Under The Glistening Sun
The vibrations that took place in the middle of Prospect Park was an experience to be felt. The sun’s beams were shared amongst the entire park, it was HOT. Hundreds of spotlights projected from the sky gleaming over our skin that eventually, to me, started to resemble different shades of the color gold. Men, women, and children filled the grounds glorifying Black beauty under the glistening sun.
Curlfest is about seeing familiar faces. I grabbed the attention of a woman I met once before this day. Both of us, recent graduates of the same College. She was walking off campus as I was entering. We met with a smile and she began to ask me about natural hair and if I had any suggestions for hair care. This was last spring. At Curlfest just a few days ago, there she was… embracing what I would call a crown sitting on top of her head. Her confidence was the first thing that I saw and in between our conversation I had to ask because, I wanted to hear it from her, “so how is the journey going?”
The Next Generation
Families brought their young children to partake in the celebration that is stemmed from inspiration and education on self-love in the Black community. Something we have struggled with for so long from being manipulated through years of slavery and unrealistic beauty standards for both Black men and women. Exposing our young children to Black history and beauty of our culture has the potential to act as the antidote to reverse some of our self-love issues. Doing something as simple as using images of beauty that is in correlation to what your children see when they look in the mirror, and what you see when you look in the mirror can make a difference. Black children are never too young to begin learning how to love themselves. Whether it be through reading books, art, or conversation. I think that dialogue is vital and can assist Black children in developing love and security within themselves while getting through different obstacles in life that they may later face because of the color of their skin. Knowing where you came from is knowing who you are and it’s important for us to teach that to our children.
For the Culture
We have slowly been reverting back to where we came from by expressing ourselves through education and art. I think that we continue to discover dope things about being Black because we were completely detached from our culture. We have spent years rebuilding and recreating to the aid of what was lost. It was our freedom before being stripped from us and even at times, imitated. This is why cultural appropriation is being called out more often these days. There was a time that being Black in America was made out to be a mockery. Some of the things that we are known for like our kinky hair, full lips, broad noses, and dark skin were used to insult our existence as human beings. Fast forward to today those same features are glorified but often used to satisfy the greed of monetary gain. Revealed in beauty magazines, on runways, etc; are our features and our culture, but not us.