Last month the great Aretha Louise Franklin passed away. Every since then I have been down a YouTube rabbit hole of her performances and interviews. In doing that I also decided I wanted to read about her life first her telling her own story in the autobiography Aretha: From These Rootsand then book that is said to be the definitive Aretha Franklin biography written by David Ritz Respect: The Life of Aretha Franklin.
In her autobiography Aretha basically just took the reader on ride through her career touching on a few incidents with other artist but always making her self out to be the victim. She touched on a few of her personal relationships but all but skimped over her marriage to Ted White and made her marriage to Glenn Thurman sound like a fairy tale. Aretha was very upset about the stories that had been told about her mother abandoning the family and wanted set the record straight. She painted a picture of childhood bliss going between both parents until her months death. I don’t doubt that she visited her mother but having mother leave and suddenly die as child is what Aretha stated “that it was pain she could not describe and wouldn’t even try”. Later in the book when speaking about Natalie Cole she states that hearing Natalie discuss her fathers death made it easier later for her to talk about her father. I believe Aretha was of the black old school adage that what happens at home stays and family business isn’t to be discussed with others. I don’t fault Aretha for being scared to truly open about her loses, but she would have probably benefited from therapy.
Mr. Ritz was able to take a deeper dive into Aretha’s life good and bad. He interviewed her sibling, other family members and people who have worked with Aretha professionally. Ruth Bowen is probably the closest non-family member in the book and her takes on Ms Aretha were interesting. One topic that is discussed through out both books are Aretha’s stage shows. Aretha speaks on them as if they are just beautiful and well put together because she does them. While in Mr. Ritz books everyone says that her shows border on tacky and her song selections most of the times are a miss. Another thing that is touched towards the end of Respect is Aretha’s later song selections. Many felt they were beneath her but also a lot of people were depending Aretha financially. When you are the person responsible for taking care of your family and your money management are lacking you are going to have to keep working well past the time you probably should. So I think based off the books and also clips I have seen I do believe Aretha truly enjoyed performing and making music but it was also a necessary for her too. The stories told my her family and other artist who worked with Aretha describe how talented she was on the piano. One time her arm was broken and she was able to come into the studio and play beautifully. We didn’t see much of her playing the piano in the 80’s and 90’s but she went back to that in her later concerts.
The last thing I want to touch on is Ms. Aretha’s mystery man. Her autobiography she touches on a mystery man she was interested in interwoven between her long term relationship and marriage. Ms. Bowen had me crying laughing talking about the matter. Everyone in Mr. Ritz’s book says that there was no mystery man and Aretha liked to make up stories because she desired to be loved and wanted. I say if you don’t know much about Ms. Franklin and want to know more then definitely give these books a read. I don’t think Aretha is a great autobiography/memoir but it is a great companion to Respect. Neither book is a hard read I finished both books in a week and half. There is a lot I have left out this review because I feel people should read the books and shape their own opinion of the phenomenal Aretha Louise Franklin.
Have read either of these books if so what was your opinion? Would you recommend them?
Welcome to fall! Now is the time to make sure we have what is needed to get our natural hair through the cooler weather.
A good deep conditioner is always needed no matter the weather but two I’m going to are great for the fall and winter. TGIN Honey Miracle Mask and Millie Organics Hydrating Condition are wonderful. TGIN gives that protein protection with a ton of moisturizing properties. Millie is great for deep moisture and is protein free. The cooler air along with the heat in our homes can be super drying but these two provide deep penetrating treatments to help keep your hair from getting dry.
I will admit I’m a little slack with wrapping my hair up in the summer because I use a satin pillow case all year. However in the winter I make sure to have my satin bonnet on to protect my hair. As I previously stated the heating system in our homes are very drying so even if you are sleeping on a satin pillow case you natural hair can still be exposed to the dry heat in the home. I really love my slap cap but if you search I’m sure you will find plenty of other companies making beautiful bonnets to sleep in.
Last but not least try to protective style. I know most people think of protective styling in the summer with braided styles but the winter is also a great time to do those braided do’s also. If you don’t want to do braids try a wig or even head wraps and turbans are a great alternative. I have purchased a few head wraps that are satin lined but if you are using a traditional head wrap make sure to use some sort of stocking cap or satin scarf under neath your head wrap to protect your strands.
These a just a few things that help your natural hair continue to flourish during the colder months. Is there anything special that you do for your natural during the colder months if so share them with me!
I have met my reading goal for this year already so now I’m taking a little more time with books and will be getting into a little more non-fiction to finish out the year hopefully. Some of the books have yet to be released so they may actually carryover into next year depending on if I’m able to get my hands on them. What are some books you looking forward to diving into during the cool/colder months?
The Talented Ribkins – I saw a review this book last year on YouTube and it has been on my TBR every since. I was browsing my local library and saw they had it so I will be picking that up soon.
My Sister, The Serial Killer -this book isn’t set for release until November but I am excited to read this one. The cover looks amazing and premise is interesting to me. –
Praise Song for Butterflies– after doing some research this a re release for Bernice L. Mcfadden. I’m slowly making my way through her works but I this is one I want to read sooner rather than later.
Whiskey and Ribbons– I have seen wonderful reviews for this book. I started reading it this summer but they kept talking about snow. I decided to put this down until it gets cold so I can fully appreciate the cold weather and coziness I think I’m supposed to feel reading this book.
Becoming– Michelle Obama’s memoir the cover is beautiful and that is enough for me. It will also be released in November.
The Warmth of Other Suns– my sister told me about this book last year. I ordered it early this year but once I saw the size I knew a book like that it could be overwhelming for me to read. I’m waiting on the audio copy from library but I may just end up purchasing the audio because I don’t want to continue to put this one off.
All the Pieces Matter: Inside Story of the Wire– I have a confession I have never finished the Wire series. However I love reading behind the scenes or how events are put together. I want to really to read this one because the Wire is a piece of pop culture.
This definitely isn’t a complete list of what I will be picking up but just some books I’m excited to read the latter part of 2018.
Summer is winding down I was able to accomplish four items off of my summer bucket list. I can truly say I had a great summer. I took a few vacations got to put my feet in the sand. I also read some great books and watched some wonderful movies. The biggest thing my son started his freshman year of college!
Over the next few weeks I will be sharing some seasonal blogs about books and beauty the things I love I hope you are enjoying the content.
I started listening to podcast about five years ago. My podcast list has changed over those five years due to podcast no longer uploading or me just tiring of the content. However even one’s that I have tired of the content I will still visit occasionally to see if I want to pick them back up. I listen to few of the major favorites but I wanted to share some of my favorites that aren’t always on the must listen to list. If you enjoy podcast like I do I hope you find something new and interesting to listen too.
TV and Movies:
Black on Black Cinema three guys discussing black movies. I enjoy their banter back and forth even when I don’t always agree. You can tell their friendship is genuine and that makes for a good time.
Micheaux Mission one of my newer finds but already a favorite. They also review black films but they also include entertainment news sometimes along with special guest.
Better Than the Movie I love theses two ladies. They make me laugh and have introduced me to new authors while also taking a trip down memory lane with old favorites.
Black Chick Lit two young ladies who I enjoy listening to that have evolved and found their podcast voice. Great reviews and love how they are willing to step out of their comfort zone and read books in different genres.
Pop culture and Political:
Poplife Podcast they discussions run the gamete from TV to current social issues. They have all worked in some form of the music/entertainment industry so their knowledge and perspective are often welcome discussing those subjects but they are always able to go deeper.
Brown Liquor Report also a new podcast but one I’m really enjoying especially in the current social and political climate. Their break down of political issues is amazing. They make sure to break down the issues to they anyone can understand and that I appreciate.
The Art of Bore Podcast one guy shooting the shit about every thing and nothing. His hot takes on food and restaurants are my favorite.
The Chef, the angry and the adam four guys who are friends discussing current Twitter news. I know that during their hour podcast I’m going to get me at least one good belly laugh some time more.
The Nod these two friends shared a podcast before re-branding as The Nod. The stories they dig up and tell are wonderful. I always feel super black when I finish an episode.
If you are looking for a more podcast with people of color for a detail list check out this website podcast in color. Feel free to share your favorite podcast of color.
Subscription boxes have been around for almost 10 years now so if you are like me I’m sure that you have tried at least one for a period of time. I believe beauty boxes are the biggest group of subscription boxes places like Walmart and Target offer beauty to the the beauty store Sephora. I signed up for the Ipsy subscription box again earlier this year and some months I will order the Target beauty box when they are available. I was cleaning up my room and realized I had to many samples that I needed to do something with. First I restocked my travel personal bag because I had taken a few trips this summer and used up some of the skin care items. After restocking my travel bag I still had a lot of samples left. Some I just threw away because I knew that I would never use them. Also took a few more and made beauty bag to give to niece since she will be starting back to school. Her items were mostly things like lip products, lotions, and face mask. Everything else I separated into two categories face and hair. I put the hair care samples with my hair care products and the face products were then split into makeup and skin care. I put the skin care products in an old Bath and Body Works candle jar. I now pull something from that jar once a week or however long it takes me to use up that sample. The makeup is little harder because most of those are full size products but I have just been making effort to use them along with my regular everyday make. So if you need something to do with your beauty samples here are a few suggestions:
Donate: see if there is a women’s shelter or teen girl program that will accept them. If not you can also drop off at you local Goodwill. Please only donate unused items.
Travel: I love getting beauty boxes because that means I never have to worry about taking my favorite skin products out of town.
Gifts: Ipsy comes with a cute make up bag so you can give that special young lady in some beauty products as gift and cute bag to carry in her purse or book bag.
How do you use up your beauty samples? I would love to know because I don’t think I will ever stop getting beauty boxes but want to make sure I’m making good use of my money.
I’m loyal to a fault sometimes even when it comes to my natural hair care products. I like to use the whole line if available when I do my hair on wash day. I hate when I try a line of products and something just doesn’t work well with my hair or the products don’t work well together. I have loved a shampoo and conditioner but hated the stylers or vice versa that I can usually will deal with and may still purchase those products if they are on sale but in my mind I have written that brand off and probably won’t be excited new lines that they put out. Now it the products don’t even play well together that is whole another story I will never repurchase that brand again especially if see other people had similar issues. The brands I’m going to share I haven’t had a bad product from them yet and get excited when they put out new products or lines.
My number one bad bitch boo is The Mane Choice. I haven’t had a bad experience with their products yet. My favorite product from them hands down is the 24 carat twisting gel. The gel can be used for twist out or wash and go. When they introduced the leave-in companion that was all she wrote for me. I plan on giving them all my coins this upcoming holiday season too because I have already fallen in love with the new type 4 leaf clover line also. Another positive is this brand is sold at Sally Beauty and Naturallycurly.com so you can get the products at a discount when they have sales or coupons.
My next favorite brand I also enjoy is Oyin Handmade . Once again every product from the cleanser to the stylers in this brand work amazing in my hair. My favorite Oyin product is the Hair Dew it is a wonderful leave-in that makes my hair feel amazing. When my hair is feeling dry and parched even after I have washed and deep conditioned I will reach for this and know my hair is going to be alright. As much as love TMC if I could only purchase from one line the rest of my life it would be from Oyin. Oyin has the same the line up of products for over five plus years that I know of and take their time with introducing new products to their brand. They also have amazing body products.
I can’t leave off Kinky Curly, they are also OG’s in the natural hair care game and their products are still pretty popular among naturals. Their stand out for me is the Knot Today leave-in. Other brands have tried to duplicate it but none can touch it. I can always tell when brands are trying to make their leave-in comparable to Knot Today. It will have that super white look but very light and almost feel like a thick serum. Also the Curling Custard will leave you with a perfect wash and go every time.
I do have a favorite drug store brand if you are on a budget. The Pantene Gold Series is amazing also. All of the products have wonderful slip and best of they are affordable and available just about every where. If you wanted to try a product from this line I would go with the Hydrating Butter Creme. The creme can be used for wash and go’s or twist outs.