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Shea Moisture AUC & ASC Black Power Book Club Want You to Know Your Hairstory

On April 28, Agnes Scott’s Black Power Book Club partnered up with Shea Moisture AUC to give a thought-provoking presentation about the history of Natural hairstyles within the Black community.

 

The event began with a discussion led by Kora and Summer of the ASC Black Power Book Club. They explained what Black hairstyles mean within the community as well as how that meaning has changed over time. In the days before slavery, Natural hairstyles were used as a way to symbolize various aspects of one’s social status. During slavery, European colonizers, recognizing what the hair symbolized, forced their African slaves to shave off all of their hair, essentially stripping them of their identities.

From this point on, they spoke about how slave masters forcing their black slaves to assimilate still has a negative impact on the Black community today, in that Black people are still expected to be ashamed of their natural hair. They revealed that while there have been natural hair movements throughout time, more often than not, there is often backlash. They described the Louisiana Tignon laws, which forced Black women to cover their hair with head scarves, as well as how the women overcame these oppressive laws by beautifully styling their Tignons. They brought up many examples from the news in which Black Women have been ostracized for their natural hair, which was described as untidy, unkempt, and unprofessional. These examples vividly showed how Black women are expected to conform in order to be successful.

After the Black Power Book Club finished their presentation, the representatives of Shea Moisture AUC led a very informative demonstration on how to do protective natural hairstyles such as Twist-outs and Wash-and-go’s, while providing detailed explanations about what products should be used. They also gave out samples of shampoos and conditioners.

After attending this event, I definitely felt like I knew my hairstory. While based on the conversations held throughout the presentation it was evident that young Black girls have been conditioned to be ashamed of their natural hair, the presentation helped shed light on the beauty of natural hair. To clarify, this is by no means to say that everyone should have natural hair, (that was made explicitly clear throughout the presentation.) The purpose of this presentation was to show that everyone should be free to do whatever they want to their hair. No one should be ashamed of the way their hair grows from their head. If you were not able to attend the Hairstory event this time, it is something that you shouldn’t miss in the future!

 

If you want to learn more, please check out their Social Media:

ASC Black Power Book Club:

Instagram: @ascbpbc

Twitter: @ASCBPBC

 

Shea Moisture AUC:

Instagram: @sheamoistureauc

 

Brianna Walton

Agnes Scott '21

Brianna is a Junior at Agnes Scott College. She is majoring in Political Science and Business Management, with a minor in Anthropology/Sociology. She has a passion for social justice issues (especially those regarding race, class, and gender), self-care, and self-expression via writing. Her favorite things to do are listen to music, draw, talk to friends, and take long walks in Decatur.
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