still, why does it even want to be achieved!? I also found...

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Strange Fruit: A Classic
Feb11

Strange Fruit: A Classic

Do you remember where you were the first time you heard “Strange Fruit.” For me, it was in ninth grade and my teacher made the class watch this documentary about the  history of lynching, and  “Strange Fruit” was discussed within the film. I had heard of the song before and knew of its racism related context. But, after hearing the eery piano chords and heart wrenching lyricism echoed from the lips of Billie Holiday, I was almost in tears and began to look at racism in a completely different light. At that moment, I knew that music could truly be a powerful force for change. Holiday’s song, “Strange Fruit” is regarded as one of the first Black protest songs to address racism in America. First recorded by Holiday in 1939, the song sold 10,000 copies in the first week, it reached  number 16 on the U.S. Billboard charts, but most importantly it was the first time that anyone used pop music to stand up to a terrifying social and political institution (Strange Fruit). The song directly addresses the gruesome act of lynching, which served as a socializing force within the white community and asserted white supremacy. Between 1889 and 1930, 3,724 lynchings took place, and 4/5 of those lynched were African American (Strange Fruit). Not only was Holiday’s song radical for its time, but she asserted boldness and strength in choosing to record the song. For some, it may be hard to recollect exactly how you stumbled upon the record, but regardless of when or how you heard it, “Strange Fruit” is a song that will always be etched in the hearts and minds of many. Just as Holiday woke up America with her compelling version of “Strange Fruit,”  there are tons of musicians who have used music to speak out against various forms of injustice. Just think of Marvin Gaye’s classic 1971 album What’s Going On, where he used soulful jazz instrumentals and empathetic vocals to showcase his disdain with the Vietnam war, discrimination and the government’s injustice toward man. To this day, What’s Going On is one of the most endearing protest albums of all time and Gaye’s message remains as true today as it was back then. Or what about Public Enemy’s “Fight the Power,” which served as the theme song for Spike Lee’s controversial film Fight The Power.  Artists are still continuing to create socially conscience music to wake up Americans and help us realize that music does serve as a force for change. What’s your favorite protest song? Email us at info@colorblindmagazine.com or post it on our social media pages. Originally published on Roots, Rhthym...

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The Little Blue Book
Feb11

The Little Blue Book

In the Xhosa culture in Africa, the word Ubuntu means: “I am because we are.” Interestingly, Ubuntu describes the relationship between (Dearborn, MI) residents Uriah Grady, and his little sister Jahara Grady. The sense of oneness moved Uriah to pen a book full of useful knowledge for college just for his little sister Jahara. “I see my family as a team united,” Uriah said. “If one person has valuable information they should share it with the rest of the family so we can all be better… I saw fit to communicate what would be helpful to Jahara.” Both Uriah and Jahara attend the University of Michigan-Dearborn, majoring in Software engineering and biological science respectively. Interestingly, neither planned to attend this university, which in itself secretly egged on the extra need for what became The Little Blue Book. Taste of College Life Uriah’s first college experience was at Florida Tech as an undergrad from 2011-2012. Being away from home revealed to him how different things were and how much he had to learn. “Me not having the answers made me more concerned and I felt like I was going in blind…I had to find the answers by myself,” he said. He took an honest look at his own life and eventhough he felt he had little college experience, he believed it was enough to help his sister. Uriah began writing about his personal experiences, the first of which was how to avoid fake friends. “In college, you need people who are supportive,” he said. “After writing about this, it became easier for me to include other topics in the book.” The friendship topic led Uriah to write about the need to attend every class session, utilizing professor’s office hours, and time management.  After transferring to U of M- Dearborn, he gained more college knowledge and added more to the book. With every addition, he asked himself ‘What would I have liked to know then that I know now?’ Brother Appreciation After considering attending the University of Michigan- Flint, little sister Jahara Grady decided to join her brother at the University of Michigan Dearborn in September 2013.  She admitted that she’s not a social person, and that college was a new experience for her. But, knowing that her brother is there and that he’d been working on a book just for her made a world of a difference. “I was shocked and amazed, I always knew he cared a lot but not to that extent,” Jahara said happily when finding out what her brother had took the time to write. “Usually people say ‘you’ll learn eventually’ but, he’s not like that...

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Neck Rings of the Kayan Women
Feb11

Neck Rings of the Kayan Women

As women, we put ourselves through pain on a daily basis all in the name of beauty. We brush, blow-dry, and flat iron our mane of hair, paint our faces with make up, wear heels we can barely walk in, and spanks that we can barely breathe in. But it’s all in the name of fashion, right? We are all guilty of having our own beauty secrets. Whether it be something as normal as putting on a facemask every night or the more out of the ordinary beauty tips such as putting toothpaste on a blemish. One of the most unique beauty secrets come from a group of women located in Northern Thailand. The Kayan Women have earned the nicknames “long necks” or “giraffe women” by outsiders because of their one of a kind accessory. A lot of women find beauty in not just their clothing, but also in their choice of accessories. The Kayan women, also known as Padaung, wear a very unique “chocker necklace” that has went viral. The Kayan women wear brass coils around their necks that extend to long lengths, stemming back to the nickname they have earned, “the giraffe women.” Children usually start to wear their coils at just the young age of five. Slowly through the girl’s life, they will add more rings to this one of a kind choker to create the impression of a lengthened neck. The coils can weigh roughly four and a half pounds when first put on the child and can weigh up to a staggering eleven pounds when the necklace is complete. According to an interview with a young girl who was re-doing her coils on EnviornmentalGraffiti.com, “She had not seen her neck for five years and was excited to see what it looked like. When asked about the discomfort of coils she said, ‘At first there is some discomfort, but it is worth it, for it is beautiful.’” The beauty does not come from the rings themselves but rather the outcome that the coils achieve, an elongated neck. The neck rings function is to actually push the collarbone and ribs downward, creating the illusion of an elongated neck. Although the vertebrae themselves do not elongate, the weight from the rings eventually pushes the upper ribs at an angle 45 degrees lower than normal, as well as the shoulders being pushed downward, causing the illusion of a beautiful, elongated neck. “Beauty is pain, and pain is beauty,” is a common saying heard worldwide and it has no exception to this one of a kind tribe in Thailand. Although the number of Kayan women is rapidly disappearing, they...

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Celebrating Women Civil Rights Activists: Past and Present
Feb11

Celebrating Women Civil Rights Activists: Past and Present

When discussing the Civil Rights Movement, or any movement for that matter which deals with injustice against gender, race, or sex, it always seems easier to point out and/or name men who fought for and made a difference for their country’s constitutional liberties. But what about the women. We always see them in the background or side by side with men holding signs, yelling and fighting just as hard for their freedom. But, they did way more than just hold signs. They did much more than just cry out for justice. They were not just there., merely acting as extras in a film. They played and continue to play just as much of a role in fighting for human rights as their counterparts. They are our heroes, they are the warriors which make this country what it is. In researching material for this article, I learned just how much women have been ostracized from the civil rights limelight, even to this day. Try typing in civil rights leaders in Google and proceeding list of men like Dr. King, A.Philip Randolph, Whitney Young will fill the search engine results. Yes, there will most likely be articles about Rosa Parks and Coretta Scott King in there, but there most likely will not be a balanced list of recommended materials citing both men and women leaders. But, we know they exist. It would be impossible to list every woman who gave her life for the struggle or stood up to higher powers for justice’s sake. Therefore, in honor of Black History Month and Women’s History Month, ColorBlind would like to introduce you to a few female civil rights leaders who paved the way for our freedom and are continuing to upload the legacy of the journey for peace. Anna Arnold Hedgeman Born: July 5, 1899 Died: January 17, 1990 Anna Arnold Hedgeman was a civil rights activist and an early leader in the National Organization for Women. She worked throughout her life on issues such as education, feminism, social justice, poverty and civil rights. First black woman to graduate from Hamline University (1922) – the university now has a scholarship named for her First black woman to serve on a New York City mayoral cabinet (1954-1958) First black person to hold a Federal Security Agency position ————Courtesy of About.com Womens History, Photo courtesy of http://www.hamline.edu Amelia Boyton Born: August 18, 1911 (Age: 102) In 1964, Amelia Boynton became both the first African-American woman and the first female Democratic candidate to run for a seat in Congress from Alabama. In 1990, Boynton was awarded the Martin Luther King Jr. Medal of Freedom. Today, Boynton continues to tour the United...

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The affects of healthcare on college students
Feb11

The affects of healthcare on college students

First, her mother, an employee at an Indianapolis area hospital, had her hours drastically reduced. Months later, her family was informed that they would no longer be receiving the health benefits that had so long accompanied her mother’s job. At 19 years old, Ruta Tesfay believed that it was time to apply for the Affordable Care Act. Created to “expand coverage, hold insurance companies accountable, lower health care costs, guarantee more choice, and enhance the quality of care for all Americans”, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act has opened the door for many Americans who were unable to receive adequate healthcare coverage in the past. Among implications listed by The Affordable Care Act it not only potentially provides those uninsured with coverage, but also allows certain safeties for those under 26. It is benefits like these that drove, Ruta, a sophomore at Indiana University to believe that the reforms would be the answer she and her family had been looking for. “After developing mild pain in my joints, I decided that I needed to see a doctor because the pain could have larger implications about my health. Since I did not have any insurance, I figured that I should try Obamacare because of the hype it was getting.” Tesfay said. As a sufferer of the skin condition, Discoid Lupus, Ruta says that she must have access to healthcare at all times in order to remain in control of her disease. Signing up for the Affordable Care Act was intended to do just that. “The day before the first deadline -before it had been extended- my mom told me to sign the family up,” she starts, detailing the process. She signed onto the website, found herself struggling with the analytics. She called the help hotline, waited an hour for assistance. She attempted to complete her registration over the phone and was told that she herself did not qualify. “I was at home sitting in my room as I was doing this. After I was told that we were ineligible, I was semi surprised because it is the low- income people that are in need of health insurance,” she says. Tesfay, a Health Administration major in Indiana’s School of Public and Environmental Affairs, understands that while this scenario is not ideal, as an uninsured citizen and college student, there are other options for her. “I think its important for those who are low income to receive access to healthcare because they are the ones who are less likely to care about there health and to go out of their way to pay for their healthcare costs.” For those who don’t...

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