(l-r) Faatemah Ampey, Essence Shabazz, Briana McCall Cress and Stephenetta (isis) Harmon (Photo by: Steve Floyd | MSR News)

By Paige Elliott

Black hair, in all its diverse glory, was the topic of the day at Sister Spokesman’s “Wear Your Crown” event.

Hair enthusiasts of all ages packed into a suite at Thor Companies in North Minneapolis for a wide-ranging conversation that touched on everything from the importance of representation and self-love to healthy scalp and hair maintenance and proper hair care for children.

“There’s never been a better time for Black women in history,” declared panelist Faatemah Ampey, celebrity stylist and owner of SuiteSpot and Salonspa. She cited Viola Davis, Lupita Nyong’o and others as high-profile examples of Black women succeeding while serving up bold, natural looks.

“I think we have to learn how to have courageous conversations with people about our identity and our beauty,” added Ampey when asked how to find a sense of comfort when encountering not-so-nice Minnesota workspaces. “We should lose some of our defensives because people don’t know what they don’t know. It is our responsibility to educate people.”

“We’re taking a few steps forward and few steps back,” added panelist Briana McCall Cress, owner of Gorgeous Looks Salon, in reference to recent news stories involving Black hair. “But we have more images in the media and more people who are being intentional about putting [their] Blackness first and showing who we are, loving who we are, and accepting that we’re remarkable.”

Attendees packed into Thor Companies for a discussion about hair. (Photo by: Steve Floyd | MSR News)
Attendees packed into Thor Companies for a discussion about hair. (Photo by: Steve Floyd | MSR News)

Essence Shabazz, owner of E.bazz Hair Loft Beauty Supply, rounded out the panel. She encouraged attendees to know their worth from the inside out and to prioritize spending habits. “Take care of your home first. I see us spending so much on wigs and weaves when we can’t afford it.

“If you don’t own your own home but you’re spending $500 on a weave — that is insane! If you want a certain look, but can’t afford it, ask [your stylist] how to achieve it for less,” she advised.

The event was moderated by Stephenetta (isis) Harmon, MSR editor-in-chief, Hype Hair digital editor, and owner of Sadiaa Hair+Beauty Guide, a beauty directory for women of color. In addition to the discussion, attendees shopped with local entrepreneurs, networked and vibed to sounds from KMOJ’s Q-Bear.

Next up: Sister Spokesman talks love and relationships at the Minneapolis Urban League on June 1 from 12-4 pm. RSVP @ Sister Spokesman/Facebook .

See a Facebook live stream of the event here and here.

Connect with the panelists at the links below:

Briana McCall Cress @ gorgeouslookssalon.net

Essence Shabazz @ ebazzhairloft.com

Faatemah Ampey @ suitespotsalonspa.com

Stephenetta (isis) Harmon @ sadiaa.com

This article originally appeared in the Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder. 

Black hair took the crown at Sister Spokesman event

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