There was a lot of anticipation for this event, especially on my end as I wanted to do something a very different from anything else I produced.
And I’m glad to say that Black Hair Throughout the Diaspora not only met, but truly exceeded my expectations!
The three stories of the glass-walled and glittering Museum of the African Diaspora were filled with hundreds of attendees from around the Bay Area, some even traveling from as far as New York for the event.
The concept of the event was to produce an artistic celebration of black hair through the lens of the diaspora. I came up with the idea to have “Living Sculptures” or models who each represented a specific location within the African Diaspora. I narrowed these locations down to six places which hold a certain significance for me in terms of my personal natural hair journey: Paris, The Congo, Sub-Saharan Africa (modern day Ethiopia), Brazil, the Caribbean and, of course, San Francisco.
In collaboration with Celebrity Stylist Felicia Leatherwood, our fashion sponsor, Bloomingdales, and make up artist, Tamra Marie Aristry, this vision was brought to life (literally):
The highlight of the evening was a panel that featured Jewels Barron, Creative Director of Shea Moisture; Felicia Leatherwood, Celebrity Stylist and Rhadamés Julian, Director of Follicle. We talked about the importance of hair when it comes to discussing black identity, the role of pop culture when it comes to discussing black identity, and the origins and future of the natural hair movement. It was truly an insightful discussion, one that was filled with themes and topics that are too often glazed over and it was good to facilitate a deeper topic on the subject.
The rest of the evening was spent checking out the MoAD exhibits including the Kinsey exhibit on black hair and adornment (if you’re in the Bay, this is a must-see!), enjoying the delicious eats from Radio Africa, laughing and smiling in the Lightworks Photobooth and grooving to the tunes of DJ DC from KMEL.
It was truly a magical event, one of my favorites I’ve ever done. Going into it I thought it might be my last, but I’ve already got the itch and idea for another in the works… :)
That said, this was truly a group effort and special thanks to the following:
•Shea Moisture for supporting the Bay Area natural hair community and the exploration of these topics.
•Bloomindales, for being such creative collaborators in making this happen (shout outs to Mariama, Cati and Jay!)
•Tamra Marie Artistry, for lending your talents and vision and a wide palette of colors!
•To the MoAD Vanguard, for giving me the platform to do this event. And in particular, Timmie Roach, my true partner in crime in making this event happen. I couldn’t have done it without you!!!!
•To my mom, for hopping on a plane at my insistence to come check out the event.
•And to our partners, Lightworks Photobooth, Moet Chandon, Radio Africa, DJ DC, Glass House Communications and the Parc55 Hotel— THANK YOU!
Now, without further ado, the full gallery from the event!