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Summer 2006






Men of Color, Men of Standard

The Silent Cries of Black Men

Your Body’s Calling You

Hampton’s Hair Restraints

Naptural Barber Profile: Randy Holt

Wanted: Men of Standard According to a study prepared by the Justice Policy Institute, there are more black men in jail than in college and the numbers have increased fivefold in the past 20 years. In the news, there is no shortage of headlines promoting negative images of our black men. Well we at Naptural Roots would like to show the world that our men are men of standard, men of vision, and men of the highest quality.

Building Excellence... Exceeding Expectations

If you are such a man, or know one, please send us your stories. We are looking for short stories (200 words or less) to feature in our coming issues of Naptural Roots as well as on our website. Are you a single father holding your family down? A married man, faithful and strong? A community or civic leader or contributor (lawyers, doctors, entrepreneurs and merchants, etc...)? Are you a successful high school or college student striving for success? We want to hear your stories. Please submit your short story (remember, 200 words or less), along with your name, location, age, occupation, and contact information. We also request a recent photo of yourself if you would like your photo to be displayed with your story. Entries can be via email or postal mail. Postal mail entries will not be returned. Please address all stories to:

Destiny Leadership Consults Specializing in: • Women’s Management styles • Culture Proficiency • Employee Retention • Childhood Preservation • Safe School Environment Strategies Karen Keys (206) 853-3264

Naptural Roots Magazine Men of Standard P.O. Box 68926 Seattle, WA 98168 (206) 331-4984 or via email: Sincerely yours, Naptural Roots Magazine staff






Naptural Roots Magazine Hair & Beauty Tempted to Touch....................................... 8 Style Demonstration: Cornrowed Locs ......... 10 Naptural Barber Profile: Randy Holt ............. 14 Hampton Univ’s Hair Restraints................... 22

Health & Wellness The Silent Cries of Black Men ..................... 17 Your Body’s Calling You .............................. 23 Get With a Program ................................... 24 Prostate Cancer Education Center ............... 26

Model Photos David Bowman .......................... 5 Donnie Roberts .......................... 9 Craig Jackson .......................... 16 Marc Johnson .......................... 21 Gyassi Ross ............................. 25 Zuberi White ........................... 27

Lifestyle In My Father’s Footsteps ............................ 18 Dollars & Sense: Real Cost of Bad Credit ...... 19 Umoja Unity Festival 2006 ......................... 29

Poetry Corner Submit your poetic thoughts for inclusion in the magazine. Please email all submissions to Please include your contact information as well as a short bio and a recent photograph.

Staples Oh My Word .............................. 4 Editress Address ........................ 6 Contributors .............................. 7 Naptural Bill of Rights ............... 12 Naptural Recipes ...................... 13 Naptural Fun ........................... 18 Book/Product Reviews .............. 20 Napturality Stories ................... 28 Classified Ads .......................... 30

ISSN: 1556-6714. Contents Copyrighted August 2006. Reproduction or use in any part without prior written permission of Akili Technologies Publishing, LLC is strictly prohibited. Naptural Roots. Summer 2006. Volume 1, Issue 3 Published 4 times a year by Akili Technologies Publishing, LLC. Postage paid in Seattle, WA. Postmaster please send address changes to Akili Technologies Publishing, LLC P.O. Box 68926 Seattle, WA 98168. All manuscripts, drawings, or photos sent to Naptural Roots/Akili Technologies Publishing, LLC, or any of its designees will be treated as unconditionally assigned for publication and copyright purposes and are subject to the magazine’s right to edit or comment editorially. All monetary payments must be submitted in U.S. Dollars. SPRING 2006





Oh My Word > A Tribute to Our Men of Standard

Na Napptural Roots Staff Publisher & Distribution LeAnne Dolce Akili Publishing, LLC

Editress Karen Entrantt

Marketing & Advertising Shelton Wright

Welcome to the Summer 2006 issue of Naptural Roots Magazine. We apologize for this issue coming out a little late, but we wanted to ensure that we gave this special issue the attention and focus that it deserves. In this issue we are paying tribute to the Men of Standard that are in all of our lives, yet rarely get the spotlight. What is a Man of Standard you wonder? A Man of Standard is the everyday brother that is working hard to feed his family, support his community, and leave this world a better place than it was when he entered it. These men work with our children to keep them off the streets and out of gangs, they are reformed “problem youth” that work extra hard to stay on the right side of the law; they are our fathers, brothers, cousins, husbands, and friends that support us and provide a shoulder to lean on when times are tough. Too often, magazines of this type are seen as “Women’s magazines” and the men are left out in terms of content as well as artistry. Well this issue is dedicated to all of our Men out there - our Men of Standard. We have brought together articles to help uplift your spirit, strengthen your body, and keep you informed of the issues that are important to your wellbeing and success. So hats off to our strong, loyal, dedicated, and oh so hard working men. You are our rock and we want you to know how much we appreciate the contributions you make to our lives.

Makeup Jennifer Billingsley Essence of You Skincare

Hair Kayla Jackson

Advisory Board Frank White Rhonda Hodge Reseda Young Alanka Hankerson Gurline Stevenson

Photography Angela Lister Photography Unlimited, LLC

Printer Consolidated Press (206) 447-9659

Subscriptions We offer print and online subscriptions $10/year (4 Issues) Order online:

In The Spirit of Napturality, Contact Us

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Bouquets a Bunch P.O. BOX 68040 Seattle, WA 98168 206-849-8081

Gurline Stevenson Floral Artist

Floral Arrangements to turn your dreams into reality 4





Akili Publishing, LLC P.O. Box 68926 Seattle, WA 98168 (206) 331-4984 At Naptural Roots Magazine, we want to be the voice of the natural community. We want to ensure that our magazine represents the issues and concerns that our readers care most about. Let your voice be heard. Join our forums at

David Bowman Hairstyle: Wavy Locs Clothing: Wheeler and Wheeler Photography: Manuel Stanton






From The Desk of The Editress > Men of Color ... Men of Standard

Morehouse held the 8th International Fatherhood Conference. The pre-conference activity on June 13, 2006 included parenting skills clinics and free computers. (

He mirrored strength and strategy to us on a daily basis. He didn’t get any awards for that, but when we walked across the stage to receive our degrees, he had played a significant part in all of our lives.

Did you know that? Did you see that repeatThis salute does not minimize edly flashed on the news; as the many issues, problems, is the custom when reporting challenges that the Black crime, drug activity, and prison If we have the courage community and Black men in population increase? This is and tenacity of our foreparticular are confronted with just one of thousands of exbears, who stood firmly and sometimes succumb to. amples of Black men doing like a rock against the What it does as a famous positive things all over the lash of slavery, we shall passage says, it gives honor country. find a way to do in our to whom much honor is due. As I was preparing for this ediday what they did in It is our steadfast decree that tion, I had a man featured in theirs. the Black man is not on a one of the success stories say: Mary McLeod Bethune downward spiral but on a col“If 2 out of 5 Black men are in 1875-1955 lective and individual spiritual prison, I’m one of the 3!” His path of re-identification, restatement brought the point surgence, rebirth, and reclahome. So much focus is placed mation. Who can say where the Black man on those who are struggling with various isshould be? He is where he is, as he is and sues and limitations, that the bus-driver, the still there is more to come! We the Naptural factory worker, the YMCA mentor, the entreRoots Family Salute, Celebrate, and Honor preneur, the social worker, the single dad and you! all the other brothers holding it down are invisible to main stream media and America at Karen Entrantt large. Editress Those of us, who have benefited from their

In the scientific research community it is said that the Black man is one of the most studied categories, as far as human studies are concerned. Somehow this “verified” data seems to often come to the same conclusion: that the Black man is always on a downward spiral. These are the stories that are frontline news, portrayed in movies, held up to the international community and the images that young impressionable Black boys see. Rarely are the positive contributions that Black men have been making for centuries highlighted or even acknowledged.

sacrifices and struggles, know how important their contributions are! I had a professor in college; he was the only tenured Black professor on campus. He went out of his way to encourage and mentor Black students, especially the freshmen. He understood the psychological adjustment of coming from an all black city and going to a predominantly white college.

For example, On May 12, 2006 Morehouse College (Atlanta, GA) had the highest graduation class in it’s history! Over Five hundred (500+) young Black men graduated, many with honors. Also on June 14-16 2006

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Staples > Contributing Authors & Poets

Inga Hyche Born and raised in the great Northwest, Inga has spent the last five years in Philadelphia, PA and New York City, were she discovered the strength and pride in the African American and Carribean community that she desires to see in this part of the country. She loves her African-American culture and wants to be part of the revolution that embraces self love and community advancement.

Rhonda Hodge

Aminada DNiembe

A Seattle native working in the financial industry for over 10 years, Rhonda has a passion for finance and investing. As the owner of The Balance Sheet Financial Consulting Services, she takes great pride in assisting families as well as individuals in reaching their financial goals and dreams. The Balance Sheet can be reached at 206-568-7729.

Aminada Dniembe is a Life Coach with specialties in Marriage & Family Retention, The Impact of Addiction on the Family & Community, Self Esteem Make-overs. She is a national consultant with background in Law Enforcement, Mental Health, Women Services. She can be reached at 206 853-6465 for speaking engagements and appointments.

Kathryn Tyler

Lester Leysath

Calvin Rivers

After many attempts in going natural via transitioning, Kathryn finally became 100% chemical free in 2001 when she chopped off her shiny salon hair to less than 1 inch. After many years of research and self-discovery, she is excited to share what she has found with us.

Lester Leysath is an engineer working in the Seattle area for a Fortune 500 company. He is a vegetarian and believes in living a completely natural life. Les is currently working on his Masters Degree.

Calvin developed an interest in the field of Psychology and social interactions while accompanying his mother during hair salon appointments. In 2005, Calvin became the owner of Enhanced Interactions, LLC, which is a company that helps couples to achieve a deeper understanding of their partners within relationships and individuals to heighten their self awareness. Calvin and or Enhanced Interactions can be reached at 1-866-305-4986 or emailed at

Not Pictured Bertrand Brown Bull & Flozzell Stewart






Hair & Beauty > Tempted to Touch: How to Get that Silky Smooth Head By Kathryn Tyler

LL Cool J, Michael Jordan, Damon Wayans and Vin Diesel: What do they all have in common? They are all so successful, so sexy and so bald. Whether you trying to beat mother nature or you want to save yourself the trouble of brushing waves into your hair. We can all agree that a bald head is a look that is attractive, unique and easy to achieve. But beware, this look is reserved for the bold and confident man that doesn’t mind a few extra looks from the opposite sex. You can expect more than looks, they may want to touch,kiss and even lick your head but I will leave it to you where to draw the line. Summer is the perfect time to try out a clean shaven cut. Now, let’s see if you have what it takes to maintain a bald head.

If you are prone to razor bumps you may want to try the products from MaleFace,more specifically their Razor Bump remedy. You can also use baby oil or the moisturizer you use on your face. Baldguyz and HeadBlade offer products made exclusively for bald heads,such as wipes, moisturizers and scalp cleaners.

In the mean and between time You will need to touch up your head every two to three days to keep it smooth. If you find that you missed a spot that morning you can also touch it up with any razor you pick up in the mini-mart, provided that it’s not just lying on the floor of the mini-mart.Besides the touch ups you can giver your head a mini-spa treatment. Try using an exfoliating cleaner once-a-week to scrub away old dead, skin cells. St Ives Apricot scrub is great pick that can be used all over the head face and body for smooth skin.

Rewards and Challenges There are many rewards to wearing your head bald. The number one reason the men I spoke with cited was the ease of care.

How to achieve it

“All I have to do is shower and throw on some

Before you go hacking at your head with your old razor, keep these pointers in mind because no one wants to rub on an irritated,bumpy head:

clothing and run out the door and never have to worry about whether or not something is in my hair.” says Mike Grady* a grad student at Central Conneticut State University. Not only is it easy to care for,but it’s definitely an attention grabber, “I get asked {by women} all the time if they can rub,kiss or cut it for me.” Grady says. It’s not all hugs and kisses when it comes to bald heads. Be prepared to maintain the look. A completely bald look requires attention every few days. You also risk cutting or nicking your head if you rush when shaving and finally if you are prone to razor bumps or your head is shaped wierd , this may not be the look for you. If you are still not sure, take Nathan Grimes* 3,NYC advice, “For those who are straddling the fence, shave your head for a day and see if it’s for you.” Give this look a try. If it doesn’t work you can always grow your hair back. But if it does work, be prepared to join a league of confident,distinctive men. You will stand out and occasionally may have your head rubbed by strange women. *Names changed for privacy

1. Shave in the shower The hot water opens up your pores and makes it easier to get a closer shave,

2. Use a lather-rich soap or shaving cream

International Photo Unlimited

Shaving cream is the best route.It’ll prevent razor burns and bumps. Although plenty of people are happy using only soap and water.

Angela Lister Photographic Artist

3. Pick the right razor In my research men said that the best razors are able to curve with the head,they are sharp and have a flexible grip. Good ones to try are the Mach 3, Shick Extreme and The Headblade which was specifically designed for shaving heads. It’s unique in that you push the razor instead of pulling it and there is no need to apply a lot of pressure.

Phone: (206) 293-0214 email: • • • •

4. Take your tim When shaving your head for the first time, use long strokes. Don’t rush because that is how you get nicks and cuts.

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5.Rinse with cold water This will close up your pores and again, reduces razor bumps.

After the Shave When you are done shaving you should rub something on the skin to soothe it and give it that extra glow.






Donnie Roberts Hairstyle: Bald n Sexy Photography: Akili Publishing, LLC SPRING 2006





Hair & Beauty > Naptural Style Demonstration: Cornrowed Locs Model: Kieth is a regualr client who has his hair groomed every three weeks. Cornrowed hair is a timeless, traditional style which has equal appeal for both men and women.

Shampoo and condition (Danyale prefers Barry Fletcher Cool stimulating shampoo and Conditioner). Next using Barry Fletcher Clear Gel, palm roll the hair, clip and dry for 45 mins.

After fully drying remove the clips, apply Barry Fletcher Liquid Moisture Oil to scalp and hair and section the locks from temple to nape.

Using three locks at a time braid going back using an inside braiding method.

At the end of the braid I used a free lock as a band by doubling the lock around itself and pulling it close to the scalp.






Hair & Beauty > Naptural Style Demonstration: Cornrowed Locs

Continue this technique section by section until all of the locks are secured.

This technique leaves locked hair with the appearance of loose hair braided.

Completed Style Cover with scarf or do rag every night and spray with oil spray sheen every day and this style will last 2-3 weeks.






Naptural Bill of Rights

1. I have the right to wear my hair in a way that expresses my heritage, my culture, ME. 2. I have the right to pursue excellence in health, wealth, and personal welfare without man-made limitations, judgments and obstacles. 3. I have the right to initiate, engage and pursue my highest potential. 4. I have the right to stand on my personal code and live life accordingly. 5. I have the right to build a community, family, a legacy. 6. I have the right to be free in mind, body, spirit, and expression. 7. I have the right to be wrong, make mistakes, change and grow at my own speed. 8. I have the right to create, deliver, extend, retract and still be valued. 9. I have the right to a peaceful existence. 10. I have the right to many beginnings and endings. 11. I have the right to exceed all expectations. 12. I have the right to live ... napturally!






Health and Wellness > Healthy Soul Food Recipes Recipes taken from “Good Health for African Americans” by Barbara M. Dixon with Josleen Wilson

Southern Oven-Fried Chicken Ingredients 1 2 ½ - 3 lbs Chicken (Fryer) ¼ tsp. Salt ½ tsp. Garlic Powder ¼ tsp Curry powder ¼ tsp Ground Cummin1/4 tsp. Paprika ¼ tsp. Ground Red Pepper (Optional) ¼ tsp. Ground Black Pepper ½ C. All Purpose Flour ¼ C. Yellow Cornmeal1/2 C Low Fat or Nonfat Buttermilk 1 TSP. Low Sodium Worcestershire Sauce 1 TSP. Mustard Nonstick Butter-Flavored Vegetable Spray

Yield: 4 servings Calories: 353 per serving Fat: 10 grams Sodium: 304 milligrams Cholesterol:130 milligrams

Cooking Instructions 1. 2. 3. 4.

5. 6. 7.


Preheat the oven to 350 F Remove the skin and fat from the chicken and discard. Cut the chicken into six-eight serving size pieces, then debone the breast. In a small bowl, combine the next seven ingredients to make the seasoning mix. Mix well and reserve ½ tsp. Of the seasoning mix; sprinkle the remaining seasoning over the chicken and set aside. In a shallow baking dish, combine flour, cornmeal and the reserved seasoning; mix well and set aside. In a medium bowl beat together the milk, Worcestershire sauce and mustard. Add the chicken and coat well, then roll into the flour mixture, covering well. Arrange the chicken pieces on a large baking sheet that has been lightly sprayed with butter-flavored nonstick vegetable cooking spray. Lightly spray each piece of chicken with the nonstick vegetable cooking spray; this keeps the moisture in. Bake for 30 minutes or until the chicken is golden brown, crisp, tender.

Peach Cobbler Ingredients 3 C. Fresh peaches (peeled and sliced) ¼ C. Water ¼ tsp. Nutmeg ½ C Whole wheat flour 1 ½ tsp. Baking Powder 1/3 C Sugar ¼ C Skim Milk 1Tsp. Corn oil or Canola oil 3 packets Sugar substitute ¼ tsp. Cinnamon Yield: 8 servings Calories: 100 per serving Fat: 3 grams Cholesterol: less than 1 milligram

Cooking Instructions 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7.

Preheat the oven to 400 F. In a saucepan, combine the peaches, water, and nutmeg. Bring to a boil. Keep warm. In a mixing bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, and sugar. Add the milk and oil; stir until mixture forms a ball. On a floured surface pat the dough into an 8-inch circle and cut into wedges. Spoon the hot peach mixture into a 9-inch pie plate and top with cut pastry wedges. Combine the sugar substitute and cinnamon and sprinkle on top of pastry. Bake for 25-30 minutes until pastry is brown.






Naptural Hairstylist Profile > Randy Holt

Who Are you?

How long have you been working with natural hair?

I am Randy Holt and I am a Barber/Natural Hair Stylist. For years I was the Barber for many of the Sonics’ players and management team, as well as other NBA players. I’ve had the distinct pleasure of having many of them in my home eating at our table, before the world knew them. I also have the privilege of cutting the hair of many local politicians, attorneys, law enforcement officers, firemen, insurance agents, salesmen, and the like. People I respect and hold in high esteem. I am most happy about having served my customers and their families for 2 generations or more. I have a wall of honor with each of my customers’ names and their families on it. When I look at that wall, I see my friends, my family, my community.

Altogether I’ve been in business for over 30 years.

What is your health and fitness routine? Two years ago I had a heart attack. That profoundly changed my life. I had to change my diet, start a regular exercise program and I went into counseling to address some deep-seated issues. Today I am a new man!

What do you do to keep healthy & positive?

Where are you located? Future Look II Barber Salon 308 22nd Avenue South suite 101 Seattle, WA 98122

What are your hours of operation? My shop is open by appointments only. The earliest I’ve opened so far is 5:45 AM.

What are your specialties? My specialty is quality one on one service. Each customer is different and requires unique skill and attention. I enjoy meeting the needs of my customers. I have also produced 2 barbering technique tapes and look forward to putting some new barbering tools on the market.

What made you choose natural hairstyling? My father taught me when I was very young. I chose it as a field because I saw it as a way to provide for my family while doing something that I enjoyed doing and was good at it. When I came here, there were no minority barbers. With the help of some Mason Brothers, word of mouth, and my gift of gab; I was able to open a shop and I began to build a business. On the day I opened I had $2.00 in my pocket and my tools. 14





I invest in others. I share my story. I help build networks. As a young man, I was the so-called black sheep of the family, the least likely to make it! I was a street hustler, doing all the things that come with that lifestyle.I had an addiction and no one knew it. I was the life of the party. I was headed in the wrong direction. Through the help of a 12- step program I am clean and sober one day at a time. Many people do not like to admit they have problems or they need help, esp. Black men. What’s really bothering them stays locked up inside, I want to help change that.

How long have you been natural? The first time I cut all my hair off was in the 70’s I worked at night by myself. I didn’t think it would make a difference. When my boss saw me he fired me, saying I could not wear my head bald to work. Now it’s a fashion statement! I knew I had to pick a career that would allow me to wear my hair however I chose to, barbering gave me that. My bald head, became my signature mark and I began to be known as the “Bald Barber”. People often laughed at the thought of a bald barber, but they also told others how good I was!

What are your future Goals? I want to mentor new barbers coming into the field. I want to teach them the ins and outs of this craft. As mentioned earlier, I have ideas about how to make the barbering tools more effective and user-friendly for cutting black hair. I also look forward to having my own website soon.

Naptural Hairstylist Profile > Randy Holt






Craig Jackson Hairstyle: Cornrows Photography: Akili Publishing, LLC






Lifestyle > The Silent Cries of Black Men By Calvin G. Rivers, M.Ed. If you were to take a sample of black men and poll their opinions about today’s current events the one theme that would become apparent is that “times are hard”. After all, gasoline prices have reached an all time high, people are still having difficulty finding work and the country is engaged in a war that is being funded at the cost of future social security benefits. A review of history would reveal that every generation has had its share of hard times, but somehow things still seem to be a lot better then. I can remember the “good ole days” when life was simple and carefree. Unless your family was experiencing severe financial difficulty the only expectations that had to be met were getting good grades in school and completing household chores. But times have changed and today’s black men are struggling more than ever with coming to terms with their vulnerability. As a result of not being able to talk about those aspects of their lives in which they feel the most vulnerable, black men are developing maladaptive behaviors that are truly cries for help. It is not uncommon for black men to engage in violent behavior or indulge themselves in the use of controlled substances as a means of coping. The fact that black men are socialized not to talk about their feelings has added to the problem reaching epidemic proportions.

Slavery and the Silent Cries of Men The difficulty black men have in facing and discussing their vulnerability is learned behavior that was modeled back during the days of slavery. Our ancestors had the same task of providing food, shelter and clothing for their families as black men do today, but they had the additional challenge of navigating the oppressive system of slavery. Everyday our ancestors had to deal with the realization of being bought and sold like any other property. They had to stand by helplessly as they endured their slave owners desecrating the sanctity of their homes. Black men being the head of the household certainly was more prevalent then than it is today, but were far more powerless in their ability to take action. In order to deal with the oppression of slavery both black men and women had to learn to suppress their feelings for not doing so would impede their ability to survive. This was particularly damaging to black men because generations later we defined our manhood based upon a model that does not embrace our humanity. The media perpetuates this view of black men by depicting us as cruel and uncaring individuals when in fact we still struggle with coming to terms with our emotions.

Addressing the Silent Cries

We must begin a dialogue that fosters an atmosphere of acceptance instead of one of ridicule.

Creating an environment in which black men can reaffirm one another and begin redefining what it means to be a man is the key to addressing the silent cries of black men that would begin the healing. As an African American psychologist who was in touch with his feelings, I still struggled with my own definition of being a black man. I began to question my own mental toughness. At times I felt overwhelmed by the challenges that had to be faced. As I had always done, I sought the council of my father.

Society’s classification of us should no longer impede our ability to find fellowship through one another. Instead, our differences should be utilized as the foundation to hear the cries that were once silent and to better define what is means to be a black man who is complete.

I felt ashamed discussing my vulnerability with a man who I had never seen flustered by his own challenges. The discussion began with the usual fatherly pep talk and confirmation that things would turn out fine. When I asked his secret for remaining unflustered under the pressure of being a man he gave me the answer “It was expected for a man to do what he had to do”. This answer felt generic in nature and my father must have sensed my feelings of inadequacy for the conversation took a very interesting turn.

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I will never forget the look upon my father’s face as I admitted to being depressed and overwhelmed while coming to terms with the emotions felt in meeting the challenges of being a black man. It was not the look of disappointment that I had anticipated, but rather one of acceptance. I will never forget my feeling of fellowship as the conversation changed to one that seemed all too familiar to us both but had never been discussed previously.

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It was reaffirming to know that my father and I shared many of the same fears and that I was not so unlike the man who I held in such high regard. By the end of the conversation, we had both begun to develop a new and improved definition of being a man that did not require us leaving a part of ourselves behind, but rather embrace our humanity.

The need for Positive Male Role Models

Renton, WA Three Sisters Barbecue Fairwood Library Marilyn’s Produce Future Look II Barber Salon Soul Sisters Eatery

The absence of positive male role models make reaffirming one another even more important. Many of us have never had male role models in the home to demonstrate how to fulfill society’s expectations of us while feeling complete. When a positive male role model was present, as in the case of my father, they unknowingly found themselves disconnected from the inner most part of their being as well. The problem was a little less pronounced for the generation before ours because they did rely more heavily upon the belief in a higher power.

Portland, OR One Stop Music, Inc. If you are interested in becoming a distributor of Naptural Roots Magazine, please contact the publisher LeAnne Dolce P.O. Box 68926 Seattle, WA 98168 206-331-4984.

Unfortunately, black men have abandoned many of the principles that have carried them through the toughest of times, but this is not to suggest that we have lost touch with ourselves completely or should not be held accountable. As we read articles such as this and others that raise our awareness of the problem we must carry the message forward.






Lifestyle > In My Father’s Footsteps By Bertrand Brown

Reconciliation: Defining my own success

Recently the editor of Naptural Roots Magazine received an e-mail from me promoting my newly published novel. She appeared to be almost as elated as I was and I was inspired by her enthusiasm so much that I continued to e-mail her and chat on a variety of subjects. Some time later, she requested I write a piece for her on the positive role of Black men in today’s society despite the media’s portrayal .At first the topic was appealing, I gladly accepted. As the deadline approached I found myself more and more leery of the task at hand. Was it the subject matter I wondered? No. So, what was it that bothered me? It later dawned on me, it was not the subject matter. What I had essentially been asked to do was to interject myself into this group of successful, influential Black brothers and that was the dilemma that I chose to call writer’s block.

So despite my tendency to set lofty goals and see myself in light of great men and their deeds, reconciliation for this Black man and for my brothers plodding away on a similar course, comes from knowing that we are not sitting pat, but are doing all that we can to

instill the same flame, the same burning desire, the same principles in those that follow in our footsteps. Although, oftentimes we may not succeed in fulfilling all of our ambitions to the nth degree of our expectations and all too often may fall short, we can only fail ourselves, those that follow in our footsteps if we don’t set our standards and goals high and reach for the heavens.

Naptural Fun > Codebreaker Crossword Codebreaker Crosswords have no clues! Instead, every letter of the alphabet has been replaced by a number, the same number representing the same letter throughout the puzzle. All you have to do is decide which letter is represented by which number!

Am I A Success Yet? Never one to suffer from low self-esteem, I thought of Malcolm and Martin and shuddered .Such great men. Both of these men were several years younger than I am now when they met with their untimely demise and yet look at their accomplishments! I thought to myself ego still in check. Chances are that I wouldn’t, couldn’t, hold a candle to them, if I were to live several more lifetimes. I thought of others, Black men closer, more real to me, like my father and the library of books which he stored in his balding dome.An avid reader, activist, author and educator, he’d probably forgotten more history of the Black man’s experience in America than I could ever come to realize. Then there’s me, I’d just published a novel that was, according to my publisher, doing even better than expected. Yet the cable bill was two months overdue and I won’t see my next royalty check until the fall and here it is mid-July. I’d already missed the NBA Playoffs. I saw CNN’s segment on The DaVinci Code. The book had sold forty-six million copies! And I call myself a writer? I considered my own book sales, closing in on two thousand. I chose to consider myself in another vein.

To start you off, we reveal the codes for three letters.

I considered myself as parent and thought of my nineteen year old son, Christopher, who I’d pushed, coerced, bribed and at times even threatened while in high school. With a four year academic scholarship, I figured I could finally sit back and rest on my laurels. But lo and behold I have another child, a daughter, thirteen, who has just found out that boys also inhabit the planet and who doesn’t respond well to coercion, threats, bribes, common-sense or extremes when it comes to the pursuit of academic excellence. And again I have to question myself. I must conclude that as far as my parenting skills are concerned, the jury is still out. So I move on, to the fact that I was and am still a pretty good teacher. There are those that I am now working with, each tiny progression enables them to become more literate and more competitive on an uneven playing field. That is rewarding in itself. 18





When you’ve filled in these letters throughout the puzzle, you’ll have enough clues to start guessing words and discovering other letters. Answers available on the Naptural Roots website

Dollars and Sense > The Real Cost of Bad Credit By Rhonda Faye Hodge Have you seen the commercials with the nicely dressed man or woman advising that you too can have the Automobile of your dreams and credit doesn’t matter? Have you seen the infomercials advising that you too can have the American Dream of Home Ownership regardless of bad credit, late payments, foreclosures, & repossessions? Perhaps you have viewed the testimonials of many happy customers driving off in the late model Mercedes or standing in front of the Five Bedroom, 3 Bath Tudor smiling happily and leaning on the For Sale sign marked Sold. The truth of the matter is you can buy almost any automobile or home with credit problems even severe credit problems and credit does matter. Before dialing the toll free number prepare for the high cost associated with these loans. Many of these loans have prepayment penalties, exorbitant origination fees and interest rates along with a list of junk fees. Ask a lot of questions of the perspective company and ask yourself few questions: Why would a lender give me a home loan for $200,000.00 with my bad credit? Although my answer may seem harsh the only reason a lender would approve such a loan is to make a lot money from the high fees you will be required to pay. Have I really explored all my options for financing? 1) Before dialing the toll free number speak with your credit union, local banks, and mortgage banks with stellar reputations. 2) Find out your true fico scores (you have 3) and what they really mean. If you have a median Fico Score of 629 there are a wide variety of mortgage programs available at reasonable interest rates and terms. Your credit may not be as

bad as you believe.

Most of those companies may not advise you that your scores will qualify for conventional lending. Although they save their best rates for their more credit worthy customers most credit unions and commercial banks have subprime lending departments. They are a lot less expensive than the company with the slick commercial. Make sure you explore all of your options. Bottom line: the difference between bad credit and good credit is literally thousands of dollars.

3) Take a class at the local Urban League on Credit or Housing Development Center in your area. Learn as much as you can about loans and mortgages. The company with the slick infomercial willing to extend loans regardless of bad credit are not doing it out of the kindness of their heart, they are doing it for the money your loan will generate over the years and that equals thousands.

The Balance Sheet Financial Services Rhonda Hodge Financial Consultant 206-568-7729 Our Services • We specialize in working with individuals and families with moderate income. • We want to help you achieve your financial goals and aspirations through user friendly budgeting techniques, financial counseling, and sound financial planning.

Balancing Your Budget One Dollar At A Time Because every penny really does count! SPRING 2006





Staples > Book and Product Reviews

Mr, Ms, & Teen Naptural Roots 2007 Essay Contests Rights on page 12 (and on the website). Do not put your name on your essay. Essay and cover letter should be stapled together.

Are you the embodiment of true napturality? Do you live and breathe a naptural lifestyle while giving back to your community? Then you may be just the Man and Woman to represent Naptural Roots Magazine as Mr. and Ms. Naptural Roots.

The photograph should only include the entrant. To ensure the photo is not damaged, please write your name on a piece of tape and affix it to the back of the photograph.

Guidelines Entrants must have natural hair. Hair cannot be processed and cannot contain artificial additions (weaves, extensions).

Entries (including photographs) will not be returned. Only one entry will be accepted per entrant. Multiple entries will be discarded and the first entry submitted will be judged.

Entrants must be 21 years or over to enter the Mr and Ms. Naptural Roots Competition.

Entries will be accepted via postal mail and email.

Entrants must be 14 - 20 years old to enter the Teen Naptural Roots Competition

Entries containing nudity, vulgar language, racial epithets, etc. will be automatically disqualified.

Entrants must submit a cover sheet, essay, and a recent photograph. The cover sheet should include your name, email address, phone number, age, essay title and word count, and a description of your community outreach efforts.

Please send entries to: Naptural Roots Magazine Naptural Roots 2007 P.O. Box 68926 Seattle, WA 98168

The Essay must be 500 - 1000 words with the topic chosen from the Naptural Bill of

Boys To Men: Maps For The Journey



Email submissions should be sent to Deadline for entry is November 15, 2006. The winner will be announced at the Naptural Hair Show in January 2007.

PRIZES 1st Place

• • •


Trophy and Gift Basket

Photography session with Naptural Roots Full Page write-up in print and online magazine

Runner Up

• •


Trophy and Gift Basket

Honorable Mention and Photograph in print and online magazine

All awards will be presented at the

2007 Natural Hair Show

The Forging of a Black Community: Seattle’s Central District from 1870 through the Civil Right Era

By Gregalan Williams

By Quintard Taylor “Three or four years ago I went hiking with my eldest son…Travis had run on ahead…As I watched him dart up the path a sudden rush of anger blew over me. It lasted only a moment. After it passed, I was left with an overwhelming sadness that nearly brought me to tears. Inside that sadness I was able to see what had been inside my anger only a moment before-a deep an abiding jealousy of my son. The boy in front of me was blessed with a good father…A compassionate man with whom his connection was sure and unbreakable. A man in whose face the boy could see his own and perhaps even catch a glimpse of what, and who, he could become. This boy was experiencing a kind of love I had not. And for one brief moment I hated him for it. Smiling through my sadness I hurried to catch up with Travis. As we reached the top I saw in my mind’s eye myself looking back at myself. At that moment two sons stood on top of the hill. And I was father to us both.” This is a thought- provoking memoir of one man’s journey to manhood without the guidance of a father. In the preface he asks the questions: “If my father had spoken to me when I was a boy, what might he have said? “What would he have told me about being a man?” 20


Seattle’s nineteenth century African American population grew from a single resident in1858 to 406 women and men by 1900. Despite their small numbers, these early settlers created organizations and institutions that defined the character of this nascent community well into the twentieth century. These pioneers founded the city’s first black churches, businesses, and community and civil rights organizations. They also shaped black seattle’s values and views on social, political, and economic issues-views that were redefined by subsequent generations of seattle residents but remained remarkably consistent until the 1960s. Seattle’s African Americans were excluded from most of the occupations and industries that helped shape the city’s economy. With rare exception nineteenth century blacks did not work in lumber processing, shipbuilding, or the skill trades…Their occupational mobility was so restricted early black residents considered themselves fortunate to obtain jobs as restaurant waiters or personal servants to wealthy Seattlelites. For males the most prestigious employment was to work as a barber or porter. This is an exceptional book written by an African American history professor. It systematically describes the building of the black community in Seattle and the unique challenges of coming to a city that was egalitarian in laws and speech, but economically restrictive. It also depicts the controversies and partnerships of African Americans, Asian Americans, and Native Americans. A phenomenon the rest of the country was not privy to.




Marc Johnson Hairstyle: Locs Photography: Angela Lister






Hair & Beauty > Hampton Univ’s Hair Restraints: A Little Over the Top? By Inga Hyche You would think a historical black college is one place an African-American student could let their hair down . Well that’s not the case for the students at Hampton University’s business school, where the MBA students have been subjected to a hair code that restricts braids, dread locks and other “unusual” hairstyles.

were not a factor during his equally prestigious internship. The foundation of Hampton University’s MBA business administration program has been rooted in the idea that successful individuals need to follow hairstyles that are largely excepted in the business arena.

Pro’s In favor of the rules •

People judge on appearances.

Business world is more excepting of looks similar to their own.

The adage that people are judged on their This policy gained national recognition when appearance is one of the founding forces of Susan Taylor the Editorial Director of Essence the hair codes. magazine declined a speaking engagement at the College. The very distinguished TayOne could argue that business is not about lor, has been known for her long luxurious the individual but the larger entity and some braids for years. According to Black Voices students think that it is a small sacrifice to “I began receiving E-mails from numerous make. sources advising me of disturbing regulaTuesday Tibbs, a junior, tions disallowing locks said she follows “When and braided hairstyles in Rome, do as the Rofor Hampton students. “ The freedom to wear mans do” motto(BV). And One such e-mail inso do other, they feel that our hair in ways that cluded an Associated in order to be accepted Press story headlined: celebrate our heritage in the business world it is ‘University Bans Certain important for them to is one of our ‘rites of Hairstyles for Students.’ look that part. As a businesswoman passage.’ Students and public figure who Credle says clean-cut would benefit from has proudly worn my looks could help get a hair braided for more learning how to care promotion in the business than 25 years, I was inworld. “they’ll get very for and groom locks credulous and felt incomfortable wearing a sulted. My executive and braids and wear suit over a five-year peassistant, Debra Parker, riod. When they get into them in ways that are contacted the univercorporate America, the sity for clarification, and appropriate in a busitransition will be easier,” when she was advised Credle said. ness setting...” that this was the school’s policy, I easily As a private university, made the decision to Hampton maintains its cancel my visit.” position on preparing students for success. In addition to the strict The schools defends it’s policy which they dress, grooming and behavior guidelines, they say only effects a small number of students. require students to maintain a B average after They say most of the students do not have their sophomore year, heed a conservative a problem with the hair codes. dress code, complete two internships and meet regularly with business leaders. In order for receive an MBA students must enroll in the course Leadership Application It has been stated by professionals, that in Program which prohibits said hairstyles. Of some industries natural hairstyles are more the 164 students enrolled in business adexcepted, such as marketing and other creministration ,147 of them are MBA students. ative careers. However, more conservative industries might be less excepting of different Taylor says these restrictions deny students hairstyles. a sense of self. “ The freedom to wear our hair in ways that celebrate our heritage is Still the concept that an individuals abilities one of our ‘rites of passage.’ Students would supercedes their appearance seems an audabenefit from learning how to care for and cious and possibly unattainable goal. groom locks and braids and wear them in ways that are appropriate in a business setting,” Taylor wrote on March 28. BV

It is important to look the part as a professional .

Business isn’t about the individual but the business.

It’s a small sacrifice to make.

The rules provide an easier transition into the working world .

Most student do not have a problem with the guidelines.

Certain hairstyles can be a distraction in business.

Could effect perceived credibility.

All natural hairstyles are not forbidden. The Business Dean Sid Credle is not opposed to the neatly groomed Afro. Students opinions are fairly distributed on both sides of these heated debates. One students credits the policy with helping him land an internship with a fortune 500 company. While another student says that his braids






Con’s Opposed to the rules •

Natural Hairstyles don’t have to look unprofessional

The University could hire an image consultant

Staying true to yourself in adverse atmospheres is more important than simply conforming to fit in.

Discrimination isn’t selective of hairstyles

It is another form of self-hatred, these rules teach young African Americans reject what’s natural to them.

Many of these styles reflect the business’ clients.

Individuals should be judged on abilities and not appearances.

Prejudice should not be tolerated and perpetuated in business.

Natural hairstyles are becoming more excepted in the main stream more now than ever.

Natural looks could add to an individuals credibility.

Health & Wellness > Prostate Health, Your Body’s Calling You by Aminada DNiembe “Open up your eyes and see child, listen with your heart and hear me today, and never, ever, forget what I’ am about to say….” This was the way my granny used to start any conversation that she deemed really important. I think she knew that her time with me would be short. In order to get me to listen , she would make me stop whatever I was doing, sit still and look her in the eyes as she spoke. So I am asking you to do the same now. Turn off the radio, TV and occupy the kids. Don’t allow anything to distract you. Really hear me!

Proproganda vs. True Healthcare Recently, I was listening to a popular radio station when a sisters’ voice came through clearly. She was addressing brothers about prostate disease. A new approach I reasoned. Quite effective too! Her voice seemed sincere, calm and caring. She went on to quote the latest statistics on black men and prostate disease and the need for early intervention. I thought oh no! No they are not doing this to black men too. You see, I think we have created a society wherein we are being deliberately victimized. We are being hypnotized into fear and illness, and even death. Start counting the dominance of so called preventative health care warnings pervading our media today. Note the sheer number of commercials and ads that cause us to suspect that we are sick, or depressed. We are targets for profit. It’s about the money. Folks we are on the block again. This time it is not even necessary that we come out alive. During out forced servitude a black body was an investment. A dead body could not work or make more bodies to work! Our survival meant more profit for them. Today, if I died due to medical malpractice, there are literally waiting lists of other hypnotized, scared folks to take my place in the offices, surgical suites and pharmacies of the medical establishment. And even better, if I am barely alive but still making appointments and filling prescriptions. I am still profit. Many still trust that all in the medical profession mean them the highest good. Then why is it that with the many technological and scientific advancements we have more poor health, illness and untimely death than ever before? Why are we still treating symptoms and not the actual cause of a condition? Why haven’t we figured it out that symptoms are our bodies calling out? We must begin to think What is the answer? I hope to challenge you and even to inspire you. Maybe cause you to consider change.

‘Ole Time Health Care I believe that there are enough of us left to remember when most healthcare issues that arose were handled at home. Most of the treatments meted out by our grannies tasted

An Alternative Approach terrible but they worked. Our bowels were regular and we were seldom sick. There was an herb for every condition. I can remember the cod liver oil, castor oil, spirits of turpentine, teas and poultices.

is much that I could share but I won’t. There is simply not the space or time. My recommendations are as follows: 1. Start changing the way you think and what you accept for yourself in terms of health. Make a decision to do all that is necessary to heal your body, mind and spirit. If you are not living up to the highest standard you know then it is registering in your cell tissue. One cannot fool the body. A bad conscience is poison!

If one was stung by a bee, the cure in my family was tobacco spit, ugh! Now, I am reading that they were on track in every way. How did they know? In my clan we went to the doctor only if there was severe bleeding or a fever that wouldn‘t break. I think we were healthier as a whole. I am not saying that we don’t need medical care or even that we should resort to the old cures. I too have benefited from modern day medical intervention. I am grateful to live at a time when we have choices as to treatment. I can’t say that I believe that everyone in medicine is a crook. Some do sincerely care. I will go on line to say that I believe that they are either new to medical practice or are not very materially rich. You see, professionals having a conscience cannot prescribe or continue to prescribe medicines that are causing more problems than they treat.

2. Many have cured themselves of cancer, heart disease, prostate problems, lupus, herpes, hepatitis, viral illnesses and other so called incurable diseases. All of these and many, many more without dangerous addictive chemicals and invasive surgeries. Familiarize yourself with the many alternative healthcare books and web sites. Contact local alternative medical practitioners. There are multitudinous resources available ( many do not accept insurance because main stream medical providers have yet to approve their methods.) When you seek after a cure instead of a treatment, it is not yet supported.

To whom will you pay Once a friend of mine ( who lives an organic lifestyle), once stated upon my inquiry about the expense of buying everything organic said, “Ami, we all must choose whom to pay, I choose the organic merchants.” His wife was my Holistic Health doctor. When I came to her I was not honoring my divinity or my body. I was a wreck, I was impossible to get along with, I was so medicated. I was miserable and moody. My emotions were worn to unraveling. Ranging from tears one minute to screaming at everyone the next She in fact helped me to get off the powerful painkillers and fifteen other drugs. I was able to reverse diabetes, lupus, extreme allergies and suicidal depression.

3. YOU must govern your own body and those of your loved ones. Do not allow anyone to pronounce a deadline on your life. Accept no diagnose of death or terminal illness. Know that if you were ever healthy you can be again. There is no illness that cannot be reversed. The body wants to be well and will return to a state of health if allowed to. 4. I also suggest that you record your own voice or the voice of a trusted love one reading these materials so that you can listen at will. I sleep to healing vibrational music. I totally submerged myself in healing.

I thought that I was doing the right thing in placing total trust in my physicians. Then everyone in my Lupus support group started to die. I was devastated to see my doctors helpless. Out of the nine individuals who were in my support group, I am the only survivor. I came very close to death before I decided that if I was possibly facing death too, then I had very little to lose. I took my health in my own hands. I asked God to allow me to live to see my youngest son to turn fifteen. That was all I dared ask for. My condition was so grave. He will turn twenty-six in July. He was eight at the time.

5. You may need to surround yourself with people, places and things that are soothing and thus healing to you. I had to leave behind persons, places, things, times and events in order to seek healing. You may decide to do the same. I hope you will count yourself as worthy to do whatever is necessary. 6. Walking it out! Take a walk and concentrate on breathing deeper and slower. There are many books that teach proper breathing techniques.

Man Overboard! Two years ago, a very close family friend found himself face to face with a severe health challenge. He was diagnosed with cancer of the seminal gland. The tumor was as big as a golf ball and left him in severe pain. The bleeding from his penis was so heavy he had to wear pads. I never panicked. I asked him if he wanted to live. He said not really at first but soon after decided that he did. I knew what to do. I called my contacts and we started him on an all natural regime. We changed his diet, his sleep habits and started him on a natural tumor dissolver. Today he is cancer free. There SPRING 2006




7. Giving Thanks: We can’t afford not to speak the word over anything anymore folks! Why don’t we bless our food anymore? No one is asking you to make yourself a spectacle in public. Just ask your chosen deity to bless everything that comes into contact with you and your body. It can be done without closing your eyes. God hears every good intention my granny used to say , even if it is only spoken in the heart.


Health & Wellness > Get with a Program

It’s summertime folks! Are you in the shape you’d like to be in as you strut your stuff? If not, how does this make you feel? What are you going to do to make the change? Let’s face it, some type of exercise program and dietary adjustments can promote a healthy body, create a positive self image and attitude. It is also a great stress reliever. Though it may seem too late, it’s sill the perfect time to enjoy this warm season and begin a regime of interest. Get prepared for an upcoming event or next summer.

self- motivation especially if you don’t have a workout partner or it’s not a team activity. If you try something new, give it a fair trial time to assess the results. 4) Choose more than one activity if your main interest is a seasonal type of sport such as skiing. It is important to keep the body in good condition all year round, similar to maintenance of a car. 5) Choose an activity that will fit your budget. Note that you are making an investment in self and that the various health benefits from engaging in some exercise programs may be well worth your consideration, such as circuit weight training. The alternative might be higher health care costs due to disease or physical ailments. 6) Choose an activity that has stages for various fitness levels such as novice to professional. Remember the goal is also longevity. 7) To all ‘weekend warriors’! Are you cross training? Lots of times these activities are seasonal as well. If your getting banged, bruised or are just exhausted from your sport of choice, a little bit of strength and conditioning can help curb these results.

You might then say, “I don’t have enough time or money.” You might even feel like you don’t have the energy or you’re just not motivated. Here are some ideas to help you get started and stick to it.

8) Your work shift has changed or the workload has increased. If you have kids, their activities semi-dictate your schedule and you are too tired from it all. You think you have to quit your fitness program. It’s getting stressful. The latter are ‘buts’ you need to check. We know because we live it day in and day out. It can become a vicious cycle if you allow it. Get a day planner or use the one that you already have and schedule dates for self. Yeah! Put yourself on the schedule because you make a difference!

1) Consider this Base 1: Eliminate the excuses. An excuse usually begins with “I want” or “I need…, but.....” Rule of thumb: Check your ‘but’! We don’t mean your gluteus maximus either. ‘But’ is an easy term to use yet it can be one of the most restrictive in our lives. Always consider the alternative(s). Once you’ve started a program, and life starts getting in the way, come back to ‘Base 1’and examine your options to stay on track.

If you are having a bit of a struggle get-

2) Set reasonable goals. You don’t want to set your goals so high that you can’t reach them. Avoid the tracks of discouragement and quitting.

ting the time thing down, do abdominal exercises, pushups, isometric and cardiovascular exercises while you watch T.V. instead of being a couch potato. Not sure what type of exercises can be done at home (also while traveling), get a book on fitness, which entails such circumstances. 9) Not disciplined enough to start or stay on task. Commit to a team sport or get a personal trainer. This increases your level of accountability to stick with something because you’ve committed to one or more individuals. 10) Keep a logbook. Make notes for some of the following: physical measurements, weight, energy level, attitude, challenges etc. prior to your program, then continue the notes throughout. The notes should include both the good and the bad for reference and how you’re progressing. This becomes your guide for the ROAD TO A HEALTHIER YOU. Lastly, remember you are what you eat and drink. It’s not just the physical activity that will get you to a healthy physique. What, when and how your meals are prepared makes a big difference in how well you function in an exercise program and sometimes whether you are able to complete your goals. Self-sabotage can be your worst enemy. Take mental notes of what you are saying to yourself. Tell yourself you can accomplish your health and fitness goals then you willor at least die trying. Blessings to you in your process for a healthier lifestyle. Tips provided by ‘Bull’ & Flozzell Stewart Owners & Personal Trainers of Columbia City Fitness Center 5023 Rainier Avenue South. Seattle, WA 98118 Phone: (206) 725-7894

Essence Of You Skincare Jennifer Billingsley

Example #1: You wish to lose 60 pounds in two months by diet only or exercise only. NOT! It took some time for the weight to show up on them bones- it is going to take a game plan and activity to get it off.

Licensed Esthetician (206) 329-4887 Facials * Face/Body Waxing * Body Treatments * Make-Up Pedicures * Manicures Aromatherapy * Massage Call For an Appointment

Example #2: Most folks don’t get in a car or on a bus without direction and expect to arrive at their destination. A road map, address, route number and/ or directions are needed. The same holds true for fitness goals. 3) Choose an activity that you’ll enjoy. Fact is this will aid in the maintenance of 24





Summer 2006 Man of Standard Gyasi Ross Associate Legal Counsel Photography: Angela Lister Gyasi Ross is a man of mathematics; he counts his blessings then does his best to multiply them and reciprocate. He is from the Blackfeet Reservation where poverty abounds. After graduating from Columbia Law School, he moved to Washington DC to work for the National Congress of American Indians. He then moved back to his adopted home—Seattle—where he worked as a public defender and now as Associate Counsel for an area Tribe. Since his youth, he has been dedicated to working with his people—poor people, vulnerable people, and exploited people. This is his equation for personal success and happiness. SPRING 2006





Health and Wellness > Prostate Cancer Education Center Let’s Talk About it Prostate Cancer Education Program over 40 years of age in SeattleKing County who will talk to their health care providers about screening for prostate cancer. This is a free program. Valuable, updated information about prostate cancer and treatments will be available at these 2 hr workshops.

The Let’s Talk About It!” Prostate Cancer Education Program is designed for African American men over 40 to give them valuable information about Prostate Cancer. African American men, in particular, have the highest rates of prostate cancer in the country, and the highest rates of mortality as well. One out of every four African American men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer by the time they reach age 60. This is a curable disease but early detection is essential. In the early stages of the disease, there are often no symptoms.

We can bring this 2 hr presentation to African American men’s organizations in King County. We are also looking for prostate cancer survivors to tell their stories. Founded by 100 Black Men, this program is sponsored by the Center for MultiCultural Health Promoting Health and Well-Being in Diverse Cultures Email:, http://

The “Let’s Talk About It” program seeks to increase the number of African American men





SPRING 2006, 206-461-6910. Please contact Kevin Henry, Project Coordinator, for more information, at 206 954-8024 or at

Zuberi White Hairstyle: Cornrows Photography: Akili Publishing, LLC






Napturality Stories > In The Corporate World with Natural Hair By Lester Leysath A large part of me has always wanted to break stereotypes since a young kid: No drugs, No babies, No unnecessary violence, No group think, No Fads (except the Michael Jackson stuff). So several years ago I reached the conclusion that I would like to go back to locs like I had in college, except do them right. Hire a professional etc. etc. Show the world that an engineer can have locs but still perform. That I wasn’t going to mysteriously transform into some deviant of society (Some of my friends might say that I’m already one. And if you are one of them, shhhhh, LOL.) Show the world that our culture exists not just on a playing field or court. Or even worse, the evening and national news . . . I’ve got to do my part to break these perpetuated myths. Am I? I hope so. The biggest stereotype that I want to conquer now is to break through the glass ceiling and enter company management with locs. I would hope without the classic khaki’s and blue shirt too, but ONE thing at a time ladies and gentlemen.

When asked to do this, at first I was totally geeked at the idea of sharing my dealings with Corporate America and a head full of locs (they’re braided in the picture). But then I considered the audience that I probably would NOT reach, that of non-Afrikan American Corporate America. Those are mostly the white males with all the incredulous stares, “How could that Negro do that?!!?” their eyes seemed to say. “WHY?!?! Has he gone mad?” To those people I wish to say, “Don’t be scared. Don’t delve into an irrational fear. It’s just a black man expressing himself culturally. HEY! It’s just hair.” Then a part of me gets mad at myself for trying to appease the masses (The massa??) for they SHO haven’t really succeeded in giving us the benefit of the doubt. [Side note: A couple of the guys here that I am cool with, of course ribbed me pretty good when I first showed up with twists. OH what a day! They told me some lady friend must’ve made me do it, LOL. Ok, for the record, no it was NOT any woman’s idea, but some did provide some encouragement.]

Surprisingly enough, the coworkers who, at least on the surface, were most accepting and appreciative of my locs were white women. Especially the older ones. Maybe they thought I was some sort of Negro dress up doll or something LOL. But they too could take a class in Afrikan American basics: DON’T JUST WALK UP AND START GRABBING MY HAIR!!! “Oooooooh its sooooo much softer than I thought.” Or “Wow, it actually smells nice.” And don’ t forget the most important one of all, “How’d they do that to YOUR hair?” I swear I’ve even been in the dentist chair and been hair groped LOL. God, ya gotta have some patience and understanding in this world eh? There’s so much to this concept of bringing such flavor and style to work, I can’t cover it all. The truth is that this situation has so many facets to it:



I represent a Fortune 500 company in my own unique way in order to show my youth and community that you can be an individual and be a tangible part of corporate America. You’ve got to earn it though. I represent a Fortune 500 company who wants to project an image of truly supporting diversity. Which I think they do make a good showing of.


I work at a Fortune 500 company in which many times I am the only minority (do white women really count? Hmmmm) on my team. I want to change that.


Its time for Corporate America to open their eyes and recognize another aspect of Afrikan American culture: our hair. Sistas, y’all have been doing a tremendous job leading this fight for decades; changing up the hairdo weekly confusing ‘em. Now its time for me to do my part.


On that note, we TOO must represent Corporate America well. Don’t just become a fashion accessory at work. These are our careers that we must manage with care. Striving for success is tantamount to being able to provide role models and opportunities for those behind us.


That we work with people, some in leadership positions, who don’t and won’t ever get it when I come in with fresh loc braids or a sista comes in with a bossy asymmetric cut with a slight kool aid rinse. Just not going to happen. Maybe their grandchildren will though.

I would like for you to note that there really is a major problem that faces companies all across the land. That’s the unyielding fact that there’s a large block of employees (baby boomers) who will be retiring over the next 5-15 years. This leaves the door open for a whole lot of us to move up in the work place and make a difference in leadership positions. So I want to see that come to fruition because we all know that the Abercrombie & Fitch group is going to be there knocking on the door of advancement; so is the quasi grunge group who probably sits together in the lunchroom. The fact remains that we continue to be held to a harsher standard than some of our peers, and I don’t want natural hair to be a negative factor to be used against us; even if it’s subconsciously. So brothas and sistas, loc it up! Blow it out! No more fried, dyed and laid to the side! (ok the laid part can stay if it’s cute). The more the entire world sees of US excelling, the more it becomes “their” norm. And to Corporate America: The bottom line is that IT’S JUST HAIR. GET OVER IT.






Lifestyle > Back With A BANG - Umoja Unity Festival 2006

The Umoja Unity Festival, the return of the Black Community Festival of my youth, was held August 4 6th at Judkins Park in Seattle, WA. The mission of the U m o j a Family Fest African Heritage Festival & Parade was to produce a world-class festival parade and related activities that not only entertains but also educates and empowers our community. Well as a participant at the event, the organizers definitely carried out their mission successfully.

Children’s Day The festival kicked off with Children’s Day on Friday. Dedicated entirely to the children, the day was filled with fun and excitement including Arts and Crafts, Face Painting, School Supplies, as well as drum and dance performances for the children to join in and enjoy.

African Heritage Parade Saturday saw the return of the Seattle Mardi Gras Parade now called the African Heritage Parade. Continuing a tradition that began over 50 years ago, spectators were treated to drill team performances, Chicago Style Stepping Demonstrations, Restored Classic Cars, Performances by the Langston Hughes Cultural Arts Center, drum and

dance performances, as well as a special visit from the 2005 Miss Whidbey Island USA (Naptural Roots Magazine Premier Issue cover model). We (Akili Publishing, LLC) were elated to find out that we were the winners of 2nd prize in the parade for Business Representation. Along the parade route, we passed out candy for the children and complimentary issues of the magazine to our Naptural Readers.

ticipants with their financial planning needs. Realtors were on hand to inform us of our rights as buyers and to help us get into homes of our own (and stop renting), clothing vendors were ready to keep us stylish in traditional African attire, hip hop gear, and clothing for those of us in between.

Festival Highlights With the successful completion of the parade behind us, we went on to participate in the festival. We were treated to the stylishness of tricked out trucks, the beauty of restored classics, and hand painted artistry during the Car Show.

And if you weren’t sure of what the hottest styles were, well the Fash-

On the Soul Live Stage, we were treated to the many talented local hip hop, R&B, and Gospel artists throughout the weekend. It was a treat to see that in our local community we have such a diverse set of talented youth that are making positive strides by promoting now only the music, but civic involvement, voter registration, and community development.

ion Expo provided clothing from some of the hottest local clothing designers.

As the day wore on and the hunger set in, we decided to visit the food court and taste some of the mouth watering cuisine that was filling our noses with such delight. Strawberry shortcake, southern fried chicken and fish, barbecue, etc. The list goes on and on with the excellent food and beverages provided at the food court.

I can honestly say that the rebirth of the Black Community Festival was a blazing success. Just looking in the eyes of the participants and having the opportunity to share this wonderful experience with them gave the staff of Naptural Roots Magazine a greater appreciation for this community we live in. We can’t wait to participate in next year’s festival and parade. We take our hats off to you for a job well done.

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Naptural Roots Magazine  
Naptural Roots Magazine  

Volume 1, Issue 3