God is more interested in refining our character than in granting us comfort. This does not mean God is wicked and does not want to comfort us. But, God wants us to be transformed by the renewal of our minds. You can be comfortable in sin and living a life that that does not glorify God.
That is not a life that God cosigns. Only God can bring us true comfort. The type of comfort that isn’t based on earthly or temporary things.
2 Corinthians 1: 3-12: God of All Comfort
3 All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. God is our merciful Father and the source of all comfort. 4 He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. When they are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us.
5 For the more we suffer for Christ, the more God will shower us with his comfort through Christ. 6 Even when we are weighed down with troubles, it is for your comfort and salvation! For when we ourselves are comforted, we will certainly comfort you. Then you can patiently endure the same things we suffer. 7 We are confident that as you share in our sufferings, you will also share in the comfort God gives us.
8 We think you ought to know, dear brothers and sisters, about the trouble we went through in the province of Asia. We were crushed and overwhelmed beyond our ability to endure, and we thought we would never live through it. 9 In fact, we expected to die. But as a result, we stopped relying on ourselves and learned to rely only on God, who raises the dead.
10 And he did rescue us from mortal danger, and he will rescue us again. We have placed our confidence in him, and he will continue to rescue us. 11 And you are helping us by praying for us. Then many people will give thanks because God has graciously answered so many prayers for our safety.
12 We can say with confidence and a clear conscience that we have lived with a God-given holiness and sincerity in all our dealings. We have depended on God’s grace, not on our own human wisdom. That is how we have conducted ourselves before the world, and especially toward you.
Therefore, we should be of good cheer when we go through persecutions and trials because we know that will produce good character in us.
To answer the question that prompted this blog, what helps us grow the most is usually what stretches and challenges us. Nothing ever grows in the comfort zone.
So take heart my dears, and trust that situations that seem uncomfortable right now is an opportunity for the strength, wisdom and goodness of God to be manifested in our lives and situations.
Lastly, to leave us with some hope is Apostle Paul in the book of Romans
Romans 5:3-6 – God shows up at the right time
3 We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. 4 And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation. 5 And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love.
6 When we were utterly helpless, Christ came at just the right time and died for us sinners.
Even when we feel overwhelmed, hopeless or helpless God is never far away from us. He will turn ALL things together for our good, as long as we yield to His purpose for our lives.
Our God is Holy, worthy and He alone is worthy of our Praise and Worship.
That’s it. That’s the whole blog!
But honestly, we can never stop reminding ourselves of the majesty of our God. When we behold Him and look intently upon Him then our insecurities, anxieties about tomorrow (sometimes even today) fades away into oblivion.
We can enter His rest and fully accept the grace He has made available to us through Jesus Christ.
There is nothing impossible for God to do. Read that again. There is absolutely NOTHING impossible for God to do. Sometimes what we lack is faith.
“You don’t have enough faith,” Jesus told them. “I tell you the truth, if you had faith even as small as a mustard seed, you could say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it would move. Nothing would be impossible - Matthew 17: 20 NLT
Moreover, if we are aware of this but we think but I am just a mere mortal with so many shortcomings and weaknesses why would God want to do anything for me or give me anything. It’s because God loves us. Read that again. God loves you. God is in love with you. (Romans 8:35-39, NLT) Nothing can separate us from the love of God found in Christ Jesus).
Apostle Paul is so secure in this understanding that He boldly states in Philippians 4:13
"For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength."
So anytime we feel undeserving, we must understand that it is not our power our might or our actions that justifies us but we are saved, redeemed and ransomed (Romans 8:29-30, NKJV) through faith in Jesus Christ. (Ephesians 2:4-10, NLT)
Let’s be wary of our thoughts and feeling that might make us think we need to sustain our relationship with God in our own power. Let’s be humble in how we esteem ourselves. Recently played back the verse that speaks on humbly assessing ourselves
"Because of the privilege and authority God has given me, I give each of you this warning. Don't think you are better than you really are. Be honest in your evaluation of yourselves, measuring yourselves by the faith God has given us." - Romans 12:3 NLT
It showed me that in this race we are all running it with the grace of God. Do NOT ever place anybody on a pedestal, and be wary of people that might try and do that. We rely on the grace of God to sustain us and renew us daily by renewing our minds and refreshing our souls. Not only should we read or say this but we must truly believe this and live our lives with this understanding.
When we realize just how weak and unable we are, we can better appreciate the greatness of our awesome God.
Yes, we are spirit beings with a soul that reside in a body. Therefore, we must understand that we live our lives based on our Spirit. The things we see that manifest in the physical is as a result of what has already occured in the Spirit. Let’s avoid distractions and rather we must place our focus on Jesus Christ the author and finisher of our faith. Only He can sustain us and truly satisfy our souls.
This is why we must worship His majesty.
The Lord is glorious and majestic in all His ways. How great are the works of His hands. Let us reason together for a minute and consider just how amazing our heavenly Father is. Have you ever gone through a period of time that you thought you would never make it out of? Have you ever felt lost, disappointed and just jaded with life? Then think to moments when God brings sweet relief. When He reminds us of His goodness through His words, or through the testimony of others. This is just relational revelations of our God. Now, consider the practical revelations seen in the miracle of waking up everyday. The fact that we have oxygen that we breathe into our lungs and it goes around our body and in the same mechanism, carbon dioxide leaves our lungs and is expired out into the atmosphere. The balance of gases are just right on Earth to sustain our human lives and keep us alive.
We have access to technology and technological advances that helps make our lives easier each day by allowing us to connect with people all around the world at the click or swipe of a button. We have reasoning faculties to be able to think, deduce and induce things based on evidence around us. That is the majesty of our King. Oh, that men would praise the Lord and think of His wonderful works! Oh, that men would praise the Lord and think of His wonderful works!
Have a great week ahead and may we be intentional in spending time just lavishing love upon our Maker.
"Obedience is better than sacrifice and submission is better than offering the fat of rams." (1 Samuel 15:22, NLT).
This means that God is more invested in our ability to hear and obey Him first and foremost than the service we give to Him. Controversial, I know! Those two ideas are not mutually exclusive. The truth is that part of our obedience to God is that we serve Him (James 2:24, NLT). But, God wants us to follow His leading for us specifically above all else (1 John 5:2-3, NLT, 1 John 2:3-5, NLT).
So, what is God speaking to us right now as individuals? What instructions is He giving us to follow?
This is how we lavish our love on our savior. The song ‘My Worship‘ by Phil Thompson says ‘And no one can worship You for me, For all the things You have done for me.’
It’s the same with obedience. Nobody can obey God for us or on our behalf. We have individual instructions that God has given us and we must do our best to adhere to them.
What God is instructing you to do in this season of your life may not make sense to others and you may not see anybody else around you doing that but we are held accountable to a higher power than the court of public opinion.
Let’s not be easily swayed, distracted or too captivated by the going-ons that is happening around us but we must be sensitive to the leading of the Holy Spirit.
A friend of mine (shout out to you Fikayo!) reminded me recently about the blog post on God’s love languages and how we can cater to the ultimate Lover of Our Soul.
You might think but God is saying anything explicitly to me right in this season! God is always speaking to us! We are just too distracted to be able to hear Him speak. Trust me if you dedicate everyday of the next week to intentionally reading the word of God, there is no way God won’t speak to you. Try it and come back at the end of the week and leave a comment on this post!
But, sometimes it does not have to be a specific instruction or regarding a specific thing. There are many instructions, ready to go for us already in the word of God.
The truth is that embedded in the midst of all the activities we partake in should be a love and devotion to God that is evident in our obedience to Him and His word.
May God help us develop the spiritual discipline to incline our ears to Him and what He might be speaking to us at every point in time.
Sacrifice of Worship
One of the ways we can live that life of obedience is by worshipping. Worship is what we do to get to the heart of the Father. We consecrate ourselves and we give God our full attention. May the Holy Spirit teach us how to worship God in Spirit and in truth and how to offer Him the true sacrifice of our worship. (part 2 loading…)
Recently stumbled on a Netflix movie based on the bestselling novel, “God’s Waiting Room” by Yewande Zaccheaus. It’s a book that was written to encourage women waiting to birth their children and it was subsequently turned into a Nigerian Netflix produced movie in 2021.
Now I do not normally watch Netflix or even watch movies like that, I was searching for another movie when I stumbled upon this movie. My eyes were opened and my spirit was literally refreshed from watching this movie that I felt myself just smiling from ear to ear at certain parts of it.
Life Lessons from Waiting
The concept of waiting applies to so many different aspects of life and the characters in the movie display that surely in various aspects of their life such as waiting for children, a job offer, marriage and more. The different characters go through various lessons and experiences through their waiting period and some of it isn’t neatly wrapped by the end of the movie. Things do not necessarily go how they initially would have thought their story would go, or even how we as an audience would have thought, yet as an audience get to learn so many pivotal lessons from their stories.
1. The Right Community is necessary
One thing that stood out to me right of was the beauty of community while in our waiting period. Having the support of people that are in similar situations to you and that you can share your struggles with without feeling judged, or like they just don’t get it. The truth is that we are all in different forms of waiting rooms and some people can relate more with others but we must seek for a community where we can plug into and receive the support we need. May we never be found wanting in our hour of need.
Although, with committing to community also means lack of control. We cannot control somebody else’s insensitivity to our feelings and situation during our waiting period. Not everyone will get it or even be able to relate to your situation. But rather we must build ourselves up so we do not crack under the pressure that others seem to portray on us or any unnecessary pressure we put on ourselves.
2. Patience and Endurance are byproducts of Waiting
We really need true patience and endurance while in the waiting room. There was an instance where one of the characters, a female medical consultant, was getting abused by a patient’s husband. The way she was spoken to can cause anyone to respond in a harsh way. Immediately after that she had an equally tough conversation with a loved one. This is all within a short span of time. This means just because we are going through something, life still happens around us regardless of our feelings. People will still do people things and say or do things that may not take out sensitive situation into consideration.
Another character is adamant she will birth her own child even while going through psychological torture and warfare from the impact of a dream that keeps haunting her. She is resolute and determined. This is a prime example of the importance in marrying well o! Get you a man that will pray for you and cover you and you likewise do the same for him! In the end, her faith was rewarded and not because she got exactly what she wanted but she trusted God and when He gave her a response, although resistant at first she came around. Trusting that her good Father, had good intentions for her and her desire to have her own family. Also, we salute a man that stands by his woman and displays fruit of the Spirit including patience and gentleness!
It is important to surround yourself with the right people and listen to counsel.
“That we smile does not mean that there is no pain.”
speech excerpt from “The Wait” 2021 film
3. Let Faith and Hope Anchor you in the Waiting
It is okay to feel our pain during the waiting room. Hope deferred sometimes makes the heart weary. BUT we must always clarify and define what the anchor for our soul is during our waiting. Another story sees a couple where the wife has lost her faith and is also losing her joy in the midst of waiting. She becomes defensive and doesn’t want to do anything else during her waiting. Anchor is what keeps us grounded in the middle of turbulent times and the storms life throws at us.
Our faith will be tested like never before but that is where we see the resolve of our faith and test the true foundation of our faith whether its based on the word of God or our assumptions and thoughts.
“We all need an anchor that holds.”
4. Learn to appreciate time and seasons in the Wait.
A funny lesson from one of the scenes in the movie, is that when you’re waiting do not look at the hours, but understand that time is but a journey. A journey that is different for each of us. It can be easy to count the months, days, hours and even years that we are waiting and expectant for that promise to come to pass and that thing to be fulfilled. Yet, life is meant for living. Everybody is on different timelines and what might take you longer may not take someone as much time. In the movie, a husband and wife are grieving their multiple miscarriages differently. One would think that time would have healed all wounds. Yet, they chose different way to heal. So because one spouse went a different route doesn’t mean the other spouse will take the same path and take the same time to arrive at the end destination. By the end they realize that they had the same hurt and they required patience with each other to understand each person’s perspective.
Just because you see God doing something for others does not mean there is something wrong with you.
The waiting room builds resilience, strength, it cultivates joy and purpose. There is always purpose in the waiting and sometimes in the pain of the waiting.
One thing about God is that no man can see or stop his Hand. A cascade of fortunate events, turn a waiting period that could have been sour into a life changing experience. The story of a young man looking for a job and trying all methods to find anything to do, rather than stay bitter and angry is such an inspiring narrative! On the advice from his friend, he employs his current talents and finds other ways to engage himself and also creates a safe haven for the children in his neighborhood. In doing this, an opportunity presents itself and he seizes it by making sure he is prepared with his qualifications.
The same place you were chased out, from is the same place they will call you back to for an appointment.
“It’s a privilege to wait on God.”
excerpt from ‘The Wait’ 2021 film
Let’s not even begin to dissect the excellent and diverse choice of actors, the sombre yet moving soundtrack, great transitions, power packed one liners (that are littered through this review) and just all round pure vibes!
Man, if ever I would ever recommend a movie as a non-Netflix watcher, this would be the one for me! It is an absolute must watch for 2023. Whatever you are hoping for, it can be encapsulated in one form or another in this beautiful and well crafted movie.
The one thing I struggled with though was the protagonist in Dr Nara, she always seemed to be so strong and available for her group and I really wondered if she had someone to counsel her as well. It can be so easy to always be that strong pillar for others and never accept any help or needed support for yourself. Plus, the fact that her story of waiting was left in limbo was a little apprehensive. But, then I guess that is how real life works. We do not always get everything we so desire. Plus, I truly think she’s fulfilled in waiting and allowing her life serve a purpose for those in her community. We see the end shots of the movie that she still continues to provide a safe space and supportive community for her friends and their loved ones.
May we learn to find purpose in our waiting and to exercise joy and patience through it all!
If I could summarize the key points learnt from the movie it would be what is mentioned in the closing sequence:
I have had this message playing on my mind for the longest time and just wanted to quickly share it before the year runs out. See friends, there is absolutely no season we encounter in Christ Jesus that is wasted. As long as we are in Jesus, nothing is wasted! He is a God that is able to redeem all things!
“Has the Lord redeemed you Then speak out! Tell others he has redeemed you from your enemies.”
When it seems like life is passing us by or that we aren’t quite reaching the milestones we would like that is when we learn to lean into the goodness and faithfulness of God. One thing we know for sure is that God is indeed good. We stay faithful. For better or for worse. We make the resolve to remain in the presence of God even when the desire has up and left the building. We fight our feelings and we stay by the feet of Jesus, we stay pursuing Him even when it is painful. See that pain we experience, some people will NEVER understand it. And that is okay, not everything needs to be explained or expantiated. There truly is a friend that sticks closer than a brother, and that is Jesus Christ. And he knows the right people to bring to us at the right time that will be like ointment on the open wound and scabs that life seems to put us through.
The Ultimate Goal
May we never forget the faithfulness of God, and His unwavering commitment to working in and within us to look more like Him.
“Pay attention, O Jacob for you are my servant, O Israel. I, the Lord made you, and I will not forget you.”
That is the ultimate goal brothers and sisters. To look, think and act more like Jesus Christ. Do not ever let anybody or anything distract you from this truth. Fight with all your might to hold onto the good news and the message of the Gospel. Jesus Christ alone is the saviour of our soul. Not what we amass on this earth or what we achieve can save our souls.
So, let us keep on fighting the good fight friends, knowing that no lesson, no season and no pain is ever wasted in the hands of our Heavenly Father.
“God gave us the ability to think about his world, but we can never completely understand everything he does. And yet, he does everything at just the right time.“
To my fellow students that are back to school in person, we may have gotten too comfortable in dressing in pajamas and attending classes with a formal shirt up top and leggings at the bottom, that we don’t really know what to do anymore when it comes to in person interactions. I am here for you, with just a few suggestions on possible outfit ideas to help guide your outfit planning for back to on campus classes.
Beyond this, I believe we can all relate to seeing how sometimes our dressing can link with a mindset shift that helps us tap into our current time and season. We are told to dress how we would like to be addressed. Well this can apply to the time and season of our lives as well. Recently, we can notice the beauty of the Fall leaves and see how things are changing in our physical environment. It can reflect the changes that should be happening internally as well. In writing this piece, I was thinking about the different verses on the importance of time and seasons and thought to share.
Concert Night outfit:
"He is like a tree planted by streams of water that yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither. In all that he does, he prospers."
Sunday Brunch outfit:
"Yet he has not left himself without testimony: He has shown kindness by giving you rain from heaven and crops in their seasons; he provides you with plenty of food and fills your hearts with joy.”
Day to Day outfit:
"And God said, “Let there be lights in the vault of the sky to separate the day from the night, and let them serve as signs to mark sacred times, and days and years,"
Pop of Colour outfit:
"Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up."
"As long as the earth endures, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night will never cease.”
Supporting the Cause outfit:
"There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens:"
"He changes times and seasons; he deposes kings and raises up others. He gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to the discerning."
As the world prepares to finally lay HRH, Queen Elizabeth to rest, we are reminded of her life of service and sacrifice. The documentaries and playback on all major news channels looks at her story from a young girl, to young adulthood, to raising her own children and eventually becoming a grandmother and great grandmother.
It is not an easy feat to rule on a throne as a human being with our faults and weaknesses. Yet, she did it with such grace. That isn’t to say there wasn’t time when she wasn’t criticized whether rightly so or not,and there were times she perhaps didn’t respond in the way the public she served would have wanted. But then you consider the fact that she had to give her life to a cause and to serving her country. Yes, she was blessed to live a luxurious life and all that. Yet, I cannot imagine how many of us would be able to live and represent our countries and ourselves in such light.
As citizens of heaven and as sons and daughters of the Most High, do you realize that we are called to an even higher calling than her?
What will be said of us when we are no longer on earth? When our stories are being discussed by others what narrative will be said about us?
Good & Faithful Servant
The only one worthy of this statement thus far has been Jesus Christ. We strive to hear God say this about us at the end of our time on earth. But are we aware of the fact that God has already sent us a standard, somebody who He has already said similar words too. He said “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.” [Matthew 3:17] This reflects the statement Jesus himself uses in a parable in the New Testament to explain faithfulness,
"Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful in handling this small amount, so now I will give you many more responsibilities. Let's celebrate together!"
Who doesn’t want to be appreciated and celebrated? Yet, we know that God alone is good. As his children we have his goodness at work in us and through us when we allow the Holy Spirit have its way in our lives. We see the nature of faithfulness as portion of the fruit of the Spirit and it is a result of fellowship with the Holy Spirit. Many are indeed called and many people claim to be Christians but how many of us actually walk the walk and talk the talk. Trust me I am speaking to myself even as I write this out. Just as a lot of people will have opinions about the rule of Queen Elizabeth, yet a lot of people cannot walk a mile in her shoes or be able to take the pressure of what she had to endure while on the throne. Yet, we serve a God with an eternal throne. His rule and reign is everlasting. It knows no end and does not die. So we fellowship with the Holy Spirit to equip us to stay faithful in serving our God and His Kingdom.
He is a Sovereign God
We have no choice but to re-examine ourselves and our walk. Are we truly walking in the light of God’s word? Are we truly consecrating every part of our lives to Him? No man knows the day or the time. We all thought Queen Elizabeth would rule forever, even though we know that is impossible, yet we can celebrate a life well lived and a true life of service to her people. Will the same be said about us?
We serve a sovereign God. His reign is everlasting and eternal. We are indebted to Him. We are to live a life of service consecrated to worshipping Him and carrying out his good works on Earth. When we start and have the mindset and heart posture of sacrifice and obedience to the work of God, we are able to easily yield to the direction of the Holy Spirit.
So while everyone else mourns the legacy of this earthly queen, let us think and consider what our role will be in the eternal Kingdom and how we can be more faithful in our devotion to the King of Kings and Lord of Lords.
“The story of the ‘I AM MY HAIR’ project started a while ago. I had always wanted to talk about African and black textured hair. We are also planning to dig into the interactions between men in the barbershop (this is a pending project). It is important to talk about these things now and especially as we have kids that are starting to become aware of their experiences and realities.
1909 Media productions has various projects throughout the year with the goal of impacting the community and highlighting community issues/topics. We show up to document and support black businesses and black business owners, by taking pictures and videos at their events and narrating their story and process.
We have had two main events this year:
Ladies in Business which took place earlier in the year
International Women’s Day highlighted black female business owners that are based in Edmonton.
The pictures and videos taken from these events are available on our Youtube channel @1909Mediaproductions
Towards the second half of the year, myself and my team started talking about highlighting the discrimination toward black textured hair. We were not too sure how we would work this out but we were willing to figure it out. The plan was to look at the institutional biases against those working in a corporate environment and within a professional setting.
The second project would document the stories of people with experiences of abuse, either in the workplace or in their personal life (marriage, relationship, financial etc).This would include cases of victims sharing their story of breakthrough and how they overcame their abuse situations.
So, it was in the midst of concluding our ongoing projects (mother’s day and father’s day giveaway shoots, check it out on our Instagram page), that I joined the instagram livestream of one of my friends. My friend started narrating how her daughter felt about her textured hair. Her story really affected me. We had been praying, thinking and planning for this project, but this livestream was the sign I needed to move forward with the particular project. There were other online spaces I had joined as well where people shared their feelings and thoughts about their natural textured hair. A few people that shared on these social platforms were based in Edmonton and talked about feeling inadequate when it came to their natural hair.
Personally, due to the coarse nature of my hair, I would prefer to use protective styles like braids, wigs and such rather than styling my natural hair in itself. But, my mindset shifted when my husband (shout out @altarpro), did a photoshoot with a brand that featured different textures of hair and wigs. As a participant in the shoot, I asked if it was okay for me to rock my natural hair in that shoot and it was accepted. This was a shock to me.
Although, I still experienced resistance in how I style my natural hair because I would get a few comments at work that insinuated that my hair was untidy or unkempt and this started to make me feel apprehensive in leaving my hair out. I felt the need to cover it using turbans, scarfs or hats etc.
My now husband, who was my fiance back then, would encourage me not to cover my hair and tell me to leave my hair out rather than wearing scarves or turbans.
So, hearing the story of this little girl, I told her mum this is probably not the first time she has heard comments about her hair but this is the first time voicing it since her classmates’ hair doesn’t look like hers.
During my conversation with my friend, we spoke about doing a photoshoot for her daughter to highlight her hair. During the photoshoot, I asked the little girl ‘what was the most beautiful thing about her hair?’, and she was able to list her length, texture etc. I realized that her mum must have done a great job in educating her and causing her to see the beauty in her hair by styling it in different ways.
It is very important for every girl child to enter into a room with their head held up high. As a mother to a two year old child, I understand the work it takes to style a little girl’s hair. This was a project that required different cameras, microphones, organizing and reaching out to people. It was important for us as a team to recognize the importance of this project. We reached out to a few ladies and got their input on it.
We like collaborating with various artists both spoken word, visual and much more.
One of the goals is to understand that our hair is our crown, our glory. As a Christian I knew it was my glory but it wasn’t until I heard the story of the three year old girl or heard the stories from the ladies about the comments made about their hair etc. that I really appreciated this understanding.
One of the reasons 1909 Media productions started was to tell our own stories, shine light on things going on within our communities and in our businesses to help to drive our own narratives.
Aanu of 1909 Media productions
We are done with phase one of the shoots and interviews. We will be sitting down with professionals in the natural hair industry and getting their perspective on things.If you would like to be involved in this project, please feel free to reach out, we would love to capture your natural hair in all its glory. As we said before this is quite an intensive project and we are looking for all the support we can get either emotionally, virtually by commenting, sharing with your networks and communities as well as financially to support with the cameras, lighting, editing etc. Feel free to reach out to us at email@example.com“
We are looking forward to working with you and receiving all the support you have to give for this project!
The average person has 100,000 – 150,000 strands of hair.
On average, we shed around 50-150 strands of hair a day.
A new hair begins to grow as soon as it is plucked from its follicle.
A single hair has a lifespan of about five years.
A strand of hair is stronger than a copper wire with the same diameter.
I was privileged to take part in a Hair showcase project by 1909 Media Productions that looks to highlight the beauty of black hair and its versatility. The visionary behind the project is Aanu, who as a mother and fellow naturalista who is passionate about empowering young women to see the natural hair that grows out of their head as a thing of beauty. My Hair, My Crown.
During my shoot with her she tells me the motivation behind the project which was inspired when she watched an instagram live of a mother lamaneting that her young daughter felt insecure about her hair. This triggered a response from Aanu which birthed this wonderful #IAMMYHAIR project.
When I first saw clips on social media, my first response was to applaud and celebrate such an amazing initiative. As a young black woman myself who is on a continually journey of learning my hair and how to best manage it, I could only imagine what a young child would feel in this situation.
I thought about the song ‘I Am Not MY Hair‘ sung by India Arie. I wondered what might have caused her to write those lyrics. I thought about her experiences as an Afrocentric woman with prominence in the early 2000’s in a fairly Eurocentric society. She had to have felt some pushback and she was battling against being the representative for all black women. That can be quite exhausting. Honestly, to some extent I can relate with this. Being one of the only other black women in my workplace, I have had situations where I had to explain my hair wash routine to colleagues who wondered how I take care of my braids. I have to preface my explanations with instructing them that this is my experience and routine and it doesn’t stand for every other black woman. That is one of the things I really love about this #IAMMYHAIR project. All of the ladies involved in the project have different hair textures and different ways and preferences of styling. As I stated in my hair journey blogs which I wrote a few years ago, it really is all about figuring out what works best for your hair.
Getting to know and explore your hair and what works best for you.
From “I Am Not My Hair” to “Crown”
So, how did we get to “I Am Not My Hair” and even most recently Solange’s “Don’t Touch My Hair” to Kelly Rowland’s campaign song “Crown“. The history behind these songs can also mirror the history we see culturally, as people began to embrace and appreciate the complexities of black hair.
India Arie’s song, “I Am Not My Hair” was released in 2005 when there was a large eurocentric drive in the hair industry. Although India stated that the song was birthed as a way to free women from being attached to their hair. For example, an artist choosing to cut her hair off and rock a low cut look shouldn’t make her less appealing or beautiful. Similarly, an artist who has to cut her hair due to the effects of chemotherapy, does that make her less beautiful and alluring? Imagine the weaves and hair strengthening that was prominent in this era. I am sure we all remember it. In fact, at this point in time, I had just applied a chemical relaxer to my hair as a young child, in order to better manage it and reduce my teary visits to the hairdressers as well to reduce the time spent on a Saturday evening.
Eleven years later, Solange Knowles releases a song titled “Don’t Touch My Hair” in 2016, which shares similar sentiment but more so establishing boundaries as women take back control on what grows out of their head. She writes from the perspective of likely having had to deal with some ignorant behaviors and people overstepping boundaries by grabbing her hair. We have all experienced this in one way or another.
Meanwhile, Kelly Rowland pens a song (“Crown“)for hair empowerment a mere three years later in 2019 that is used as part of a Dove campaign to challenge bullying and discrimination based on hair type. Yeah, hair discrimination is definitely a thing! In fact in that same year California State in America passed a law known as the Crown Act which prohibits discrimination against students and workers based on their natural hair. Not too sure what the status is in the other states in America as we still read stories of children that are forced to either change or cut their hair or told to leave a particular institution.
But with these three songs, do we see a theme forming here? I would say as time has progressed, artists and people in general has gone from having the various stages of hair empowerment. From needing to defend, to educating and finally to accepting and celebrating the beauty of the hair that literally grows out of our skulls. Black women worldwide are owning their hair, its beauty and seeing the crown on their heads as a thing to be proud about. No matter how it looks like or feels like, we learn to style it and take care of it such that it reflects a little of ourselves.
That’s one of the main things I discussed with Aanu during my shoot with her on this project. It has been very important for me to learn my hair and in doing that, I fall more and love with my crown.
Sometimes it can be overwhelming thinking about the different types of hairstyles and in trying to be intentional I am reminded about the bible verse in Matthew 10:29-30
"What is the price of two sparrows- one copper coin? But not a single sparrow can fall to the ground without your Father knowing it."
"And the very hairs on your head are all numbered."
Therefore, I embrace the different ways of wearing and rocking my hair as my crown. I may not be the best hair stylist or be able to always 100% execute the style I want, but at least I am able to try. As a creative, my hair gives me the opportunity to reflect some of the diversity I experience within myself.
Today, it can be styled as space buns, tomorrow it can be mini twists, next week it may be a bob wig and the week after that it could be cornrows extensions. Whatever the flavor, I fully embrace my hair as my crown! You should too!