“I Don’t Know a Single Black Girl Who’s Carefree.” – Cree Summer

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Cree Summer is the epitome of a kick ass black woman – confident, quirky, and outspoken. Most people know her as Freddie from A Different World, whom most would call an original carefree black girl. However, Cree doesn’t necessarily agree with the term. In an interview with Fusion, she expresses her thoughts:

I don’t know a single black girl who’s carefree because it ain’t easy being a girl of color, period. God, I wish we were carefree. A lot of political things would have to dramatically change in this planet for a woman of color to be carefree. But I think what they mean by that is more of an aware black girl, a conscious black girl. The more conscious you are, maybe the less cares you have and maybe the more cares you have as well—it kind of goes hand in hand. Self-awareness and more self-love and also the ability to care for other black women. It has something to do with being politically aware of where you stand on this planet and I think it has to do with not accepting the definition that’s been given to you by designing yourself. I’ve always been a loud mouth that way. I’ve always been proud to be different, I’ve always stood out like a sore thumb and I always have not given a damn.

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Although I use and like the term, her explanation makes sense – Summer’s right, we can’t literally be without a care, but being aware is empowering in a kind of way that allows you to stay true to yourself.

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Cree has also had a successful voiceover career, lending her distinctive voice to characters on Tiny Toons, Rugrats, Robot Chicken, Pound Puppies, Thundercats, and more. However, she points out the lack of diversity in the animation industry and that there still aren’t that many black cartoon characters on TV, stating that you can probably count the black superheroines “on one hand.” There’s still common opinion that black women don’t watch cartoons or like comics, but we’ve seen that proven wrong time and time again.

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On the topic of friendship, Summer discusses the media’s tendency to pit women against one another and how it’s important for us to be around others who make us feel good about ourselves.

Girls that make you feel good about yourself, that’s the most important thing. Listen, I hit the jackpot, I really did. I can’t complain about a lot of things because I have such a deep piracy and sisterhood and girl gang that is just so powerful. To have girlfriends in your life, they reflect back to you how strong you are, how funny you are, how fine you are, how powerful you are. That’s one of the awful things that has happened in this world is there is a conspiracy against women and so much propaganda that we don’t know how to be friends.

That’s bullshit. If anybody knows how to be friends, it’s black women. We have been enslaved and had to care for each other and each other’s babies and pick each other up in so many powerful ways. We know to take care of each other, we know how to be friends. Don’t buy the lies. That’s why I say Support Your Local Girl Gang because when I fall down and my world is in shambles, the ones that take care of me and pick me up and put me back together are my sisters, my friends. I can’t stress enough the importance of having women friends. It will change your life.

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I couldn’t agree more and appreciate Cree’s “take no shit” stance on life and how she embodies power and confidence.

3 Fashion Tips from Sheneneh

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The classic sitcom “Martin” is STILL hilarious and of the many of the characters Martin Lawrence played himself, Sheneneh is one of the most memorable. While Sheneneh wasn’t exactly what society considered beautiful, she stayed slaying in cropped tops and high waisted leggings just as many of us do today. If you payed attention, Sheneneh knew exactly what it took to be a lady (in case you missed her constant reminders) which is why you should look on her for some beauty tips!

1. Box Braids (They Aren’t New)

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Sheneneh was a licensed cosmetologist so she knew how to whip some hair. Although she often rocked styles that many of us wouldn’t dare to, her infamous box braids shouldn’t be ignored. Braids are making a huge comeback especially since so many black women are transitioning into naturalistas. Box braids in particular help to protect the hair while allowing you to style them in many ways. Sheneneh loved her box braids thick and quite frankly those can be easier on your tresses than smaller ones. When she felt sassy she threw them in a high ponytail otherwise, they cascade down her back. Want more? The gold braid clasps she sometimes wore are still being sold in beauty supply stores!

2. Where’s Your Fanny Pack?

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Sometimes carrying around a purse can be annoying but there are so many things that a woman needs to take with her. Sheneneh may have a purse or two but her thing was the fanny pack. She didn’t have just one, she had them in many colors, including metallic gold. Many women believe that fanny packs make them look older but these old school accessories have been recycled. Coachella, the infamous music festival is typically full of young fashionistas rocking a fanny pack; how would they dance to the music without it? Today’s fanny packs are flatter to prevent bulkiness while still allowing you to carry your phone, tampons, lip gloss, and whatever else you need!

3. The Ponytail Hat

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The higher your hair, the closer you are to God” had to be Shenaynay’s motto because her hair was always huge. The cool thing about her is that she never let her tresses get in the way of her fashion choices. Sheneneh loves visors but when she finds a hat she likes, she cuts a hole in it to make room for her ponytail.

No need to cut a hole in your favorite hat, just get a ponytail hat! Ponytail hats are actually really cute but not many people make them; some streetwear brands have gotten the memo.

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Via Izzy & Liz