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This Dope Female Barber Is Breaking Stereotypes As A True Mother/Hustler

The key is to feel the fear and do it anyway.

Mother/Hustler

So many of the moments in our life feel motivated by fear, but the key is to feel it and do it anyway.

When Jaelyn Langston left her job as a grade-school teacher, she had no idea that she would become one of the most well-known and most sought out female barbers in New Orleans, but she did it anyway. The 35-year-old barber shared that while she enjoyed teaching, the vulgar vernacular on her social media pages quickly became a topic of conversation in the teacher's lounge and she made a decision to choose a career that allowed her the freedom of expression.

While pursuing a new career as an adult was scary for the mother-of-one, issa fact that doubt kills more dreams than failure ever could. She told xoNecole, "When the universe taps you on your shoulder, answer. We all know when it's time to move on but we get stalled by fear and uncertainty. Test the water! We'll be surprised to learn there's nothing this universe wouldn't award us."

Now, instead of lining kids up for snack time, Jae spends her time hooking New Orleans men up with a snack-worthy line-up. Although Jae enjoyed the stability of her 9 to 5, this Mother/Hustler says that her sanity was more valuable. Jae told xoNecole, "I often think about the consistent pay and schedule and how life seemed a tad bit more simple, but it also felt out of alignment with who I am; I couldn't imagine clocking hours for someone else's dream."

Along with being a full-time barber, multimedia personality, and positive vibe-pusher, Jae puts most of her energy into raising her 10-year-old king. According to Jae, because her time is so limited, she makes sure to use it valuably, "Time is one of the most important assets, if not the most important. Build rituals and routines that keep you motivated and grounded. Revisit and adjust regularly."

We sat down and talked to Jae about how she manages being a full-time mom and 24/7 hustler all while minding her self-care at the same damn time. Here's what she had to say:

How do you handle moments when you feel overwhelmed? 

"In moments where I feel overwhelmed, I carve out a space to gather myself. I stop to breathe and sort through my feelings and get to the bottom of why I'm feeling overwhelmed. Then, I fix what I can and release what I can't."

"I carve out a space to gather myself. I stop to breathe and sort through my feelings and get to the bottom of why I'm feeling overwhelmed. Then, I fix what I can and release what I can't."

What’s the hardest part of your day?

"I honestly don't know what the 'hardest' part of my day is. That's just not how my mind works now. There are things that need to be done … I do them and move on the next thing to do. Sometimes I have to move on from a project to avoid frustration and getting stuck, but I wouldn't call that hard. I'd call that maneuvering."

How (and how often) do you practice self-care?

"It's mandatory that I practice self-care daily. Usually, it's in the form of my morning ritual: morning joint, meditation, stretch, and workout. I also have random moments of nude dancing where I embrace my body and spirit or grounding under a favorite tree."

When do you feel most productive? 

"I feel most productive when I've completed a task outside of my comfort zone. I'm not much on networking or cutting deals with strangers or distant associates, so when I'm able to check off an objective that falls under that umbrella, I feel extra good."

What is your advice for dealing with mom guilt?

"The best advice I could give for mom guilt would be don't beat yourself up for the sacrifices you have to make today. The tomorrows will be so much better because of them. Communicate your feelings with your children. They can understand and respect what we're going through if given an opportunity to do so. My son is very perceptive… and feels me. It takes more energy trying to keep things from him, so I've found it's easier and more beneficial to just let him know how I feel about my 'current mom status.'"

What’s the most important lesson you’ve learned as an entrepreneur? 

"[Practice] consistent effort with your goal in mind and be prepared to do it ALL even if you don't have to. Everything will not always be aligned and you'll HAVE to jump in to get things done to keep moving."

What is the most important lesson you want your kid(s) to learn from you? 

"The most important lesson my son can learn from me is, happiness is possible and plentiful. Explore this world and continuously find new ways to love yourself. Self-care is necessary and may often be confused for being selfish by those who aren't willing to understand. Those who do care to understand will encourage all works that lead to your happiness."

"The most important lesson my son can learn from me is, happiness is possible and plentiful. Explore this world and continuously find new ways to love yourself."

How has being a mother helped you become a better entrepreneur (or vice versa)? 

"Being a mother puts the fire under you to succeed. Your biggest fan is watching front row and center at all times. I have no choice but to be honest about my efforts and success. It's easy to bullshit yourself but it's a little tougher to when your wide-eyed, inquisitive child is watching."

What is the biggest challenge you’ve faced as a mom who runs a business?

"The biggest challenge being a mom and entrepreneur is figuring out a way to keep the money flowing when you have to drop everything and be a mom. I have no 'sick days' or 'vacation time'. I have to be prepared to make money even when physically can't make money."

Do you think it’s important to keep your personal and professional life separate? Why or why not? 

"The need or desire to keep one's personal and professional life separate would be based on the individual. My brand was birthed out of my transparency, so there is a very blurred line with my personal and professional life. Of course there are things that remain private, but for the most part, expressing the ins and outs of my journey have only contributed to the success of my business endeavors. I would say to anyone be true to who you are. People gravitate toward authenticity. If you're forcing it, your audience/market will know."

"Expressing the ins and outs of my journey have only contributed to the success of my business endeavors. I would say to anyone be true to who you are.

What tips do you have for financial planning, both professionally and for your family?

"Budget. Determine what percentages make sense and stick to those numbers. We can't and don't skim off the top with the light bill or car insurance; don't do it with your own goals. Handle your budgets the way you handle your bills… put the money where it NEEDS to be. Build both a personal and professional 'Just in Case' account. Having a cushion is always good."

Keep up with Jae by following her on Instagram @Jae_Every_Dae.

Featured image by @coseyphoto.

ACLU By ACLUSponsored

Over the past four years, we grew accustomed to a regular barrage of blatant, segregationist-style racism from the White House. Donald Trump tweeted that “the Squad," four Democratic Congresswomen who are Black, Latinx, and South Asian, should “go back" to the “corrupt" countries they came from; that same year, he called Elizabeth Warren “Pocahontas," mocking her belief that she might be descended from Native American ancestors.

But as outrageous as the racist comments Trump regularly spewed were, the racially unjust governmental actions his administration took and, in the case of COVID-19, didn't take, impacted millions more — especially Black and Brown people.

To begin to heal and move toward real racial justice, we must address not only the harms of the past four years, but also the harms tracing back to this country's origins. Racism has played an active role in the creation of our systems of education, health care, ownership, and employment, and virtually every other facet of life since this nation's founding.

Our history has shown us that it's not enough to take racist policies off the books if we are going to achieve true justice. Those past policies have structured our society and created deeply-rooted patterns and practices that can only be disrupted and reformed with new policies of similar strength and efficacy. In short, a systemic problem requires a systemic solution. To combat systemic racism, we must pursue systemic equality.

What is Systemic Racism?

A system is a collection of elements that are organized for a common purpose. Racism in America is a system that combines economic, political, and social components. That system specifically disempowers and disenfranchises Black people, while maintaining and expanding implicit and explicit advantages for white people, leading to better opportunities in jobs, education, and housing, and discrimination in the criminal legal system. For example, the country's voting systems empower white voters at the expense of voters of color, resulting in an unequal system of governance in which those communities have little voice and representation, even in policies that directly impact them.

Systemic Equality is a Systemic Solution

In the years ahead, the ACLU will pursue administrative and legislative campaigns targeting the Biden-Harris administration and Congress. We will leverage legal advocacy to dismantle systemic barriers, and will work with our affiliates to change policies nearer to the communities most harmed by these legacies. The goal is to build a nation where every person can achieve their highest potential, unhampered by structural and institutional racism.

To begin, in 2021, we believe the Biden administration and Congress should take the following crucial steps to advance systemic equality:

Voting Rights

The administration must issue an executive order creating a Justice Department lead staff position on voting rights violations in every U.S. Attorney office. We are seeing a flood of unlawful restrictions on voting across the country, and at every level of state and local government. This nationwide problem requires nationwide investigatory and enforcement resources. Even if it requires new training and approval protocols, a new voting rights enforcement program with the participation of all 93 U.S. Attorney offices is the best way to help ensure nationwide enforcement of voting rights laws.

These assistant U.S. attorneys should begin by ensuring that every American in the custody of the Bureau of Prisons who is eligible to vote can vote, and monitor the Census and redistricting process to fight the dilution of voting power in communities of color.

We are also calling on Congress to pass the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act to finally create a fair and equal national voting system, the cause for which John Lewis devoted his life.

Student Debt

Black borrowers pay more than other students for the same degrees, and graduate with an average of $7,400 more in debt than their white peers. In the years following graduation, the debt gap more than triples. Nearly half of Black borrowers will default within 12 years. In other words, for Black Americans, the American dream costs more. Last week, Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Sen. Elizabeth Warren, along with House Reps. Ayanna Pressley, Maxine Waters, and others, called on President Biden to cancel up to $50,000 in federal student loan debt per borrower.

We couldn't agree more. By forgiving $50,000 of student debt, President Biden can unleash pent up economic potential in Black communities, while relieving them of a burden that forestalls so many hopes and dreams. Black women in particular will benefit from this executive action, as they are proportionately the most indebted group of all Americans.

Postal Banking

In both low and high income majority-Black communities, traditional bank branches are 50 percent more likely to close than in white communities. The result is that nearly 50 percent of Black Americans are unbanked or underbanked, and many pay more than $2,000 in fees associated with subprime financial institutions. Over their lifetime, those fees can add up to as much as two years of annual income for the average Black family.

The U.S. Postal Service can and should meet this crisis by providing competitive, low-cost financial services to help advance economic equality. We call on President Biden to appoint new members to the Postal Board of Governors so that the Post Office can do the work of providing essential services to every American.

Fair Housing

Across the country, millions of people are living in communities of concentrated poverty, including 26 percent of all Black children. The Biden administration should again implement the 2015 Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing rule, which required localities that receive federal funds for housing to investigate and address barriers to fair housing and patterns or practices that promote bias. In 1980, the average Black person lived in a neighborhood that was 62 percent Black and 31 percent white. By 2010, the average Black person's neighborhood was 48 percent Black and 34 percent white. Reinstating the Obama-era Fair Housing Rule will combat this ongoing segregation and set us on a path to true integration.

Congress should also pass the American Housing and Economic Mobility Act, or a similar measure, to finally redress the legacy of redlining and break down the walls of segregation once and for all.

Broadband Access

To realize broadband's potential to benefit our democracy and connect us to one another, all people in the United States must have equal access and broadband must be made affordable for the most vulnerable. Yet today, 15 percent of American households with school-age children do not have subscriptions to any form of broadband, including one-quarter of Black households (an additional 23 percent of African Americans are “smartphone-only" internet users, meaning they lack traditional home broadband service but do own a smartphone, which is insufficient to attend class, do homework, or apply for a job). The Biden administration, Federal Communications Commission, and Congress must develop and implement plans to increase funding for broadband to expand universal access.

Enhanced, Refundable Child Tax Credits

The United States faces a crisis of child poverty. Seventeen percent of all American children are impoverished — a rate higher than not just peer nations like Canada and the U.K., but Mexico and Russia as well. Currently, more than 50 percent of Black and Latinx children in the U.S. do not qualify for the full benefit, compared to 23 percent of white children, and nearly one in five Black children do not receive any credit at all.

To combat this crisis, President Biden and Congress should enhance the child tax credit and make it fully refundable. If we enhance the child tax credit, we can cut child poverty by 40 percent and instantly lift over 50 percent of Black children out of poverty.

Reparations

We cannot repair harms that we have not fully diagnosed. We must commit to a thorough examination of the impact of the legacy of chattel slavery on racial inequality today. In 2021, Congress must pass H.R. 40, which would establish a commission to study reparations and make recommendations for Black Americans.

The Long View

For the past century, the ACLU has fought for racial justice in legislatures and in courts, including through several landmark Supreme Court cases. While the court has not always ruled in favor of racial justice, incremental wins throughout history have helped to chip away at different forms of racism such as school segregation ( Brown v. Board), racial bias in the criminal legal system (Powell v. Alabama, i.e. the Scottsboro Boys), and marriage inequality (Loving v. Virginia). While these landmark victories initiated necessary reforms, they were only a starting point.

Systemic racism continues to pervade the lives of Black people through voter suppression, lack of financial services, housing discrimination, and other areas. More than anything, doing this work has taught the ACLU that we must fight on every front in order to overcome our country's legacies of racism. That is what our Systemic Equality agenda is all about.

In the weeks ahead, we will both expand on our views of why these campaigns are crucial to systemic equality and signal the path this country must take. We will also dive into our work to build organizing, advocacy, and legal power in the South — a region with a unique history of racial oppression and violence alongside a rich history of antiracist organizing and advocacy. We are committed to four principles throughout this campaign: reconciliation, access, prosperity, and empowerment. We hope that our actions can meet our ambition to, as Dr. King said, lead this nation to live out the true meaning of its creed.

What you can do:
Take the pledge: Systemic Equality Agenda
Sign up

Featured image by Shutterstock

This article is in partnership with Staples.

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