WORLD MENTAL HEALTH DAY [WHO]: OCTOBER 10, 2013

 

WORLD MENTAL HEALTH DAY

Quick Facts

World Mental Health Day, which is supported by the United Nations (UN), is annually held on October 10 to raise public awareness about mental health issues worldwide.

Local names

Name Language
World Mental Health Day English
Día Mundial de la Salud Mental Spanish

World Mental Health Day 2013

Thursday, October 10, 2013

World Mental Health Day 2014

Friday, October 10, 2014

World Mental Health Day, which is supported by the United Nations (UN), is annually held on October 10 to raise public awareness about mental health issues worldwide. This event promotes open discussions on illnesses, as well as investments in prevention and treatment services.

Depression, including among young people, is a major mental health problem. World Mental Health Day promotes the awareness of such issues.

©iStockphoto.com/Christopher O Driscoll

What do people do?

World Mental Health Day is observed in more than 100 countries on October 10 through local, regional and national World Mental Health Day commemorative events and programs. Activities include:

  • Officials signing the World Mental Health Day proclamation.
  • Public service announcements.
  • Educational lectures and the distribution of research papers on mental health issues.
  • Awards to individuals or organizations who made significant contributions in improving mental health issues.

World Mental Health Day is an initiative of the World Federation for Mental Health (WFMH). The World Health Organization (WHO), which is the UN’s directing and coordinating authority for health, supports this event. The Mental Health Foundation is another organization that is proactive in promoting World Mental Health Day.

Public life

World Mental Health Day is a global observance and not a public holiday.

Background

Mental disorders affect nearly 12 percent of the world’s population – about 450 million or one out of every four people around the world – will experience a mental illness that would benefit from diagnosis and treatment. WHO statistics for 2002 showed that 154 million people globally suffered from depression, which is a form of mental illness. According to WHO, mental health is defined as a state of well-being in which people realize their own potential, can cope with normal life stresses, can work productively, and can contribute to their community.

Mental health services lack human and financial resources in many countries, particularly low and middle income countries. More funding is needed to promote mental health to increase people’s awareness of the issue. In response to making mental health a global priority, World Health Day was first celebrated in 1992 as an initiative of the WFMH, which has members and contacts in more than 150 countries. Each year the UN, through WHO, actively participates in promoting this event.

Symbols

The WHO logo or emblem, which was chosen by the first World Health Assembly in 1948, is often associated with the UN’s promotional material for World Mental Health Day. The emblem consists of the UN symbol surmounted by a staff with a snake coiling round it. The staff with the snake has long been a symbol of medicine and the medical profession. It originates from the story of Aesculapius who was revered by the ancient Greeks as a god of healing and whose cult involved the use of snakes.

The UN logo is often associated with marketing and promotional material for this event. It features a projection of a world map (less Antarctica) centered on the North Pole, inscribed in a wreath consisting of crossed conventionalized branches of the olive tree. The olive branches symbolize peace and the world map depicts the area of concern to the UN in achieving its main purpose, peace and security. The projection of the map extends to 60 degrees south latitude, and includes five concentric circles.

World Mental Health Day Observances

 

Weekday Date Year Name Holiday type Where it is observed
Sat Oct 10 1992 World Mental Health Day United Nations observance
Sun Oct 10 1993 World Mental Health Day United Nations observance
Mon Oct 10 1994 World Mental Health Day United Nations observance
Tue Oct 10 1995 World Mental Health Day United Nations observance
Thu Oct 10 1996 World Mental Health Day United Nations observance
Fri Oct 10 1997 World Mental Health Day United Nations observance
Sat Oct 10 1998 World Mental Health Day United Nations observance
Sun Oct 10 1999 World Mental Health Day United Nations observance
Tue Oct 10 2000 World Mental Health Day United Nations observance
Wed Oct 10 2001 World Mental Health Day United Nations observance
Thu Oct 10 2002 World Mental Health Day United Nations observance
Fri Oct 10 2003 World Mental Health Day United Nations observance
Sun Oct 10 2004 World Mental Health Day United Nations observance
Mon Oct 10 2005 World Mental Health Day United Nations observance
Tue Oct 10 2006 World Mental Health Day United Nations observance
Wed Oct 10 2007 World Mental Health Day United Nations observance
Fri Oct 10 2008 World Mental Health Day United Nations observance
Sat Oct 10 2009 World Mental Health Day United Nations observance
Sun Oct 10 2010 World Mental Health Day United Nations observance
Mon Oct 10 2011 World Mental Health Day United Nations observance
Wed Oct 10 2012 World Mental Health Day United Nations observance
Thu Oct 10 2013 World Mental Health Day United Nations observance
Fri Oct 10 2014 World Mental Health Day United Nations observance
Sat Oct 10 2015 World Mental Health Day United Nations observance
Mon Oct 10 2016 World Mental Health Day United Nations observance
Tue Oct 10 2017 World Mental Health Day United Nations observance
Wed Oct 10 2018 World Mental Health Day United Nations observance
Thu Oct 10 2019 World Mental Health Day United Nations observance
Sat Oct 10 2020 World Mental Health Day United Nations observance
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SKYWATCH: JUPITER’S TRIPLE TRANSIT TONIGHT, ISON’S CHANCES NEAR THE SUN, AND MORE

News
Comet ISON

NASA / ESA / J.-Y. Li (PSI) / Hubble Comet ISON Imaging Science Team

ISON’s Chances for Survival 50/50

October 11, 2013                                                                | Observations and calculations suggest that the comet’s nucleus has a 50% chance of surviving its close passage to the Sun, but there are a lot of unknowns that could swing the result either way. > read more

Crash Course in the Higgs

October 8, 2013                                                                | The 2013 Nobel Prize in Physics has been awarded to two physicists who postulated the existence of the Higgs field, the source of many elementary particles’ masses. For those still scratching their heads on what the Higgs is, here’s what you need to know. > read more

Fomalhaut Star System Actually a Triple

October 9, 2013                                                                | Turns out “the lonely star of autumn” has not just one, but two distant companions, making it one of the most widely separated systems known. > read more

Is Oxygen a False Positive for Alien Life?

October 7, 2013                                                                | Photosynthetic life has infused Earth’s atmosphere with abundant oxygen that otherwise wouldn’t be here. So can oxygen be used as a dependable signature for life on other worlds? Maybe not, according to a new analysis. > read more

A Cloudy Exoplanet

October 7, 2013                                                                | Visible and infrared observations suggest that the hot Jupiter Kepler-7b has a large patch of clouds on one side. > read more

Observing

Triple transit across Jupiter

WinJUPOS

Triple Shadow Transit across Jupiter Tonight

October 11, 2013                                                                | Triple shadow transits, where three moons cross the face of Jupiter, happen only once or twice a decade. Catch the show tonight. > read more

A Night to Howl at the Moon

October 11, 2013                                                                | You can gawk, study, sketch, image, or just howl. No matter how you do it, head outside on October 12th to celebrate International Observe the Moon Night. > read more

Tour October’s Sky by Eye and Ear!

September 27, 2013                                                                  | Venus blazes low in the west at sunset, while Jupiter rules the late-night sky. This month also features a penumbral lunar eclipse, a minor meteor shower, and the Great Worldwide Star Count. > read more

Community

Juno flies past Earth

NASA

Juno’s Hi-and-Bye Flyby

October 9, 2013                                                                | A NASA spacecraft bound for Jupiter made a close flyby of Earth to gain speed for the long trek outward, and amateur astronomers prepared to watch its passage. > read more

This Week’s Sky at a Glance

This Week’s Sky at a Glance

October 11, 2013                                                                  | Venus passes Antares, Mars passes Regulus, and the full Moon has a weak penumbral eclipse. > read more

            SkyWeek Television Show
Watch SkyWeekAs seen on PBS television stations nationwide

Sponsors: Meade Instruments Woodland Hills Camera & Telescope

Click here to watch this week's episode

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HATEWATCH: LEAGUE OF THE SOUTH BOOTS NEO-NAZI MATTHEW HEIMBACH

As the following article assesses, it just goes to show that even among racists there are some lines that should not be crossed.

Then again, neo-secessionist groups like the League of the South are no different from the Nazis.

Both hater groups are all for so-called white purity, white hegemony, and white supremacy. Therefore, like the Nazis they hate so much, these American grown racist groups (LOSERS, etc.—–oh, my bad—the LOS) are just as much enemies of America as the guilty of treason traitors that they are.

As for the traditional South; the myth that only White racists represent the South is a lie that needs to be obliterated as the most disparaging lie ever created by a bunch of losers of a civil war they themselves started.

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League of the South Boots Neo-Nazi Matthew Heimbach

Mark Potok on October 8, 2013

Earlier this week, racist one-time student organizer Matthew Heimbach assured his followers that he would not throw his neo-Nazi allies “under the bus,” saying it was time to abandon fear and create a “big White Advocacy tent.”

Now, a chief ally is throwing him under the bus instead.

Last night, Michael Hill, head of the neo-secessionist hate group League of the South (LOS), disinvited Heimbach and his followers from an LOS march set for this weekend in Murfreesboro, Tenn. The rally was against the “demographic displacement” of white southerners by people of color.

Hill also booted Heimbach out of the LOS.

“Matthew Heimbach, a former member of The League of the South, has apparently decided to cast his lot with Nazis and others who do not represent the traditional South, the Southern Nationalist movement, and The League of the South,” Hill wrote on the Facebook page for the Murfreesboro event. “Neither he nor his friends will be welcome at our demonstrations on 12 October. This notice is for information purposes and not for discussion.”

Hill was clearly reacting to reports on this blog and elsewhere about Heimbach’s trajectory from a self-described “conservative” to a full-fledged neo-Nazi. Yesterday, this blog carried a photograph of the founder of the White Student Union at Towson University sieg-heiling with a group of neo-Nazis and Klansmen standing under twin swastikas in Kentucky. Heimbach also announced earlier this week on his Traditionalist Youth Network blog that he would be speaking at a Nov. 9 Kansas City rally put on by the National Socialist Movement, currently the largest neo-Nazi group in the United States.

SOURCE

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WORLD POST DAY: OCTOBER 9, 2013

WORLD POST DAY

Quick Facts

World Post Day marks the anniversary of the Universal Postal Union’s establishment in 1874. It is held on October 9 each year.

Local names

Name Language
World Post Day English
Día Mundial del Correo Spanish

World Post Day 2013 Theme: The Post, Delivering for People and Businesses Daily

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

World Post Day 2014

Thursday, October 9, 2014

World Post Day marks the anniversary of the Universal Postal Union’s establishment and is annually held on October 9. The union aimed to create and maintain a structure for the free flow of international mail around the world.

World Post DayWorld Post Day marks the anniversary of the Universal Postal Union’s establishment.©iStockphoto.com/Shawn Gearhart

What do people do?

In many international organizations and countries, high ranking officials or ministers make speeches or issue proclamations on the history or achievements of national or international postal services. Postal services may issue special postage stamps to commemorate the ideals, history or achievements of the national postal service on or around World Post Day. These are prized by stamp collectors and philatelists (people who study stamps). In addition, special lessons on these topics may be arranged for school children and the postal services and their employees may receive extra training or recognition and attention in the media.

The Universal Postal Union in cooperation with UNESCO has, for the past 35 years, organized an international letter-writing competition for young people. Many participating postal services use World Post Day to award prizes to the winners of the competition.

Public life

World Post Day is a global observance and not a public holiday.

Background

From the earliest times in history, “postal services” existed in the form of messengers who travelled large distances on foot or horseback. In the 1600s and 1700s, many countries set up national postage systems and entered into bilateral agreements for the exchange of mail between countries. By the late 1800s there was a large web of bilateral agreements that made the distribution of international mail complicated, nontransparent and inefficient.

In 1863, Montgomery Blair, Postmaster General in the United States of America, organized a conference of representatives from 15 European and American countries. During this conference, the delegates laid down a number of general principles for mutual agreements on international postal services but did not create an international postal agreement. On September 15, 1874, Heinrich von Stephan, a senior postal official in the North German Confederation (an area that now forms parts of Germany, Poland and Russia), opened a conference in Berne, Switzerland, with delegates from 22 countries. On October 9, 1874, the delegates signed the Treaty of Berne and established the General Postal Union.

The number of countries that were members of the General Postal Union grew rapidly and the union’s name was changed to the Universal Postal Union in 1878. In 1948, the Universal Postal Union became a specialized agency of the United Nations. The 16th Universal Postal Union Congress was held in Tokyo, Japan, from October 1 to November 16, 1969. During this conference the delegates voted to declare October 9 each year as World Post Day.

The work of the Universal Postal Union continues to be very important to global communication and trade, even in the era of digital communication. In areas and communities with a high level of access to digital communication, postal services are important for distributing goods bought in Internet stores. In communities with lower levels of access to digital communication, postal services remain vital for the distribution of information and goods. Post offices and trucks used to deliver mail to outlying areas are also becoming service points to bring digital communication to many more people. Moreover, the union is working on ways to bring electronic money transfer services to rural areas in countries in the Middle East and in north-east Africa.

World Post Day Observances

Weekday Date Year Name Holiday type Where it is observed
Tue Oct 9 1990 World Post Day United Nations observance
Wed Oct 9 1991 World Post Day United Nations observance
Fri Oct 9 1992 World Post Day United Nations observance
Sat Oct 9 1993 World Post Day United Nations observance
Sun Oct 9 1994 World Post Day United Nations observance
Mon Oct 9 1995 World Post Day United Nations observance
Wed Oct 9 1996 World Post Day United Nations observance
Thu Oct 9 1997 World Post Day United Nations observance
Fri Oct 9 1998 World Post Day United Nations observance
Sat Oct 9 1999 World Post Day United Nations observance
Mon Oct 9 2000 World Post Day United Nations observance
Tue Oct 9 2001 World Post Day United Nations observance
Wed Oct 9 2002 World Post Day United Nations observance
Thu Oct 9 2003 World Post Day United Nations observance
Sat Oct 9 2004 World Post Day United Nations observance
Sun Oct 9 2005 World Post Day United Nations observance
Mon Oct 9 2006 World Post Day United Nations observance
Tue Oct 9 2007 World Post Day United Nations observance
Thu Oct 9 2008 World Post Day United Nations observance
Fri Oct 9 2009 World Post Day United Nations observance
Sat Oct 9 2010 World Post Day United Nations observance
Sun Oct 9 2011 World Post Day United Nations observance
Tue Oct 9 2012 World Post Day United Nations observance
Wed Oct 9 2013 World Post Day United Nations observance
Thu Oct 9 2014 World Post Day United Nations observance
Fri Oct 9 2015 World Post Day United Nations observance
Sun Oct 9 2016 World Post Day United Nations observance
Mon Oct 9 2017 World Post Day United Nations observance
Tue Oct 9 2018 World Post Day United Nations observance
Wed Oct 9 2019 World Post Day United Nations observance
Fri Oct 9 2020 World Post Day United Nations observance

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. . . .AND NOW FOR SOMETHING COMPLETELY DIFFERENT: INTERRACIAL COUPLES ARGUING: WOULD YOU INTERVENE? (20/20)

You are out enjoying a  day in the park. You’ve had a hard work week, and you are just glad to get in some respite from the cares of the week, when the sound of loud arguing voices gets your attention. You see an interracial couple having a heated argument and as you come closer to them, you wonder if you should intervene.

The TV program, 20/20, has done many “What Would You Do?” type scenarios over the years, some of which I have posted on my blog  here.

The question “Would you try to stop an interracial couple from fighting?” would lend itself to various responses, depending on the age, gender, and race/ethnicity of the passersby.

Click on the following photo, watch the video, and see how you would respond to an arguing IR couple, depending on whether the couple was White man/Black woman [WM/BW], or Black man/White woman [BM/WW].

20951830_640

After looking at the video, my first impression is that women (in this case women walking by who happened to be White) intervened. Two White women stepped up to take the young Black woman out of an escalating situation. The White men who saw the scene, all walked by.

Except for one man who hesitated, attempted to say something, but was waved off by the White “boyfriend”.

With the scenario of BM/WW, once again women stopped and sought to intervene. Only one White man stopped and told the Black man to stop his treatment of the White woman.

There are many ways to look at each scenario, which hinge on who stopped:

-that only women stopped to intervene in the case of the WM/BW scenario;

-that both women and a man stepped in when it involved a BM/WW scenario

My first impression of the 1st scenario was that the life and well-being of a Black woman had less value. No man came forward to stop the abuse that was heaped on her by a White man. Could it have been that the men walking or jogging by had thoughts of  “That’s his woman, and I had better not interfere?” Could it have been that the men felt they would get into a fight, but, even so, why did the women intervene? They were smaller than the WM, had less upper body strength, but they did not let that stop them. I am sure their fear radar was up and their adrenaline (like the male jogger seen later in the video) was racing.

On the other hand, when it involved a BM/WW, more people stopped; more people looked concerned; and this time women and a man intervened.

Because of the hyper aggression label thrown at both Black men and Black women, the desire to acknowledge the humanity of a Black person is often very low, whereas the desire and need to see the fragility of White women and “White woman’s tears” is like a Pavlovian response for so many people, regardless of race or gender.

That Black men are seen as Brutes, caused many people to stop and take note of the situation, especially when it escalated with his kicking the White woman.

That Black women are seen as masculine, less in need of protection and comforting, stereotypes them as less worthy of anyone coming to their defense.

That only White women stopped to render comfort and protection to the Black woman certainly says more to me about the men who hurried by than just their supposed fear of a fight with the White man.

Perception is everything.

Sexism, as well as racism, affects our judgements in situations like these presented in the actor scenarios seen by the passersby.

What a man, woman, Black person, White person—or even a person of another race/ethnicity sees would color their response.

How a White man views Black women, Black men, women of other races, and White women; how a White woman views Black women, Black men, White women, and women and men of other races; how Black women and Black men view Black men and women, as well as people of various races and different genders; how people of other races/ethnicities view Black people, White people, people of their own group, and others———are all deciding factors in how they would respond to an arguing IR couple.

In the end, it boils down to what you are prepared to do, what you can do, and what you can  live with when you are out in your daily life and come upon a situation that calls for a response to the cries and help of a fellow human being.

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WORLD HABITAT DAY: OCTOBER 7, 2013

WORLD HABITAT DAY

Quick Facts

The United Nations’ (UN) World Habitat Day reflects on the state of human settlements and people’s right to sufficient shelter.

Local names

Name Language
World Habitat Day English
Día Mundial del Hábitat Spanish

World Habitat Day 2013 Theme: “Urban Mobility”

Monday, October 7, 2013

World Habitat Day 2014

Monday, October 6, 2014

The United Nations’ (UN) World Habitat Day is annually celebrated on the first Monday of October to reflect on the state of human settlements and people’s right to sufficient shelter. It also aims to remind people that they are responsible for the habitat of future next generations.

UN World Habitat DayWorld Habitat Day reflects on the state of human settlements and promotes the right to sufficient shelter.©iStockphoto.com/fotoVoyager

What do people do?

World Habitat Day is celebrated in many countries around the world, including in places such as Angola, China, India, Mexico, Poland, Uganda and the United States. Various activities around the world are organized to examine the problems of rapid urbanization and its impact on the environment and human poverty.  Activities may include awards ceremonies, including the “Habitat Scroll of Honour” award.

Public life

World Habitat Day is a global observance and not a public holiday.

Background

The UN’s World Habitat Day was first celebrated in 1986 with the theme “Shelter is My Right”. Nairobi was allocated as the host city for the observance that year. This annual event is held on the first Monday of October with a new theme each year. Previous themes included: “Shelter for the Homeless” (1987); “Our Neighbourhood” (1995); “Future Cities” (1997); “Safer Cities” (1998); “Women in Urban Governance” (2000); “Cities without Slums” (2001) and “Water and Sanitation for Cities” (2003).

An important highlight of the day is the “Habitat Scroll of Honour” award, which was launched by the United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UNHSP) in 1989. It is believed to be the world’s most prestigious human settlements award and aims to acknowledge initiatives that make outstanding contributions in areas such as shelter provision, highlighting the plight of the homeless, leadership in post conflict reconstruction, and developing and improving the human settlements and the quality of urban life.

Symbols

The UNHSP logo and slogan are often associated with World Habitat Day. The logo features The logo features a wreath consisting of crossed conventionalized branches of an olive tree encapsulating a circle. Within the circle is a figure of a person with his/her arms stretched out. The figure appears to be standing in front of a triangle. Underneath the image are the words “UN-HABITAT”. The slogan: “Shelter For All” is written in capital letters and sometimes appears next to the logo.

World Habitat Day Observances

Weekday Date Year Name Holiday type Where it is observed
Mon Oct 1 1990 World Habitat Day United Nations observance
Mon Oct 7 1991 World Habitat Day United Nations observance
Mon Oct 5 1992 World Habitat Day United Nations observance
Mon Oct 4 1993 World Habitat Day United Nations observance
Mon Oct 3 1994 World Habitat Day United Nations observance
Mon Oct 2 1995 World Habitat Day United Nations observance
Mon Oct 7 1996 World Habitat Day United Nations observance
Mon Oct 6 1997 World Habitat Day United Nations observance
Mon Oct 5 1998 World Habitat Day United Nations observance
Mon Oct 4 1999 World Habitat Day United Nations observance
Mon Oct 2 2000 World Habitat Day United Nations observance
Mon Oct 1 2001 World Habitat Day United Nations observance
Mon Oct 7 2002 World Habitat Day United Nations observance
Mon Oct 6 2003 World Habitat Day United Nations observance
Mon Oct 4 2004 World Habitat Day United Nations observance
Mon Oct 3 2005 World Habitat Day United Nations observance
Mon Oct 2 2006 World Habitat Day United Nations observance
Mon Oct 1 2007 World Habitat Day United Nations observance
Mon Oct 6 2008 World Habitat Day United Nations observance
Mon Oct 5 2009 World Habitat Day United Nations observance
Mon Oct 4 2010 World Habitat Day United Nations observance
Mon Oct 3 2011 World Habitat Day United Nations observance
Mon Oct 1 2012 World Habitat Day United Nations observance
Mon Oct 7 2013 World Habitat Day United Nations observance
Mon Oct 6 2014 World Habitat Day United Nations observance
Mon Oct 5 2015 World Habitat Day United Nations observance
Mon Oct 3 2016 World Habitat Day United Nations observance
Mon Oct 2 2017 World Habitat Day United Nations observance
Mon Oct 1 2018 World Habitat Day United Nations observance
Mon Oct 7 2019 World Habitat Day United Nations observance
Mon Oct 5 2020 World Habitat Day United Nations observance

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THE AFRO AS A NATURAL EXPRESSION OF SELF

I have put up many posts in the last seven years concerning the wearing of Afro-Natural hair by Black American women.

One post in particular stands out. It started on a former blogger’s site, where I added to the conversation, the discussion became lively, and so much information was imparted that I wrote a post on my blog entitled “Good vs. Bad“.

Through the years, many Black women have decided to transition their hair and do the Big Chop. For some this was an easy task, for others it was fraught with fear and worry over how they would be perceived by their family, significant others, and the rest of the world around them.

The following New York Times article addresses how the Afro/Natural can be an expression of self, and how so many times in what we do—-what we believe in, practice, preach—–and even how we wear our hair, can still be caught up in how the personal can truly be the political.

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THE AFRO AS A NATURAL EXPRESSION OF SELF

 

Mario Tama/Getty Images; Jeffrey Scales, 1968; Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

From left: Dante de Blasio and his family on primary election night in September; Eldridge Cleaver at the trial of Huey Newton in 1968; Magazine covers featuring Oprah Winfrey, right, and Prince; Angela Davis at a news conference in 1972.

By

 
Published: October 2, 2013

  • Dante de Blasio’s towering Afro, a supporting player in his father’s mayoral campaign, riveted attention once more last week when it caught the eye of President Obama. Introducing Bill de Blasio at a Democratic fund-raiser in Midtown, Mr. Obama digressed to point out, “Dante has the same hairdo as I had in 1978. Although I have to confess my Afro was never that good.”

 
Multimedia
 
 
 

Erik Isakson/Getty Images

Nor was it as voluminous, or as apparently devoid of a political charge. As 16-year-old Dante implied in an interview with DNAInfo.com, an online local news source, hair is just hair. “Some people want to take photos and I’m really just happy,” he said. Others want to reach out and touch it, and some did at last week’s fund-raiser, their enthusiastic petting prompting the elder de Blasio to joke that he might have to call security.

The mayoral candidate was doubtless aware that Dante’s outsize hair placed him in a league with a current generation that has adopted what once was a badge of revolt as an emblem of style’s cutting edge. Resurgent in films and television and the streets, inspired by a galaxy of pop culture idols, the Afro today seems friendly enough, even downright disarming — a kinder, gentler “natural” pretty much shorn of its militancy.

Images like those of Halle Berry’s tightly coiled halo or Nicki Minaj’s poodly pink Glamfro on the cover of Allure last year have played a part in resurrecting the hallmark style. Hoping to stand apart from her more famous sister, Solange Knowles last year chopped her chemically processed hair to reveal the wedge-shaped Afro that has since become her signature. And the actress Viola Davis showed off her natural curls at the Oscar ceremonies a year ago after walking most of the red carpet season in a wig; Prince poses regally in his Afro on the August issue of V magazine.

Even the customarily conventional Oprah Winfrey stepped out to front the September issue of O, the Oprah magazine, in a 3.5-pound wig that spanned its cover nearly edge to edge above the cover line: “Let’s talk about HAIR!”

The style’s current iteration bears little kinship to the anti-gravity hair flaunted in the late 1960s by Angela Davis, Eldridge and Kathleen Cleaver and other icons of the Black Power movement. “In the ’60s the Afro was looked upon as ‘Wow, you’re stepping out there, you’re really going against the grain,’ ” said Andre Walker, the man who fluffed Ms. Winfrey’s wig into its umbrella-size proportions. In contrast, “When I talk to a lot of the kids from this generation,” he said, “the whole civil rights movement, it’s very vague to them.

“I don’t think they really know the meaning of how radical an Afro was in the day,” Mr. Walker added. “It’s a different time now.”

Though his father wore an Afro in the 1970s and ’80s, 16-year-old Noah Negron, a high school senior in Fort Greene, Brooklyn, was not bowing to family tradition or the politics of a bygone era when he decided to grow out his hair. “I’m an environmentalist,” he said. “That’s where the locks come in. It’s like all natural.”

Reluctant to treat her hair with potentially damaging lye, another Brooklyn resident who identified herself only as Tamar A., declared: “This is just how my hair grows out of my head. I’m not trying to make a statement. I’m just more comfortable being who I am.”

Those comments were echoed by the often eco-conscious champions of unprocessed hair captured in photographs by Michael July in his new book “Afros: A Celebration of Natural Hair.” Many of his subjects told Mr. July that going natural was a way of embracing their racial heritage or rekindling their self-esteem.

Some seemed to share a rationale expressed by Ms. Winfrey in the September issue of O. “When I was 22-years-old,” she recalled in the article. “I got a bad perm and lost all my hair. And I thought I had lost myself.” Abandoning hot combs and chemical relaxers had a share, she indicated, in restoring that self-regard.

But others in Mr. July’s book went out of their way to distance themselves from the radical politics of their parents’ and grandparents’ generation. “I don’t wear my hair natural because I’m strictly Afrocentric or don’t believe in the white man’s perm,” Sofia Loren Coffee said. “I wear my hair this way because I truly think I look adorable with natural hair.”

Though it has become increasingly popular, especially in hipster enclaves like Brooklyn, the Afro has yet to claim the status of a widespread trend. According to Mr. July, who had a hard time finding subjects when he embarked on his project in the mid-2000s, the natural remains a style in transition.

 

Elizabeth Lippman for The New York Times

‘I’m not trying to make a statement.’ Tamar A. (top, left) ‘It’s like all natural.’ Noah Negron (top, right) Bottom: Destinee Davis and Aru Banks.

 
Multimedia

“For the first four years, it was difficult to find,” said the author, who scoured several states in search of born-again Afros. “I had to make a big effort, have my antennas up all the times,” he said. “I would see a ‘fro and have to run down the street and chase the person who had it.”

More recently though, “I’ve met a lot of people — lawyers, doctors, other professionals — who wear their hair naturally,” he said, “without worrying about it being socially acceptable.”

At the time of its genesis some 50 years ago the Afro was far from acceptable. Both white and older black Americans viewed it as a threat to the prevailing social order. The deliberately confrontational look adopted by Carol (Yaya Alafia) in “The Butler,” raised hackles in the street and in the home of Louis, her boyfriend (David Oyelowo). So incensed was Louis’s mother (Ms. Winfrey) by the younger woman’s waywardness that she aborted a family dinner, throwing her out of the house.

Willie Morrow, a pioneer of the blowout, as the Afro was known in the ’70s, and one who popularized the Afro-pick, the oversize comb that many wore like diadems, recalled, “When you walked down the street it made a firm statement, much like saggy pants make a statement today. Black parents would say to their youngsters, ‘Don’t wear that comb; it sends a message.’ ”

Bebe Moore Campbell adopted an Afro in the early ’70s, aware of her parents’ discomfort. They “were grappling with a very real emotion,” Ms. Campbell wrote in Ebony in 1982. “When ‘militant’ became the rallying cry for calling out the National Guard, big naturals made good targets.”

Today in some quarters the style sends a message of a different sort. “The stigma with some black women seems to be that ‘nappy hair’ is almost as bad as a loo roll trailing from your shoe,” the actress Thandie Newton said last year to Kay Montano, a beauty blogger. When Ms. Newton permitted her daughters to grow their hair “wild and scruffy,” as she described it, “I had remarks about how I don’t take care of their hair.”

The fashion industry has been only slightly more accommodating. “Models trying to grow out their kinky hair are constantly pressured to straighten, relax or weave it if they want to book certain jobs,” the model Wakeema Hollis posted on the Web site Hollistics.com in an article titled, “Am I Really the Only Fashion Model with Natural Hair?”

“Once,” she added, “I was actually dropped from a runway show because I wouldn’t relax my hair.”

But today there are signs of mainstreaming, not least the proliferation of grooming products conceived to enhance the natural look: Carol’s Daughter Mimosa Hair Honey Shine Pomade; Jane Carter Twist and Lock Solution; the Beautiful Kinks Styling Crème Gelee by Mr. Walker, Ms. Winfrey’s hair guru; and Dr. Morrow’s California Green shampoos and pomades. Many were showcased at the World Natural Hair Health and Beauty Show in Atlanta. The annual fair, which a half-dozen years ago drew 8,000 visitors, attracted more than 35,000 last April, the organizers said.

For now, though, a few designers are embracing the style. They include Marc Jacobs, who introduced sky-high Afros on his runway in 2009, and Rick Owens, who released a parade of Afro-wreathed models at his show in Paris last week. Mr. Owens said his models — dancers of varying physical types selected from campuses across the country — were pointedly rejecting conventional notions of beauty.

“We’re creating our own beauty,” Mr. Owens said.

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