And on the final day…

It’s New Year’s Eve. I just showed up to my Pre-Trial Conference (on my day off). I see the other two (older white male) attorneys in this case. I remember them from the Depositions about 2 months ago. Per usual, they don’t see me or remember me or acknowledge me as an attorney or even as another human being.

So then these two stand right next to me and discuss their strategy and how they don’t see anyone here from my office and what they think they’re finna do and what they think I’m finna do.

Like, right next to me. Ha ha.

When they’re done, I stand up and (re)-introduce myself to them. And watch their faces turn red.

Who knew what good camouflage I was born with?

Happy New Year, folks.


Take the Baby out of the Box

Dear Everyone,

Some of you may have noticed that when I meet your brand-new baby, I talk about the possibility that when she or he grows up, she could become a neurologist or a business owner or a stand-up comedian or a statistician. I run laps and get into pools and jump onto and off of things with your toddlers. I read to and dance with your children. I ask your tweens what their favorite subject is in school and what they like to do for fun. I tell your teenage girls how smart they are and remind your teenage boys that they are kind and caring. I buy books for birthday gifts and make snacks out of fruit. I don’t have cable, but any child that comes to my apartment will get a chance to color and read and laugh and just stand on my balcony and make observations about the world. I have the patience to read (in English and Spanish) with your babies and to answer every question they have about everything in the world. I proudly tell them that I am a lawyer, and hope that one day maybe one of them will want to be one too (and that they can get the degree for free, lol).

I do all of this VERY MUCH on purpose. In the limited amount of time I have with your offspring, I am hoping that I can help your children to think for themselves and to not place themselves into pre-determined boxes. Too often children are placed into superficial categories based on gender or race or socioeconomic status. Not every pretty little girl needs to be reminded every day how pretty she is, she is so many other things too. Not every tall Black boy needs to pick a sport to get him far in life, maybe he is just meant to support the big/tall mens fashion industry or to reach things off of the tall highest shelves as his stay-at-home dad self makes dinner for his working wife/husband. Not every little rich kid is destined to succeed in an academic career, some are meant to use their trust funds and people skills to throw bangin parties that support charity causes and allow people to have fun and meet each other. Just because you don’t have a PhD, doesn’t mean your kid won’t be able to get one, intelligence and skills are not necessarily hereditary. Recognize their naturals strengths and abilities, but don’t project them into narrow categories.

I read this article ( and this little boy is so right. Devonte intends to be himself and in doing so, he will be the best person he can be. I want this kind of self-determination for all children (and adults too, let’s be honest).

Auntie Bri/Tia Sabrina/Ms. JT/Miss Sabrina wants all of your precious small people to become to smartest, healthiest, happiest, most caring and independent and productive people they can be.

If they’re going to be paying into my Social Security, they’d sure as hell better be. :o)

So the next time I am hanging out with your kids, know that my words and actions are purposeful. Those little sweeties can be whatever and whoever they want to be. Just being their parents does not mean that you get to look at them and make those decisions for them.

Sabrina (who buys her eyeglasses from the “mens” section because she found cute ones over there and how dare they try to limit my fashion choices based on my reproductive organs AND who also realizes that wearing eyeglasses doesn’t mean she went to Harvard, they just mean she went to

All that glitters…

The setting: the conference room in my office
The occasion: depositions
The attendees: 4 male attorneys (including my boss), 1 female court reporter, 2 male clients, and me
The timing: I am in the middle of deposing one of the clients. In the middle. Like, mid-question.

So the (weird, slightly ridiculous, and often inappropriate) older male Plaintiff’s attorney slides me a note, not at all discreetly, from across the table.

Across the damn table. He has to reach across the party I am deposing to do this. Everyone watches him pass me the note and watches me stop my line of questioning to read it.

The note reads, “You have something on your eye, right under your eyelashes. Be careful it doesn’t get in your eye.”

I read the note and then look at him and then turn to the court reporter and say, “Can we go off the record please for a second?”

Then I say to him (and awkwardly to everyone else in the room), “It’s glitter. No need to worry. I wore glitter eyeshadow on Saturday and, I don’t know if you men know this, but glitter doesn’t just come off when you wash your face. Glitter comes off when it feels like coming off. But thanks for worrying. And again, it’s just glitter. We can go back on the record now.”


Remember the Name, no Fort Minor

Dear Pompous Opposing Counsel (whose name I know but will not include),

My name is written on all of the pleadings and correspondence we have exchanged. Those papers are located in the folder in your hand. Additionally, I said my name about 45 seconds ago when I stepped up to trial table to request a continuance. You were standing next to me. And finally, we have tried at least 3 cases together this year alone. Two in this very courtroom.

So please understand that when you chase me out of the courthouse yelling, “Ma’am! Ma’am! Ma’am!” there is a zero percent chance I am going to turn around. That’s disrespectful. You used every other attorney’s name in here when you greed them (hims). I guess I missed my greeting.

I am a fellow lawyer; I’m not just another client.

Call me or write me when you learn how to be a professional and a colleague. (Or when you learn my name.)

SABRINA (or Ms. Turner, I seriously don’t care which one you use, just don’t be a dick)

Don’t you forget about me.

Dear Everyone,

Let’s not forget that “giving credit where credit is due” is still an important part of a civilized and respectful society. When someone does something new or creative or praise-worthy or kinda cool or ahead of its “time” (or sometimes even some shit they’re supposed to do anyway), they should be lauded or at the very least, acknowledged for doing so.

It seems lately, however, that people (mainly white women in media and the entertainment industry who write articles in periodicals) seem to want to keep all of the credit for themselves. ALL OF IT. (That’s super selfish, y’all.) They want credit for stuff they’ve done, like making pumpkin-flavoring a “thing” and making it acceptable to wear Uggs with EVERYTHING (thank you ladies). But they also want credit for shit they didn’t actually do.

Just to be clear, here are TWO things for which white women do NOT deserve credit for initiating but right now society seems hell bent on giving to them THIS WEEK:
1. Shapely and ample rear ends (
2. Cornrows (

Clarification: I am not so much into an “us” and “them” thing with white women (or with anyone for that matter). Some of my best friends are white. I’ve had several white women in my house. Sometimes, they are even there when I am not home. And I trust them enough to know that they won’t steal my stuff (*cough* Stefanie with my ‘S’ and *cough* Jackie with my flip-flops *cough*) even though that’s the stereotype. (Wait, it’s not? Oh.) I’m mainly into things that concern me and how I am perceived. And if I hear one more person extol the greatness that is that “Booty” music video**… I will hit that person and everyone with a Sabrina-sized radius.

I concede that there are white women with ass and white women who rock some pretty dope looking cornrows. This is a real thing and I am okay with it. Welcome to the effing club, mamas, membership has its privileges. My beef with these two articles (and the thought pattern they come from) is that BLACK WOMEN ARE LEFT ENTIRELY OUT OF THE NARRATIVE about styles/looks that we have been doing for centuries!!! (This time estimate is not at all an exaggeration, seriously. Check stock photos from the 1800’s.)

How can you write an article about big butts and mention more white women than Black? (Sidenote: J.Lo is white. Don’t fight me on this unless you know the difference between race, ethnicity, nationality, and cultural identification, player.)

How can you talk about the evolution or resurgence of cornrows and begin the story at Bo freaking Derek when there are stacks of photos of Black women wearing this style since way before women like Bo Derek could vote or drive cars or talk back to their husbands without fear?

Where the eff is Ashton, ’cause I seriously feel like I am being punked. This cannot possibly be sound journalism, or an accurate reflection of reality, nor can people actually believe that my ancestors’ contributions to this society are a myth.*** This can’t be real life. I don’t get it. Am I missing the joke?

I understand that when white women (finally) do something, it makes it’s way into the headlines. I work hard everyday to fix this deep-seated problem with society. I do NOT understand, why there is this need to leave Black women out of the story completely. All these two articles needed was the mention (in some way shape or form) that Black women have been doing this stuff forever (and ever), but now that these late-to-the-party-ass white women are doing it, other white people feel like discussing it. Still not where we should be as a society, but at least accurate journalism.

I hate these articles. I hate that it is 2014 and I still have to explain to people why I am beautiful and smart and capable and intelligent and unique but also just like every other woman. I hate daily microaggressions. I hate that my beauty is “edgy” instead of just being the standard. I hate that I don’t actually know how to cornrow.

But mostly, I’m just tired. Explaining stuff to people who don’t want to listen is EXHAUSTING. Can you all just please listen and then stop pretending like Black women don’t exist?

Sabrina (rocking two cornrows today and also one big butt… everyday)

** I remain unimpressed by a) that music video and b) both of those ladies’ asses. But let’s be honest, very few people have rear ends that impress me. I mean, let’s consider what I see in the mirror everyday. Just sayin.

** Oh wait, they can believe that. I remember an assignment in 10th grade American History at Roland Park Country School with Myra Goldgeier. We were required to write an essay called “Who Built America” and the list of people to pick from contained only white men and maybe one white woman. And this assignment was given to us in FEBRUARY. In grand Sabrina fashion, I threw my textbook down and stomped out of class, infuriated (and rightfully so). That “stunt” earned me a meeting with our Director of Multicultural Affairs to air my grievances and earned George Washington Carver a spot on that list. I, obvi, wrote my essay about him, but arguably, the other girls in my class should have been the ones writing this essay. I already knew who he was. That’s how he got on the damn list in the first place. Idiots.

Are you ready for some (pre-season) football?!?

Dear Everyone who says “It’s only the pre-season, I don’t get excited about the pre-season,”

You’re lying, I know you’re excited. Don’t be a douche.

I’m PUMPED like no other. As I Commish my three fantasy leagues (two all-girls leagues, what what), buy tickets to Ravens games, plan girls’ weekends at stadiums in Baltimore and Miami, throw mad shade at women in pink jerseys, and make sure all of my righteous purple gear (and that one lone navy and blue and red jersey) is clean and still fits (ugh, summer barbecues), I am reminded of what Sunday Funday really means. It means NFL effing football. And, just in case you were not aware, it starts again THIS SUNDAY, for the first pre-season game. Cause pre-season football is still football.

You may not want to admit that you’re excited about the pre-season because you think it isn’t cool. Well, it’s totally cool to like pre-season games. People go watch Training Camp for baseball. People film entire dress rehearsals of musicals and use them on their resumes. It’s like the rehearsal dinner before a wedding; it’s not the wedding, but it’s a good time in and of itself. (And there is still food and booze and friends and family and stuff.) Everyone LOVES the rehearsal dinner, just like everyone loves pre-season games. And anyone who makes you feel uncool about it is either a killjoy or a Steelers fan. Either way, they’re wack.

You may not want to cop to your excitement because you think it will somehow make you look like you don’t know anything about the sport. This is dumb. You can totally say, “ZOMG I’m amped for these games that are about to start!!” And if someone else is all, “Womp, the pre-season doesn’t count,” you can be like, “Buzzkill, hater. I’m amped because I LIKE WATCHING FOOTBALL, IDIOT, not because I am prematurely (not even a little bit) concerned about your team’s losing season and the effect that these games will have on it. Count THIS!” Basically, everyone knows it “doesn’t count” but that doesn’t make it any less enjoyable to watch. How many other times DURING the season do you watch your team even when you know there’s no hope or that the team’s fate is sealed? Just ask a Jaguars fan how they watch regular season games and that’s how you should watch pre-season games. With a song in your heart and your team spirit on your sleeve. Done and done.

Reality check: The last time we saw live NFL football it was like -19 degrees outside. Most of you (not me) were complaining about the cold and Ray hadn’t yet hit his wife and lost his position as my favorite Raven. We still had at LEAST three more snowstorms to go AND no one believed that I would be caught DEAD watching the World Cup. My how things have changed. You won’t lose any of your chill (pun intended) if you admit that that was a long-ass time ago and you’re uber happy to have that cute little pigskin back on your TV screens.

So get over yourself and admit it. And then meet me at the bar on Sunday so we can (finally) watch the game!

Sabrina J.T. Harbaugh

Am I old now? Or just no longer an idiot?

Dear Youth of America,

It is not challenging to set yourself on fire.
Like, it’s actually a mistake that careless people make or meant to look like a mistake when stuntwomen do it.

Please review the definition of challenge in the dictionary (if you know what that is) and then actually challenge each other to something useful or character building or something that may help you grow as a person and one day get a real job.

Or at least something that’s not batshit insane.


P.S. I don’t blame you all completely. You also don’t know the meanings of the words “love”, “hip-hop”, “wife”, or “real.” Bravo and VH1 won’t let y’all have nice things.

P.P.S. The pass out “challenge” is dumb too. Get it together, kids. Do better.

I’m pretty. You are most certainly ugly.

[I wrote this letter after reading this article:]

Dear Universal Pictures,

Screw you guys. And for the love of all things good and holy, LEAVE US DARK BROWN GIRLS ALONE!!! What did we ever do to you to deserve this level of marginalization?

I live in Baltimore, so you don’t have to worry about me sending in my credentials for your NWA biopic casting call. And even if I did live close, the condensed version of just my dance/performance resume may still contain too many words/ideas/concepts to fit into your myopic view of humanity. I can’t imagine what you’d think about the full version of my res. Or, yikes, the ACADEMIC version. Mind. Blown.

Here is my takeaway from your ridiculous caste system of a casting call: Y’all are NOT checking for me AT ALL. I am dark-skinned AND I am very pretty. (See how I didn’t use the word “but.”) My hair is real and weave-free and somewhat long although not straight at all. I am in great shape (shout-out to U Rec Fit for the part-time job and to Ev and Buddy for the good genes) but I am nowhere near skinny. So I am simultaneously in every category and in none of them #atthesamedamntime.

So in the era of NWA, I just didn’t exist huh? Or is it in THIS era that my kind is ignored? Weren’t we all just celebrating Lupita? Doesn’t everyone still think Gabrielle Union is gorg (despite her crap taste in men)? Isn’t Stacey Dash irrelevant now that she’s on Fox News? How are you going to measure skin-tone? Are y’all finna use a paper bag? Are you gonna pay 10 cents for it at the Whole Foods?

Aren’t women worth more than their bodies?

I am also, at 33 years old, not actually a girl (and neither are the 18-30 year olds you want, fools). We are women, not children. So I will make a new casting category called “AAA WOMEN.” Guess who is in it? Every woman roaming this planet. Guess what we’re casting for? Life, motherfucker.

I know you are casting for a movie. BUT, you are casting EXTRAS. Like, no one needs to look like a certain historical figure or say any real lines. Literally, any woman will do. Why must you continue to insist that the hue of my (flawless, unblemished, un made-up, perfect, currently sun-kissed, very soft and good smelling, always dark brown) skin is synonymous with poverty. It just isn’t.

I’m rich. Get it straight. I have money, pedigree, education, and class. I possess a vocabulary so extensive that when I use curse words, I’m using them because I can, not because I have to, bitch.

You racist/colorist/sexist/bigot people disgust me. I am so over your biases. #gohomeroger #byefelicia


My Natural Hair Care Regimen

Dear Everyone,
It has taken me forever to compose this letter because I wanted to make sure that I give you all of the advice I ever had and plenty of resources for stuff I don’t know!!!  This is a fun process once you get to know your hair.  I never liked doing my hair until I figured out all the cool stuff it can do.
When in doubt, go to YouTube.  When I first cut off my relaxer 12 years ago, there was no YouTube, no girls making tutorials, no product lines for natural hair, and only hearsay as a resource.  My how times have changed.  Find a few girls (with YouTube channels) with hair that sort of looks like yours (curl pattern, length, thickness) and watch their videos.  You’ll get so many ideas and tips.
You will inevitably buy a bunch of products (cause someone told you about it or because it smelled really good in the store or because it was on sale, etc) and not all will work.  Don’t be afraid to experiment.  You can pawn the unused stuff off of someone else or just toss it.  Don’t feel the need to “finish the bottle” if it isn’t making your hair fantastic.
Below is what works for me.  About two years ago, I really started styling my hair and caring for it in a way that was really productive.  I got a GREAT haircut (Deva Care) that was kind of expensive but totally worth it and then went from there.  I try to use products that I can find in a regular store (Walmart, Rite Aid, the average Beauty Supply store) and are not super expensive.  I don’t want to have to rely on specialty products that take forever to ship or I can’t afford if I go broke.  Besides, most of my money is for mojitos and plane tickets anyway…
I only wash my hair about once or twice a week.  (Sometimes I just rinse and condition midway through the week, especially if I already have a good curl pattern going.)  And I don’t EVER use shampoo.  I haven’t used shampoo in over two years (since that haircut).  My hair loves me for it.  Instead I use As I Am Coconut Co Wash as my “shampoo” and then Tresemme Naturals Moisturizer Conditioner.  I detangle on the conditioner stage with a wide toothed comb in the shower (or sometimes my fingers) and then I dry my hair with a t-shirt instead of a towel.  Towels are super rough.  I don’t rub it, I just wrap it up and then take it down when it is time for the leave-in.
– wash products/tools:
No matter what style I intend to rock (wash and go, twists, top knot, curls, updo, blow-out, ‘fro, etc) I always put in my leave-in conditioner.  This stuff is magic.  It makes my hair feel like the finest silk (not really, but kinda).  I section and clip my wet/damp hair into 5-8 sections (depending on what style I intend to do and where I put my part), add a little bit of oil (right now loving the Garnier Fructis Miraculous oil, but I may try a lavendar oil sometime soon; I hear evoo works great also), and then apply a small amount of Paul Mitchell’s The Conditioner (a little goes a long way) to each section as I go, and then brush through it with a modified Denman brush.  This brush will totally define your curl pattern.  It’s like magic.  You can re-clip your hair or go on to style each section right after you condition (like if you’re twisting).
– after wash products/tools:
I’m super boring.  I have 3 main styles that I rock on a consistent basis and everything else is special occasion (or I’m feeling bored) only.
– WASH AND GO:  Not nearly as simple as it seems, but still pretty easy.  All you do is put gel in your hair, section by section and use your fingers to define each curl.  The gel I like to use is Eco Styler, because it doesn’t flake and isn’t full of alcohol.  Any of the types will do (I prefer Olive Oil or Sport), but you’ll need a hold of 8-10.  The hold is written on the bottle.
 TWIST OUT:  This is my current go-to.  I put no more than 8 twists in my hair, sometimes only 5.  I do two-strand twists and I wish I knew how to flat twist, but I do not have the patience to learn, lol.  (I also don’t know how to cornrow.)  But none of that is necessary.  Just add a little gel (or some pudding if you want a fluffier look) to the root of the section you want to twist, and spread the gel out as your twist down, adding a little more to the ends when you get there.  They will tell you not to “borrow” hair if one half of the twist runs out of hair before the other.  This is a lie.  Borrow if you want to, it will turn out just fine as long as you unravel carefully.  You can also twist on dry hair.  If so, keep a spray bottle of water nearby and dampen each section a little before you apply product and twist.
Here are my best tips for twist-outs:
1.  Detangle a little with your pointer finger as you go.
2.  Roll each twist piece in your finger as you twist it to get bouncier curls.
3.  Let your twists dry, but not completely, before you take them out.  If they are a little bit damp, you’ll have bigger hair.
4.  Get a spray oil and spray your head or put a little oil on your hands as you un-twist.
Here are some videos that I found helpful (YouTube has a TRILLION twist-out videos, it’s nauseating):
1.  If you can flat twist, this is killer amazing:
2.  She talks about that extra twist before you twist (#2 in my tips):
– TOP KNOT:  OMG, this is my current favorite style because of this song: (listen to the lyrics in the first verse then peep the hair with the outfits with the sweatpants… she is my spirit animal) AND because it is so easy.  All you have to do is put Eco Styler gel on the outside of your hair, gather it into a bun on the top of your head, and put a ponytail holder on it.  Then tie a scarf around your head and let the gel dry your edges flat.  That’s the easy simple standard way.  This can also just be a ponytail if you pull the hair all the way through.  If your hair is super short, you can use giant elastics to create more of a pony-puff.
BUT, if you want an ENORMOUS top knot bun (my fave), you can add some Marley hair.  Here is me without and with the Marley hair:
Crazy, right?  For this style, you need bobby pins and Marley hair.  The trick is finding Marley hair that matches your own color.  I lucked up and mine is a pretty solid match.  There are many ways to attach the hair, but here is a video to help you put it in.  I wish I could describe this one better, because I actually do a technique that combines a few videos, but if and when you buy Marley hair, I will send you a video of me putting mine in, if you want.  Until then, this is the best video I have found:
1.  Bobby pins are your best friend.  I keep them in my car, wallet, gym bags, purse, overnight toiletries case, and on my coffee table.  Buy the littler ones and the big ones.  Same with ponytail holders.  Buy the regular ones and then buy the ones that look like the diameter of your whole head.  You can wrap them around twice for a pony-puff.
2.  Salt water is so awesome for curls.  Whenever I go to the Caribbean or Central/South America, I have the best hair because humidity + salt = amazing big curls.  Apply conditioner to your hair (as your apply sunscreen to your body), frolic in the ocean, throw a few twists in your hair, let it dry while you pre-game, untwist and then hit the island nightlife scene.  #winning  I am in the process of creating my own salt water spray for humid Baltimore days.
3.  Put in oil and (any cheap) conditioner, and twist or bun, before you go swimming in the pool.  Wash out chlorine ASAP.  Unlike salt water, it is harmful to your curls.
4.  Don’t be afraid to try new stuff, styles, products, videos, colors, etc.  There is so much that can be professional, fun, easy, cutting edge, etc… you will always have something to do.  We have way more options than our moms did when they were our age.
5.  Some of my favorite YouTubers:
– LHDC-TV (Long Hair Don’t Care) –
I hope this helps!  HAVE FUN!!
Sabrina (#teamnatural)
P.S.  If you want to know about Curlformers, I have a separate email I can forward you (including info for how to buy cheap ones), but that’s more work than anyone should have to do everyday.

Let’s stay indoors during July and August, okay?

Dear Everyone,

Can we just agree once and for all to NOT host important events outdoors in Maryland (or whatever hot-ass state you’re from) during the months of July and August? Like, if your event is dressy and classy and you require that I wear a dress made of something other than the thinnest of gauzy see-through pajama-fabric cotton and that said “dress” cover all body parts that upon viewing might give your Uncle Kevin a mild heart attack AND there will be photographers and videographers and 30-somethings with iPhone cameras loaded with Instagram and FB apps AND your effing Nana will be there who isn’t about that heatstroke life AND you might serve seafood.. can it just take place indoors in some nice AC that some engineer worked really hard to invent to provide for (y)our use and convenience? Those engineers work mad hard, yo. How dare we spit in the face of their life’s work?

Let me plead my case to y’all real quick…

Reasons fancy events outdoors in the summer suck:
– sweat
– armpit sweat
– face sweat
– nose sweat (shout out to Ev and Matt on this one… it is a JT thing)
– boob sweat
– underboob sweat
– crotch sweat
– that one trail of sweat that heads down your spine towards your ass and there’s nothing you can do to stop it because some couple is in the middle of their vows or some pregnant lady is opening yet another one of those squishy giraffes that seem to be created solely for putting in a baby’s mouth in lieu of a pacifier (weird)
– girls and queens in dresses and make-up and fancy hair that are all ruined MOMENTS after said event begins, but photos are taken HOURS after the ruination and after feet have become so sweaty that heels will no longer stay on
– guys and dappers in suits where after the event the insides smell like the dirty towel bin at Planet Fitness (sweat and cheese pizza and utter desperation)
– dry-cleaning bills after every event (real talk)

Events that are okay to host outdoors in the summer:
– pool parties
– casual backyard barbecues
– wine and/or music festivals
– kids’ parties (they are hot sweaty messes no matter the month)
– marathons and other races, even on bikes
– anything where it doesn’t matter what your guests look like sweaty
– anything where adults can wear something resembling a onesie and it be appropriate
– anything on a boat
– anything without a photographer meant to capture “beautiful” memories to last you a lifetime

I know some of you all don’t sweat like I do. But I know a lot of you sure as hell do. And I know that for ALL OF YOU there is a temperature where being outdoors feels like oven-type torture (I went there). Those temperatures occur in July and August. Duh. Let’s make it better for all of us.

It’s just uncomfortable. No one dare argue that.

From now on, let’s keep all of our weddings, baby showers, bridal showers, graduation parties, 60th birthday parties, and jazz nights INDOORS for those two months. Okay? Okay. Thank you.

Sabrina (that one friend you have who did not ONCE complain about the cold or snow this past winter… for real)