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Power to the People

Happy Black History Month! I’m know I’m posting this on its last day and obviously we shouldn’t restrict educating ourselves and celebrating once a year, but I wanted to get this in because we have this designation. Sharing and learning the often overlooked and erased contributions of a people is the whole point of this month!

I won a giveaway from Goodreads a couple of months ago for Power to the People: The World of the Black Panthers. I wanted to read it because I didn’t know much about the Black Panthers but had heard they started the Free Breakfast for Children Program.

I’m no where near finished, so I can’t say, “Here are my favorite passages” or even that I 100% agree or will agree in the future with these messages but just wanted to share some interesting quotes so far.

“The NRA wanted us arrested for carrying guns back in those days.” – Bobby Seale, Founder

“… one time, I’m at a rally… Somebody whispers in my ear, ‘The guy in the Hawaiian shirt is some kind of agent… That reporter was telling me to tell you.’ I go on to speak for 10 minutes. I say, ‘… you with the Hawaiian shirt. Are you some kind of police provocateur?’… Somebody behind him pushed him… Then it dawned on me. I say, ‘Don’t touch him!’

The reporter– I found out later he was an FBI agent. Where did I see him next? It was months later, when I got arrested. I was in the car– who’s in the front passenger seat?” – Bobby Seale

“We don’t glorify violence. We don’t glorify weapons. We don’t glorify gun culture. But we do not believe in unconditional pacifism. We advocate our right to defend ourselves.” – Khalid Raheem

“Guns were important as symbols of defense and resistance… People of color are asked to endure. We are expected to be better people, and for the most part, we are. White people can be human. React as human, make human mistakes, and fight back as humans. Even as children, we must be the responsible, empathetic, and forgiving party.” – Gloria Abernethy

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What have you learned this month? 🙂

texture

Derma e Charcoal

unboxing

If you’re like me, you’ve been seeing charcoal as the latest ingredient in beauty regimes. However, whenever there’s a popular craze, it can be overwhelming choosing where to start. A wash? A scrub? A mask? What kind? Which brand? Fortunately, Derma e sent me their Purifying 2-in-1 Charcoal Mask and Purifying Daily Detox Scrub, and I’m excited to share my experience!*

What attracted me to Derma e is that they say their formulas are 100% vegan and cruelty-free and do not use parabens, sodium lauryl sulfates, petrolatum, mineral oil, artificial colors, gluten, soy or GMOs. A lot to consider, but a lot to praise! I think if I kept track of all the things I should be avoiding, Derma e would be a top brand to keep.

As someone who sells online, can I just take a second to appreciate Derma e’s packaging? I can understand that if you’re not a company, an envelope is way cheaper, but I love when a box fits a product perfectly. I love the message inside as well.

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Both items feature activated charcoal which draws out dirt and environmental toxins. I was a little concerned that daily deep detox would dry out my skin, but the scrub is gentle enough for everyday use. It also contains marine algae extract to protect from toxins.

You know how after you shave your legs, they feel free and refreshed? This is how my face felt after using this scrub! I don’t know if I just got accustomed to it or what, but it wasn’t as noticeable after the third day. It also pretty much feels and smells like any other scrub when applying, that is, it didn’t tingle or have a strong scent to me.

Both the Purifying Daily Detox Scrub and 2-in-1 mask have apricot seed powder for softer and smoother skin. This is what would really bond me to these products. I have more of a problem of messing with my skin than acne or perhaps even toxins, so if my skin is smoother, I’ve got nothing to mess with! I love that I feel like I almost don’t even have to moisturize (I still do just for good measure. You might be able to get away with it though!).

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That being said, unfortunately the scrub and mask aren’t magic and don’t make your skin look Photoshopped. Additionally, besides the initial refreshing scrub feeling, I couldn’t really tell if or how much the charcoal works. But I think that the products helped tremendously to even my my skin tone. The 5 -minute mask smells like clay and slightly tightens as it dries, but no more than any other mask.

Derma e’s Purifying Daily Detox Scrub and 2-in-1 Charcoal mask costs more than my usual gel cleanser, but I don’t think it qualifies as high-end, and if you can afford it, I think it’s worth it. After a week of use, my skin is smoother and less inflamed.

Perhaps you can try the mask or other treatments you expect to be more intense and stretch out its use. I don’t think I will get more charcoal products because I don’t feel like I have toxins? But I’m definitely looking into how Derma e addresses other blemishes and dark circles since I was so impressed.

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You can check out derma e’s website at http://dermae.com/

Link up: Watch Out for the Woestmans | Still Being Molly | Pumps and Pushups | Sincerely Jenna Marie | Claire Justine | Jersey Girl Texan Heart | B Loved Boston

* Disclaimer: I was provided Derma e’s Purifying 2-in-1 Charcoal Mask and Purifying Daily Detox Scrub by the company and will receive compensation for writing this review. Although this post is sponsored, all opinions are my own.

march

Engage

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One of the great things about blogging is seeing people from all over the globe. So I’m sorry that this post is going to be very United States-centered! However, at least here in the U.S., there’s a narrative comparing other leaders or candidates to our current president, so perhaps you can relate.

I’ve been raised to follow politics through pop culture or comedy programs, but other than voting every 4 years and maybe donating to a non-profit when I could, my household didn’t do much else. Not to discount those actions, but it’s certainly not enough for change.

So I attended the meetings of some local groups. I know there were groups that existed before the election, but they were either further away or had some other issue with which I just wasn’t comfortable. The newer groups may be more moderate than my anti-war/imperialist/capitalist ass, but they are more easily accessible (geographically closer) and seem more active.

Additionally, I am new. I’m really not into spending my own got dang money on postage and postcards to send to politicians and officials who are probably making thousands of dollars selling their votes to Big Oil. But I also don’t have the slightest idea what’s needed to organize marches or other events.

It’s frustrating being new especially when I’m doing this by myself and have heard about the FBI infiltrating groups and people harming protestors and get enough anxiety by existing. But it’s encouraging that I’m doing this in spite of all that especially considering how long some people have existed without getting involved yet still expecting change.

I attended my first protest a couple of weeks ago against the discriminatory executive order. Per the usual, I was somewhat freaking out, but it was somewhere which I was somewhat familiar, there were already previous protest so I felt more of need to do something and that would be a substantial gathering. I guess I’m just trying to share some reasons that could get someone to do something if their panicbrain is giving them no reason whatsoever.

I can’t say that my anxious self has fallen in love with yelling in the street, but I mean, I’m glad I went. I feel like this is how I would feel about jumping out of a plane or some other thing that people say you have to try even though I know damn well what I have to do, lol. Try deez. Like: it’s just one tactic. One of many of which I hope to continue learning and participating!

If you’re in the U.S. or a citizen, you can keep track of your national representatives and bills with govtrack.us. You may have to Google something like, “(Your state) legislature tracker” for your state’s bills.

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The Visit

A pal reblogged a post on Tumblr the other day of a list of movies with the theme “Damn yall, she did that” or something along those lines 😄 It had your Gone Girl, your A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night, but it did not have Bernhard Wicki’s 1964 The Visit which I just happen to catch one 3 am simply because I felt like I hadn’t seen an old movie in a while.

First of all, if you wish to watch it, please do not Google it! I feel like its trailers and IMDB summaries spoil it. I will be talking about the whole thing (and therefore spoiling it), but I also think that if you know, you can still rewatch it, catch the irony, and still have things to analyze.

The Visit looked interesting because the tv guide description was something like, “A rich woman returns to the small European town where she was born.” And being from a smaller city, I know that small means TRADITIONAL. And there would be no reason for a film unless she is showing them up!!!

Ingrid Bergman (Casablanca) plays the woman, Karla Zachanassian, who is said to “own 5% of the world” after her husband dies. She returns to her small hometown of Guellen which has gone bankrupt. After some cajoling by town officials and even her former lover, Serge, Karla announces she will give Guellen 2 million– on the condition that they kill Serge.

gracious lies

After calling out the mayor’s and other town heads’ flattery to be gracious lies, she further reveals that when she was impregnated by Serge 20 years earlier, he paid off two men to give false testimonies, portray her as promiscuous and of low morals. The child was taken away from Karla and soon died.

Guellen is horrified at the proposition, but Karla says that she can wait. Old women chastise, “she should know better.” Serge’s wife, Mathilda, wonders how she could get “decent” people to agree to murder. However, it does not takes long for the rundown town to at least consider and soon the idea spreads.

Citizens start to buy fancy things from Serge’s shop on credit, and he becomes paranoid. He tries to leave town, but a crowd blocks him, laughing. Eventually even Mathilda seems nonchalant about the inevitability of Serge’s death.

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Town leaders approach Karla with a counteroffer. Guellen has mines and factories that she could buy. Karla laughs for nearly TWENTY SECONDS uninterrupted. She’s already bought them. She’s owned them this entire time.

Eventually, a vote is held in front of Guellen with all officials sentencing Serge to die. Even the doctor, who seemed sympathetic to both Karla and Serge, votes for the money, shrugging, “What good would one vote have been?”

Before Serge is put to death, Karla asks the town– repeatedly– if anyone, one person finds it unjust. They are as silent as Serge is dead. Then, she turns on them again. She brands them killers, murderers. When they protest, she says they’re to keep the money: “If you killed him, in a few weeks, you might begin to forget.”

Guellen

I thought that The Visit was phenomenal and highly recommend it. I would love to hear if readers have read the play it’s based on as Wikipedia says it’s a German keystone. Although I wanted to add it to a list featuring Amy Dunne,The Visit is not as exaggerated as Gone Girl (or is it?) but has that classic writing sprinkled with philosophic comments and dialogue that’s not only being spoken by a character but really represents them. The philosophic comments really give you something to think about with the various themes presented.

Have you seen The Visit or another adaptation? Would you compare it to Gone Girl?