Sunday, October 31, 2010

Natural beauty blessing

Yesterday I went to the Orlando Natural Hair and Beauty Expo, a new one-day event celebrating natural hair. I heard about it on Facebook, I think and, once I saw that Felicia Leatherwood of Loving Your Hair with Natural Care was giving a workshop, I put it on my calendar.

I heard about Felicia Leatherwood earlier this year from a post by Afrobella about Felicia's natural hair workshops. The workshop sounded so great and like just what I needed. Of course the workshops were in Chicago and New York, not here in Florida. *cue internal whining* I am always a little homesick for Atlanta, too, a city where I know I could get a little natural hair instruction.

Until now. Thanks to Chase Ford Productions, Orlando has its own natural hair expo to look forward to each year.

I decided to take my daughter to the event with me. Even though I worried she would become bored and fidget too much, I really wanted her to see all the women I knew would be there. I knew we'd see women with TWAs, twists, twist outs, starter dreds, long locks, afros, and Bantu knots.

I was right.

But I didn't make a big deal about it. I just said it was a hair and beauty expo and let it flow from there. She was very interested in the fashion show and, even though she's too old and a little big for it, I picked her up and had her on my hip so she could see.

By the way, my daughter had asked for Afro puffs the morning of the expo - so she was representing in her own way as well.

And she liked sampling the different body butters and sniffing them. She told me, "Mommy, it smells good in here." Of course - the expo center was filled with tropical fruit and herbal scents for hair and body.

When Felicia Leatherwood's workshop began, I realized I'd made a big mistake. The room was standing room only. I definitely should have sat down inside as soon as we arrived. Fortunately two other little girls were standing near us and eventually the girls all sat down, shared books and paper and had their own thing going, quietly, while we listened to Felicia.

And, if you can't tell from my comments above, I will say it straight - if you have a chance to hear Felicia give a workshop and you love your hair - go. Register in advance, get there early, and go. I learned things from her in an hour that I haven't heard in my 20+ years of adult natural hair.

Other things I loved about the expo:
Seeing some old friends and acquaintances.
Lovely hair styles.
Great vendors with hair products, accessories, body products.
A DJ who knew just what our vibe was and is.
Sakile / Peace and Beauty project kids activities

We didn't stay for the entire expo, but my daughter asked me at one point if she could have her hand painted. I hadn't even noticed the henna artist as we walked around. So we stopped for her henna art. And it was a wonderful way to wrap up a mother daughter beauty adventure.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Follow up to first #blacklitchat

Last week we had our first #blacklitchat on Twitter. It was so much fun and we had Ernessa T. Carter, author of 32 Candles, join us and answer questions about the book. If you haven't read it, you must - it is fun, smart, and full of surprises.

I co-hosted #blacklitchat with Dee Stuart (@deegospel) and we will make it a monthly Twitter event. We'll set the date for the next one soon and need your help to select the next book we'll read.

To see what the chat was like, check out the transcript.

We've already had some great book suggestions - to add yours post a suggestion on Twitter or vote in our quick poll. We're looking for the kind of books that lend themselves to discussion - smart, fun, interesting reads by Black authors. For now we're focused on fiction and looking to read books that have been published in the last six months or so.

And the third way to get your suggestion in is to post it in comments.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Join us for #blacklitchat

Sunday, Oct. 17, I'm kicking off something new along with Dee Stewart (@deegospel, We're launching #blacklitchat, a Twitter chat about books by Black authors. This first one-hour chat will begin at 9 p.m. ET and we're featuring 32 Candles by Ernessa T. Carter (@ErnessaTCarter,

A little about #blacklitchat: I wanted to bring folks together via Twitter to talk about our books on a regular basis. We certainly have conversations about books and authors all the time. And I thought it would be powerful, fun, interesting to focus one one hour on one book in a Twitter-based book club.

Selfishly it also gives people like me, who are not currently in a book club, an opportunity to talk to other book lovers.

I hope that in addition to the people who participate, other readers will see the discussion and go and pick up these great books.

So, please join us on Sunday, Oct. 17 for the discussion of 32 Candles. Ernessa T. Carter is going to join us.

If you aren't on Twitter, you can still watch the conversation by going to and entering #blacklitchat in the search box.

Here's one more piece of good news - I have a copy of 32 Candles to giveaway. I'll give it away using a random number generator. To enter to win, please submit a comment. You comment can be your intention to attend #blacklitchat, a question you'd like for the group to discuss; or a question for the author.

Enter away - I'd like to select a winner Thursday and get their copy in the mail!

Monday, October 11, 2010

Dear Blogalicious10 community

Dear #Blogalicious10 community,

I am so pumped up after my very first Blogalicious event! I feel fierce and ideas are flowing so fast I have trouble sleeping. That is a blessing, not a complaint!

Because I could not hug everybody, I wanted to thank you here in our blog space (yes- it’s ours!).

I thank you for –

Sharing in sessions, in the hall, in the ladies room …
For unknowingly re-uniting me with two friends from college ...
Making connections (@nycbritpr tells me about @winewithToni and she joins me for a wine adventure) …
Asking, “Girl, did you get your [watch, robe, doll …]?” and grabbing one for me …
Salsa, hip hop, samba in the club …
Telling about authors you know …
Yoga on the beach with @coreconnection (and for tree pose) …
Shouting out your project, your dreams, your hashtags – every one is an inspiration, a spark …
Tweeting out what’s going on and where and being a sisterhood …
Being fabulous in every way and showing me I need to buy some dresses to be more blogalicious …
Being entrepreneurs, operating with integrity …
For all the amazing, fierce, powerful goals we will achieve by and share at Blogalicious11.

I’ll see you on your blogs, in our Twitter chats and around the world.