It was a simple call. Drexel University Professor Dr. Yaba Blay, an outspoken advocate who uses her platform to break down the binds of colorism and to help uplift the self-esteem of dark-skinned Black folk, saw that awful story about little Tiana Parker being sent home from her Tulsa charter school for wearing locs and she decided to do something about it: Blay asked her network of friends with locs and natural hair to send her pictures and uplifting words for a message book meant to make Tiana feel better about her hair. Within 24 hours, 111 women answered Blay’s call, which she quickly turned into “ Locs of Love: A Care Package For Tiana,” a virtual smooch fest for Tiana and brown girls everywhere.
“Locs of Love” is, in a word, breathtaking. Women and girls from all over the country—indeed, from around the world—told Tiana, without hesitation, that she is beautiful, from the top of her pretty loc-covered head to the soles of her little feet, and implored her to understand—really understand—that locs, Afros and even Mohawks, all banned by the Deborah Brown Community School, are not fads but hairstyles that have been worn by people of color for centuries. Because they are powerful. Because they are pretty. Because they are uniquely our own.