There’s no better time to be proud and rock your Afro hair than this Thursday, September 15, during the official celebration of “World Afro Day” — an international day that goes beyond a unique and characteristic hair type.
This celebration aims to change and educate the world about the uniqueness of Afros and the culture and identity that’s behind it.
The origins of Afros
The roots of the Afro are intertwined with the complex history of Black identity. Though many claim that this style, which epitomizes the beauty of relaxed, natural, and bouncy hair all in its glory, came from countries in Africa – it’s a symbol of empowerment in the United States.
During the 1960s, when the Black community was once again -unjustly- demonized by the government, the Black is Beautiful Movement made its way into the mainstream. This movement tied in with the Black Power Movement. In those instances, Afros were used as a political statement aside from being a beautiful hairstyle. At one point, it was considered a threat to pearl-clutching racists. Of course, as its popularity grew among the communities, it became mainstream. Artists from Michael Jackson to the Afro-Latin salsa queen Celia Cruz were seen rocking the hairstyle.
Nowadays, as natural hair becomes the norm, the Afro is as prominent as ever.
A day to celebrate
“World Afro Day is a global day of change, education, and celebration of Afro hair; endorsed by the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights. We work with families, schools, and authorities to tackle discrimination against Afro hair. We carry out research, create events, and produce resources to empower people with Afro hair and raise awareness in wider society,” said Michelle De Leon, founder of World Afro Day on the official website.
The first “World Afro Day” observance took place on September 15, 2017.
While it is very common to see straight hair looks (due to the complicated history of Afro hair) on social media, in movies, television, etc., Afros have less representation. This day is all about empowering the essence of it!
In order to appreciate the beauty of Afro hair, I created a list of five Afrolatinas who look flawless and embrace this natural hairstyle.
Beya Jiménez: Digital Creator
Amara La Negra: Artist
Elizabeth Acevedo: Author
It is important to point out that “World Afro Day” is a date for everyone to be part of. Whether it is through education or showing off your natural hair, all people are invited.
If you decide to celebrate or be part of this important international day, don’t forget to use #WorldAfroDay in your social media posts.
I personally think Afro hair is such a fun, iconic, representative, and beautiful natural hairstyle!