Sunday, October 30, 2016

Roslyn Karamoko: Détroit Is The New Black

Détroit is the New Black is one of the hottest stores in Detroit right now. We had the honor of interviewing Roslyn Karamoko, the genius behind this vision.

KAY KAY: How would you describe your fashion style? 
Karamoko: Elegant and casual (if that’s even a thing). Something comfortable for sure, but with a little luxe to it; classic and easy.
KAY KAY: What was your background before you opened Détroit is the New Black?
Karamoko: I went to university for fashion merchandising and worked in New York and abroad as a buyer.  I moved to Detroit in 2013 and started my t-shirt label. I was then able to use my buying background to develop a lifestyle store around local brand incubation and art curation.
KAY KAY: How would you describe the style of Détroit is the New Black?
Karamoko: It feels classic like a uniform, and it’s not over-thought but intentional. I also would hope that it feels sensible and relatable while being minimal aesthetic and monochromatic.
KAY KAY: What was the hardest part about opening Détroit is the New Black?
Karamoko: Probably just mentally getting the courage to do it. It’s a huge undertaking so it comes with its challenges. Learning and growing as the business grows is probably the most difficult part.
DFN: Where do you see yourself and Détroit is the New Black in the next five years? Do you hope to open more stores around the nation?
Karamoko: We will see! I think it’s an interesting time in Detroit and in America. I think the brand will be wherever the need is for the message and the store experience.
DFN: What do you love the most about Détroit is the New Black? 
Karamoko: I love all of it. It is like all the things I love: interesting people, brands, art, fashion, and energy, it’s all love.
KAY KAY: I love how you carry Detroit brands like The Lip bar. Do you consciously only carry Detroit brands in your store? Why or why not?
Karamoko: I try to stay Detroit focused, but I will be introducing a New York designer trunk show in October. It is also about providing a space for outside designers to showcase their work to Detroit’s fashion clientele.
KAY KAY: You moved to Detroit several years ago. What do you like the most about the “Motor City.”
Karamoko:  Belle Isle, it’s one of the most beautiful places on earth.
KAY KAY: How did you come up with the name for Détroit is the New Black?
Karamoko: I wanted to participate in the city pride tee’s but wanted one with a bit more cosmopolitan feeling. I loved the French history of the city and thought the Détroit spelling really lent itself to fashion. “The New Black” portion of the store name meant that the new hip certainly resonated with Detroit. In addition, there was also this conversation around the new Detroit, gentrification and the inclusivity of the future Detroit. Therefore, I felt the name really captured a few different facets of the city’s renaissance.
KAY KAY: What made you want to open Détroit is the New Black?
Karamoko: I felt there needed to be a space for small brands and artists to have a retail platform.
KAY KAY: How did you get started opening Détroit is the New Black?
Karamoko: I started selling the tees at Eastern Market, Dally in the Alley and other local festivals. After that, I opened a store in midtown and I was there for a year and a half. Then, I opened a production facility in Corktown. Finally, we moved into our current retail space in July of this year.
KAY KAY: You are very successful and you are an inspiration to many people including myself. Is all of your success overwhelming? 
Karamoko: Totally.
KAY KAY: What advice would you give to future designers and entrepreneurs?  
Karamoko: Just keep going!
KAY KAY: I love the Tracy Reese pop up boutique at Détroit is the New Black! How did this come about? 
Karamoko: She is a mentor of mine and it just seemed natural to offer her collection in our shop. We are so happy to have her!
KAY KAY: Many of our readers do not live in Detroit and I highly recommend that anyone who is in the Detroit area visits Détroit is the New Black. Everyone (including myself) who has visited Detroit is the New Black is at a loss for words when they describe how chic and stylish it is. How did you come up with the store’s design?
Karamoko: I was completely overwhelmed with the space, so I called in my artist friend Leon Dickey who is a magician. His stunning pieces have made it a complete fairytale. I wanted it to have an openness and gallery-like feel, with the retail display feeling almost like artwork.

Breaking out in 2016!!!!!!!

2016 is the year of breaking out!!!!! If you haven't broken out in the natural... don't fret because the year is almost over... so your breakthrough will be coming round the corner. Also, don't feel jealous if someone has broken out before you... just as a bigger tree takes longer to grow... the bigger the breakthrough... the longer it takes to manifest in the natural 

Thursday, October 27, 2016

The REAL No Makeup Look

Disclaimer: This is not a sponsored blog post.

I am pretty sure we have ALL hear of the “no-makeup” makeup look. Well, this look ironically still involves the use of several makeup products!  Personally, I do not like to wear makeup every day (unless I am going to an event and I will then get my face professionally beat) and I am really into skincare. I love the skincare brand, Tatcha.  Not only does this brand nourish one’s skin, it also provides the skin with an amazing dewy finish that makes one look like they are rocking the “no-makeup” makeup look.  Below I will provide you with the steps I took to get this look.  When reading the steps, you will notice that you can achieve this look as well, using all Tatcha products! BTW, these products are in the order that they were used!

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AncestryDNA Results

My blog:

Blog post from before the I got my results:

Blog post from after I got my results:

Where to get the test:

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Support Black-Owned Businesses

Hello! I have pledged to buy from black-owned businesses as much as possible. Now, don't get it twisted, I am not saying that I will not buy from people who are not black or that I will support a crappy black-owned business. I am saying that I will try to support my brothers and sisters to build wealth and hire other black people which will help the community economically. I encourage you all to watch the videos below which will teach you more about the movement.

Friday, October 21, 2016

My Ethnicity Estimate from AncestryDNA

I am very excited to share my DNA results with you guys! Please CLICK HERE to read my previous post about this subject. I will also be doing a video (it might be a live one … who knows) where I will talk more about my reaction to the data.  This post is really just to educate and give my viewers the bare results! 

Disclaimer: This is not a sponsored post… I also did not include trace regions in my chart.  I also got this information from AncestryDNA and I did not paraphrase these words. They are direct quotes.

Approximate Amount
Ivory Coast/Ghana

 Image result for map of africa

Primarily located in: Nigeria
Also found in: Niger, Benin, Cameroon, Congo
Nigeria is the most populous country in Africa, with more than 168 million people living in an area about twice the size of California. In fact, Nigeria has six cities with populations over 1 million (the United States has nine). From its tropical south to the arid north, Nigeria as a country is a concept and product of colonialism, bringing together more than 250 ethnic groups within fairly arbitrary borders.
Genetic Diversity in the Nigeria Region
The people living in Nigeria are among the most admixed of any of our regions, which means that when creating ethnicity estimates for people native to this area, we usually see similarities to DNA profiles from nearby regions. We’ve found that approximately 69% of the typical Nigeria native’s DNA comes from this region.
Population History
Nigeria’s seacoast in the south, with its mangrove swamps in the Niger Delta, gives way to a band of tropical rainforest and then savanna and drier Sahel grasslands in the north. Along with the landscape, the climate varies: from wet and tropical along the coast to more arid conditions in the Sahel, where a three- to four-month rainy season is followed by hot, dry temperatures. Modern-day Nigeria’s northern area once encompassed the southern end of trans-Saharan trade routes, where salt, cloth, and other goods were brought across the desert to trade for gold, ivory, slaves, kola nuts and other items from the south.
Throughout West Africa, Muslim traders brought Islam as well as goods with them across the Sahara, and the religion was adopted by some in Nigeria’s northern Sahel and savanna regions by at least the 9th century. Islam made its way to the south during the reign of Mali emperor Mansa Musa, if not before. Christianity came later, with European traders who interacted with groups in the south. Religious preferences still maintain this north-south divide, with Islam predominating in the north among the Fulani and Hausa, and Christianity in the south. Today, Nigeria is about 50% Muslim and 40% Christian, with about 10% embracing traditional or indigenous beliefs.
Kingdoms of the past
The oldest human remains found in Nigeria have been dated to 9000 B.C., though the region was likely inhabited before then. There is evidence of ironworking from around 600 B.C. The earliest known Iron Age civilization in Nigeria is the Nok, who lived in northern and central Nigeria between about 1000 B.C. and 300 A.D. They are known for their life-sized terracotta statues. Following the Nok, large kingdoms and smaller, village-based groups established themselves in the area over the next millennia.
One of the largest ethnic groups in Nigeria today, the Yoruba trace their roots back to the city of Ile-Ife in southwestern Nigeria. The city came to prominence as a center of trade in the 12th century. Like the Nok before them, the Yoruba of this period were sculptors, creating works in terracotta, iron and bronze. The city was also known for its courtyards paved in shards of pottery. Unlike Ile-Ife, the Yoruba kingdom of Oyo maintained an army and established a kingdom that dominated western Nigeria during the 17th and early 18th centuries.
To the south, the Edo people established the Kingdom of Benin, which expanded from a magnificent city into a powerful empire during the 15th century. When Portuguese traders first visited the city, they were impressed by its size and splendor, and Benin sent an ambassador to Lisbon in the early 16th century. Benin is known for its carvings and its “bronzes” (which are actually brass).
In the north, on the edge of the Sahel, the Hausa established states that thrived on trans-Saharan trade, especially after the collapse of the Mali and Songhai Empires, when trade moved farther east. The Hausa states adopted Islam, establishing madrassas and building beautiful mosques—while also warring against one another. The Hausa states were incorporated into the Sokoto Caliphate during a jihad led by the Fulani people in the early 19th century.
The slave trade
Slaves had always been part of West African trade across the Sahara, but gold was the chief commodity that built the great empires of Ghana, Mali and Songhai. This changed once Portuguese traders began plying West Africa’s coasts in the late 15th century. Early Portuguese traders actually bought slaves from the Nigerian coast to sell to the Akan people along the Gold Coast (modern-day Ghana). After the Europeans began using Africa as a source of slaves for the sugar plantations in the New World, the transatlantic market grew exponentially. On Nigeria’s southern coast, slave traders often contracted with local kings or chiefs to provide slaves, with the kingdom of Oyo and the Aro Confederacy, an Igbo group, becoming two major suppliers. Great Britain abolished slavery in 1807, but a profitable trade continued well into the 19th century, with traders running British blockades off Nigeria. Some estimates put the number of slaves sent to the Americas from Nigeria at 3.5 million.
After the Berlin Conference of 1884 and 1885, which parceled Africa out among European powers, Nigeria fell within the British sphere. The Royal Niger Company represented and pursued British interests in the area until 1890, when the British government took control. The area was divided into northern and southern protectorates until 1914, when they were merged into the colony of Nigeria. Nigeria became independent in 1960. Four years earlier, in 1956, oil had been discovered in the Niger Delta, and Nigeria is now among the top 10 oil exporters in the world.
Ethnic groups
While modern-day Nigeria is home to more than 250 ethnic groups, the four largest account for almost 70% of the population.
The Hausa and Fulani
The Hausa people form one of the largest ethnic groups in West Africa. They are located primarily in northern Nigeria and southern Niger. The Hausa language is spoken as a first language by around 40 million people, more than any other language in sub-Saharan Africa. In Nigeria, the Hausa have integrated with the Fulani to the extent that the group is often referred to as Hausa-Fulani.
The Fulani are spread over many West African countries, including Senegal, Mali and Burkina Faso. Historically, the Fulani were nomads who kept cattle. They are also strongly linked to Islam; the Fulani led the jihads that helped establish the Sokoto Caliphate in Hausa lands during the 19th century. They are a minority population in each country they inhabit, with the exception of Guinea, where they represent 40% of the population. In Nigeria, the Hausa-Fulani account for about 30% of Nigeria’s population.
The Yoruba
The Yoruba live in southwestern Nigeria and the southern portion of neighboring Benin. They make up about 20% of Nigeria’s population. The Yoruba were greatly affected by the transatlantic slave trade; their territory was one of the most significant slave-exporting regions in Africa during the 1800s. The largest concentrations of Yoruba ended up in Cuba, Brazil and Trinidad. The Igbo and Yoruba peoples from the Bights of Benin and Biafra constituted roughly one-third of all enslaved Africans transported to the Americas.
The Igbo
The Igbo people are another large and influential ethnic group in Nigeria. With a population of about 30 million, they are found primarily in southeastern Nigeria, as well as Cameroon, Sierra Leone and Equatorial Guinea.
The transatlantic slave trade also had a massive impact on the Igbo. Many of those sold into slavery were kidnapped or captured as prisoners of war. Others were debtors or had been convicted of crimes. Several scholars assert that Igbo slaves were reputed to be especially rebellious; some would even commit suicide rather than endure enslavement. Elements of Igbo culture can still be seen in former New World colonies. For instance, Jamaican Creole uses the Igbo word for “you,” and a section of Belize City is named Eboe Town after its Igbo inhabitants. In the United States, a high concentration of slaves in Maryland and Virginia were Igbo, and they still constitute a large proportion of the African American population in the area.
Please note that genetic ethnicity estimates are based on individuals living in this region today. While a prediction of genetic ethnicity from this region suggests a connection to the groups occupying this location, it is not conclusive evidence of membership to any particular tribe or ethnic group.
Did You Know?
While Nigeria is known for ethnic diversity among its people, some of its forests are known for the spectacular diversity of their butterfly species.

Primarily located in: CameroonGabonCongoRepublic of Congo
Also found in: AngolaChad
Because they lie near or on the equator, these nations typically include tropical rainforest and humid savanna. While the Congo takes its name from the old African kingdom of Kongo, Cameroon gets its name from the first Europeans to arrive in the area in 1472. Portuguese sailors found crayfish in the Wouri River and started calling the land the Rio dos Camarões, or River of Shrimp. Eventually, the word Camarões became Cameroon.
Genetic Diversity in the Cameroon/Congo Region
People living in the Cameroon/Congo region today are less admixed than people in most other regions, which means that when creating genetic ethnicity estimates for natives to this area, we sometimes see small similarities to DNA profiles from other nearby regions. We’ve found that approximately 92% of the typical Cameroon/Congo native’s DNA comes from this region.
Population History
The Congo River Basin has been home to human populations for at least 30,000 years. The first settlers in Cameroon were probably the Baka, groups of Pygmy hunter-gatherers who still inhabit the forests of the south and east, as well as neighboring Gabon and the two Congos. This small group (some 40,000) is actually more closely related to groups found in the deserts of the Africa South-Central Hunter-Gatherers region.
In north-central Cameroon, a high range of rugged mountains stretches across the country from west to east. To the far south and east, in the vast Congo River Basin, the environment consists of dense rainforest and wide waterways. These features have created a degree of isolation and served as a barrier to frequent or large-scale migrations or conquests.
Although the Cameroon/Congo region is incredibly diverse, with more than 200 different ethnic groups, our genetic profile for the region is primarily represented by samples from the Cameroon Grasslands, where the largest populations are subgroups of the Bamileke and Bamum peoples. These tribes’ origins are not known, but it appears that in the 17th century, they moved south into Cameroon in a series of migrations to avoid enslavement—and, in some cases, forced conversion to Islam—by the Fulani peoples. Cameroon’s west and northwest provinces are the country’s most densely populated regions. The populous Bamileke tend to be Christian and live in small fons, or chiefdoms, in highly organized villages led by local chiefs. The less populous Bamum tend to be Muslim and have a more centralized social structure under a high king.
Besides the Grasslands tribes, a smaller number of people live in the southern and central regions of Cameroon and in Congo-Brazzaville (Republic of Congo) and Congo-Kinshasa (Democratic Republic of Congo). However, many of the ethnic groups found in the two Congos are of Bantu origin—meaning they share a common ancestral language and an ancestral homeland on the western border of modern Cameroon and Nigeria. The Bantu peoples began migrating from Cameroon in about 1000 B.C. Some went east across Africa and then south; some settled the Congo River Basin; and some went south along the coast to Angola. These Bantu groups have a genetic ethnicity better represented by the Southeastern Bantu region profile.

The slave trade
The international slave trade in this region began with the Portuguese on Cameroon’s west coast, though it became the practice of many European countries. The threat of malaria prevented any significant settlement or conquest of the interior prior to the 1870s—when an effective malaria drug (quinine) became available. So the Europeans initially focused on coastal trade and acquiring slaves. Most slaves were captured by African middlemen from the interior and taken to port cities to be sold, and the flow of human traffic from many ethnic groups was constant. Around 1.5 million slaves left Africa from this region of Cameroon; combined, nearly half of all slaves destined to work in the Western Hemisphere came from Cameroon and the Congo River Basin. Many slaves from the coastal regions of Cameroon and Equatorial Guinea ended up in Maryland, Virginia and South Carolina.
The 19th and 20th centuries
Cameroon escaped colonial rule until 1884, when treaties with tribal chiefs brought the area under German domination. After World War I, the League of Nations gave the French a mandate over 80% of the area and the British control of the remaining 20% (the area adjacent to Nigeria). After World War II the country came under a United Nations trusteeship and self-government was granted. Independence was achieved in 1960 for French Cameroon and in 1961 for British Cameroon.
Please note that genetic ethnicity estimates are based on individuals living in this region today. While a prediction of genetic ethnicity from this region suggests a connection to the groups occupying this location, it is not conclusive evidence of membership to any particular tribe or ethnic group.
Did You Know?
DNA indicates that John Punch, the first African man documented to have been enslaved for life in the early American Colonies, likely came from the Cameroon region.

Ivory Coast/Ghana
Primarily located in: Ivory Coast, Ghana
Also found in: Benin, Togo, Mali, Nigeria, Senegal
Early French and Portuguese explorers identified sections of the West African coast by the area’s resources, which is how Côte d'Ivoire, or Ivory Coast, got its name. Neighboring Ghana was known as the Gold Coast until it won independence from colonial rule in 1957 and renamed itself after a medieval West African empire. Today, more than 46 million people live in the two countries, which depend less on gold and ivory than they do chocolate: Ivory Coast and Ghana produce more than half of the world’s cocoa.
Genetic Diversity in the Ivory Coast/Ghana Region
People living in the Ivory Coast/Ghana region are only somewhat admixed, which means that when creating genetic ethnicity estimates for people native to this area, we sometimes see similarities to DNA profiles from other nearby regions. We’ve found that approximately 86% of the typical Ivory Coast/Ghana native’s DNA comes from this region.

Population History
There is evidence of human activity in the area of modern-day Ivory Coast and Ghana going back millennia. Some groups, such as the Akan, trace their history in the region to at least the 11th century. Historians believe that most current populations were in place by the 16th century after absorbing or displacing previous inhabitants. Ghana and Ivory Coast are each home to more than 60 different ethnic groups today.
Geography played an influential role on the populations of Ghana and Ivory Coast. In both countries, the terrain ranges from savanna in the north to forest in the south. The dense forests acted as partial barriers to trade, migration and forming large, centralized societies like those that appeared farther north, where vast empires rose and fell for more than a millennium. The north-south divide is also evident in religion: Islam came to West Africa with the trans-Saharan trade and is more prevalent in the north; Christianity, introduced by Europeans, gained a foothold in the south.
Migrations into Ivory Coast and Ghana
Modern Ivory Coast and Ghana lie on the periphery of the great empires of Mali (ca. 1230–1550) and Songhai (ca. 1375–1591), and the region’s population felt their influence. As empires rose and fell, people pushed into new lands or fled old ones. Dyula (or Juula) traders, a merchant class of Mandé people from Mali, made their way south, introducing goods, inhabitants and Islam to the northern edges of modern-day Ghana. They later established the Kong Empire (1710–1898) in northeastern Ivory Coast. Other Mandé groups settled in western Ivory Coast, where they make up almost 25% of the population today.
According to their own oral tradition, the Dagomba people came from the area northeast of Lake Chad, finally settling in northern Ghana. The Senufo came south from Mali into Ivory Coast in about the 15th century. The Ewe people migrated from the east, from the areas now making up Togo and Benin.
The most significant migration for Ghana and Ivory Coast, however, began with the arrival of the Akan people. The Akan had established the state of Bonoman—a center of trade for gold, salt, kola nuts, ivory and leather—in western Ghana/eastern Ivory Coast. From Bonoman, they spread out looking for gold.
The Akan people
With a population of 20 million, the Akan represent the largest ethnic group in Ghana and Ivory Coast. The Akan are a matrilineal society believed to have originated in the Sahel region and who then traveled south into Ghana and Ivory Coast.
The Ashanti, a subgroup of the Akan, formed a number of states in Ghana built around trade and gold. They traded with the Songhai and Hausa along traditional inland routes and also with European partners, starting with the Portuguese, who arrived on the coast in 1482. New crops, such as maize and cassava, and slave labor allowed them to push farther into the forests, clearing land to farm and mining gold. In fact, before the transatlantic slave trade began in earnest, the Ashanti bought slaves from the Portuguese.
The Ashanti Empire was established in 1701 by Osei Tutu, who began unifying Ashanti states around the city of Kumasi. The Ashanti continued to expand, through diplomacy and military conquest, building one of the most advanced and powerful empires in sub-Saharan Africa. Not all Akan people wanted part in the empire, and some fled west into modern-day Ivory Coast. These included the Abron, the Baoulé and the Agni. In the 19th century, the Ashanti fought a series of wars with British troops, as England tried to firm up its hold over Ghana. Eventually, the Ashanti kingdom, known as Asanteman, became a British protectorate in 1902 and today is a state within modern Ghana.
French sovereignty over Ivory Coast was recognized by the British in 1889, and the country became a French colony in 1893. Ivory Coast continued to attract new immigrants in the 20th century when two decades of prosperity and relative peace followed independence in 1960.
Did You Know?
The Ashanti had their own telegraph long before American inventor Samuel Morse patented his (in 1847). The Ashanti people sent messages through the forest via drum. The tones of their famous “talking drums” mimic their own tonal language.

Primarily located in: Benin, Togo
Also found in: Ghana, Nigeria, Mali
For years, anthropologists and others looked at African ethnic groups as being mostly solitary and static. However, historians now know that huge empires and kingdoms, with administrations and armies, diplomatic corps and distant trading partners, have long been part of Africa’s fabric. This is especially true of West Africa, where migrations, conquests and intermarriage within allied kingdoms help explain why, for example, 43% of people from the Benin/Togo region have DNA that looks similar to the profile for the Ivory Coast/Ghana region, and 28% similar to the profile for Nigeria.
Genetic Diversity in the Benin/Togo Region
The people living in the Benin/Togo region are admixed, which means that when creating genetic ethnicity estimates for people native to this area, we sometimes see similarities to DNA profiles from other regions. We’ve found that approximately 82% of the typical Benin/Togo native’s DNA comes from this region.
Population History
Benin sits just west of Nigeria, and west of Benin is Togo. Benin has a population of 9.88 million that is growing at an annual rate of 2.84%. Togo is only slightly behind with a growth rate of 2.73% and 7.15 million people. Both countries’ populations are largely rural, but more densely concentrated along the coast. Though tied closely together by history, geography and religion, the inhabitants of Benin and Togo are ethnically quite different.
Benin’s largest ethnic group is the Fon (39%), followed by the Adja (15%), Yoruba (12%) and Bariba (9%). Togo’s largest ethnic groups are the Ewe (21%), Kabye (12%), Mina (3.2%) and Kotokoli (3.2%). Benin has more ethnic ties to its neighbor Nigeria; Togo has more links to Ghana. These ethnic ties are the result of long-standing kingdoms that flourished before European colonists created new borders.
Considering their small size, both countries have great ethnic diversity, especially in the north. Some populations there are related to ethnic groups farther north in Burkina Faso, and the small but influential Hausa population is largely responsible for bringing Islam to Togo. In the south of Benin, the Fon people are dominant. They are descendants from the powerful African kingdom of Dahomey that ruled the region from about 1600 to 1900.
Most northern Beninese and Togolese practice herding, fishing and subsistence farming. Trade is limited in the north, where neither country has much in the way of navigable waterways or viable roads. In the more urbanized south, however, people have greater social and physical mobility. Most urban Africans in the Benin/Togo region work at a trade or sell goods at local markets. In the past, the proximity to the coast spawned trade relationships with Europeans, other Africans and with slave traders. The countries on the Bight of Benin were part of the so-called “Slave Coast” and in the late 1600s became the top suppliers of slaves to the New World. As a result, the genetic footprint of the Benin/Togo region can be found across much of the Western Hemisphere.
Many people in Togo and Benin speak one of about 20 related Gbe languages. Linguistic evidence indicates that most of the Gbe people came from the east in several migrations between the 10th and 15th centuries. The Gbe were pushed westward during a series of wars with the Yoruba people of Nigeria, then settled in Tado on the Mono River (in present-day Togo).
Around 1600, Fon emigrants from Tado established the Kingdom of Dahomey, a Fon monarchy that ruled Benin for some 300 years. Its standing army, an aggressive economic model that relied on slavery for export and labor, and its “Amazon” warriors (elite troops of fierce, female combat soldiers) made the Kingdom of Dahomey a powerful regional threat. It was also the top trading partner with the Europeans. Other contemporary kingdoms in Benin included Porto-Novo, as well as smaller northern states. In Togo, the Kabye and Lamba (or Lama) peoples migrated to the north between 600 and 1200 A.D. Many other groups who settled in Togo were refugees of wars in Dahomey and what is now Ghana.
Slave trade
European slave traders first became a force on the coast of West Africa. By 1475 Portuguese traders had reached the Bight of Benin, and by the mid-1500s Spain and England had also legalized the slave trade. As the demand for slaves grew, the Kingdom of Dahomey (and others in the region) provided European traders with a constant supply in exchange for goods and firearms. Dahomey, which had long paid tribute to the Yoruba Empire of Oyo, used its new weapons and power to throw off that yoke.
More than 2 million slaves were sent from the Bight of Benin to the New World, and among them were many from Benin and Togo’s major ethnic groups. The Adja, Mina, Ewe and Fon groups of this region were the third-most enslaved groups sent to the New World. A great number of these went to Haiti and Brazil, where they established their traditional religious practices and ancestor worship, better known today as Voodoo, Santería or Macumba.
With the end of slavery, the Kingdom of Dahomey lost its revenue source and began an economic decline. The French defeated Dahomey in a series of wars between 1890 and 1894, and eventually, both Benin and Togo (minus an area under British control) became part of French West Africa. One result of the French colonial period was that, in many cases, French West Africans had certain citizenship or other rights under French law; over time, African communities sprang up in France and other parts of Europe. In 1960, both Benin and Togo declared independence.
Did You Know?
Benin’s village of Ganvie stands on stilts in the middle of Lake Nokoué. Tradition says the village was built on the lake to protect the Tofinu people from slave traders because Fon warriors, who captured slaves for Portuguese traders, were not allowed to fight on water.

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Review of Perfect Locks Hair

I am going to keep this post blunt and straight to the point. DO NOT buy hair from Perfect Locks. I was very disappointed with the quality of the hair and I was told by hair stylists that the hair is not good. The hair tangled and shed like some synthetic hair would. This hair is not cheap either! I was fooled into thinking it was good quality because it was expensive and popular, but do not fall for the bait. The only good thing about this brand is that the customer service is great and the packaging is cute and unique.

I recommend buying hair from these brands because I have used them and they are great!

Image result for perfect locks hair

This is not a sponsored review. 

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Black in Vermont: Being Seen as a Jezebel etc.

DISCLAIMER: The examples that are given below were not all committed by people from Vermont. This blog is about my experience in Vermont. Not everyone in Vermont behaves this way of course, but this blog is part of a therapeutic series that serves to educate. My voice will not be silenced lol.  I also apologize because this post will contain language that I never use in my posts in order to tell a situation, educate, and make a point.

First and foremost, CLICK HERE to know where the term “Jezebel” even comes from. After you watch this video, please CLICK HERE to further educate yourself about the Jezebel stereotype that I will be discussing in this blog post.  Make sure that you also check out the hyperlinks that I have sprinkled throughout this post as well!

As a black woman, I am used to being subjected to “racial fetishization” and I also know that other women of color are subjected to this as well.  For example, many Asian women have spoken about how they have been stereotyped as submissive and Latina women are stereotyped as spicy. As a black woman, I will share with you several examples of where I was stereotyped as a Jezebel in the state of Vermont. Before I begin sharing my experiences I must state a disclaimer. BLACK WOMEN ARE STEREOTYPED AS JEZEBELS THROUGHOUT THE WORLD!!!!! However, since Vermont is of the least diverse states in the nation; I noticed that I was treated as a Jezebel more times in Vermont than I was in other parts of the nation that I have traveled to or lived in.

The “Hot Black Girl”
While in Vermont I was called a “hot black girl” by many people. I was also told that I made “black women look good.” Now, those that were saying this definitely meant this as a compliment. I mean, I am a beautiful sister and a lot of these men had never interacted with a black person before. However, one would never call someone “a hot white girl” because white women in America are seen as the standard of beauty. Under white supremacy, black women are seen as the ugliest of all women. Therefore, when a white man calls me a hot black girl, that it is like saying, “You are pretty for a black girl” which is rude at the very least.

Aside from being seen as a Jezebel, black women are also seen as ghetto. I know that I give Michelle Obama tease, and that is definitely the opposite of ghetto. Since these men have little to no interaction with black women, all they see of black people are the stereotypes in the media. Therefore, these men are surprised and pleased when they see a strong beautiful sister. They think that I am this unique amazing anomaly. However, I know many sisters who are little Michelle Obamas in training in their own unique ways.

When I was in the grocery store an older man kept staring at me with lust in his eyes. I am used to being stared at in Vermont since I am black, but this was very creepy. I tried to give him a death stare, but even that did not work and this man began to talk to me. The man told me that, “The clementines that I was holding complimented my skin color and made me look like a painting.”  You best-tah believe that I checked that fool… SWIFTLY AND PROFESSIONALLY!!!   

Pizza Delivery Guy
I was ordering pizza with my home girl while we studied. When I went to pick up the pizza, the delivery guy (who was from Vermont) kept looking at me while handing me the pizza and seemed to be very silent etc. I did not think twice of this encounter until this guy texted me (he had my number since he delivered my pizza) and told me I was cute and asked me to come over that night to watch a movie with him. Now, going back to the Jezebel stereotype, this guy thought that I was easy because I was a black woman and if you think that I am jumping to conclusions… keep reading. This guy started randomly texting me (even though he knew I was not easy and was not interested). He would tell me that I was hot and that he was not trying to fetishize me because he went to college in Albany and had been around black women.  This guy did not think that he was treating me as a Jezebel, but he was. He would randomly send me messages asking me to twerk on him which is very disrespectful. Since I am black, this guy assumed that I knew how to twerk like a video vixen since this is how black women are depicted in the media. It doesn’t help that I am shaped like a video vixen (I am very curvy with big hips and I am also busty) so men that have this mentality towards black women will always target me… ugh.

“How do black girls drop that ass?”
“How are black women able to drop that ass”? Yes, this is what some racist jerk actually asked me… I wish I was lying. I remember this situation like it was yesterday, I was talking to my bestie when this guy says hi to me. I say hello back and realize that it was this guy who I REALLY did not like. Now, if I do not like someone it is for a legitimate reason. I did not like this guy because he would make really rude, racist remarks. For example, he faked an Indian accent in a class project (smh) and he also said that there was “no racism anymore” with a condescending smile, so the government should abolish affirmative action… ugh. This guy was not in a good mood so I told him I would walk him home to help him cool off … I mean … what would Jesus do? I should also add that he lived thirty seconds from where I lived and I would pass in front of his house anyway on my way home so it was not such a grand deal. As I walked home I made stupid conversation with the dude. Then, this dude asked me randomly, “How are black girls able to drop that ass?” I was shocked … WHO SAYS THAT STUFF. I went silent. This happened in December 2015 and I had three more weeks till I was moving to New York City for my last semester externship. Believe it or not, but this dude isn’t an idiot, he’s just rude. This guy KNOWS what he is doing but he simply DOES NOT care AT ALL. He could tell I was mad at his racist remarks, and he added with a condescending smile, “is it because of their calves?” Ugh… THIS GUY WOULD NOT SHUT UP!!!!! See what I had to  put up with!!!!!  

All of those experiences were horrible. The reason why I am so passionate about the Jezebel stereotype etc. is because more than half of black women are sexually assaulted. It is this type of thinking that has gone on since slavery and colonization that is the root of it. I am not saying that I was sexually assaulted, but this type of stereotyping makes it harder for black women when it comes to sexual assault cases etc. Thank you for reading this article! Peace and love!

Monday, October 17, 2016

Kay Kay's Two Cents: Silencing People of Color

Hello! I have noticed that there is a new trend going on. This new (or maybe not so new) trend is to silence people of color when they talk about racism etc. When I shared one of my posts on social media about the racism I received in Vermont, this guy commented on my status. Now, if this guy would have just stated that not all people in Vermont are racist etc. (btw I stated this and MUCH more in my detailed disclaimer) that would have been fine. However, this guy wrote me PARAGRAPHS of  words doused in  privilege. This guy never even told me that he was sorry for the racism I dealt with! Instead, he was so busy trying to comfort himself smh. To make things worse,  this guy stated that he was my friend. Let me get one thing straight... he was NEVER my friend (and if he was... he would not be after that spectacle). In reality, he was a classmate who I spoke to and respected and you could call a friendly acquaintance. Being cool with someone and being their friend is a HUGE difference.  How can I be his friend if I do not even have his number (or never had his number lol)? There are some people out there that love to say that they are "friends" with people of color to make it seem better when they try to silence these people of color. Newsflash, we know what you are doing! It is condescending and infuriating to do this, it is almost as bad a claiming to have a black friend to show you are not racist. 

P.S. : If you choose to silence a person of color on social media... you will be drug by your edges. Consider yourself warned lol.