Evolution of Black Hair Diversity and Inclusion Training

Evolution of Black Hair Diversity and Inclusion Training

Our Evolution of Black Hair Diversity and Inclusion Training and live exhibit explores and examines the history and art of Black people’s hair through the 16th and 21st centuries. Their purpose is to educate nonblack and Black individuals about Black hair’s history of culture and oppression. The training and exhibit provide a deeper understanding of Black hair and its importance to the Black community. These experiences will help bridge the segregated gap that society has created between Black and nonblack communities by teaching the cultural importance of Black hair.

In America, the idea that our coily hair in its natural state was dirty, unkempt, and unattractive was further reinforced during slavery. Degradation and belittlement is a tactic that has been used since colonization began. This, and many other tactics, made colonizers feel superior and forced many groups of people to convert to a new way of living. It placed unreasonable, Eurocentric beauty standards on those who weren’t of European descent. Unfortunately, this form of oppression was not written in our history books.

This has led to a great deal of misinformation about Black hair and allowed cultural insensitivity toward it to become commonplace. Brown Skin Women’s goal is to debunk these myths and educate Black and nonblack individuals about Black hair’s journey.

What do we do?

During the Evolution of Black Hair, we discuss the history of beauty standards being placed on Black people and how they started. The

Brown Skin Women teaches our Evolution of Black Hair participants about the history of beauty standards and how they have impacted Black people around the globe. We discuss how our hair traditions were stripped away during slavery and new rules and expectations were placed on tightly curled hair. Texturism, colorism, and false narratives were created in order to make Black people feel less than other races. The Evolution of Black Hair program allows participants to learn how these issues were created and how they still maintain relevance in Black people’s lives today. We will also have a straightforward, honest conversation about the importance of our hairstyles and why they are important across cultures in the African diaspora.

The goal of the Evolution of Black Hair is to debunk common myths and assumptions about Black hair. This program is beneficial for everyone, even those within the Black community. All of our participants will learn about the true history of Black hair in a non-judgmental environment. This inclusivity training has been held in both Black and non-black spaces. We’re thrilled to say that no matter how our audience identified, they expressed how they benefited from our program.

How do we do it?

Carmen Veal Conway, Brown Skin Women’s founder, leads a presentation that briefly covers Black hair’s history from the 16th and 21st centuries. This presentation covers how stolen Africans’ hair was cut off in order to dehumanize them to modern-day discrimination of hair in the workplace. It will also discuss the beautiful and innovative styles that Black people have created and worn despite the heavy rules and regulations surrounding Black hair.  The Evolution of Black Hair Diversity and Inclusion training also includes a live exhibit for participants to explore. The exhibit showcases common hairstyles through different eras. We encourage our participants to take pictures and enjoy the interactive learning experience.

Brown Skin Women values having a positive experience, even when discussing nuanced (and sometimes difficult) topics surrounding race. We created the exhibit so participants could have tangible, visual examples of what it was like to have Black hair in America over the years.

Why do we do it?

Carmen created the Evolution of Black Hair because the world needs more inclusivity. Black hair is still stigmatized as dirty, unkempt, messy, and undesirable. Today, there are more positive opinions about Black hair in mainstream media but the average Black person still faces discrimination and microaggressions because of their hair. We want to change that. The only way to do that is by providing spaces to learn and through proper education. Brown Skin Women aims to create a strong foundation for our participants so they can do their part in unlearning harmful assumptions and preconceptions about Black hair. In our experience, our attendees of the Evolution of Black Hair Diversity and Inclusion training were able to unpack biases that society has made the norm.

Everything Brown Skin Women does is for those with tight, curly hair to feel beautiful and accepted in their own skin. Destigmatizing Black hair is an incredibly important factor. Many people with tight curls have suffered through pain, burns, hair loss, hurtful comments, and more just because of the hair that grows from their scalp. We’re doing our part by providing education to those who are willing and wanting to learn more about Black hair and the culture surrounding it.

If you are interested in our Evolution of Black Hair Diversity and Inclusion training and would us to present it to an audience of your choosing, please email info@evolutionofblackhair.com and visit our page.

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