Taking Cornrows to the next level
Cornrows is a typical African-American name for these close-to-the-scalp braid styles that originated in Africa centuries ago. As the name suggests, probably named after the similarity of orderly rows of corn on the cob.
Not only is the variety of styles that cornrows offer infinite, this style of braiding is a form of art. A skilled braider can create magnificent original styles that are nearly impossible to duplicate. I still remember the very first time I saw a girl’s hair being cornrowed. We were getting ready for this children’s fashion show and her teenage sister was doing her hair. As young as I was I was intrigued by what I saw and asked “how do you do that?” It was too complicated for me to understand but I know it was beautiful.
It’s hard to believe that this form of art has been undervalued for over centuries. When Africans were taken to the western world cornrows were degraded to at-home-styles. One could were them at home, under a wig or even under a scarf but never out in the open for the public to see. You just couldn’t go out like that. It would be a shame.
However, great art forms never die. Cornrows started to make a comeback slowly in the 60’s. When Cicely Tyson dared to wear her elegant natural cornrowed style on TV, it wasn’t appreciated at first. Some even said that she was bringing black people backwards by wearing such a style. Miss Tyson turned out to be a pioneer in the Black is Beautiful Movement because by the end of the 60’s cornrows were not only accepted, they were in fashion.
Click on the arrows for the slide show How to change styles from casual, to chique and hiphopNowadays one can hardly watch a music video without spotting cornrows. They maybe even more popular among men than women if you don’t take into account the cornrows women usually do to attach weaves and wigs. Although cornrows seem to be an accepted hairstyle today, we usually don’t see them in the workplace and accept for the videos clips we don’t see them in the media either. The new rules that the Baltimore police wanted to impose last year made it clear that this wonderful artistic style of braiding is associated with thugs and criminals. Incredible but true and reason for us to take cornrows to the next level.
While we can’t make everybody appreciate or even understand this form of art, we can change such prejudice ideas by making cornrows more visible. Stop hiding your original creation of rows and wear them out. Show the world the natural crown that only suits one queen, you. If people stare it’s because you’re beautiful and you are displaying an ancient art form in a speedy high-tech new world that has yet to learn. That’s how we can take cornrows to the next level.