KINKY HAIR CONNECTION GR: Unity Is In the Hair

There’s no denying it. Donald Trump will be the 45th president of the United States, and the country is more polarized than I’ve ever seen. There are protests taking place across the country in opposition to this upcoming presidency. I have new friends who live overseas and are asking how could we let this happen. Foreign diplomats are speaking about our nation in an very apprehensive manner. Everyone is asking one plaguing question: “How can we unite under this man’s leadership?” The spirit of this election has even divided families and households while inciting the expression of hate, misogyny, homophobia, racism  and violence. What are we going to do?

Well, I’m going to celebrate who I am, my hair-itage and hair-story at the Kinky Hair Connection. The purpose of the event is “to connect, support and encourage naturals, as well as those considering and transitioning, by helping them embrace who they were born to be”. Isn’t that just what we need? I went to this event last year and can honestly say it was an amazing experience. It was truly self-affirming to be in a room full of intelligent, nice and strikingly beautiful women simply for the purpose of sharing our stories and uplifting one another. Almost every woman there admited that she didn’t like her own hair at one point in time. Several were still intimated by their tresses but contemplating the change. Other Queens had been natural for years and shared a wealth of experience with the novices. Every woman admired and adored everyone else, and all of it was well deserved.

This meetup was so powerful that I decided to start this blog right there at this event in 2015. This is also where I got my funky African Queen earrings that my readers love so much. Ya’ll know I’m planning to get a new pair too. I also got my first couple of natural hair tees. It really left an impression on me.

You gotta come and feel how empowering it is to be among Curl Friends and Sistah Queens that understand your struggle. You know what I’m talking about. Someone told them they were ugly. People said their hair was nappy. It was ingrained in them that their skin was too dark or too light. These Curl Friends know what’s it’s like to be tired because corporate America keeps saying, “you’re locs are unprofessional but if you change your hair, I’ll still only pay you 63¢ compared to the $1 that I give your white counterparts.

That stuff is heavy. This is time where we need a positive outlet, where we can put that to the side. The 2nd Annual Kinky Hair Connection is a place where natural hair Sistah Queens can come say, “Hey! You are a Queen. I recognize the strength and beauty in your struggle. Keep shining.” Who doesn’t need that? I know that’s exactly what I need.

 

So what’s cool about this event? Last year we got a nice overview of the black hair trends. There was a head-wrap/scarf tying presentation. There was a panel of natural hair enthusiasts (hair stylist/cosmetologist, style consultant, makeup artist, etc.). There were swag bags and really, really nice prizes. I’m talking about complete, full-sized product lines. There was a used product swap (Bring your half-used product and take someone else’s you’ve wanted to try but not purchase. Genius!). I remember delicious gourmet cupcakes and candies. Then there were the vendors. You know I love some vendors. Natural hair tees, dashikis, and jewelry. No wonder I’ve become a walking, talking natural hair bill board.

I’m truly grateful for Aleka Thrash aka NatuallyAct and Della Marie Levi (Rock Candy Earrings) the creators of the event. They are entrepreneurs who came together in the spirit of collaboration to spread the natural hair movement throughout Grand Rapids. They held their first meetup for natural women in 2015. According to the duel, “A natural hair meet up is a place where those, who have chosen styles that highlight their natural, unadulterated hair texture, gather to provide each other with support, resources and encouragement along the journey to embrace who they were born to be. It is also for people, who are considering returning to their natural hair texture and those, who want to know more about kinky, coily, loc’d or curly hair and how to care for it.”

Here’s a link to the highlights page so you can see how dope it is for yourself. Watch the video. You’ll see my mom and I upfront and center. That’s because we were late. Don’t be late. Check the schedule. Hahaha!

I’ll see you Saturday at the Kroc Center lovies.

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