Monday mornings after a lovely long weekend normally catch me totally off guard. Not this time! I’m working hard on my time management. This weekend was beyond full and fabulous. Let me tell you all about my Thanksgiving getaway, bellas.

Instead of dealing with airport hassles and expensive, too-brief flights, we made reservations and drove over to Sanibel Island. Wow. What a beautiful place to be. The island is entirely made of shells, and the beaches are covered in millions of beautiful seashells in so many colors. The weekend was all about fantastic food, colorful cocktails, and collecting spectacular shells.

We woke up at like 6:30 in the morning on Saturday and the beach was already packed with stooped over shellers. We wandered along the sand bar left by low tide, avoiding jellyfish and picking up a LOT of cockle shells and abalone, and now I’m contemplating what fun crafty project I’m going to undertake with my shelltastic bounty. I’d highly recommend Sanibel for a romantic getaway for two, or for a unique family vacation — the kids will NOT get bored on this beach. Now I’m back and relaxed for now. Catch me around 3 p.m. today and I might not be feeling as laid back. But right now, I’m still basking in my post-vacation glow. If you want to see some stunning photos of Sanibel, click here.

Because of an acute combination of house guests, holidays, and fun, I haven’t had the opportunity to do any long-form Afrobella writing recently, so look out for some bigger posts coming up soon. I’ve got a lot to say! But not just yet. For now, to tide you over on a Monday back at the office, here are some of the great articles I’ve been finding on some of my favorite blogs.

I’ve shared my love for Racialicious repeatedly, but I’ll just restate how I feel — Racialicious is a weekly must-read for me. I love their mix of material, from TV to politics to social issues, all written with deep thought and cultural insight. I always especially look forward to posts by Latoya Peterson of Alter Ego Maniacs — she totally seems like my kinda bella, and the issues she writes about are really relatable to me. Like this post on the meaning of “bougie” in the black community. Latoya’s writing is so deep and honest, and as someone who’s also been called “bougie,” “siddity,” and “uppity,” I totally identified with a lot of what she was saying. There comes a time when you gotta stop worrying about what people are saying about you, and just focus on being the best person you can be.

Have you read about Latasha Norman? She’s been missing for over a week now, and the police chief in Jackson Miss. says race is the reason her disappearance hasn’t gotten more mainstream news attention. The Associated Press story quotes Jackson Police Chief Malcolm McMillin as saying that Norman’s disappearance should get “the same kind of concern” as that of Stacy Peterson. “As far as the interest by the national media in the story, I think race probably had an impact,” said McMillin, who is white. “It’s a small college in the South. It’s the daughter of simple people who maybe are not important outside of their circle, and maybe we don’t attach the same importance to them that we do for other people.” Tell us something we don’t know, Chief. I haven’t seen this story on CNN or MSNBC yet, so let’s raise the flags within our own community, and keep the Norman family in your thoughts and prayers.

I’ve been following this story on hair discrimination in the military, and it totally takes me back to the whole Glamour magazine issue. I will be writing more on this later this week… but the first thought that came to mind as I read that article is, don’t we NEED professionally trained military officials now, more than ever? Why would anyone give sisters in the military grief over their hair — threatening them with dishonorable discharge, no less — when we’ve got so many enormous fish to fry right now? It makes no sense to me. I’d love to hear from any proudly natural bellas who are in, or who know a lot about the military — I find this particular regulation really hard to understand.

Speaking of Glamour… their big Women, Race, and Beauty round table discussion is set to take place tomorrow. I was invited, but y’know, I live in Miami and this will be taking place in Times Square New York, so I can’t be there. But the amazing Farai Chideya will be the moderator, and with panelists like Vanessa Bush (executive editor of Essence), and Lisa Price, founder of Carol’s Daughter on the panel, I sincerely hope that serious issues are brought to light and change comes from this panel. In light of the fact that designers like the ever-fierce Dame Vivienne Westwood has slammed the industry for being racist, I hope magazine editors really start to examine their role in broadening the horizons of what’s celebrated within their pages, and start to represent all shades of beauty.

And FINALLY – because I gotta stop writing now before I’m totally late for work — here are the winners of the Kinky Curly giveaway! Drumroll please…

Tamika T




and Surayasmom,

you’re the big winners of the giveaway!! I’ll e mail you this week for your contact information – but if you see this message first, please feel free to e mail me at to expedite the process. If you didn’t win THIS giveaway, keep your head up! The Miss Jessie’s giveaway winners will be announced by the end of the week, and who knows – the next giveaway could be coming up sooner than you think!

I won’t be that jerk who says “happy Monday,” on a day like today… so let’s just say, let’s get this day over with. Are you with me on that?

Filed Under:Uncategorized


thankful says:
November 26, 2007, 1:39 pm
Bella thank you for shedding light on the Latasha Norman case, more ppl need to be aware.........
AmiJane says:
November 26, 2007, 1:43 pm
I did see the story on CNN about Latasha once. They did mention the Chief comments.
Mona says:
November 26, 2007, 1:52 pm
This morning I saw a story about Latasha Norman on the CBS news. I didn't like that the other missing persons stories (Holloway, Peterson, etc) had entire segments dedicated to them, while Latasha's story was kinda relegated to a small part of the news segment. Hopefully, there will be more national exposure.
southfloridian says:
November 26, 2007, 10:21 pm
Sanibel and Captiva islands are beautiful treasures indeed. Sounds like you had a magical time. At this time of year South Florida is so beautiful.
aquababie says:
November 26, 2007, 11:14 pm
thanks for spreading the word about latasha norman. she's from my state and my alma mater. her father was on msnbc one day last week. but she still is not getting enough attention. i have something about her on my blog as well.
T.T. says:
November 27, 2007, 1:19 am
Bella, Thank you so much for calling attention the the Latasha Norman story. As an alum (1999) of Jackson State University, this story just tears me apart each time I read it, because from what the media and JSU police are stating, it seems that she may have been abducted from campus. It has been disheartening to me to know that the national media has been so relaxed in reporting anything about this case. So last week when I saw it scrolling on the marquee at the bottom of Good Morning America, it brought tears to my eyes. I still have connections in Jackson and was on campus for Homecoming a week or so before this child disappeared and it just feels really eerie to me. Please pray for her family and pray that she is returned to them safe and sound. :(
T says:
November 27, 2007, 9:23 am
Bella,good looking out for a our precious jewels like Latasha. On the same subject of our young black women. Has anyone heard of the documentary by Daphne Valerius. Check it out at
WildMagnolia says:
November 27, 2007, 10:18 am
Bella, you probably already know about this but just in case you don't. NBC/Rehema Ellis is doing a week long series called African American Women: Where they stand. I thought you might be interested. X
Roz says:
December 4, 2007, 4:40 pm
I served 20 years in the Navy, and it has come a long way. They only very recently (12 years ago) started allowing sisters to wear their hair in multiple braided styles. Prior to that you either wore the one or two french braid style or you pu your braids and locs under a wig. While in the Navy, I always kept my hair relaxed or wore braids, for time constraints. Unfortunately, the covers (hats) we have to wear constantly do not allow for us to keep our hair neat and healthy while naturally in afors or other free styles. It is only through sisters who are in now that present natural hair in a professional and neat way that the stereotype of unruly "nappy" hair can be overcome. I now wear my hair in its natural state (9 months and counting - yay!) and will not ever put another chemical in my hair just to please the folks at my job or anyone else uncomfortable with my choice to be happy and nappy.


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