It was the corner of Fulton and Division in downtown Grand Rapids. I was amongst a group of twenty beautiful black sistahs, all of varying heights, sizes, shapes, complexions, hair styles and levels of swagg. We slowly strolled down the street, each with our heads high as if we balanced invisible crowns on our heads. There were bright smiles, a ton of laughter and feelings of awe as each sistah took in the beauty of the next. There was no petty snarls, side eye or unhealthy competition; just love, respect and understanding of the natural hair struggle. This created an ambiance of unity and pride that draped the group.
I was attending a Natural Hair GR Meetup called Open Photo Booth Session. The group’s events provides social activities and support to natural hair women in the metro Grand Rapids area. This event functioned to recruit models for the upcoming Spring Is In the Hair block party-style hair and fashion show as well as take promotional pictures. All were excited to showcase the beauty of the black woman using our very own hairstory.
As we walked turned on Commerce Avenue, another natural queen approached us and asked, “So ya’ll just walking down the street slaying? ” I looked around at the gorgeous divas around me and happened to catch my reflection with them in a mirror. What I saw made me smile. It was that moment that I realized the other sistahs were shocked when they saw our reflection as well. I looked at the approaching sistah and teased, “Yeah, girl! We usually do it alone but today we’re doing it together. Come on.” We all laughed as she added her pizazz to the sisterhood.It was an amazing feeling as the camara snapped and each Curl Friend’s personality came out, just as individual as the curls on their head. Some were confident and enchanting . Others were shy but gracefully bold. Everyone came to this time and this place via a different route but each was there to take the natural hair experience for future Curlies to a new level. We all want to encourage, support and praise anyone who embraces their natural tresses. We all understood how empowering and invigorating it can be to strip ourselves of society’s standards of beauty. We made the statement that we are fine (literally and figuratively) just the way we are. After coming together like this, who could disagree?
People in passing cars looked on with approval, though they were obviously shocked and curious. Who was these women? What are they doing? Where are they going? Those were the questions I read in their expressions. That’s what’s so exciting about Spring Is In the Hair. This will be the second year the event has taken place but it will be the first time the Naturals will take downtown Grand Rapids by storm. It will be a cultural event of epic proportions.
This block party-style event will take place on Commerce Avenue in between Oakes and Weston on June 10, 2016 from 5:00-9:00 PM. It will feature many of Grand Rapids natural hair stylists and barbers. The highlight of the event will be a natural hair and fashion show but you can know there will be hair workshops, giveaways, and soulful entertainment from some of Grand Rapids’ local musicians. There will be booths selling hair products, information, clothing, jewelry and of course delicious cuisine. You don’t wanna miss this.