Alvin Ailey’s Hope Boykin On Becoming Comfortable In Her Own Skin


Hope Boykin by Andrew Eccles & Matthew Kara

By Erickka Sy Savané

If you’ve ever seen Hope Boykin dance onstage, you’ve witnessed modern dance at its finest. For 18 years, the North Carolina native has been giving us the ‘theatrical experience’ that has made the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater one of the most celebrated dance companies in the world. As the eldest company member, Hope is a throwback to Alvin Ailey’s early days, when pioneers like renowned dancer and Artistic Director Emerita Judith Jamison, a woman she greatly admires and considers a mentor, told stories from their toes to their fingertips.

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Are We Raising A Generation Of Crybabies? Why We Need More 'Shake It Off' Parenting


By Erickka Sy Savane
So the other day I came across an article by a psychotherapist and author who discussed the hidden dangers of ‘shake it off’ parenting. She uses the term to describe parents who tell kids to shake it off when they get hurt, and describes an incident that happened when her six-year-old son got hit in the head with a soccer ball during a game. When the boy came over to her in tears, another mom screamed, “Shake it off! We need you back out there.”

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Is It Okay To Call Kids Sexy?


By Erickka Sy Savané
“You look sexy!” exclaims my neighbor to my 6-year-old daughter.
I laugh uncomfortably because though I know she’s showing some knee, I’d never call her sexy. She’s cute. Kids are cute. They’re not doing anything to warrant sexual attention. My daughter looks at me confused because we’ve had conversations about the word “sexy” in the past, and I tell her that it’s only for adults. Now she’s wondering if she is sexy because that’s what the neighbor just told her.
Once she leaves, I immediately begin lecturing my daughter on how people are different, but “sexy” is still a word that should never be used on kids.

Shades Of Black: African Americans With African Names


Director Nzingha Sterwart at the 17th Annual Image Awards
By Erickka Sy Savané

 “For the longest time, when I would show up places people would expect to see an Asian woman, not a black man,” says my friend Sekou, one day in conversation. It's been argued for years that the ancient Japanese migrated from Africa, so why not? Now I'm thinking about African Americans with African names, and how their experience must differ from the rest of us. I do a Google search to read up on the topic and there's nada. Guess I gotta research it myself...

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Fall In Love With Kirbi's Candy-Colored Do's! #fallhairinspiration

Kirbi on Instagram
Looking to make a statement this fall? A look that celebrates the TWA not as a necessary stop on the way to length, but as the destination? Look no further than Kirbi's candy-colored do's that are so much fun they may inspire you to do the big chop all over again! #fallhairinspiration

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100 Percent Of The Teens From This After School Program Go To College

New City Kids










By Erickka Sy Savané

Located on the front of a small building on a beat down corner in Jersey City reads a sign that says, ‘New City.’ Every time I pass it I make a mental note to inquire within, but like many things, that day never happens. Until…
My neighbor, a bright 8th grader who uses my computer to print out schoolwork, knocks on my door. “Can you help me write my resume?” she asks. Resume? What’s she applying for, President? Turns out, she has enough accomplishments to make me feel like I’ve wasted my life. Suffice to say, she got the job! A few weeks later, her mom invites me and my kids to a barbecue being held by her future employers. Whatdoyouknow? It’s in that building on that beat down corner.

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Is It Possible To Get Out Of The #FriendZone?

Marc C. Nappy.co
By Erickka Sy Savané

“I've been friendzoned,” said my friend L.
“Oh, no, how did that happen?” I ask.
“When we first met I wasn't really ready for anything so I didn't step to her in time,” he explains. “Now she's all booed up with a new man.”
“That's too bad,” I say.
“But I could get out of it if I want to,” he says, confidently.
“How?”
“Patience,” he says. "First, you have to believe there's a chance, and then you have to be willing to be her friend despite the new man. Then when there's an opening, you pounce."
Hmmm...I want to be optimistic, but this is tricky. Past experience says once you've been friendzoned, that's it.

How I Responded When A Kid Called My Daughter's Hair 'Ugly'

Erickka Sy Savané

"Your hair is ugly," said my daughter's classmate. My first reaction was to go right up to the school and give that child a good whop upside the head. However, I had enough good sense to know that going ham on a five-year-old would only land me in jail. No, there had to be a better way to handle this. But how, Sway?

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Why We Need To Stop Telling Our Kids "What Goes On In This House Stays In This House"


Erickka Sy Savané

“What goes on in this house stays in this house.” We drill this lesson into our kids without even questioning it because we don’t want folks knowing our business — and we all know kids can talk. However, when we impart these words to our kids we could unknowingly be doing them more harm than good.
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Is It Ever Too Late To Heal The Relationship With Your Mom?


Erickka Sy Savané
A story my girlfriend shared with me the other day about a phone conversation with her mom…
“Tell me what you want from the house when I go.”
“Go where?” Bree said to her mom.
“You know, when I die.”
“Die? What’s wrong?? Are you sick???” Bree panicked.
“No. I just want to be prepared.”
This was weird.
“I can’t, ma, just write down whatever you think I’d like.”
“I don’t know what you’d like because I don’t know you like that.”

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What Would You Do If Doctors Said Your Baby Would Be Severely Deformed? Here's What Singer Vivian Green Did.

Singer Vivian Green and son Jordan
Pregnant with her first child, it was supposed to be one of the happiest times of R&B singer/songwriter Vivian Green’s life. Unfortunately, things didn’t pan out that way. In her second trimester of pregnancy, doctors told her that the baby she was carrying had a severe undiagnosable illness that would leave it seriously disabled, and if she had the baby it was likely to die within one week.

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Learning To #TakeAKnee From A Brave High School Student


Kamryn via Awesomely Luvvie
This past weekend the NFL, and supporters of free speech and our right to peacefully protest, served a collective punch to Donald Trump. If you missed the explosion of the #takeaknee movement started by our hero the still unemployed quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who first took a knee to protest police violence towards African Americans, don’t worry, there are photos everywhere online! Stevie Wonder, Pharrell Williams, veterans, and NFL players and coaches totaling the hundreds, either took a knee or locked arms in solidarity against an onslaught of White Supremacist-fueled attacks against players who protest by our President. And of all the truly inspiring photos, there was one that really resonated with me of a high school student named Kamryn. 

How I Respond To Rude Comments About My Daughter's African Name



Erickka Sy Savané
I was on the phone the other day with a receptionist. The woman was having me spell my daughter’s name for what had to be the 100th time. I try to be patient when this happens because I know her first name is a doozy–11 letters–and African. It’s like nothing most of us Americans have ever heard before. So when I begin to detect this woman’s tone changing, I make sure to chill. We’ll get there eventually.

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Is It Okay To Let Your Boyfriend Discipline Your Kids?

 
By Erickka Sy Savané

I’m heading out for drinks with my cousin when she turns to her man and says, “If he gets out of hand, go ahead and spank him.” She’s referring to her 4-year-old son. I’m a little surprised because she’s been dating this guy less than a year. When I ask her if she thinks it’s a good idea to let him spank her kid she doesn’t see the problem. “If I’m gone, my son needs to know that he’s got to listen or he’s going to get popped,” she says, a little defensively. I leave it alone. But later, I’m definitely thinking about it.

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How Shaniqua And Shikwanda Are Winning The Name Shaming Game


By Erickka Sy Savané

“My name is Shaniqua,” said a blogger I met at a luncheon in mid-town Manhattan. Shaniqua? I did a double take. She gave me her card. As soon as I got home, I was all over my computer, genuinely curious to see what a “ghetto” website looked like. Hmm…it was nice…and there was even a picture of her and Oprah Winfrey...

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Former 'The Apprentice' Star Stacie J. On Surviving A Ruptured Brain Aneurysm


Stacie J.
Brain Aneurysm Month  
Two years ago, Stacie Jones, who many remember from the second season of “The Apprentice,” had just put her kids to bed and was saying goodnight to a friend who was staying over when she passed out cold. She was rushed to the hospital where they determined that she had suffered a seizure due to a ruptured brain aneurysm.

Should Kids Call Mom's Boyfriend Dad?


 By Erickka Sy Savané

Should your boyfriend discipline your kids? “Hell, no!” says my aunt. Never one to hold her tongue, she tells me that it reminds her of women who let their kids call their boyfriends ‘daddy.’ “If that ain’t your daddy, don’t call him that,” she says, adding that she’s seen women with so many boyfriends/daddies that the kids don’t know who their real father is. She’s got a point.

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The Girlfriend's Guide To A Natural Childbirth



Either you’re all for a natural birth or you think that women who go that route are crazy. Really, why would any woman want to go through that much pain when they don’t have to? Well, I was one such woman. In fact, my epidural was planned way before I was even thinking of getting pregnant. For me, pain has always been the enemy. However, once I did get pregnant and discovered the benefits of birthing naturally, (less chance of interventions that can lead to more interventions, the baby is born more alert, and a faster recovery time), I was hooked, and had two births sans medication. But it was a process, and it couldn't have happened without my girlfriends who held me down. So if you’re thinking of having a natural birth, or you plan to give birth one day, consider this information when you're making your decision.

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