Get Your Seeds For Spring

rose hips seeds

The week after next is March and it will be meteorological spring! For those of us who are cultivating the earth types, we’re planning or at least daydreaming about our gardens. Even if it’s just one or two small containers on a window sill. We’re going to be growing something. So we’re looking for seeds!

The pictures above show seeds harvested from rose hips from my mom’s rose bush. It was fun and seemed like I might be on my way to growing a rose bush of my own. There were a few attempts. Several seedlings grew. Rest in peace dear ones. I’m sorry I couldn’t keep you alive.

I’m not quite sure what went so sadly wrong, but those failures don’t deter me. I know I have a green thumb. Maybe just not with roses. Years ago, I bought a miniature rose bush. It lasted for a few years and is gone now too. Gone, but never forgotten. It was a beauty and I do love roses.

Anyway, a recent timely email from someone included a wonderful resource for finding seeds and supporting Black owned businesses. Perfect for Black History Month and all year round. I’ll be looking for some seeds, but not for roses.

So far, I’m planning to grow: basil, rosemary, green leaf lettuce, green onions, hydrangeas and some wildflowers. We’ll see how it goes. Wish me luck!

Below is a list with links to websites of some seed businesses. Happy planting!

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I Grow Shit

Ivy Leaf Farms

Seed Mail

Grow The Block

Melanated Organics

The Hood Garden

Coco and Seed

A White-Knuckle Moment For Black People

brown hands white-knuckle moment

BAND-AID Brand Adhesive Bandages go all the way back to 1920 and the company has been innovating since.

For example, they introduced clear strip bandages in 1957. Space travel was acknowledged in 1963 and 1969. In 1988, they acknowledged perestroika in Eastern Europe. In 1997, they added antibiotic ointment. Just three years ago, the company improved their bandages to feel like a second skin by expanding and contracting.

Meanwhile, the Civil Rights Movement in the United States took place during the 1950s and 1960s. In 1967, Thurgood Marshall became the first African American to serve as a U.S. Supreme Court Justice.  In 2008, Barack Obama was elected as the first Black president of the United States.

Just a few days ago, on June 10, 2020, in an Instagram post, Band-Aid, now owned by Johnson & Johnson, stated their commitment “to launching a range of bandages in light, medium and deep shades of Brown and Black skin tones that embrace the beauty of diverse skin.”

Upon learning that bandages would be available in brown and black skin tones, I became livid. I thought, “Really?! Now?! After all this time, they finally acknowledge that Black and Brown people exist!” If you’re looking for an alternative, a Black owned company called Browndages, makes bandages in an assortment of brown shades.

As a child, I wondered why the flesh color bandages were not the color of my skin. I wondered the same about crayons and later about nylons too. Although, I just read that Crayola changed the name of the flesh crayon to peach in 1962.

Whiteness gets the presumption. It feels like a slap in the face for someone with brown skin. It shows the ironic invisibility of Black people, even though we always stand out.

The moment that we’re in right now is a moment of reckoning. Black people want our humanity acknowledged and the current protests are just that.

Certainly it’s a tense and stressful time. White-knuckle is defined as marked by, causing, or experiencing tense nervousness.”

Do you see where I’m going with this? I could be wringing my hands and stressed as can be, but I will never have a white-knuckle moment. I have brown skin. That term is all about the default color as white and does not acknowledge Black people. Just like the flesh color bandages that were never brown.

So many moments in history Band-Aid could have acknowledged Black people. They acknowledged space travel and even perestroika in Eastern Europe. But overlooked the Civil Rights Movement, the first Black Supreme Court justice and the first Black president.

Maybe the change happened now because the leadership is different than what it was over the last decade. In short, I hope that more white people will look at how they have understood the default race. Look at the characteristics of those deemed “real” Americans. Examine how white privilege has benefited them and think about the range of colors of all people before exclaiming a white-knuckle moment.

Boston Black Restaurant Challenge: What You Should Know

Have you heard about Boston’s Black Restaurant Challenge? It began on the first of February and ends tomorrow.

The challenge is to eat at four black owned restaurants in Boston during the month.

February is Black History Month and a great time to learn about the past. But it’s also a great time to learn about what’s happening now — and take that knowledge and use it to plan for the future.

So what do you do when the month is over? What if you missed the challenge?

Keep on or start supporting these small businesses! Now we have a great restaurant list.

Let’s be real. February is the shortest month of the year. In Boston, it’s filled with snow, ice, cold and generally blah weather. This year, the flu kicked into high gear and many people were sick.

But now we’re moving into March. There’s more daylight. Warmer temperatures. At least for me, the better the weather, the better I feel. So, I’m more inclined to venture out. I’ve tried a few places on the list already and I’m looking forward to trying some more.

Something else to know about the Black Restaurant Challenge is that it’s not just in Boston. Many cities around the country have been promoting Black Restaurant Week for the past few years and more are joining in.

Now this is a tasty trend that I hope keeps growing.

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Image: Boston Black Restaurant Challenge

 

15 Black Owned Beauty Brands

Black Owned Beauty Brands

Cannot believe that Thanksgiving 2017 is already a thing of the past!

Well, today is Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday is coming up in a couple of days. So we’re officially in holiday shopping season! With each purchase we make, we are also showing who and what we support.

Supporting small and local business is important to me. And being a Black woman, I like to support women, Black people and other Black women in particular.

After Retweeting a list of black owned lingerie brands by She Tweets Truth, Izzie responded asking  if there was a similar list for cosmetics. I had already been thinking about possibly blogging a list like this, but our Twitter conversation pushed me to do it.

Izzie mentioned Juvia’s Place and I learned about Faith’s Naturals from my cousin. While searching, I found a few lists from prior years and a post that seeks to correct some of those other lists. There are companies that focus on Black beauty products, but are not Black owned. Some of these companies are mistakenly listed as having Black ownership.

It’s easy for this to happen, because sometimes they may have originally been Black owned, but the Black founder no longer has a controlling interest or the company was sold outright to another company that is not Black owned — like what happened with Carol’s Daughter. Lisa Price founded the company, but in 2014 it was sold to L’Oréal USA.

From what I can tell, these companies listed below are currently Black owned in 2017. But who knows how things will change in the future? So if you’re reading this list in 2020, you might want to double check the ownership.

Also, I found that some of the companies in other listings no longer seem to exist. I figured with my new additions and corrections, another list would be helpful to me. Hopefully for you too!

This list is certainly not all inclusive or the end all of lists, but it’s a start. Happy shopping! Oh and there are actually 16 brands, because an additional one was added soon after the post was published.

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Danessa Myricks Beauty

Faith’s Naturals

Ginger + Liz

Glow by Melodye

Gold Label Cosmetics

Hanahana Beauty

Jacque Mgido Cosmetics

Juvia’s Place

KA’OIR Cosmetics

Laws of Nature Cosmetics

The Lip Bar

MDMflow

Mented Cosmetics

Pink Stiletto Cosmetics

Plain Jane Beauty

Vera Moore Cosmetics

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Image Credit: Collage created from Hanahana Beauty, MDMflow and Plain Jane Beauty website photos.