On Sunday, August 3rd, I had the privelege of being apart of a panel discussion about natural hair at the Naturalista Hair Show. This fact surprised many people who delighted in reminding me that I didn't have any hair. There are some observant ass people out here in these streets, let me tell you.
(Video courtesy of Sister's With Beauty)
Anyway, the discussion, framed under the "Men's Perspective Panel" title was one of the few panels I've been apart of that I can truly say I enjoyed and for a few reasons.
1. I enjoy being apart of a discussion where the people attending actually give a shit about your opinion. They might not know why your opinion matters, but at least they're listening, be it from a place of curiosity, dissent, or bewilderment.
2. Unlike most relationship panels, this discussion was attended by people largely on the same page. It was a natural hair expo which means that all of the attendees were rockin' the naturals. This helps in tremendous ways because there wasn't arguing amongst attendees, just respectful sharing of opinions. It was a give-and-take discussion between the panelists and the audience, which is how all panels should be.
3. We had a pretty good balance of opinions on the panel. Granted, we were all men who attended HBCUs and had similar outlooks on natural hair - basically, we all like natural hair - but within that framework, we had very different perspectives on how we reached our opinions. Effectively, it was like an HBCU where we're all Black but our Blackness looks different when you put us all in a crucible.
4. Natural chicks really dig the "I (heart) Bougie Black Girl" shirts. I wore it as a way of being somewhat ironic, and yet EVERYBODY wanted to know where I got it and where they could get one. That surprised me. Turns out natural chicks are bougie as hell too.
5. I love big hair. Put me in a room full of big hair and I won at life. At this panel, I won at life.
6. We had a good moderator. Diana Ramsay, the HCIC (head curl in charge) of Sisters With Beauty - who supplied the video - did an excellent job of keeping the convo going and engaging. Shouts out to my fellow panelists Ray Baker and Brian Jackson. And shouts to the Naturalista Hair Show for having a panel where our perspective was welcome.
All that said, check out the video, even if just as a quick respite from whats going on in the world.