Stuck on my culture

I love my culture.  Recently, I did an Ancestry.com DNA test and discovered that I am 75% CoiteD’voire/Ghanian/Malian/Nigerian and 22% British/French/German.  So while I am thankful for all the cultures that have come together to make me the person I am, I am extremely excited about the African part.  As you know in American culture, African Americans know nothing about their ancestors prior to the induction of slavery.  I cried when I received the results.  So excuse my ethnocentric ways at the moment, but I am deeply happy about my findings.

I also love stickers.  I believe they are the alternative method of graffiti tagging, for those of us who are too chicken to break the law and vandalize with traditional spray paint.

therevolutionpack-27

In celebration of the coming Juneteenth, the final round of legal abolishment of slavery in America, I decided to design images to reflect and embrace the black culture as I know it.

Please visit my store and buy the “Juneteenth” pack or any other sticker that moves you to purchase.  CLICK, HERE!

A portion of all proceeds are donated to efforts that promote creative programs for our youth.

God bless everyone!

Phase 1: Book Complete

COLOR ME NATURAL: A Young Girl’s Guide to Having Natural Hair, Coloring & Creativity Book

It’s no secret that in the African American community we wrestle with the social acceptance of our natural hair state.  We have such dichotomous labels as “good hair” and “bad hair” that continue to pin us against each other.  This division also continues to perpetuate a negative perception of our self-worth, and if we don’t fall in the “good hair” category, we deem our hair undesirable and shameful.

I was an educator for thirteen years and when I would overhear my female students reject their hair because it was not good, over and over again, I was an interventionist.  In our culture, we continue to repeat a generational cycle of the inevitable rite of passage, getting a relaxer.  I recalled the first day I received a “mild-kiddie-relaxer”….I was excited. Finally my hair would be deemed appropriate and straight as it should be.  My hair was thick and long when it was applied.  As the years progressed, it became shorter and I began to hear words like “broken ends”.  And then my hair would do this thing that beauticians would call “new growth”…the natural state of my hair would show up at the roots, uninvited, unwanted, and I was back in the beautician’s chair, getting another relaxer applied to the roots.

I created this book and the characters for middle school years’ girls that our struggling with their hair and being themselves.  It starts with the hair follicle and penetrates into our spirit.  When I became natural three years ago, I realized that it was less about a curl pattern and more about self acceptance.  I would finally give my hair permission to be what God intended it to be…and nonetheless, so it would manifest in my heart and then my life.  I realized that there were so many things I was slapping something else on top of to cover up and become what others thought was appropriate and okay.  Becoming natural is less about a trend and more about a lifestyle.  I want this book and the movement behind it to encourage others that the way your hair comes out is exactly how you should live, unrelaxed and carefree!

HERE ARE A FEW SAMPLE PAGES FROM MY BOOK. PLEASE SUBSCRIBE TO MY WEBSITE AND WHEN IT’S AVAILABLE FOR PURCHASE, YOU’LL BE THE FIRST TO KNOW!

colormenaturalcover-01 colormenaturalLI-36 colormenaturalLI-37 colormenaturalLI-38

LOVE MY FRO!

YOU’RE HERE!!! Thank you so much for visiting and wanting to be apart of the “Love My Fro” movement!

I got the idea for the Love My Fro’ movement when I recalled being criticized and under constant scrutiny for my brave “big chop” & “going natural” decision, FROM MY OWN PEOPLE!

Now…my afro turns heads and receives all kinds of compliments and attention!  I, sometimes, get a little jealous.

Click the image below to print and please tell a friend….

#lovemyfro
#lovemyfro

NEW NATURALS:  Also, to give you folks out there who recently decided to transition natural or big chop, here’s a little “hair-spiration”…it took you years, maybe decades, to constantly relax your hair to conform to straight.  It’s going to take some time to finally help your hair realize, that it no longer has to get permission from you to curl.  Underneath all of that frustration, because there will be, is a curl pattern, coily or fluffy, waiting to evolve!  If you’re transitioning, your frustration may be at a little higher level than those who choose to big chop, BC (that’s what I did).  As you transition, be careful not to continue heat-straightening your hair.  That also affects its natural ability to curl.  Try to keep your hair braided or in protective styles, as often as possible, to break you away from the temptation to relax it or heat straighten your hair.  And keep trimming those relaxed ends to free your hair from being weighted down by it.

For those who decide to BC, oh the guts/courage you will need to withstand the shock and criticism.  But your curl pattern will evolve faster, depending on your hair type.  When you big chop, your hair is free to do as it wishes, because there is less hair manipulation during the Teeny Weenie Afro (TWA) stage.  Be advised, now that there’s no hair to hide behind, your face is front and center…embrace makeup, but you don’t have to full-face everyday.  A nice eyeliner, lashes, and a cute lip color will keep you beat for the gods!

Nonetheless, it will all be worth it in the end! You’re going to fall in love with a new part of yourself that you never knew before.  Embrace your hair’s new birthday, keep documenting your hair journey, and don’t break the bank trying to purchase every hair product out there.

Artwork at Society6

Society6 has exclusive rights to sell the favorite posts of the #30daysofart campaign/movement I featured on my Instagram. After several requests from people who followed and reposted, I decided to make it available to you.  Please support people…lets support living artists.  People who are breathing and able to embrace the love that’s being shown.  All these dead artists whose works are now auctioned at crazy prices, can’t even know/understand/love/feel the impression their artwork is making on the world.

http://society6.com/keshajo

The Simpsons Blackout (with over 10,000 shares/reposts: mind-blowing) is also available for purchase.

COLOR ME NATURAL – NIA

NIA means purpose.  She is the daughter of one of my very best friends.  She is a beautiful little girl and is very sweet & kind.  Not only that, she also shares the same birthday as my daughter. COLOR ME NATURAL – LET’S SHOW NIA SOME COLOR-LOVE!

Nia means PURPOSE, and so she lives her life!  She loves cheering competitively, roller skating, and swimming.
Nia means PURPOSE, and so she lives her life! She loves cheering competitively, roller skating, and swimming.

CLICK ON THE IMAGE ABOVE AND PRINT IT OUT TO COLOR.  Don’t forget to hashtag #NIADOLL when posting to social media so we can keep the movement going! COLOR ME NATURAL.  A paper doll line, featuring natural-hair girls in a positive light – restoring our perceptions of respect and female camaraderie.  Embracing and celebrating our differences – from skintones to curl patterns, this is a place for all the young girls and mothers who have struggled to find an image that reflects who you truly are.

Follow me on IG: @keshajo

"A man's gift maketh room for him, and bringeth him before great men." ~ Proverbs 18:16

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