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Black Hair Talk, Celebutainment, Jacko, Post-racial America my Great Aunt Fanny., Spot Blowing »

[10 Nov 2009 | 16 Comments | ]
Sammy Sosa’s Skin Silliness (and Sickness)

Loyal reader Miriam posted a link to the Huffington Post article about Sammy Sosa's drastic skin color change, and added the note: "As far as I'm concerned, this is a Thembi-mergency." Miriam, I am on the case.


This is Sammy Sosa. For those of you who don't know, he's considered one of the greatest baseball players ever. He's of Dominican descent and his home run hitting ability was a source of pride for Latinos until he was accused of using performance-enhancing drugs and corking his bat in 2003. Sosa retired earlier this year, and since then seems to be passing the time gettin' purty. That's Sammy in May on the left, and

Black Hair Talk, Long Live the Colored Race!, Not Racist Cuz It's True., The Black Archives »

[1 Oct 2009 | 16 Comments | ]
Black Hair Talk: 100% Indian Hair

"In tight jeans, Chinese eyes/Indian hair/Black girl a**/let me pour you a glass of Belvi" - Memphis Bleek, "Do My"

I have a close friend who is half Japanese and half Ethiopian. I have another who is half Panamanian and half Filipino. Both of these women expect to hear a common catcall in the street "Hey Indian Hair! What's good?" Neither one of them as a single drop of Indian blood, so what gives?


Rozonda "Chilli" Thomas from TLC is of both Indian and Native American descent, and her baby hair game is notorious.

Google "Indian hair" and your search will yield page after page of hair from the Asian subcontinent

Black Hair Talk, Celebutainment »

[9 Sep 2009 | 9 Comments | ]
Black Hair Talk: Tyra Banks and Her Real Hair

I was as intrigued as the rest of you when Tyra Banks announced that the season premiere of her talk show would involve her taking off the wigs and weaves and showing us her real hair. Something about the description convinced us that, much like the classic gag of someone's wig being snatched off, we'd get to see Tyra bald-headed, peasy, or otherwise looking a little bit off of the beaten path style-wise. What were we thinking? Instead, of course, Tyra's hair without the weave was pretty much what many women get weaves to look like - full, straight, healthy shoulder length tresses that have been cared for by the best stylists using the best products for decades. You got us there, girl!

Black Hair Talk, Our Shame, We po' folk., What the Eff? »

[2 Sep 2009 | 11 Comments | ]
“What The Eff?” Wednesday: Ethnic Hair Deodorizer Anyone who's spent a little time in Philadelphia knows that we have a distinctive culture all our own. One of our dirtier little secrets is Jomar. This small chain of stores sells anything you can think of at a deep discount. Sure most of the stuff is off-brand, damaged, really dirty or just fell off of a truck. So what if my father, who is as notorious a bargain hunter as I am, once found a pair of pants there with a mousetrap stuck to them (you know, the glue kind). And even more of a so what if all of the signs and price tags are produced on ink jet printers in a not very glamorous Times New Roman font? There are bargains in there! A friend of mine spotted this very what-the-eff-worthy display at a Jomar in South Philadelphia.

ethnichairdeoderizer As soon as she showed me this I hopped in the car to see for myself. What the eff is "ethnic hair deodorizer" and how can I get my hands on some before they inevitably run out?

Black Hair Talk, Long Live the Colored Race!, My Life, Not Racist Cuz It's True., Post-racial America my Great Aunt Fanny., White People Is Funny. »

[27 Aug 2009 | 12 Comments | ]
Thembi’s Guide To Bringing Black Hair To Work


It happens to most black women. Whether you have relaxed or natural hair, a weave, or braids. I'm talking about white people asking questions and making nutty comments about your hair.

If you spend any time in an environment where blacks are in the minority (i.e. if you have a job), then there has to be someone who wants to touch your 'fro, another who asks how long your braids took, and another who innocently inquires about your new weave. The effects of humidity and heat styling on Negro hair are lost to most people, and the difference between a "perm" and a "curly perm" has still not been clarified for the masses.

Black Hair Talk, Long Live the Colored Race! »

[18 Aug 2009 | 41 Comments | ]
Black Hair Talk: My First Perm, My Last Perm Editors Note: The flashbacks are funny so feel free to bust on me for being such a corn, but the point is just to share my journey. thembi4thgrade1


The Naïve Years. Left to right, me in second and third grades. Those two cornrows were go-to style #1 and the sassy pigtails were #2.

The first time I chemically straightened my hair it was because I really really wanted a perm - in fact I'd wanted one for over a year. I'd had childlike cornrows, a braid bang that needed to be curled with a sponge roller at night, and a press n' curl that caused other girls at

Black Hair Talk, Celebutainment, Crime of Fashion, Hair Freaks, Hip Hop Is Dead., Long Live the Colored Race!, Post-racial America my Great Aunt Fanny., We Can't Have Nothin'., White People Is Funny. »

[11 Aug 2009 | 41 Comments | ]
Black Hair Talk: White Girls With Black Haircuts

I need for white girls and fellas to stop getting blackgirl haircuts. Cease and desist. Do not pass Go or collect two hundred dollars. In the immortal words of Full House's Uncle Joey "Cut. It. Out."


Kate Gosselin, I see you. I hate that you've been abandoned by your man and are now the single mother of eight screaming kids (as much as that sounds like a stereotypical black woman's dilemma). But you're not doing yourself any favors with that characteristically complicated blackgirl haircut. Why on earth would a white woman do such a thing?