The program started with an introduction from the president and co-founder of Campus Curls and Kinks, Lakesha Alexander followed by a short film of how kinky, curly, and coily hair has been portrayed in the media over the years. Most was bits were entertaining while some were disheartening and thought provoking. After the short film, the panelists were introduced. They had a very diverse group of students with different classifications and majors that included men!!! I was intrigued as sometimes we don’t always get a man’s perspective. LOL. Not only were the panelists diverse (Some had hair, some didn’t. Some were natural, some weren’t), but the audience was equally diverse. I was surprised to see as many Caucasian people, men and women, in the crowd.
The discussion continued when the panelists were asked, “How have members of other racial groups reacted to your hair? Is there a fascination?” Young men and women alike voiced their opinions and observations but the one statement that struck me was “people of other races are fascinated with our hair because they JUST DON’T KNOW. It’s not a negative thing. They want to know more about us.” One white student was a little curious. She said that she washed her hair EVERYDAY because if she didn't, she would have enough oil in her hair that she could fry a chicken, to which everyone chuckled. But she did want to know how often we washed our hair. She heard different answers...once a week, once every two weeks, every other day, it just depends. What she learned was that every head of hair isn't the same. I'm sure it was an eye opener for her. After pondering it for a while, that’s so true. I'm reminded of my co-worker’s reactions when they see my hair in its natural state verses when they see it straightened. It’s hilarious! I get “your hair is soooo versatile! I wish I could get my hair to do that.” (Ha! No you don’t! LOL)
Check my hair in different stages...
There were many other questions asked but one I thought needed some attention was, “What is the black male experience with hair? What is your take on women with natural hair?” As my grandma used to say, now we’re cooking with grease! I really wanted to hear young men give their honest opinions regarding hair in today’s age of Beyonce’, Rihanna, Lady GaGa, Miley Cyrus, etc. One of the young men on the panel said there’s something attractive about a woman who’s CONFIDENT about her natural hair. Another male attendee said “I want my daughter to be proud of who she is that’s why I love women with natural hair.” Awww, REFRESHING!!!!
If you are in the Raleigh area and want to be apart of a "natural" discussion, check out Campus Curls and Kinks!
Do you have an organization on your college campus or in your community that celebrates natural hair??? Please SHARE!!!