As fate would have it, three years of talking about my hair on social media finally landed me a spot on the TED stage. ALRIGHT, alright, so my journey to the stage may not have been THAT cut and dry – but I was invited last month to give a TED Talk at TEDx Beacon Street here in Boston on the importance of the Natural Hair Movement for black women and how its being received in society. After numerous conversations with friends of mine and strangers through my social media platform, I heard story after story of how their journey to embrace natural hair had been misunderstood by white peers, and presented challenging decisions for them in professional settings.
There’s a burgeoning community of black women supporting each other through natural hair transitions, but what about when we leave this space? Why are we still having to make tough decisions over how to wear our hair to work and in job interviews? Why are we still having to explain how we achieved different hairstyles to our majority colleagues? Why do you still feel like we have to get our hair straightened in order for it to look nice for special occasions? My talk addresses these questions, misconceptions, and offers a brief history of black girls and the relationship with our hair. More importantly, I felt so fortunate to present this talk in front of a mostly-white audience in arguably one of the “whitest” states in the country- Massachusetts. However, my talk was extremely well-received by a diverse variety of people, and I hope that this message will continue to spread to audiences all over, as I continue to advocate for black women feeling comfortable and confident loving their natural hair textures. Please take a second to watch my talk below and please don’t forget to comment and like after watching!