Starting Your Dreams Later In Life and Embracing the Detour

Jenee Darden speaking at Creative Mornings I know it's been a while since I've posted anything but that's because of my job. I'm working as a reporter covering Oakland and I host an arts segment on the radio where I get to interview amazing artists from around the Bay Area. Plus I'm publicizing my book  and building my speaking career!  You know what's funny? I thought this would all happen by the time I was 27-30.  Nope. That wasn't God's plan for me. I'm finally beginning to do the things I've wanted to do and I'm almost 40 years old. Some people reading this who are 40 will say 40 is still young. But some younger people reading may think 40 is nearly ancient. But I'm writing this post for those who like me, thought their career and personal dreams would come true much early in life. I'm here to tell you not to give up.  You know, death inspires life. A number of my relatives and friends have passed away, ranging in

Sesame Street 'I Love My Hair' Video Touches The Little Girl In Me

Don't need a trip to the beauty shop because I love what I got on top.

Maybe I'm too old to be singing Sesame Street tunes around the house, but this one touched my heart. Who would've thought a little brown muppet with an afro could send such a powerful message. Black women all over the internet are buzzing about this Sesame Street video, "I Love My Hair."  I cried the first time I saw it. For centuries black girls have been told our kinky, tight curls are unattractive and not good enough. We've spent countless hours, money pressing, flat ironing, weaving, relaxing our hair. Don't get me started on scalps fried from relaxers and burned ears when the hot comb got too close.  But here comes this video from Sesame Street encouraging black girls to love their kinks and coils. I thought it was so funny how, like many sistas,  the muppet changed her hairstyle a few times in the video.  She went from an afro to a press and curl to braids then locs. LOL!  But that's one of the great things about having black hair--versatility. Hey, I've been known to switch up my style a few times.

I will never, ever, EVA forget a particular moment when I covered an interracial dating seminar for black women in Los Angeles. The issue of hair came up and the men on the panel, all non-black, said they didn't care if the black women they dated rocked natural hair. Girrrl, sistas mouths dropped to the floor. One guy said he didn't care if his lady was bald. I could read the women's minds in the audience. All of the money they spent over the years on $300 weaves and $60 touch ups. But these guys are happy if they're women are nappy. That's not to say there aren't brothas who like natural hair too. But it goes to show, we've been going too long not loving what we got on top.

I've been playing with natural styles too, like twists and roller sets. I have a style I named "The Poof," where I put in an extra volume leave-conditioner after washing my hair. Then I press it lightly. My hair swells up like a mushroom and I don't care. It's poofy and nappy and I love it.  Men, of ALL races, have given me more attention with "The Poof" then when I was swinging the straight and silky.

Kudos to Sesame Street. If you have a black daughter, niece, sister, mentee, etc please share this video with her. We have to plant the seeds of positive self-image in our girls early. I read comment on youtube from women of other ethnicities with similar texture hair to the muppet. They said the video moved them as well. Spread the word.  I LOVE MY HAIR!!


  1. Love your Huffington post interview!

    Great Blog it made me really smile as I hummed I love my hair!

  2. right on, sister! i loved this video too, and hope it helps explain to other folks how we can wear so many styles back to back (like you mentioned in your huffpo piece, lol).

    and i'm really glad it was done on a show that targets such a young age group.

  3. @ Abigail--Thanks for reading my blog and interview! Glad they made you smile.

    @Cherryl-- You're right about the versatility of our how. We change our styles so much because we can. I didn't appreciate that about our hair until recently. That's one of the beauties of black hair. Thanks for your comment.

  4. Thanks for this inteview. Wonderful that "Sesame Street" was the perfect venue for this father to share this positive message not only to his little girl, but to little girls across the nation and the world! Great job.

  5. Thanks Lorraine! This little tune has impacted a lot of people. I think it's wonderful.


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