A Black Hair Lecture in Holland

audience in Amsterdam at Going Natural

There were no seats left in the room where the documentary 400 years without a comb was shown. Even after adjusting the sound people had difficulty understanding the foreign language but it was clear that most could relate to the images. It was silent, then there was laughing and at times you could see the audience chill. The emotions connected to our nappy roots became clear. 

Black Hair and History Intertwined
Amsterdam, the Netherlands – April 13/16

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There were no seats left in the room where the documentary 400 years without a comb was shown. Even after adjusting the sound people had difficulty understanding the foreign language but it was clear that most could relate to the images. It was silent, then there was laughing and at times you could see the audience chill. The emotions connected to our nappy roots became clear. 

Still, the response was not as collective as one might have expected. One woman said she couldn’’t relate to the experiences of African Americans because they were extreme. Different from her own experience. Another one responded that this wasn’t true in her opinion because of the audience visible response during documentary. She had a good point. Somehow they all could relate. Nobody could dispute that.

However, it was the subject of relaxers that really heated the discussion. At one point I had to remind the people that we probably had as many different opinions as hair textures but that it didn’t matter. We were all there because we all had the same nappy roots and we were all there because we cared about black hair.

The lecture on the Monday after was a great success. The audience in the packed room was more diverse and the panel couldn’t have been more different. We had a lady columnist with long locs, a male author with a bald head, a lady singer with a wig and a natural woman who was a hairstylist.

Immediately after the last slide the interested audience started to ask questions. The room even became more sparkling when the panel started sharing their personal hair stories. When the hairdresser showed pictures of hair damage a shock went through the audience but besides that it was a vibrant event. Time ran out before all the questions could be asked. They requested a follow up. It was an enormous pleasure, I feel humbled and I am looking forward going back.

 

A special thanks to Dr. Willy Morrow, the maker of 400 years without a comb who gave me permission to show his documentary.
More pictures: http://www.women-inc.nl/

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