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Natural Woman Contributors AZIZAH NUBIA Editor in Chief TAMMARAH OVERTON Chief of Beauty & Fashion GIDGET HUNTER ALLEN Head of Photography ISIS SWINK Inspirational & DIY Writer JAN-MAXWELL Cover Designer/ Graphic Artist JAZZY SDLIHC Inspirational Writer & Photography LIKIA CHRISTINE Health & Wellness/Hair Stylist DEANDRE WASHINGTON

Sales/Advertising ROY L. HALL Marketing SHANELL RUSSELL Creative Designer/MUA ZEPHANIE GARRETT Creative Promoter/Relationship Writer Photography & Style by: Gidget Hunter Allen of GIDGETImages


Making of the Cover Our very own Editor in Chief Azizah Nubia graced the pages of Natural Woman Magazine for the 2014 February issue. Photography & Style by: Gidget Hunter Allen of GIDGETImages Make Up & Style :Shanell Bowles Russell Hair Style by: Likia Christine

Its always fun on a Natural Woman Magazine photo shoot. Catch Natural Woman on the Scene coming to a city near you.


Family is important to me, I come from a big family and I have a big family. With all the romantic love going around with Valentines day. NWM wanted to take it up a notch and focus on the Love of Family. Because this is what is created out the love of a man and woman. We are all one big human family, and its time we begin behaving as such. When we all do better everything benefits from it on this planet. We are in a time now, where it is important for all of us to remember who we are at our core. We are all connected in some mysterious way. And we will never get to where we need to be on a spiritual level until we connect with that oneness that connects us all. I hope you find this issue refreshing and enjoyable. Be sure to vote for NWM for the FedEx Small Business Grant. Your vote will help us win the $25,000 grand prize, that will continue our work in making the world a sweeter place.

Azizah Nubia

Photography & Style by: Gidget Hunter Allen of GIDGETImages

Follow me on FB, Twitter, Google+, & Instagram

@Azizah Nubia


Q: Answer:

What is a Natural Woman?

Great question, we get this one a lot. Natural Woman Magazine’s

definition of a Natural Woman is a Woman who loves and expresses who she is from the inside out. Natural Woman promotes natural hair (chemical free), but we do not limit ourselves to that. A Natural Woman is a woman who can express who she is, who is not afraid to use her powerful gifts, talents, and beauty to make the world a better place. Yes that woman maybe of a different ethnicity, she may have different spiritual beliefs, she may even wear make-up. But a true Natural Woman knows who she is, she knows her purpose, and you see that in

Send Natural Woman a Question

Visit our site at www.asknaturalwoman.com


Send Natural Woman Your Natural Hair Pics


By: Tammarah Overton

Tammarah: Tell us about yourself? Well I'm Brielle "Bree" McCaden, 28 years old from Jersey born and raised; although, I have made Philly my second home. I've been blessed to experience different places and people. I completed my undergraduate studies at North Carolina Central University with a BA in Communication Studies. I like to say I'm a bright lights,big city girl with southern charm. I enjoy the simple things in life writing of course reading, shopping, make-up, and cooking.

hind creating your book "pen soul"?

I had something to say. I simply wanted share my view and experiences. The book has been in the works for years but I found every excuse in the world not to do it. I was scared that no one would get it . Once I finally settled Tammarah: How long have you been writing poetry on the idea of this is what I wanted to do and and what inspired you?: this would be bigger than me. I just sat down I've been writing since I was thirteen. As and started picking different pieces I thought much I as I like to talk, I've always been able meshed well together. That was the hardest to express myself better on paper. My inspirapart honestly, mainly because I wasn't sure tion comes from the Harlem Renaissance, so where to start but I believe the end result is many beautiful pieces of work came out of rather awesome. Pensoul is actually a play on that time. It showcased the progression of our the word "Pencil". I feel that every time I pick people just coming out of slavery. I'm kinda up a pen I'm putting a piece of my soul on the obsessed with that era, especially when it paper. I remember I just randomly came up comes to the writing. I can also say music with concept one day while having a convermainly hip-hop contributes to why I write. To sation with my best friend/business partner. be able to paint a visual with words is comIts simple but complex much like me. As far as pletely dope to me. publishing goes I was blessed to meet a fellow Tammarah: What was your inspiration bespoken word artist/author Christopher KP


Brown who owns and runs Two Pens and Lint publishing. The rest is as I say Herstory. Tammarah: When did you first recognize your talents?

black woman out there who is wanting to write poetry or has a fear about performing spoken word?

My advice for my sisters would be TELL YOUR STORY! For years others have told our story and what I always knew I was different. I always loved they think we are as black women. We have a such making people smile and feel good. I never a rich and beautiful legacy that needs to be told thought I would've been a writer though, I with truth and honor. Never let someone minimize just knew I had something to say that peo- you or your talent. The last poem in Pensoul called "For Colored Girls Who Rock" has a line that I beple needed to hear. I remember being four lieve sums up what I want to tell every woman of years old giving the prayer at the end of color. "This is for colored girls who rock, that said choir practice and saying praise the lord at yea the rainbow ain’t enough I want the whole the end and everyone smiled or laughed. That was sky..." We have the world at our finger tips if we the moment I knew I could entertain. When spoken just grab for it. As far as getting over stage fright, I treat it like its my last performance every time. word become the big thing in the early 2000's I Own the stage and if all else failed imagine the auwanted so badly to be in that world but I was too young. I just wrote and knew one day I would per- dience naked, especially if there is a fine man in the form. My passion is performing, for that brief mo- front row...that ALWAYS helps lol Love, Curls, and Hustle. ment in time I have the mind and heart of a person. I feel its my duty to leave an imprint of something positive there. Tammarah: What advice would you give to other


By: Likia Christine

The more you know, the more it grows! I often hear women say, “I would love to go natural, but I wouldn’t know what to do with my hair if I did!” This statement is completely understandable, because I was in the same predicament at one time. I made the decision to return natural in October 2009. It was a major decision for me. It took me 6 years to finally go through with the “Big Chop”. Even as a professional cosmetologist, I never knew how to take care of my hair in its natural state. I was most definitely tired of the damaging effects of using chemicals in my hair, but at the time it seemed so convenient to keep my hair relaxed. There was no way I would be seen in public with my hair “all over my head” as my mother would say. I was caught in the middle. The more I learned about the harm that chemicals do to your body, the less I was interested in continuing to use them. Once I made my decision to never use relaxers again, I began my quest for knowledge on how to maintain my hair (and my clients) in its natural state. The first thing I did, was got a wide tooth comb which became my best friend. The old way of thinking, about how black women don’t get their hair wet was thrown out the window. I would wet my hair every couple of days, and comb through it and style while wet. There are so many different ways to do twist outs and protective styles on natural hair, which makes the curls come out in different patterns and sizes, depending on your hair type (which I’ve found out that I’m a 4c). One thing I love to share with my Sisters that want to return natural, you can still wear your hair straightened, and it will look just as smooth as if it was relaxed. I’m from the old school, and using a hot comb is not a thing of the past!

So, ladies if you want to return to natural and rid yourself of all chemicals, including the ones you put in your hair, then there are so many options for you! Don’t give up on yourself just yet. Do some research on how to care for natural hair, join one of the many natural hair groups on Facebook, or if you have any questions I would love to help with any information that I can. Email me at likia.asknaturalwoman@gmail.com.


Knowing your hair type is very useful in understanding why your hair responds to certain products and why it doesn’t respond to others. Knowing your hair type is very useful in understanding which hair styles are best for your hair. Knowing your hair type is very useful in understanding how to care for your hair. There are 4 types of Natural Hair 1, 2a, 2b, 2c, 3a, 3b, 3c, 4a, 4b, 4c. Hair types 3 & 4 are generally the type of hair most ethnic women have its curly and kinky. Below are some tips that will help my 3 & 4 sistahs understand and style their Natural Hair just the way it is.

Hair Styles Women with 4abc coily/kinky hair, have very little curl definition and lot’s of frizz. Loose styles (afros and twist outs) don’t maintain moisture as well as braided or twisted styles do. Type 4 hair also holds twists and braids with ease, no barrettes or bands are needed at the ends of the hair. Women with 3abc coily/curly hair have lot’s of curl definition. Loose styles can maintain moisture, but braided and twist styles don’t hold as easily, tending to loosen and become frizzy sooner.

Gel Women with 4abc coily/kinky hair, find very little success when using gel to define curls. While type 4′s can use gel, it is much better used for slicking and smoothing, than for curl definition. Women with 3abc coily/curly hair, find great success when using gel. Her curl pattern is brought to life and held into place. Many type 3 curlies don’t even need to use gel in order to see their true curl definition because

Hair Care Women with 4abc coily/kinky hair, have to moisturize frequently! When you don’t your hair is greatly effected by the lack of moisture. Most women find success in moisturizing my hair every 3-4 days, but there are many who must moisturize on a daily basis. Oils and butters absorb into the hair strand very easily. Less washing is recommended to maintain moisture into the hair. Women with 3abc coily/curly hair, don’t need as much moisturizing, but all hair needs moisturizing and type 3 curlies are no exception. The difference when it comes to type 3′s, is that if she moisturizes too often or if she uses heavy moisturizers, her hair will be heavy, weighed down and oily. Frequent washing may be needed to control the moisture levels in her hair, this is especially true for type 3a.

Sources:http://kinkycurlycoilyme.com/how-to-determine-hair-type-on-natural-hair/#prettyPhoto


Every woman want her skin to be clear, smooth and glow. Having radiant glowing skin is not hard. With these east tips you can have the most beautiful skin with having to purchase product that may contain harsh chemicals that may effect your health way more than it could effect your skin.

Exfoliate your face gently. Exfoliation removes dead skin cells, impurities and excess oil while preparing your skin for cleansing and toning. After scrubbing, use a cleanser on your skin. Gently massage your skin in circular motions for a few minutes to promote blood circulation, to remove makeup and to eliminate excess oil, or sebum.

Apply a good moisturizer with natural oils such as rosemary or almond. Massage the cream into your skin for hydration and a dewy look. Use a moisturizer with at least SPF 15 to prevent premature aging from sun exposure.

Glamorous Faces by Shanell

Photography & Style by: Gidget Hunter Allen of GIDGETImages

Look for moisturizer containing humectants like glycerin, propylene glycol or urea. Humectants attract water when you apply them to your skin and improve its hydration. Choose moisturizers with alpha-hydroxy acids (AHAs). AHAs improve dead skin cell turnover, which results in decreased dryness, acne, wrinkles and age spots. Switch moisturizers according to the season. In the summer, use a lighter product. In the winter, choose something thicker and heavier.

Sources: Wikihow


Avoid taking long, hot showers. Sure, they

Always use a loofah when you wash your body. Loo-

feel great, but they also strip your skin of essential moisture. Especially in the winter, limit your showers to 10 minutes and keep the water lukewarm.

fahs get rid of dead skin cells and also prevent bumps from ingrown hairs. To make your skin even more smooth, you can sprinkle your loofah with some drops of a cleanser containing AHAs.

Secret Tip:

Take rose hips. These supplements are rich in Vitamin C and will keep your skin looking youthful.

Get glowing Skin through your diet. Have a good multivitamin daily. Look for vitamins containing 100 percent of your recommended daily allowance for Vitamin A, Vitamin C and the B vitamins. Also, choose foods that are rich in these vitamins: Vitamin A: Carrots, sweet potatoes, spinach and fortified cereals Vitamin C: Red and green peppers, oranges, broccoli, strawberries, kiwi B vitamins: Lean meat, fish, enriched soy and whole grains[1]

Eat garlic. Garlic has a number of potential benefits for your skin. Your skin cells last longer and look more youthful. Garlic may also prevent the growth of cancerous skin cells.

Add omega-3 fatty acids to your diet. Fatty fish like salmon and mackerel are great sources of omega-3s. You can also get omega-3s from walnuts and olive oil.

Drink tea. Tea is full of antioxidants that fight free radical damage to your skin. People who drink tea, according to studies, are also less likely to develop squamous cell skin cancer.

Have 8 8-ounce (235 ml) glasses of water each day. Water keeps your skin hydrated and flushes toxins out of your body. Sources: http://m.wikihow.com/Make-Your-Skin-Glow-in-Minutes


Grass IS Greener Virtual Health & Wellness Expo! It all starts Feb 11th and ends at midnight Feb 21st! It's VIRTUAL, which means that you can visit the Expo from the comfort of your home. For 10 days, we encourage you to visit the following pages to see posts from over 30 health & wellness businesses who are looking forward to connecting with you! There will also be special events like flash sales, free teleconferences & More!


Guacamole Dip By eating avocados regularly you are giving your body what it needs. It’s packed with Vitamins and Minerals. It has powerful antioxidants to reduce free radical damage that leads to aging and disease. Not to mention the Monounsaturated fats (the good fat) that is excellent for heart health. Here is a simple, easy recipe for Guacamole that can be served as an appetizer, or side dish, even if you just want it as a snack you can’t go wrong eating this Super food! Ingredients 3 ripe avocados, pitted ½ onion, chopped fine ½ tomato, chopped fine 2 tsp garlic powder Juice of ½ lemon Salt to taste Directions In a medium sized bowl, mash the flesh of the avocado, making it as smooth as possible. Using a hand mixer is an easy way to get it done. Add remaining ingredients, stir and enjoy! Guacamole can be served as a dip, condiment for sandwiches or side dish.


Baked Potato wedges Ingredients

4 large potatoes Cooking spray Salt/pepper to taste ½ tsp garlic powder

Directions Pre heat oven to 425 degrees. Rinse and cut potatoes into wedge formation. Spray a long, shallow pan liberally with cooking spray. Arrange potatoes in the pan, season with salt, pepper and garlic powder. Bake for 25-30 minutes.

Send Natural Woman Your Healthy Food Recipes They maybe in our next issue www.asknaturalwoman.com


Oven Fried Catfish Ingredients 1 ½ lbs of catfish fillets ½ cup almond milk 1 cup yellow cornmeal 1 tsp garlic powder 1 tsp onion powder ½ tsp celery seed

Salt and pepper to taste

Directions Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F (220 degrees C). Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and coat with cooking spray. In a shallow dish, stir together the cornmeal, salt, celery seed, onion powder, garlic powder, and pepper. Dip the catfish fillets in milk, then place them into the cornmeal mixture and coat liberally; place on the greased baking sheet. Coat the tops of the fillets with cooking spray until wet. Bake for 15 minutes in the preheated oven, or until fish is easily flaked with a fork.


By: Likia Christine In cosmetology school, I was taught the scale of Potential Hydrogen (or pH). It is very important to keep the hair as close to a 7 on the pH scale as you can. I never realized this concept applied in other areas of the body. As I learn more about health and nutrition, I realize how important it is to be balanced. What is Ph balance anyway? A pH number measures from 0 to14 how acidic or alkaline a liquid is -- anything above 7 is alkaline and anything below 7 is acid. Water has a pH level of 7 -- it's neutral, meaning it has the same amount of acids and alkalis, which balance each other out. Balance is important in every aspect of our lives. We must pull out the scales always, and not be too far to the left or right. So many of us have diets that cause our bodies to be too acidic, which causes a number of health problems. Think about what acid does, it eats away at whatever it touches. So, if there is too much acid in our body, we are literally allowing it to eat away at our internal organs which interfere greatly with their function.

When you're thinking about liquids in terms of their pH levels, going up or down one number on the scale represents a tenfold change in the acidity or alkaline nature of a liquid. For example, the pH level of milk is around 6. Because the pH level of water is 7, milk is 10 times more acidic than water. Vinegar has a pH of about 3, making it 40 times more acidic than water. These daysy, it is very easy to find out which food and drinks are highly acidic. The obvious ones are fried foods, tomato based, and caffeine. Sodas, chocolate, and cheeses are also on the list. Most of us don’t realize what we are doing to our bodies when eating too much acid, it’s corrosive. On the other end of the spectrum, milk of magnesia is a base with a pH of 10, which is why it's soothing to an acidic stomach. Lye has a pH of 13 and can dissolve sticky substances like fat. As you can see, substances at either end of the pH spectrum can be corrosive -- but if you combine these substances, they neutralize and create salt water. They balance because they're at opposite ends of the scale.

In this age of information, we can all find out what we need to know to be the healthiest we can be!


Here's an idea to stretch your grocery money and grow your own, organically. Re-growing veggies doesn't cost a dime. It's easy to cut off the bottom, re-root and grow your own lettuce, celery, green onions, bok choy, garlic, ginger, basil, potatoes & carrots.


Recycle your newspaper into this biodegradable planter! You can plant the whole thing in soil; it'll protect your seedlings, then eventually decompose.


The family dynamic has change significantly since I was a little girl. Growing up as a child my family was very close. We had family gatherings all the time, we sat and ate at the dinner table. Life was great in my eyes. Now since I have become older that since of family has slowly gone away. I wonder why that is. Even the television shows from when I was younger portrayed positive family image.

Something has seriously happened to our social family structures. Our collective perception of what a positive, balanced family is, has been clouded. Why? I do not know, but it is time to make changes.


Loved Ones By Jazzy Sdlihc

When I think of family, I think of loved ones. Not just mothers, fathers, daughters, and sons Whoever is connected to my soul, Those that make me whole

It can be an old friend or the neighbor next door Those that listen, lend a hand, and so much more Surround yourself with family, they’ll up-


By Zephanie Garrett

Natasha, 26 years of age, born in Columbus, Ohio now native of Nashville , TN. A focus and driven young woman she grew up in a two parent home with three siblings. She paid her way through college and is now in the occupational therapy field. She is married to Michael Beddingfield born in Nashville , TN, 34, years of age, does HVAC also grew up in a two parent household with a sibling. Natasha met and started dating Michael three years ago, but it wasn't the ideal situation because he had children. I interviewed Mrs. Beddingfield and these were the honest responses she had about step parenting, dating, and marrying a man with children.

also his parents, because they are very much involved with the girl's upbringing. I wanted to tell them what I'm able to give. I laid it all out and once I had a plan, and they said were cool with that. Then I was able to relax and play it by ear. We're just learning as we go all of us.

Zephanie: What is your perspective and experience in a relationship with a man with children Zephanie: What could you provide? and how it lead to coming together in marriage what was the transition of how you felt during that Natasha: Once we all sat down and I was able to process? be honest with what I could provide which is structure. A good example as a woman because their Natasha: When we were engaged it really set in. That yeah I'm doing this and I'm really going to be a girls and of course God and getting them involved in church. But I can not provide what most people step mother. I'll be honest I totally freaked out. would expect because its not my nature and I can't Many times ( she laughs) be fake to who I am. I told him you know I don't think I can do this. I Zephanie: What do you think people expect? freaked out a lot, because not having any kids that was one big thing. I went from not having any then having two that live with me. It was kind of scary, but after we talked it through. We actually talked several times and I asked what do you expect of me

Natasha: Mostly, motherly that want to hug and fix everything and my idea of it is what my mother was too me. I never felt I could be that to a child ever. That's why I never wanted to have any personal-


ly. Mothers do so much and I do what most moms do just not the sensitive side. I do try. But its just not who I am and they do have their mother still too.

you need or expect and he said sometimes you may have to do this or that and we agreed on it. Even what church we go too which is Bethel World Outreach in Brentwood, TN. They have things for them Zephanie: What are you thoughts on their biologi- like a group adolescence program and when they become teenagers they have that for them too. cal mother? It’s a lose interpretation because she's not responsi- Zephanie: Sounds like you have a spiritual foundation that you would like to have for the kids. Is that ble for them. Sometimes we may have to beg for also undergoing in your marriage as well? the little she does. Natasha: Oh yeah, we did six weeks of marZephanie: How does that make you feel for the riage counseling through Bethel. girls knowing their biological mother is lacking in the typical standard of a mother? Natasha: Of course, everyone was angry about it. Regardless, I always try to view her positive aspects but I say look despite how you may feel of her. She is still their mother at least give them what she does right. I don't react like "Oh Finally", when she does something. I say " Oh, that's good", because honestly she could be worst. As, I said before though their grandparents and so many other people in the family give them the nurturing side they need. Zephanie: So, it really does take a village? Natasha: Yes, ma'am it absolutely does and I've told my husband and his family that I would not be here if it wasn't for them "the village". I feel they need that nurturing part and I can not provide it. I couldn't come in knowing they would not get that kind of support. Zephanie: How did you communicate with your husband to have common ground on how you would rise them together? Natasha: I was very specific about organizing who will do what and when with them. Like doing their hair maybe taking them to a salon, giving them chores to do because their were none at first, who's going to pick them up from school. I asked what do

Zephanie: Tell me some key concerns you had before you came into marriage with an established family. Natasha: The main things were not measuring up to what the expectations are. Judgment from others because someone always had something to say about someone else's kids. Especially ones who don't have any or someone not in my situation. Naturally when you have children of your own there is a undeniable bond if its not your naturally one its harder to create it. In my case, their older I didn't see them through that baby phase. It's difficult to make that bond, but it takes time and its getting better and better.

Zephanie: How old are the girls? Micha is 11 years old, and Angela is 8 years old. Zephanie: What are you looking forward too with the girls? Natasha: Seeing Micha and Angela how they are going to develop. What it will look like when they get older. Being respectable women and not doing what everyone else is doing. Every now and then they will mess up, but just setting themselves apart and stand out on their own. I want to see how that happens.


Zephanie: What are you feelings on parenting and happiest I've ever been. I had my list of what I children in general 5 years ago versus now? wanted in the perfect guy for me.. single, never Natasha: Five years ago, personally I viewed that been married, no kids. etc. I was getting it at first before I met my husband, but I was completekids are great and fun for everyone else except ly irritated beyond belief from these men. I me. say, you have to be careful and trust God if that's My situation is working great because its not just the right person for you no matter the circumme and my husband going it alone. stance they have you'll know. He will provide what "Its us and the village". I don't know how people do you need to see that. You could miss out on someit without the support and I commend them for it. thing great because it doesn't look good on paper. Its okay to keep an open mind. I also advise to give The biggest lesson I have learned from the girls is the biological mom respect, don't worry about patience and the true purpose for children and bejudgment, don't try to do it all, and be who you are. ing a parent. During our marriage counseling I Figure out your strengths and what you can conlearned that the biblical primary purpose was tribute. to train them to be a good Christian to grow His legacy. It was an eye opener, because it helped me understand my parents gave me the word. They fulfilled their parenting no matter the mistakes I thought they made. They raised me to know God and that's why I still know Him today. It made me let go of things I didn't realize I may have been holding on too. Zephanie: What advice would you give women or men who think being in a relationship with a person with children is nothing but negativity and drama? Natasha: As a person who viewed that way. It can be based on many different variables. If you approach it right it can be fun like we have a good time and we know when we need to be serious and be a parent. We just find that balance its not all bad or all responsibility. It’s a package deal and it’s a commendable thing to do if your committed to the person you're with. If you want to break up the person and the child then you need to just walk away from coming in their lives because its not fair to them. Michael is the only guy I've dated with kids and this is the


By: Tammarah Overton

your grief to run its natural course. It’s important to take time out for yourself and realIn the process of grieving you have to learn ize that you’re the one grieving. You can never what grief really is. Grief is more than just your feelings it will show up in how you think. put a time limit on it. Some people it takes you may disbelieve this person actually died. months or even years to get through it. Your mind may be confused, or your thinking Losing my mom and dad with in a two year crazy thoughts. You may find it difficult to con- time frame has really taught me how to value centrate on just about everything. Or you may life at what it is. Embracing this thing called be able to focus your attention on your life to- life is like riding a roller coaster, but you have gether before they died. to face it as what it is and move forward with In this time you have to allow your feelings to your own. flow freely everybody grieves differently. Of course you have people around you with full of ideas about how you’re supposed to grieve, and how not. You may be told that grief comes in clear-cut stages and you may even be given a name for the stage you’re supposedly going through. You may hear advice like "Be strong!" or "Cheer up!" or "Get on with your life!" rather than be encouraged to allow

Staying around positive people can keep you grounded on so many levels. Acceptance is another way of learning how to grieve- accept that everything is going to be okay and know that they are in your presences at all times.


By: Jazzy Sdlihc

cern was the children’s reaction about the marriage. In the beginning, they were asked to call her Kerri (which they still When we hear the term “average family”, we may immediately do). But when talking to others about her, she is referred to as think of a mother, a father, and their children. What if one of “step mom”, or the “other mommy”. The worries she had were the parents is not the biological but has stepped in as a coonly a flicker in comparison to the LOVE that she had for the parent through marriage? Does this change the term “average relationship and their family. family”? We cannot disregard the fact that there is a large number of men and women whom have married into an alIt takes a person with patience, understanding, and strength ready (so to speak) established family. With that being said, to be able to effectively raise children. Kerri feels that it is her there can be additional struggles and challenges that their responsibility to help raise her step children. Although they counterparts may not experience. But let’s not neglect the suc- don’t live in the same home, they visit regularly. And collectivecess and victories that can also come along with it. Kerri ly as an extended family, they support each other and play McClean, whom doesn’t have any children of her own, chose their own unique roles. The phrase, “it takes a village to raise a to become a co parent of a blended family. child” holds so much truth considerably in blended families. And in order to have a successful blended family, Kerri states, She has been in a relationship with her husband Rico for 7 ½ “respect is most important”. You have to have respect for youryears and will soon be celebrating their 6th wedding anniverself, your spouse, and the children. She gave some valuable sary in March. Their family consists of four children. They have advice about going into this type of family. She advises womtwo boys and two girls ranging in ages 11-19. Kerri states, “It en/men to be opened minded and honest with themselves and has been an awesome experience watching these beautiful their spouses. She says, “All marriages are different, and all children grows up into young men and women.” For her, being children are different”. She believes that being a proper step a step mother has been a blessing beyond measure and she parent includes being able to fully accept the children involved, cherishes the opportunity to co parent. She has seen some of and the appropriate arrangements that are already set in place her influences play out in the children’s lives and that makes by the natural parents. By doing so, one should be able to her feel rewarded. Some people have formed negative opinadapt to the situation without forcing their way in. In this parions on men and women that already have children. It has ticular blended family, there are multiple mothers, and she has been proven that people are rejected even as a dating option a relationship with all of them. Kerri explains that the interacbecause of it. Kerri did have a couple of reservations about tions are different based on the level of communication, but marrying a man whom already had children, especially because the relationship is definitely present. She feels that this necesshe doesn’t have any of her own. Her worries were minor issary in order to raise a well- balanced child in this situation. sues like finance, and discipline. They have a simple way of This also allows the biological mother to trust her judgment handling the topic of discipline. A discipline discussion includes and decision making on behalf of the children. her, her husband, and the children mothers. Although their children are generally well behaved, any incident involving disIt may seem like there’s a lot of work that is put into a blendcipline is understood before any action is taken. Another coned family. True enough, all families have their own ups and


Dr Afrika is one of the world's foremost authorities on health and nutrition. He has a doctorate in Naturopathy from Anglo Saxon Institute in England. He is a Certified Addictionalogist with a degree from The American College of Addictionology And Compulsive Disorders. He is a certified nurse from Georgia Baptist Medical Center. He is also an Acupuncturist. Metaphysician, and was an U.S. Army Social Worker nurse and Psychotherapist He studied to become a Massage Therapist, Herbalist, Historian, Writer, Lecturer, Teacher and Medical Astrologist. Dr. Afrika has over 35 years of experience and training in ethno medicine, which is the use of disease remedies and diagnosis based upon the biochemistry of a race. Because of these tremendous credentials, he is one of the most sought after lecturers in the country. He has taught and studied in countries such as Africa, Europe, and of course, America. Dr. Afrika lectures and gives workshops on eighty different topics in America, the Carribeans, Latin America and Europe. He is the author of over 80 CD's, DVD's and books on various health, history and nutrition topics. I had the pleasure of talking with Dr. Afrika about melanin, nutrition and parenting from an African point of view. “Being a parent is the most powerful tool a person can posess, everyone who is in the presence of a child is a parent” If “If you get rid of parenting, you can control everything”.


The Importance of Family Reunions By Likia Christine In my family, reunions are a regular. It’s an annual event. It’s designed to help all of our relatives to keep in touch. This is especially important if your family is spread across the country, or even the globe. Some families may gather more spontaneously for other purposes. No matter the reason, a family reunion differs from a family holiday gathering. Extended family members are present at the annual reunion. You can learn a lot about your family, and perhaps mend bonds that had been broken. In any case, a family reunion is often a memorable event. My Grandparents taught me at an early age that there is nothing like family. The connection is priceless. There is a strong sense of belonging when you keep in touch with your family, which in turn makes you feel good about yourself. Being a part of a strong network of people opens doors that may not have been there if you relied solely on strangers. Holding a reunion provides a means for younger family members to learn about their heritage. Your elders lead the reunion with stories about the start of the family tree. Depending on your own unique heritage, you may hear personal stories about war, struggle and immigration. When you know where you’ve come from, you are more likely to have a greater idea of where you’re going in life. Me personally, I know that on both sides of my family, there is a number of hairstylists, and barbers. That knowledge alone really geared me in the direction of the career path that I chose. According to genealogy.com, about 46 percent of families organize an annual reunion. Most are held in the summer time. To organize it, most people designate positions such as, President, Vice President, Secretary, etc. Not only is it a great network, but fun! I love having a reason to take a vacation every year.


By: Azizah Nubia

I love being a mother, it is one of the most hardest, challenging, and most fulfilling job that I will ever have. I am the mother of 6 children 5 of whom I birthed and I have a wonderful step daughter. Although I know that I can raise my children by myself like most women do. I am so grateful to have my husband, he is an excellent father, partner, and provider. Something has happened in society today, where the presence strong great fathers has diminished. That’s only because strong fathers especially melanin dominated fathers, are not being portrayed properly through mass media platforms. It is sad to say, but its true the majority of society get their perception of the world based on what's on the television. It is my opinion that television programming has been geared towards putting the image of negative fathers roles in the minds of many and as a collective we have fell into the trap.

es, came a basic change in the structure and function of the family -- with a consequent shift in the authority of the father. His influence was increasingly seen as minor, even negligible, and his importance was defined by how well he provided for the family. What does the research say these days? According to a report in "Fathers and Their Impact on Children's WellBeing": "Even from birth, children who have an involved father are more likely to be emotionally secure, be confident to explore their surroundings, and, as they grow older, have better social connections. The way fathers play with their children also has an important impact on a child's emotional and social development. Fathers spend a higher percentage of their one-to-one interactions with infants and preschoolers in stimulating, playful activity than do mothers. From these interactions, children learn how to regulate their feelings and behavior. Children with involved, caring fathers have better educational outcomes. The influence of a father's involvement extends into adolescence and young adulthood. Numerous studies find that an active and nurturing style of fathering is associated with better verbal skills, intellectual functioning, and academic achievement among adolescents."

The programming of negative male image or no male image has damaged the family structure. According to Psychology Today “The world began to radically change with the social, economic and technical changes of the 20th Century and, with those chang- “There is no question that fathers do play an im-


portant part in their children's lives; that the majority of studies affirm that an involved father can play a crucial role particularly in the cognitive, behavioral and general health and well-being areas of a child's life; that having a positive male role model helps an adolescent boy develop positive gender-role characteristics; that adolescent girls are more likely to form positive opinions of men and are better able to relate to them when fathered by an involved father; that it is generally accepted, under most circumstances, a father's presence and involvement can be as crucial to a child's healthy development as is the mother's; and that experiencing validation of their importance in the general parenting literature has made fathers much more conscious of their value and, in turn, leads to their greater desire to be involved. “ In conclusion, there are great fathers out there who do an amazing job in raising the next generation. But it is our job to make sure that image is portrayed. Let’s begin to uplift our men and fathers. There role is an important role in all of our lives. I love all the REAL fathers out there, the television may not show who you are, but you better believe Natural Woman will. Sources: http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-long-reach-childhood/201106/the-importance-fathers


Courtesy of Fb & Google Images


Picture Courtesy of: Crystal Healing Therapy of FB


Picture Courtesy of: Crystal Healing Therapy of FB


Natural Woman Magazine  

Natural Woman Magazine: Family Business 2014 February issue. Featuring Dr. Lalia Afrika, ABFF & Celebrity fathers who inspire us. Plus: Hea...

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