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Beginning on July 1, the state of Kansas will limit the amount of cash welfare recipients can withdraw every day, making life even more difficult for those who need government benefits to make it through the day. As the Washington Post writes:
A single mother with two children would receive around $400 a month [in welfare] in Kansas, depending on where they live. The money is credited electronically to a state-issued card. Many use that amount to pay their bills, relying on the separate food stamp program to buy groceries. They might withdraw the money in cash using their card at an ATM and pay for things—whether it's rent or diapers—in cash.

In Kansas's system, every withdrawal incurs a $1 fee, and if the beneficiary doesn't have a bank account, they will have to pay the ATM fee, too. Those fees might be worth it for some families, though, because the card issued by the state of Kansas isn't like a debit card from an ordinary bank. Ordinary debit cards allow their holders to make purchases for free in stores. In Kansas, beneficiaries get two free purchases a month. After that, they pay 40 cents every time they use the card to buy something.
This is just the latest in a series of measures supported by Republican lawmakers in several states that would add to the misery of the poor. In Indiana, a proposal was floated (then eventually withdrawn) to force welfare recipients to undergo drug testing. In Wisconsin, the state legislature is considering a bill that would drug test people receiving public aid and prohibit food stamps from being used to buy "junk food." And one legislator in Missouri wants to make it impossible for food stamp users to buy lobsters or steak. These are obviously punitive schemes based on the idea that the poor are somehow living large on government benefits, and that they're too irresponsible to pull themselves out of poverty without more laws governing their behavior and diet.
These regulations are nasty pieces of work—but the one passed in Kansas might even violate federal laws about making sure that public aid recipients can withdraw money without facing onerous fees. That would cost the state a reported $102 million in federal funding.
"That's what can happen when lawmakers ram through legislation without proper vetting, and based on ugly stereotypes," wrote the editorial board of the Wichita Eagle.
Photo via Flickr user JD Hancock

Dailymail.com writes: 

There are very few hairdressing contests in the world that are as imaginative, or as steeped in culture and history as this one in Colombia.
Everything from reels of colourful ribbon, to appliqué flowers and even wooden buttons, were incorporated into the striking hairstyles of the women and girls who turned up for the 11th Afro-hairdressers contest in Cali, Valle del Cauca, Colombia, this weekend.
But while the intricate braidwork appeared colourful and vibrant, they held a poignant significance for those in attendance at the competition, named 'Tejiendo Esperanzas' (Knitting Hope).
Scroll down for video 

Women and girls of all ages turned up for the 11th Afro-hairdressers contest in Cali, Valle del Cauca, Colombia
The contest, 'Tejiendo Esperanzas' (Knitting Hope) has a poignant significance for those in attendance and having their hair braided
The contest, 'Tejiendo Esperanzas' (Knitting Hope) has a poignant significance for those in attendance and having their hair braided
Although the competition may only be in its 11th year, the tradition of braiding has been around for centuries in Colombia, and even longer still in Africa.  
Enslaved Africans first started arriving in Colombia in the 16th century, brought there by Spaniards who colonised the area. 
Reels of colourful ribbon, to appliqué flowers and even wooden buttons are incorporated into the intricate hairstyles
Reels of colourful ribbon, to appliqué flowers and even wooden buttons are incorporated into the intricate hairstyles
The braiding festival are in celebration of the abolition of slavery in 1851, and honour Afro-Colombian traditions
The braiding festival are in celebration of the abolition of slavery in 1851, and honour Afro-Colombian traditions 


A young girl has had her hair braided in a complex pattern
A girl models for the competition at the annual Afro-Columbian festival
A young girl has had her hair braided in a complex pattern as she models for the competition
The braids were often also used to relay messages between slaves, signalling that they were going to escape, or even used to keep gold and seeds to help them survive after they would run away. 
While slavery was abolished in Colombia on May 21, 1851, many were still mistreated and forced to forgo African traditions, such as braiding. 
Now, the hairdressing festival comes as part of the yearly celebrations to celebrate the abolition.
One young woman in attendance has had sea shells incorporated into her hair twists
One young woman in attendance has had sea shells incorporated into her hair twists
Another attendee of the contest has had a bundle of intricate hair twists as well as complicated adjoining hair rings
Another attendee of the contest has had a bundle of intricate hair twists as well as complicated adjoining hair rings
The category of children's hairstyles sees an abundance of colourful and fun hairbraids
The category of children's hairstyles sees an abundance of colourful and fun hairbraids
It also seeks to rescue the customs, identity and African culture of the country.
The celebratory competition has three different categories: men's braids, women's braids and children's hairstyles.
Striking hairstyles include difficult patterns interwoven with colourful accessories or twisted into almost unbelievable formations.
The contest even includes a 'Hair Marathon', where members of the public, who haven't entered into the competition, are able to have their hair braided as well. A young girl sports earrings that even appear to have hair braided around the silver
A young girl sports earrings that even appear to have hair braided around the silver
An attendee holds a section of her hair back as a woman works on another part of her hair
An attendee holds a section of her hair back as a woman works on another part of her hair
Women and young girls of all ages turned up for the 'Tejiendo Esperanzas' (Knitting Hope) competition in Colombia
Women and young girls of all ages turned up for the 'Tejiendo Esperanzas' (Knitting Hope) competition in Colombia
One onlooker takes images of all the vibrant hairstyles at the 11th annual Afro-Colombian contest
One onlooker takes images of all the vibrant hairstyles at the 11th annual Afro-Colombian contest
A little girl models her colourful hairstyle in front of judges at the Cali contest
A little girl models her colourful hairstyle in front of judges at the Cali contest

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-3086043/The-styles-celebrate-freedom-Intricate-braids-woven-Colombian-hairdressing-contest.html#ixzz3aveGQgCX  Follow us: @MailOnline on Twitter | DailyMail on Facebook


Icons are an essential part of the visual history of religions, including those of the Catholic, Coptic and Orthodox Christian traditions. From the familiar Mary and the Archangel Gabriel to the more obscure Saint Menas or Theotokos of Vladimir, iconic depictions venerate the figures we consider holy or miraculous, marked by a defining saintly feature -- the halo.
For artist Gabriel Garcia Roman, the halo is a particularly mesmerizing aspect of spirituality. Born in Zacatecas, Mexico, he immigrated to Chicago at the age of two. There he grew up in a Mexican household heavily influenced by Catholicism and religious imagery. As a kid, Garcia Roman recalls being transfixed by halos in fresco paintings, which, to him, combined suffering and strength on the dark walls of his church. "I saw the halo as a badge of nobility and selflessness," he explained to The Huffington Post. "So I try and bring that feeling into my work. I want the viewer to be mesmerized like I was as a kid and still am."
His work, "Queer Icons," consists of wildly vibrant portraits that mimic the splendor of religious iconography, with one very important caveat. His subjects are not centuries-old saints. His subjects are very real individuals who identify as QTPoC (queer and trans people of color)



queer
We've seen it on instagram and many other social media outlets. Many celebrities such as Amber Rose, Khloe Kardashian and many more have been known to wear and advertise them. I even considered buying one myself because I have small hips and would love to have an hourglass
figure. I am not hugely into body modification, so I did research first and what I found has definitely turned me off. Here's is what I found 

BlackDoctor.org Writes What is waist training?
Waist training: It is one of the HOTTEST sculpting trends out there right now. Celebrities such as Beyoncé, and most recently Kim Kardashian, have done this. Waist training has it’s benefits but like anything else you gotta know when and where to draw the line. Like those men who tend to go a little too hard in the gym or that friend who always seems to have a little too much to drink… if you're the type to over indulge then waist training may not be for you.
Facts About Waist Training:
1. You Move Less – Many people who wear waist trainers tend to move less because of the constriction associated with pulling the body together.
2. You Eat Less – Since many waist trainers make you feel full, many tend to eat less and sometimes that “less” means less vital fruits & veggies
3. You Don’t “Lose” Weight – Experts have said that those who solely use waist trainers without exercise don’t lose weight, its just your organs are pushed around into different areas.
Some negative stories surrounding waist training include some find that their blood pressure increased while they’re wearing a corset (although those with chronically low blood pressure have found. . .(Read More)

It has happened, a video with Nicki Manaj featuring Beyonce, for Nicki Manaj's current single "I'm feeling myself." Queen of R&B and the reigning queen of hip-hop are twerking, partying BFFs who single handled bring in the era of jersey swimsuits, hit the road to hit Coachella, eating hamburgers and easily conjuring up the idea that they “Feeling Myself” anthem all throughout the video 

Watch the “Feeling Myself” video here, without that pesky Tidal subscription.

                        
Header image from vevo.com
When it came to my attention that Whole Foods was giving free food to the National Guard in Baltimore after the Baltimore rising my first reaction was boycott Whole Foods, which for me would be extremely easy. I live in a part of Brooklyn where there is no wholefoods, and I generally shop at Trader Joe's, because it's sells quality food, at a budget I can afford.  After my immediate call to boycott Wholefoods, I realized two things.

1) It is foolish to demand people boycott things without giving them an alternative
2) The point of boycotts are protesting in forms that affects the  capital of an entity that opposes  my cause, and should also be a tool to divert the black dollar into our own communities.

I hadn't  known any Black owned supermarkets in my neighborhood, or any Black farmers. With the power of google I came across this list from blavity.com, and learned I had a Black owned farm in my neighborhood I can buy fruits and vegetables from. They have a list of Black owned farmers across the country. Check out the list by clicking here

By Queen
Instagram @TheQueenspeaks_

If you follow me on instagram you will notice I change my hairstyle a lot, and by a lot I mean every two weeks to a mong I have a new hair style. I have alway been a fan of transforming my look. My wardrobe, and hair are the easiest way for me to reinvent myself extrovertedly.  I'm hugely into embracing change and new things, and my look generally reflects that.                                                                             
Queen 
I do my own hair, and have largely learned how to do many of my hairstyles from youtube, or have gotten inspiration from youtube, and have remixed styles for myself. I came across this quick way to do havana twist, which I know will work great for me since I like doing quick styles since I don't commit for too long. I found this randomly on tumblr, unfortunately I don't remember the account but the website is present on the page. I haven't tried to do the style yet, but will update my Vixen's when I do (the header picture is me with havanna twist done the old fashion way) 

                              
By Queen
Instagram @TheQueenspeaks_
I've seen it my whole life, the slang dialect and vernacular that many Black people use in the many neighborhoods of the USA later to be appropriated in mainstream advertising. I assumed as a child that was simply how it all works, Black people create things white people steal it claim as something new and we move on to something else because everything they touch typically becomes incredible stale and of no use to us anymore. Since the day I was taught by my parents the true story of Christopher Columbus I adopted that thought of this being the nature of the mainstream, to go about discovering things that have already existed yet because it's new to their eyes, acting as if these entities haven't lived a life of their own, independent to their own existence. I never will understand this, being a person in the arts who puts work into the world and expects to be  fully credited for it, i am very sensitive about my work being screwed, stolen or treated like a blank page that offers nothing to the world. I can not relate to the lack of integrity it takes to steal people's work, language or land and give no regard or respect to its origin.
A reference from Bobby Shmurda's popular song "Hot Nigga"
My latest issue with mainstream appropriation of Black culture is with corporate advertising and the language that many use for advertisement on television and social media. We've all seen the the Mcdonald's commercials that are clearly being marketed to  Black people, or to what many would like to refer the urban market. The word urban which has somehow transcended to mean Black people, when being nice, and ghetto when being not so nice. These commercials usually use a lot of the language and diction that many would connect with a Black persons vernacular. Although those commercials would make me cringe a bit I was able to get through them I didn't feel appropriated because there were Black faces present, also there were black actors with jobs, so I  let that pass.

Popular slang acronym  that means "Beyond Anyone Else"
As the market opened up for companies to advertise places other than television is when it got uncomfortable for me. Mainly on social networks such as twitter, I noticed tweets using language from popular Hip-Hop songs and popular slang used in the black diaspora, which I would assume were to appeal to the millennial demographic. I understand appealing to a younger market and the need to relate to that demographic, their spending power is enormous and as Hip-hop has become more mainstream and a music of youth of all races and culture it's natural for those advertising markets to do so also. Yet, this is where my cringe began. It wasn't just the language being used, I have learned to get over that because I am used to it, its pretty standard for our language to be stolen. It's within my adulthood that I began to realize that these companies adopt a lot of our language but it's known they wouldn't hire a person who speaks that way in a job interview.


Fleek is a word used to describe someone, or somethings awesomeness 


It's actually getting more ridiculous. In an attempt to be appealing to many millennials companies are getting pretty foolish with their marketing, almost to the point of embarrassment. I came across a hefty bag commercial that literally made my face screw up as if i'd eaten a sour candy. Is this really what companies feel they most do, make a mockery of my culture?


                    

                                                                                                                                                     
By Queen
Instagram @TheQueenspeaks_       



Memorial Day is just a few days away. Take a sec to celebrate, and then get your game face on for finding the perfect outfit. There are lots to consider: the weather, the occasion, and your company. With that said, you many not have the budget or time to change clothes into a whole other outfit. In fact, if you're having as much fun as we hope you get to have, you'll barely have time to think about anything except your next destination. So you’ll need an outfit that will be BBQ-beach-beer garden-amusement park-day party and outdoor dinner-ready with your coworkers, friends, family or boyfriend!
Regardless of where you plan to end up this Memorial Day, get started with this outfit inspiration and our styling tips.


We recommend going with a dress! A dress is breathable and airy and will keep you cool if the temperatures really rise. It’s also more flexible in adapting to any occasion, as opposed to denim cut-offs for example. We went with a skater dress because the fit is flirty, the wave print is fun, and the black and white combo is easy to pair with other colors.

Hopefully, the weather has been nice in your city and it’s well on the way to summer, which means leaving the jackets at home. But we do recommend you carry along a cardigan just in case it gets cold in the evening, or on the train, in the theater or any other place with the AC on full blast. They’re also usually light enough to fold up into a medium-size bag.

Say no to sweaty feet and slip on a pair of sandals—the best, if not only, option for warmer weather. We choose these Hedley sandals because, as we've already said, black and white and brights go great together. The heel is low enough for all day comfort, but high enough to still be dressy, and the block make is more supportive than a kitten heel.














A girl’s gotta have her bag. But we choose a bucket bag because the shape is so much fun, and not as worn as the tote or satchel, which we do during the work week anyway. We wanted a dose of color up top to off-set the sandals, but didn't want to do too much by adding another solid. So we went with a  snake print featuring a similar hue that’s full of personality.

No matter what you wear, this Memorial Day, have fun!


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