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Bridging The Gap

by Marci Dodds-Walker Africans lost more of their natural progression and growth thru forced enslavement, than any other culture, know to mankind.  Lost were our native languages, lost were our ancient, religious practices. Lost were our cultural norms in cooking, healing, family structure and belief systems. The one cultural dynamic that survived middle passage has been ‘braiding’. Though a lot of the historical significance for braiding has changed over time it remains an iconic form of art and expression.  The art of Braiding connects (bridges) Africans from the continent to Africans worldwide.  She has been at the forefront of building relationships between Africans on an international level. In trying to assimilate into the dominant culture Africans have undergone a ‘torturing’ of the crown.  Too much heat from the straightening comb, the use of hot curling irons and the dreaded ‘creamy crack’ chemical relaxer, use to mimic the look of the dominant cultures idea of beauty. This has further threatened the normal course for the development and growth of our race and culture.  Education has taught us that we can and must claim what is rightfully ours.  That being said – Embracing our own healthy, God given, gorgeous kinks will afford us more value for our lives than we could have ever imagined. Whether locks, braids, twists or a funky ‘fro’ are your choice of coiffure, it is certainly the healthy alternative to applying lye based products to your or your child’s precious scalp. Bright Colors and intricate designs are innate to African peoples and we have the ability to express our uniqueness, by using trained, natural hair care professionals for services. With a well-trained and trusted natural hair care provider you are insured a space where you will be given good, sound sound advice and receive superb, health conscious grooming. As we continue to push the envelope to develop a standard fro natural hair care and braiding professionals to adhere to, we fully accept the responsibility for the awe inspiring task at hand.
  • – To educate & certify braiders and natural hair professionals.
  • – To stay apprised of laws as they are adopted/changed
  • – To share the hair history with our clients, each other and students
  • – To collaborate and support groups, individuals and organizations that are working to build this industry
This multibillion dollar industry belongs to us. We have to but claim that which belongs to us. After all we didn’t ever get the 40 ACRES & MULE that were promised.