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Hair She Buzz | When Suicide Comes Calling | Guest Blog by Kasey Woods

December 16, 2014

Clipped from – contributed by Kasey Woods


In the wake of Miss Jessie’s founder Titi Branch’s death, we are going through the same stage of collective grieving that always follows a high-profile suicide. We regurgitate the same verbiage. We ask the same questions:  How is it that someone so beautiful, so prominent, so successful could have felt that they had no other way out besides suicide?

How has this happened? Why didn’t she talk to someone? Why? Why??

We log on to our computers and offer our condolences while looking around suspiciously at our family and friends and wonder if they could be next.

Depression is not the only reason a person may choose to take their own life, but it is so often at the root. Lacking details and personal information, we are left to speculate the ‘whys’ and the ‘what ifs.’ We ache inside because their death is more than just the loss of an individual, but it also creates an atmosphere of fear. Depression is not the flu. Individuals don’t grow a scarlet letter on their chest or some outward means of alerting those around them that their turmoil has become too great to bear. So we creep around unknowing of who else might be capable of making a permanent decision for a temporary problem. We crouch and brace ourselves for the next blow because we all know…it is coming. The statistics are a Google search away.

So today, as we have many days before, we mourn.

We mourn and we read articles about depression and mental illness and suicide rates but we come no closer to truly understanding what it means to be so low that the unthinkable is now a thought. That the unfathomable is now a plan. We can only attempt to peer inside the minds of those in that space and stumble around like unwanted trespassers. Piecing together final conversations, old Facebook posts, Instagram pictures, anything for a glimpse of what the final days of depression must look like.

We need to know. We are desperate to know.

As a person diagnosed with bipolar disorder II and clinical depression, I know firsthand the heavy weight that depression bares. I know the physical embodiment of your mental state that makes you feel as if you can not put one foot in front of the other sometimes. I know the dark, murky thoughts that creep into your head that seem so unlike your own. I know what it means to think, if just faintly, if just for a mere second, what life would be like…without you. Just thinking such thoughts reel you further into your depressive state and it seems as if seeing the light of day is now an impossibility.

Once upon a time, I was quietly admitted into the psychiatric ward of my local hospital. With no access to phones, social media or any technology of any kind, my five day stay went unnoticed by those outside of my inner circle. When I was discharged I never signed back on to my social media accounts. Sometimes the world wide web can be to much to bear for us manic depressives. The atrocities of the world, the seeming unattainable successes that people flaunt, the stories of murder and mayhem; it all is just too much and to heavy. I logged off. I logged out.

While there I met a young man that just wanted to talk. He told me he didn’t know why he was there but he knew he was unhappy. He confessed to me with sad eyes that all he wants is to have someone to love him as much as he wants to love, but everyone around him seems to fall short. While he was there he had visits everyday, he seemed to have phone calls every few hours. He seemed to be loved and supported in so many ways, but in his mind it just wasn’t enough.

The families of individuals who are going through depression and/or have committed suicide must recognize that many times when a person is depressed, when they are in need, when they feel utterly lost, sometimes the greatest efforts of those around them just may never be enough. You must absolve yourself of the guilt that accompanies the hopelessness of feeling as if you are not doing everything you can to help your loved one.

Everyone isn’t going to be formally diagnosed bipolar or clinically depressed. Many people don’t show “the signs” we have prepared ourselves to look for. Everyone isn’t going to reach out for help and even those that do, sometimes the help they need may be beyond our control. Even so, we as a community must remain vigilant and responsive to the needs of those close to us. Let us stay aware of the sometimes unspoken cues no matter how minute that someone we care about may be in need. Don’t be afraid to ask for help and don’t be afraid to give it.

Again, though these unfortunate events have not been formally attributed to depression, it opens up the dialogue for a greater conversation that is routinely neglected in the African American community, the one about mental illness. Hopefully through this tragedy someone will be willed to ask for help or recognize the magnitude of their own thoughts and behaviors. For us to live in the era of “Black lives matter,” we must learn to love the ill as much as we do those who have already fallen, and to preserve the lives who are still with us.

We are going to get through this loss. Together as a community we will envelop each other with kindness and compassion and be each other’s support system and grace.

There is hope for the seemingly hopeless.

Kasey Woods is a mother and mental health advocate. Additional information and resources can be found on her Facebook fan page.

Kasey Woods will join #DryerBuzzonWAOK in our year end debate “Shame, Pain & Social Paralysis” — listen live Sunday, December 21, 2014 or (on-demand following show).  Call in with questions and comments via 404-892-2703 and listen via Waok | #TuneIn.

Hair She Buzz — you just got the buzz from — transforming the way we look — at life!

Sunset: Titi Branch, co-founder of Miss Jessie’s Dead at 45 | Hair She Buzz

December 15, 2014

As news broke of Miss Jessie’s co-founder’s death, one lone word appeared in their twitter timeline.

Nobody knows more the gravity of the word as co-founder’s death reported as a suicide, shocking the natural hair community. As they say, it just looks like we’re not hurting. Story developing.

Condolences to her family and associates.

titi branch

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Hair She Buzz | Shonda Rhimes Snaps Back at Sony | Follow that tweet

December 12, 2014

We all know Shonda Rhimes has snaps for days.  She is the creator of Scandal and Olivia Pope, our favorite fictional crisis manager based on real life Judy Smith.  Well Rhimes have few words Sony’s hacked email scandal — enough for a tweet. Well Shonda, tell us how you really feel…

Recently hacked, screenshots of email between Sony personnel circulated streams on social media calling out many their dealings with and feelings about many celebrities including President Obama and Kevin Hart.

Meanwhile, Hart has this to say via Instagram

#KnowYourselfWorth #HustleHart #MogulMindset

A photo posted by kevinhart4real (@kevinhart4real) on

Shonda Rhimes

Hair She Buzz — you just got the buzz from — transforming the way we look at life!

Hair She Buzz | Model Beverly Johnson new Cosby Victim? | Shares play by play with Vanity Fair

December 11, 2014

Who put this in my stream?  Say it ain’t so? Make it stop.  Several sources buzzing about an essay published by model Beverly Johnson in Vanity Fair.  In it she gives play by play of a time spent with Cosby to work on her acting chops — really? Another one???

Cosby said he wanted to see how I handled various scenes, so he suggested that I pretend to be drunk. (When did a pregnant woman ever appear drunk on The Cosby Show? Probably never, but I went with it.)

We love Beverly, but one after another victim telling these casting couch stories — ignoring every flag in the book — makes it difficult and brings us back to the original question we asked early on Hair She Buzz | Mrs. Cosby, does your husband harm women? – via @DryerBuzz

Follow the Buzz via Vanity Fair

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the Clippings | Re Watch Golden Globe Nominations 2015 – History Making Moment for Selma Director Ava DuVernay

December 11, 2014

Award season is upon us and here are the Golden Globe nominees for 2015 – WATCH

This year’s history making category:

Best Director – Motion Picture
Richard Linklater
Ava DuVernay
Wes Anderson
(The Grand Budapest Hotel)
(Gone Girl)



Ava DuVernay

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Hair She Buzz | Fab Fro Friday

December 5, 2014

Featuring @kifecta @natural.barr @michaelaangelad @afrosthebook @unconditionedroots @nikoposey @michelesalomao #hairshebuzz

Hair She Buzz — you just got the buzz from — transforming the way we look — at life!

Hair She Buzz | No mistaking the day one billion women rise up – Watch | #1BillionRising V-Day Feb 14th

December 3, 2014

It would be earth shattering if one billion women were to ever get behind one issue.  There would be no mistaking the day.  While watching video below online, women experienced amazing reactions.  Watch and tell us about yours?  Will you become part of #1BillionRising V-Day February 14, 2015?


Q. WHAT is One Billion Rising Revolution? (clipped from

A. One Billion Rising Revolution is an escalation of the first two stages of our campaign – One Billion Rising and One Billion Rising for Justice. The last two years we’ve mobilized, engaged, awakened and joined people worldwide to end violence against women. The campaign highlighted the fact that violence against women is a global human issue not relegated to country or tribe or class or religion, further exposing it as a patriarchal mandate, present in every culture of the world.


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Hair She Buzz | Editor’s Choice Wednesday Winner | 8 Styles Slayed with Braids

December 3, 2014

braids styles

Follow DryerBuzz on Instagram for more great styles and stylist from Atlanta and beyond.

Hair She Buzz — you just got the buzz from — transforming the way we look — at life!

Hair She Buzz | Saturday Sunburst | Riding with Mocha Blondes in the Sun

November 29, 2014

VideoBuzz: Why wait for the sun to come out tomorrow when you can have a sunburst everyday.  Here’s 8 blondes riding into the sun.


Hair She Buzz — you just got the buzz from — transforming the way we look — at life!

Hair She Buzz | Winning Women Week 47: Brittney Cooper @ProfessorCrunk on Cosby Legacy – Are we hiding criminals and monsters in plain sight? | WATCH

November 24, 2014

VideoBuzz: Our winning woman for week 47 is Brittney Cooper @ProfessorCrunk. She posed several vital questions during an appearance on Melissa Harris Perry Show @MHPShow that we should consider.  Are we hiding criminals and monsters in plain sight? Based upon Cosby’s narrative, are single mothers bad mothers? Did trauma of Cosby alleged acts kill potential for female genius? The Professor’s questions kept coming to which we must answer.  What say you about this winning woman of week 47. #HairSheBuzz


Hair She Buzz – you just got the buzz from — transforming the way we look — at life!

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