Afro, Locs, & Biz- a podcast with Charles and Tia

I miss my locs. I miss sitting and chatting with my loctitian. I miss the smell of my hair after it was oiled and washed. I even miss the weight of my hair. And after listening to a new podcast “Afros, Locs, & Biz, hosted by Charles and Tia, I miss them even more.

Natural hair is something that many more Blacks are embracing now. I grew up going to the salon for my hairdresser to relax my hair. It would burn. I would have to sleep in a certain position. I was in the hair salon for hours and hours. I hated it.

I grew up never believing that it was ok to embrace my kinky hair. For ten years I grew what many call locs. I don’t say dreads, but they are locs. A little after the ten year mark, I sat in front of the television and cut them off one by one. For me it symbolized a new journey. For me it symbolized the need to grow. But for each of the year that I wore my locs, I built memories and connections. They became more than just my hair.

In 2012 I embarked on this new journey which was called law school. Not only was I extremely apprehenisive about this journey, but I was also unsure about a lot of pieces that went along with planning for this new journey. I commutted 75 miles one way. I taught a full load at a university that was an extra 20 miles,and I had so many other obligations.

The first face I saw in my building was this young man and we exchanged pleasantries and the connection was because of our locs. I would have never imagined that the IT guy during law school would turn out to be a major part of my law school journey. We instantly connected sharing stories about our hair, which opened up an endearing friendship. Sadly, I cut mine and they are now in a ziploc bag, but every time I think of the calm for me during this journey, I think of Mr. Charles Eddy. I have so many stories that we shared, so many emails, and this friendly relationship helped me to understand the sentiments that we are told; “God always sends an angel to you” in the time of need. And our connection was our hair.

When my brand new Macbook had issues (or maybe it was the user who had the issues), he was there. I heard stories of his beautiful wife, I grew excited about his first son, and when this journey ended, he was one of the people I missed most. We discussed our hair ALOT, and I’m truly missing my locs right now just thinking about them.

Well, fast forward and I just listened to his first podcast episode. Please check him out at: https://anchor.fm/afroslocsbiz

Also he can be found on all of the major podcast apps, Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, Castbox, and many others!

He shares below a lot of gems; to include, the purpose of his podcast, and highlights of some of his favorite podcasts. Anyone who knows me, knows that I love a great podcast and this one was a great listen!

Check out Tia and Charles

Ki O’Shea: Who are you ?

Charles: I’m an IT tech who’s not just an IT guy. I’ve always been the creative type, so I’m into all things artistic- writing, music, culinary, woodworking, drawing, painting…anything creative. I’m also a dad of two. I love being a dad and I’m very hands-on, which for some strange reason is shocking and impressive to some people. It shouldn’t be. 

Ki O’Shea: What inspired this podcast?

Charles: First, I’m a podcast junkie, so I listen to a large number and variety of podcasts. There are millions of stories being told out there and I thought I’d lend my voice to these stories. I love black culture and black history. Black hair is a big part of black culture. You can’t have a thorough conversation on black culture without talking about black hair. I didn’t want to talk about black hair only from a historical view, but from the current culture, also. I also have a strong love for business and entrepreneurs, especially small businesses, so I wanted us to highlight that also. The hair industry is a multi-billion dollar industry, and I wanted to highlight those businesses and business owners who are on the producer and service-provider side of that multi-billion dollars and hopefully inspire the next generation of entrepreneurs with these narratives

Ki O’Shea: Why do I think podcasting is so popular

Charles: I think podcasting is so popular because of convenience. The internet and social media has given many people a voice to express themselves for the world to hear on subjects no one would have heard them on 25-30 years ago. So I think beginning with AOL chat rooms to MySpace to blogs, and now to Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, people have been given more and more freedom to express themselves over various platforms. I think podcasts are just the natural evolution of that online expression. So once upon a time you had to get hired at a radio station and then get access to a studio in order to broadcast your thoughts. Now you only need your phone and an app. There are literally no barriers and people are taking advantage of that freedom. 

Ki O’Shea: Who are your favorite podcasters:

Charles: I like much of what the NY Times is putting out by way of podcasts. I like The Daily and Still Processing, which are both produced by NY Times. 

I like Preet Bharara’s podcast Stay Tuned With Preet. He keeps me up on what’s going on in Washington and I like how he breaks down the legal aspects of whatever the topic is. 

I love Nicaila Matthews Okome’s podcast, Side Hustle Pro. I’ve learned of a lot of black entrepreneurs through that show and even purchased items from them. Luvvie Ajayi and Yvonne Orji’s podcast Jesus and Jollof is wonderful. It’s funny yet informative. The Nod from Gimlet Media is really funny and also can be informative. Every weekend I listen to It’s Been A Minute with Sam Sanders and get caught up on the news of the week. I even listen to a story telling podcast called Circle Round when my son is in the car sometimes. 

Ki O’Shea: What advice do you have for future podcasters:

Charles: I don’t have much advice for future podcasters mainly because I’m still figuring things out myself. I would say find a topic you really care about and that means a lot to you. It’s easier to talk about something if you care about it. Do your research. Know what kind of equipment you’ll need, what distributor you want to use, how much all that will cost and is starting a podcast going to fit into your schedule. They require a lot of planning, which can be time consuming. You’ll also want to research your topics. People want to know that you know what you’re talking about when they decide to listen to your show. Have fun!

Check Charles and Tia out!!

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