Women Rock: Mara Brock Akil

6th Annual Essence Black Women in Hollywood luncheon held at the Beverly Hills hotel

Who is Mara Brock Akil?

Mara puts pen to paper and creates real people who share (via television and film) authentic experiences we face in this thing called life. Girlfriends, The Game, Cougar Town, Sparkle, South Central, The Jamie Foxx Show, and Moesha… Mara’s had a hand in them all. Check her resume, she rocks!

Girlfriends, the first show created by Mara, is one of my all-time faves. It was so good that I had to buy boxed sets. I’m anxiously awaiting her new series Being Mary Jane, which debuts in 2014 and stars Gabrielle Union.

Mara captures the complex lives of individuals (esp. African American women) and serves them up on a plate of awesome with the help of her diverse team. That team includes her husband/partner Salim Akil.

You know they’re the bosses over at Akil Productions (formerly Happy Camper Productions), right? Let’s say it together: Power couple!

Earlier this year, I had the pleasure of spending time with Mara and Salim as they honestly (not Hollywood honest) uncovered their relationship in a panel at the BET Experience. They shared how they keep their marriage in tact and manage their business relationship.

Aside from dynamic partner and skilled writer, Mara also proudly hold the titles; successful producer, devoted wife and nurturing mother. From where I stand, she does it all with style and grace.

Mara is an ah-MAy-zing Los Angeles born, Kansas City raised individual rocking the world. She earned her bachelor’s degree in journalism from Northwestern University. Unlike Dorothy and Toto, Mara worked hard to create the life she lives, she didn’t just click her heels.

Fun Fact: (Cue Kanye West’s Through The Wire) She’s a Delta, so she’s been throwing up that dynasty sign.

Youngest Best Actress Oscar Nominee Ever

Nine-year-old Quvenzhané Wallis earned an Oscar nomination for her performance in Beasts of the Southern Wild, allowing her to make history as the youngest individual to ever be nominated as best actress in a leading role.

Look out for this tiny force of nature in Twelve Years a Slave and Boneshaker.

Congrats Quvenzhané!!!

wallis-beasts-jpg_064424

Photo Credit: Mary Cybulski/Fox Searchlight Pictures

National Board of Review Awards 2013

Photo Credit: quvenzhane-wallis.com

Watch a clip of Quvenzhané acting in the Beasts of the Southern Wild trailer.

So, You’re Thinking About Going Natural?

So, you’re thinking about going natural? That means you’re researching and probably want to understand shit naturals say.

While researching, I had so many  WTF moments. By research, I of course  mean watching countless YouTube videos for days on end that teach you how to care for your natural texture. Sometimes I stopped 30 seconds into a video to open another window to find the meaning of some random term.  It can be frustrating like a foreigner giving you directions in Japanese when you clearly only speak English. To help minimize your WTF moments i’ve compiled a list of basic terms. I will continue adding to the list. You can find it under the Curl Talk tab titled Terminology.

A        

armpit length (APL): refers to hair length

B

baggy method: to cover hair with a plastic shower cap or bag while deep conditioning

big chop (BC): cutting off all the relaxed and/or chemically treated hair

bra strap length (BSL):  refers to hair length

braid out: a style achieved by sectioning hair, braiding it and unbraiding it once it has dried

C

creamy crack: chemical relaxer or perm product                         

co-wash: to wash hair with conditioner instead of shampoo

D

deep condition: allowing conditioner to sit in hair for an extended period of time

dust: a minimal hair trim (cut ends look like dust on the floor)      

E – M

extra virgin olive oil (EVOO): oil used to seal in moisture

hand in hair: a disease that causes one to constantly touch one’s hair

N

naturalversary: the anniversary of the day one became natural

P

pre-poo: to condition hair before shampooing to help maintain moisture through the shampooing process

product junkie: a person addicted to buying hair products

pineapple: a method of securing hair to preserve curls overnight. Hair is gathered in a loose high ponytail and the end result resembles a pineapple

R

rod set: using perm rods to set curls      

S

seal: to secure moisture in hair by applying oil or butter after applying a water based moisturizer

second day hair: hair that looks good when you wake up the next morning and doesn’t need much if anything done to it

shea butter: conditioning cream used to moisturize hair

shoulder length (SL): refers to hair length

slip: refers to how slippery a product is. Often used to describe a conditioner or detangling product

straw set: using drinking straws to set curls

T – Z

teeny weeny afro (TWA): refers to hair length often after a big chop

transitioning: the time period between your last relaxer and becoming fully natural

twist out: a style achieved by sectioning it, two-stand twisting it and untwisting it once dried

waist length hair (WSL): refers to hair length

wash n go: co-washing hair and going