Archive for May, 2016

Hey there, do you know where I should start with learning about Wiccan charms and spells and such? I feel like I need to guard myself against ne’r-do-wells wishing me turmoil and bad luck. You were the first person I thought about.
– Maya

Actually, there really aren’t anything called “Wiccan” charms and spells, honestly, because Wicca pulls from so many different cultures there’s nothing really that is a Wiccan charm – as in, it spurred from Wicca (which started in 1957) and wasn’t heavily meld or borrowed from another culture. However! There are plenty of charms and magick for protective reasons. Almost every book on magick is going to have something on protection. I really recommend anything Ellen Dugan, she’s a great writer with simple and effective charms and spells, especially for protection and to remove negative influence. I remember a lemon spell that she had in the Elements of Witchcraft book, it was pretty nice and simple.

Another person I suggest is Lauren Manoy because of her book, Where to Park Your Broomstick because it’s great for those who are new and is very well versed and informative.


Here is a picture of my cat:

There's a reason why my mom calls her

There’s a reason why my mom calls her “pukey”. Her actual name is Madison. And she’s also nicknamed “Binky” (because of Jar Jar Binks) by my mom, because she thought the cat was stupid and everyone objected to her idea of naming the cat “Stupid”. And yes, she’s fat. I want to buy her a kitty treadmill one day.

There really isn’t much to say. Like I said earlier, I do now have my car back but to pay for the $5000 bill, I had to cut therapy for my trauma disorders because the money had to come from somewhere. I’m really not happy about this because it’s kind of important that I get regular treatment for my trauma disorders to keep them in check.

Because I’m really determined to get therapy back up and going, that means I will be more busy and I may reopen the BW Shoppe way eariler than planned and there will be new stuff once I get living situation taken care of. I seriously don’t know how any of this stuff will work out but, yeah. To be fair, I really haven’t a clue. However, BW will still keep running. I did like the Facebook fan page livestreams and the 6 year anniversary of Black Witch is on June 9th, where I always would do a live stream so I’ll probably do a livestream on June 9th at about 7:30 PM EST via Facebook. Yeah, that sounds about fitting. Details coming soon!

Oi, it’s another short one again! Remember if you want to donate to Black Witch because my transmission is still le dead, please feel free to do so. Donation run basically ends at the end of this month.

Darius Benson
This viner I found through various funny skits on Tumblr and even funnier skits on Youtube from Vine Compilations. (However, I found him while trying to find Black girl comedy vines. I know there’s Alley Cat but if there are others, put them in the comments). I like his skill, he’s very comedic and extremely talented:

What I like most from his comedy is that it is not brash nor stereotypical. It’s not chicken jokes, watermelon jokes or “thirst” misogynistic/misogynoir jokes, which aren’t really funny. I like seeing Black folks do comedy, we’re really good at cracking a joke, it just sucks when you have to watch them say jokes that sound like they stemmed from Birth of a Nation. Benson shows his extensive creative skill in his humor and writing. Here’s a compilation below:

He’s know for Frozone, Hip Hop Disney and most recently the Rap Lecture trillogy, which I really like:

Check him out on Vine, Youtube and Twitter!

Dormtainment can be pretty comedic but sometimes their comedy seems more for Black guys than for Black folks, period. I remember them from their earlier days, I think I may have posted “Ballin’ on a Budget” on here because the song and video were comedic and well done. They did well with that but then there were comedy vid (and vids from interactions with female fans) that made one wonder if they stumbled into a barber shop.

One of their more recent creations, “Thumb Thugging” was very creative and interesting. I really like how they took the subject of forever being on the internet and interacting with social media and intermixed it with classic throwback movies like “Friday”, “Dead Presidents”, “Set it Off” and “Paid in Full”.

“Not All Snowmen”

This was a quick one but it was too hilarious, I had to share. Created by RageNineteen:

Alright, everyone. Next week is Ask Black Witch. It’s been an odd month but I’m still going to try to answer questions. If you have them, send them. Remember, good questions are appreciated, bad questions are eviscerated. Send ’em in.

So, Who’s Winning?

EEOC Update: Turns out I still have to run donations! Ugh, yay being broke. I simply have to extend donations to the rest of this month. Why? Well, remember when I mentioned that my car’s transmission gave up on life? Well, repairs are going to be $5400. And hooray, I have a new gig… that needs a car to get to. So as I suffer with Maryland transit, please do donate. I will streamline this strictly for Paypal for ease of donation and telling folks to donate. Donate here.

If anything, I’ve really just been focusing on the US primary to kinda pass the time. Yep, I’m so deeply screwed and traumatized from my experience that I am literally focusing on the race to the White House for mental stimulation/relaxation. Or watching endless cat videos. Because my brain feels absolutely friiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiied, like, Southern-deep-fryer-at-a-carnival friiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiied. Hence, why I pay attention to raw data and kitties.

This would be the third election I would be able to participate in. I remember during the last election, I was working at the Library of Congress, which was really interesting. Because, frankly, your vote actually does matter – that and I got cool stuff from “Congress Move Out Day” for those who didn’t get reelected. Huzzah.

Oi, the current pass of elections is something outrageous. Usually, every election year is a media circus but this year is quite uncanny. I’m actually an Independent (meaning, I think both parties suck) but all I have been doing is keeping track of primary numbers, because Primaries are a combination of a numbers game and popularity contest. I’m none too surprised that Trump is pretty much bagging the GOP nomination. Everyone from general news to the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) have pretty much said there’s a major uptic in hate rhetoric, hate group memberships and people being antsy about the subject in general. Trump ran for president back in 2000, didn’t do so well and simply decided to do so now again and simply up the “I hate everybody…except for ‘true Americans'” ante that Republicans tend to tout.

Usually, I would be try to be at least a teensy bit objective and factual about elections and things like that (I actually wrote a “Let’s Vote” column with all information) but alors, this is mental. The reason this is mental for me is the same reason why this is mental for anyone who isn’t White: the dude does have a Hitler-y likeness in his fevor. Now, I know, there’s the internet rule, the “Godwin law“, where if you talk about a subject long enough (and with enough White people around), eventually Hitler will be mentioned. However, with this current instance with history, I can certainly see the parallel. Working at the Library of Congress, I’ve had the chance to look at a lot of interesting documents that record some of the crappier parts of history. There is a lot of them…and it is indeed nightmare fuel. (I should talk about the day I had to deal with books talking about the illicit organ harvesting in China, the drawings from N. Korean detainees and other really horrible instances of humans being human someday.) This Trump character definitely suits the bill to the point you may want to ask him about watercolors.

I know there are probably people who are going, “Ehhhhh, everyone is considered evil when they’re running for president as a Republican,” but this time, it is different. This dude will make Bush W. look like a decent – but goofy – president. Bush still may not know how to say “nuclear” but at least he had his dad there to explain “it isn’t a toy, you can’t go waving it around like it’s a gun.” Trump just has his thin skin and thick ego. Baaaaaaaaaaaad combo, especially for the most stressful job in the US. You need tact, skill, due dilligence, and an IQ that’s not the equivallent to two bb’s in a tin can.

That and Trump is a Birther, a person who demanded President Obama fork over his birth certificate to prove that he’s an American…but is usually part of the party (GOP) that didn’t do the same to McCain (Panama) or harsh Cruz (Canada) about it. The thing about birthers is that, the core of their thinking is literally “Obama can’t be a US citizen because he’s Black. He has an African last name and an Arabic middle name. He must be Muslim and not American. Because Americans are White and Christian.” Seriously. And non-Black minorities/PoC thought that they were the only ones treated like outsiders in their own country. Newp. Basically, birthers are pretty racist people. Their thinking is powered by racism, their idea is borne from racism, they are racist themselves. They’re Klan-lite. And the head of Klan-lite has an actual shot at being the president.

If people are still going “Ehhhhh, ‘Klan-lite’ isn’t the same as ‘plain Klan’. Still a case of being Henny Penny,” either you’re not Black or you’re not aware of American history: The Klan are a terrorist group. As in, they’ve done bombings (including churches, usually American get emo when a church is attacked…unless it’s a Black church, then it’s excuses for days), they’ve thrown acid on Black Americans, strung Black Americans up trees (including Black Americans just returning from war and in their military uniforms), everything that kinda makes a group count as a “terrorist group”. There’s nothing terroristic the Klan hasn’t done. Buuuuut somehow the Taliban and Daesh/ISIS are scarier. Because Islam. To be anywhere on the Klan spectrum, especially in the eyes of a Black person, is bad. Very bad. Because eventually it blows into full-on hate and have that person be a president in a nation that’s still very much prejudiced and bigoted…it’s gonna be a problem. Like a problem that will involve camps. America has shoved its own citizens into camps before (Japanese Americans in the internment camps during WWII (and note, never were Germans or Italians rounded up)), there’s not really a whole lot to stop this from happening again. I mean, we already have a prison industrial complex and a lot of racialized feelings in regards to criminality in America. That’s actually a good chunk of what Trump is tapping into for votes, a successful tactic. Basically, Trump is scary because people will be disappearing. Muslim and brown folks started getting followed and shipped to gitmo right after 9/11 and that was Bush. Trump will go way worse.

Alright, enough about Trump and how he’s pretty bad news for anyone who isn’t White. Back to numbers!

As I previously mentioned eariler, I keep track of the numbers, not the hype, of who is doing well and who is not. I actually just type “primary results” into Google and I get a handy-dandy graph divided between Republican and Democrat parties. Just type it in yourself and see what you find. These numbers are very useful for me because otherwise I would get bewildered from all the media hype and I’m already bewildered enough. Sometimes I read articles but only if they’re fairly factual.

About articles, I always wondered why people thought Trump entering the race was a joke. There’s no reason why to say “He couldn’t be serious.” If someone wants to be president and they’re putting their hat in the ring with earnest, then it’s fine to take them seriously. Besides, American history is rife with walking jokes running for president, and a few who actually made it in. Ditto for any American political office. We’re not exactly the nation of frumpiness and intelligence. Besides, I doubt people who took Trump’s current run as a joke are laughing now.

That’s all the Black Witch for now! Sorry this was late, everyone. I spent all Thursday and Friday fighting with the mechanic over the bill and trying to get new job settled. My brain is completely full of static because I have so much on my plate. Please donate if you can!

Alrighty then, let’s talk about a subject that I don’t usually broach: hair. I don’t really care about it but as it has come up a lot in recent days, let’s get down to it and all its nonsense politics.

As of recent, Beyonce put out a visual album called “Lemonade”. It definitely seems the whole world wound up watching it. I usually don’t care for anything Beyonce since I grew up with Destiny’s Child, as well as countless other acts such as 702 and Total, therefore it’s all just background sounds but I definitely saw the artistic visuals (I’m a sucker for short films) so I gave it a go. I never thought people would hyperfocus on the phrase “better call Becky with the good hair”…but then again, I’m Black and I forgot that Beyonce has a multitude of White fans, who took this and ran with it like a Klansman with a people-hunting license.

Ok, if you’re White (mainly White girls) and you’re saying “I’m Becky with the good hair”, to a Black person’s ears, you just said, “Segregation now, intergration never. Trump for president. Why don’t Black people bleach their skin and straighten their hair if they want to be accepted? Ugh, dirty porch monkeys.”

No, seriously, all that in one teeny phrase. This is why blindly stealing cultural terminology, idioms and phrases are a bad idea.

If you’re thinking, “Beyonce said all this about herself! I thought she liked being Black!” She does. When a Black person talks about a “Becky with the good hair”, she’s saying: “I am culturally disrespected time and time again because my skin is dark, my hair is nappy. I’m forever devalued, regardless what I do because I have ‘bad’ hair. Everyone likes you more if you have that ‘good’, straight hair like White girls do. What bullsh*t.” It’s mainly racist when a White person says it, an expression of the existence of racism when a Black person says it, and I’ll be going into the why below.

Let’s break it down in two compartments: “Becky” and “Good Hair” because I think if you’re going to be a mentally dense White girl (a ‘Becky’), you may want to get it straight, especially if you’re the feminist type – doubly so if you have a Tumblr because frankly, this is really stupid.

We’re going to start here with some history. Actually, no, we’re going to start here with a reference from the extremely well-written column from Damon Young of Very Smart Brothas, titled “Where ‘Becky’ Comes From, and Why It’s Not Racist, Explained“:

“For years, ‘Becky’ has been used as a general reference for a particular type of White woman….It’s actually easier for me to say whether a White woman would be considered a Becky than it is to explain the criteria. Hillary Clinton? Not a Becky. Natalie Portman? Not really a Becky. Taylor Swift? The Beckiest. Iggy Azelea? Darth Becky. There are several theories on its etymology, but the one that makes the most sense is that it stems from the first line of ‘Baby Got Back.’

“Oh, my, god. Becky, look at her butt”

And cue to the video in reference! “Baby Got Back” by Sir Mix ALot, everyone. Pay suuuuuuuuuuuper close attention to the intro.

In the intro, the unnamed girl is talking to her friend Becky and this is what she says:

“Oh. My. God. Becky, look at her butt. It is so big. She looks like one of those rap guys’ girlfriends. Who understands those rap guys, ugh? They only talk to her because she looks like a total prostitute, okay? I mean, her butt. It’s just so…big…ugh, I can’t believe it’s so round – it’s like, out there – I mean, ugh, gross. Look! She’s just so…Black.”

And then we go into the song that is worth its own race x gender deconstruction but here ya have it, the whole kit and kaboodle. This name, Becky, is what stuck. (I can already hear some apologist going, “technically, Becky never said any of that, so it isn’t her to blame so [blah blah blah bs]”, dude…no one cares. Also, it isn’t like Becky ever says, “Chill it, Sarah. She’s ok the way she is, gawd. You’re, like, so racist. No wonder Chad cheated on you at the Spring Formal.”) Now, this first line was an ear catcher then and, trust, it is now. Nicki Minaj sampled that exact line “Oh. My. God. Becky, look at her butt,” for her pop song “Anaconda”. Actually, I believe Sir Mix ALot added to it with the hook “My anaconda don’t/My anaconda don’t/My anaconda don’t want none unless you got buns, hon.”

This, in academia, is what you actually would call “cultural intertexuality”. It’s nifty and all over the place in hip hop…because it’s a creative art form, like any other art form.

Alright, back to the racist duo, featuring Jank and Silent Becky. This is what White girls unknowingly are refering to, time and time over when they’re referencing Beyonce in “Lemonade”. Not smart. Actually, Young references what a “Becky” stereotype is:

“Admittedly, referring to White women as “Becky” isn’t particularly nice, but it’s ultimately a reaction to a certain type of privileged young White woman who exists in a state of racial obliviousness that shifts from intentionally clueless to intentionally condescending. “

I agree. And if any White girl thinks “Becky” is a slur…uhhhhhh, and “Shaniqua/Pedro/Ping-Ping/Ahmed” isn’t? White folks have been dragging us by our names for centuries. The difference is, “Becky” can still get hired, “Shaniqua” has to work twice as hard to get half as much as “Becky”. If anything at all. “Becky” doesn’t make people talk down to you like “Shaniqua” does, even if you’re decorated with degrees. “Becky” doesn’t get the worst assume of her, “Shaniqua” is treated like a criminal from the start. “Becky” isn’t a slur because it’s literally just a name to the rest of society, no baggage. “Shaniqua” has the opposite effect. And if a White girl thinks “Becky” is still a slur, how come it isn’t used against her in common media? How come no one asks her “Why did your parents name you that?” or told “I can’t pronounce that”? “Becky” isn’t a slur, “Becky” is how Black folks, primarily Black women, can commiserate with other Black folks, primarily Black women, about the fact that dealing with Whiteness as the ideal, especially gendered Whiteness, is a real downer.

Even when White girls think that they’re being tongue-in-cheek cute by calling themselves “Becky”, they’re kinda saying “I’m White and proud of it” without throwing up the “Heil Hitler” salute. (Same for “basic”, they’re just saying they’re “worthless, White and proud of it”. That’s just pathetic.) Basically, to the ears and eyes of Black folks – primarily Black women – this is how it comes off:


But hey, they do have what is culturally defined as “good hair”. And there’s a chance one of them may actually be named “Becky”. They’re just *really* proud of that fact.

Remember, Black girls have a massive hill to climb because of misogynoir (the combo hatred of race and gender). We’re always ragged on by everyone, from mainstream society to even in Black culture, about Whiteness and how we don’t add up. Bottom of the totem pole, last one picked, you get the idea. In Black culture, there’s even an idea of “marrying up” when you have a White partner, especially for a Black guy. Because of that ideal, that means the most basic Becky can show up, and she’s a hot commodity (think about the rise of Iggy Azelea) but a Black girl means nothing until she does something about her skin, body features and that hair….Oooh, that nappy, headed hair has got to go! ‘Cuz she ain’t gonna find herself no man until she got some good hair he can run his fingers through.

Speaking of ingrained cultural bullsh*t, let’s get to the second part:

“Good Hair”
Ahh, the hair debacle. If you’re a White girl, you’ll never have to go through this. Black? It’s a load of misery, regardless of texture.

It was an absolute pain for me when I went natural (stopped straightening my hair) because, maaaaaan, is Black hair politicized to the point I felt like I needed a Post Doc just to buy shampoo and a comb. It’s the first thing everyone will pick on in regards to success in life for a Black woman/girl. Wanna get a job? “You’re not gonna straighten your hair? They won’t hire you.” Wanna get a date? “No one is gonna love you with that Angela Davis nonsense you got on your head. Men don’t care about that, they like straight hair.” Wanna be seen as not threatening? “You look like a Black Panther. Lolz, why do you hate White people? All I said was it was ‘All Lives Matter’ makes more sense than ‘Black Lives Matter’.” Wanna have your humanity respected? “I just had to pet you, you remind me of my dog! So fluffeh! I just wanna shave it all off, stuff it all in my pillow and sleep on it” Wanna buy shampoo that’s for your hair texture? “Try the ‘ethnic’ aisle. It will be an arm and a leg. But there are perm kits there, too! Get all that ‘jungle’ out your hair and look cute.”

Now, let’s get into the Bad Hair/Good Hair debate.

Thankfully, there’s India Arie “I Am Not My Hair” music video to give us all a great starting point.

To pinpoint, her description is “Good hair means curls and waves/Bad hair means you look like a slave”.

Y’see, “good” hair emulates mainly European hair, which is a “nice” curly to an “ideal” straight. “Bad” hair basically means you have African ancestry because no one has hair like us. In its natural state, Black hair can break combs, be absolutely huge, and – when not cared for correctly – be a big pain in the rear for the person who decided to go natural.

Good hair/Blac- I mean, Bad hair has been ingrained in Black folks since we were first dragged here. Ditto with skin bleaches and “fixing” your nose. To get straight hair, you have to chemically alter it or use plain fire-like heat. You’ll have chemical burns on your scalp (just google the ingredients on a Black hair perm kit…try the brand “African Pride”. (Yes, the name. The internalized racism)) or third degree burns on your ears and scalp. But society will like you better for it, though! Just yells “Less dangerous” and “not angry” and “totes believe racism died when Obama went into office.” Don’t like using harsh science to fry your scalp? How about shelling out major cheddar for weaves, wigs and braids? Think you won’t need it? Fine, go see if you can land a job.

Actually, T-Pain said it best (yes, guys got their hair conked as well. What, you thought European ideals of beauty only affected Black Women?):

At this point in history, the present, Black girls are kiiiiiiiiinda tired of the “straight hair is good hair” chicanery. Especially with the waves of women going natural, the prejudice is still buried deep. Good hair should mean “hair that is well cared for, regardless of texture”, not “hair similar to White girls”. But still, it doesn’t. And it still can make Black women and girls feel like crap about themselves. Even Beyonce. Her hair is not naturally straight. If you’ve seen a picture of Solange Knowles, her sister, then you basically have a pretty accurate picture of what Beyonce’s hair would look like in a totally natural state. Why it isn’t in the natural state is perfectly up to Beyonce. Because it’s her hair. Because that’s how personhood works.

Luckily for everyone, there’s a documentary about this, called “Good Hair”, made by comedian Chris Rock. That’s where the T-Pain and co. clip came from. Here’s some more!

That’s a playlist of varied snippets. I really recommend watching the whole documentary. It is as comedic as it is informative.

And here’s a last bit from Tatyana Ali in her interview with VladTv, it’s really good.

Basically, considering yourself a “Becky with the good hair” is pretty insulting to Black people because of all the issue it’s brought us. Oh, and if you think you’re clever, Nivea thought the same with this ad:


Yeah, not cool. It’s ok to say, “I have nice hair”, but don’t recite Beyonce on a socio-cultural and racially gendered struggle you literally have no idea about. It just sounds so…basic.

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