How do I summarise such an incredible day?The Origins Of The Afro Comb Exhibition officially opened yesterday, but I went to attend the opening celebrations, presentations and previews that took place on Monday and it was absolutely amazing!
The afternoon began with a preview of the Artist Michael McMillan's installation piece 'My Hair', at the Museum of Archaeology & Anthropology.McMillan has successfully recreated 3 key spaces associated with Black hair care.Can you work out what they are?
The room also includes some great information, and beautiful images.My highlights were the superstitions I found dotted around the room, and the hair dryers that played some of the hair stories from you ladies who attended the Petrie event back >here<.
It's official, you guys made history!
Then came the part I'd been racking my nerves about all week.The exhibition's Curator Dr Sally-Ann Ashton had invited me to give a presentation and be a panelist at the seminar. I think something to do with it being at Cambridge university had my nerves pumping through my chest in a crazy way, but I'm so glad I did it. As I said in my speech - I feel the voice of the current natural hair community was essential to this exhibition. Which, as you've probably worked out, is exactly why I've been trying to get you guys involved.
The museum's Director Tim Knox, introduced special guest Author & Poet Ben Okri, who shared a few words and (half) a poem, before handing back to Knox who gave special acknowledgements to those who took part in the exhibition and officially opened it up for viewing.
It was actually quite emotional when I thought about the small beginning of this project, to finally see it realised and so well received.
Beginning with earliest Afro combs from over 5,000 years ago, the displays gradually guide you across and eventually out of Africa allowing you to see how this iconic symbol of African heritage has travelled with the Diaspora to the rest of the world, and still remains relevant to so many people today.
I had to hold back the tears when I saw my late grandmother's mini stove and tongs on display. She was my hero and always worthy of being recognised by history. I hope I've made her proud.I also hope you get a chance to go to Cambridge and see the exhibition for yourselves. I haven't given too much away in this post, but that's because you really do need to go and see it. It's officially the first of its kind, highlighting a history that is well overdue such recognition.
There's so much more to tell you about it so look out for further posts soon.