90’s TV-Living Single and Natural Hair

What does the TV show Living Single, and being natural have to do with one another?  Did you know that cast of the show were all natural haired divas during the 90’s?  Well read further and I will tell you more about it.

My Afro Puff

During the early 90’s I was a shy, black, teen girl trying to survive high school.  I grew up in a poor family so I made it my mission to get a job as soon job as soon as possible, so I could buy the things I wanted.  Then at the age of 15 I finally got one!  Ya’ll, you couldn’t tell me nothing!  I could now buy all the clothes, eyeliner, and lip gloss I wanted!  But, the best thing about work was I could finally start dabbling in some of the up-to-date hair styles I wanted to try.  Yes indeed.  I would spend hours in the mirror slicking, curling, and braiding my hair.    Just because I was shy, didn’t mean my hair couldn’t look good!

Fast forward to 1993.  One of the best years of my life.  I graduated from high school and then later on that year found out I was pregnant with my first son.   Yes ma’am, yes sir,  I was on a roller coaster right of emotions.

During the summer of 1993 was when the TV show Living Single came on air.  Living Single immediately became one of my favorite shows.  Who could resist an intelligent cast of young, black, positive, trendy, and empowered individuals.  With all the gang activity that was going on during that period of time, it was nice to cut on the TV see black folks actually laughing and not fighting one another.

The cast of Living Single

What also caught my eye was the beautiful hairstyles these women were wearing. I was like a kid in a candy store trying to mimic their styles on my own head.  The best thing about it was, each cast member was rocking their natural hair long before it became the “It” thing again.

Let me break it down by cast member:

  • Khadijah James  (Queen Latifah) – Got her hair pressed and flat ironed on a regular basis.  Her hair was so straight and bouncy we all thought she had a perm.  But no, her hairstylist just had major skills!
  • Synclaire James  (Kim Coles) – Had micro-braids that looked like they were flowing from her scalp.  Many blessings to her hair stylist who kept her hair fresh to deaf at all times and  left her edges intact!
  • Regina “Regine” Hunter  (Kim Fields) – She had every wig imaginable!  She was the master of protective styles.  But, did you know she  had beautiful locs underneath the whole time!
  • Maxine Shaw  (Erika Alexander) had yarn braids that framed her face perfectly. I used to stare hard at the screen trying to figure out how they were so perfect, and looked like locs  at the same time.
  • Kyle Barker  (T.C. Carson)  – Had locs and through-out the years we got to follow his loc journey.
  • Overton Wakefield Jones (John Henton)  – Was bald and beautiful!

So there you have it.  The cast of Living Single were a major influence on the Natural Hair Community way back then and are still an influencing us now thanks to Hulu streaming their show!  So if you’ve never had a chance to experience these game changers in action, here is your chance.

With that said, I’m signing off for now so I can begin my Living Single Marathon.

Oh, don’t forget to

like, comment, share and subscribe!  Talk to you later Roses!



Special Needs Transportation

Proper Special Needs Transportation is important to millions of families around the world.  Today I am going to share with you my current concerns and what I have done about it.
The Issue:  
I have been having issues with my youngest son’s  school district’s  Special Needs transportation lately. There have been unscheduled/random changes in bus #’s or bus drivers on my son’s bus route.   I also have not been pleased with the random drop-off times on my son’s PM bus.
How to Relay Your Concerns:
I have addressed my  concerns with the transportation department directly in the past regarding other issues during the past school year.  I am the type of parent who will make a round of phone calls and/or emails to express my concerns to ALL parties involved.  Tactfully of course.  After, follow-up conversations with the school district’s transportation department’s supervisor, my son’s school, his therapist, and our family advocate. I was able to resolve my grievances to my satisfaction. 
Sadly,  this school year I’ve had to give a refresher course of what this mama expects!  Random bus drivers have heard my mouth and responded by saying they are short-staffed and there are last-minute changes they don’t even know about until they get to the school to pick up children.  Even my conversation with the Special Needs Transportation receptionist has proved  pressure is at an all time high due to the shortage of drivers. 
Trust me, I truly do empathize with them.
School districts have enough problems with so-called adults having kids, then acting like they don’t have good sense when dealing with other adults of authority, or their own children.  Personally I refuse to have the title “unfit parent” placed on my forehead for any reason.  Unfortunately, these types of parents forget that all eyes are already on them at all times and that most adults involved in our child’s development outside of the house are mandatory reporters.
What Special Needs Transportation Expects
Here is a summary of some key points in the written Special Needs Transportation agreement mailed out each school year to parents and caregivers:
  •  The caregiver or parent is to be notified by phone (in advance) whenever there is a change to the designated bus# their child normally rides.
  • The parent or caregiver is to be notified if the regular bus driver or bus route changes
  • The caregiver or parent is to be notified when the pick-up and drop-off time will deviate from the  regular schedule. Or changed permanently.
  • With Special Needs Transportation the parent or caregiver is required to be at the bus stop at the designated pick-up and  drop-off times. If the caregiver or parent is not at the designated
    Mandatory Reporter Definition
    What is a Mandatory Reporter

    bus stop at the designated drop-off time: The bus driver has the right to drive the child all the way back to the school then call CPS to report possible neglect. (In Oregon -Multnomah County/Reynolds School District)

So to make a long story short. I do my part daily for my son to ensure that my son is safe and his life has some sort of consistency.   I also expect anyone involved in his care to do the same.  Best believe, if something doesn’t sit right with me I will speak on it.  I am his number one advocate of course!  It is up to all of us to speak on behalf of our loved ones.
In Closing:
I can go on and on, but it’s time to close out this blog post.

So let me make it clear: When it comes to Special Needs Transportation, I understand permanent, properly trained drivers are hard to come by.  I am also aware that budget cuts have made things more difficult in many parts of the world.  But, it’s a proven fact, sporadic changes in the regular schedule of a child (mine)with severe ADHD and/or Autism is NOT OK.  Any slight change will throw him & countless others of track, and spark behavioral difficulties. 

Facebook group
The Advocacy Garden Facebook Group created by OlenaRosanne

If we don’t learn to voice our concerns how else will people involved in shaping our children know there’s a problem? 

I feel it is my responsibility hold other’s accountable the same way I am held accountable. And I hope you feel the same way to.  Let’s all continue to advocate for all special need individuals!
Have you or someone you know, had issues with Special Needs Transportation?  Let me know.   Also, consider joining my Facebook Group “The Advocacy Garden“.  In my group I discuss subjects surrounding Special Needs and Mental Health Advocacy.  I would love to respond to any  comments you may have as well. So please  make sure you like, share, comment and subscribe.