Color Blocking and Being Colored
Fall is gone and we have come to another Minnesota winter so I thought it appropriate to end with one last color filled, fun fall post before the cold and dark toned winter takes over our lives. I absolutely love color-blocking! I remember as a little girl my mom always saying any solid could go together, I didn’t know what she was talking about and it didn’t really make sense to me then. All I knew was I wanted to match, but that was the 90’s. Solids are the key to color-blocking. Taking simple solid pieces and pairing them with others of a different color can create a look simplistically dynamic. For this look I kept it real simple but between the colors, accessories and hair i wouldn’t call this overall look simple. I had fun wearing this, very relaxed fit all over which is what I prefer. But because of the colors this look can go from very casual to chic, easy. V-neck, pink t-shirt paired with a pair of mens sky blue dress pants and mint green dress belt to add the division necessary for color-blocking. The accessories also helped take this look from casual to chic, featuring black, cream, and gold beaded necklaces to meet casual chic right in the middle. Hair:These yarn braids were done by Anita Hutchinson, a good friend of mine and young lady who truly does wonders for natural hair. I choose to get these braids after several months after the big chop and going natural in an attempt to help grow my hair. I had reached a very awkward stage in length and I wanted something different, something other than the micros, kinky twist and sew ins. I wanted a hair style that still reflected a natural state of black hair, I was quite pleased with the results.
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This is an insert from a short essay written by Marita Bonner in 1925, it’s one of my favorite pieces of the time because it addresses the negative situations blacks went through during that time period especially women. It challenges women to dwell on these situations but to also outsmart them, which is what we still have to do today. I thought it would be nice to introduce literature as I continue with this blog and connecting beautiful style with beautiful words.
On Being Young, a Woman and Colored By: Marita Bonner (insert)
“… Why do they see a colored woman only as a gross collection of desires, all uncontrolled, reaching out for their Apollos and the Quasimodos with avid indiscrimination? Why unless you talk in staccato squawks-brittle as seashells-unless you “champ” gum-unless you cover two yards square when you laugh-unless your taste runs to violent colors-impossible perfumes and more impossible clothes-are you a feminine Caliban craving to pass for Ariel?
An empty imitation of an empty invitation. A mime: a sham: a copy-cat. A hollow re-echo. A fruit, a foam. A fleck of the ashes of superficiality?
Everything you touch or taste now is like the flesh of an unripe persimmon.
. . . Do you need to be told what that is being . . . ?
Old ideas, old fundamentals seem worm-eaten, out-grown, worthless, bitter, fit for the scrap-heap of Wisdom.
What you had thought tangible and practical has turned out to be a collection of “blue flower” theories.
If they have not discovered how to use their accumulation of facts, they are useless to you in Their world.
Every part of you becomes bitter.
But—“In Heaven’s name, do not grow bitter. Be bigger than they are” –exhort white friends who have never had to draw breath in a Jim-Crow train. Who have never had petty putrid insult dragged over them-drawing blood-like pebbled sand on your body where the skin is tenderest. On your body where the skin is thinnest and tenderest.
You long to explode and hurt everything white; friendly; unfriendly. But you know that you cannot live with a chip on your shoulder even if you can manage a smile around your eyes-without getting steely and brittle and losing the softness that makes you a woman.
For chips make you bend your body to balance them. And once you bend, you lose your poise, your balance, and the chips gets into you. The real you. You get hard.
. . . And many things in you can ossify . . .
And you know, being a woman, you have to go about it gently and quietly, to find out and to discover just what is wrong. Just what can be done.
You see clearly that they have acquired things.
Money; money. Money to build with, money to destroy. Money to swim in. Money to drown in. Money.
An ascendancy of wisdom. An incalculable hoard of wisdom in all fields, in all things collected from all quarters of humanity.
A stupendous mass of things.
So, too the Greeks . . . Things.
And the Romans. . . .
And you wonder and wonder why they have not discovered how to handle deftly and skillfully. Wisdom, stored up for them-like the honey for the Gods on Olympus-since time unknown.
You wonder and you wonder until you wander out into Infinity, where-if it is to be found anywhere-Truth really exists.
The Greeks had possessions, culture. They were lost because they did not understand.
The Romans owned more than anyone else. Trampled under the heel of Vandals and Civilization, because they would not understand.
Greeks. Did not understand.
Romans. Would not understand.
“They.” Will not understand.
So you find they have shut Wisdom up and have forgotten to find the key that will let her out. They have trapped, trammeled, lashed her to themselves with thews and thongs and theories. They have ransacked sea and earth and air to bring every treasure to her. But she sulks and will not work for a world with a whitish hue because it has snubbed her twin sister, Understanding.
You see clearly-off there is Infinity-Understanding. Standing alone, waiting for someone to really want her.
But she is so far out there is not way to snatch at her and really drag her in.
So-being a woman-you can wait. …”