By Kashalah Robinson | Contributor
Students from Augusta University and Paine College will be collaborating in an African-American hair show. The event begins on Thursday, Mar. 30, at 6 p.m. in the Lee Auditorium at the Health Sciences campus.
Raising awareness and bringing a cultural event to the university was the main goal in putting together the “Don’t Touch My Hair” hair show.
In 2016, AU student Trene’ Hamilton won Miss Black and Gold, a pageant put on by the Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity, and chose the creation of the hair show as her required event for winning the crown. Natural hair, which is hair that has not been processed to be chemically straightened, is something that Hamilton knows a lot about. She has been natural for several years and enjoys the versatility it brings.
However, putting on the show has not been an easy job. Hamilton first ran into criticism when her non-black friends told her the show was racist. She was offended and upset, but found reproach as the golden opportunity to explain the beauty and importance of natural hair. She explained how African-American hair has been scrutinized for years and how the creation of the perm was introduced to conform black women’s hair into American society.
Those who do not have nappy, kinky hair do not have to face that adversity, while those who do, know the feeling all too well.
Putting on the show alone was also a hardship. Hamilton came up with the idea on her own and with no one to step up as her second, she had to take full reign of the show. She had to make sure she scheduled practices that fit into everyone’s schedule and ensure that models were present and putting in the work to make the show embody the femininity, masculinity, and overall powerfulness of natural African-American hair. This along with balancing schoolwork was a challenge, but Hamilton believes the benefits of putting on the show will outweigh any hardship.
Hamilton has connected with a wide variety of people, from freshmen to seniors. She has also been recognized, approached and thanked for putting on this show.
There is one thing that Hamilton wants people to know.
“If you have an idea or a vision, go for it,” she said. “Make it come to life.”
Krystal Alexis, a junior AU student and a model in the show, takes immense pride in her natural hair and finds it as an essential part of her identity. Alexis has been natural for the last two years and reverted to her natural state after exploring into self-identity. She enjoys the versatility and empowerment of her natural hair.
Alexis said she hopes the audience embraces who they are naturally, regardless of societal standards, and wants everyone to know they should never be afraid to be themselves.
“Never be afraid to be yourself,” she said.
Alphonso Parson, a junior student from Paine College and a model in the show, finds his natural hair as a way to stand out while expressing his own personal style. Parson decided to do the hair show because he saw it as a wonderful way to not only define himself but embrace his heritage and culture.
Parson said he hopes that the audience’s self-esteem is raised by seeing the beauty and importance of natural hair.
“Natural hair is beautiful, no matter what society thinks,” he said.
The hair show will include performances from Paine College’s Mahogany Essence and Augusta University’s African Student Association (ASA), along with the models in the show.
Contact Kashalah Robinson at email@example.com.