In Praise of Natural Hair

In Clinton Hill (Photo by Michael July via Brooklyn Daily)

In Clinton Hill (Photo by Michael July via Brooklyn Daily)

A photo exhibit at House of Art Gallery in Bedford-Stuyesant celebrates afros and other natural Black hairstyles through the works of a Clinton Hill native.

The images in “Afros: A Celebration of Natural Hair” come from the photographer Michael July’s 2013 book of the same name. The aim of his project? To get people of color to embrace their natural hair: “It’s about a rejection of imposed beauty standards and just feeling free,” July said.

Brooklyn Daily’s Noah Hurowitz reports that July started taking photos of people with afros, dreadlocks and other styles in 2006. While his project took him across the country, it was his home borough that stood out for its wealth of subjects.

“One thing you find in Brooklyn that sort of never went away, even when afros were less common, is natural hair stylists. In other places people are hard pressed to find that, but in Brooklyn there’s one within a half mile of each other,” said July. “I think Brooklyn has always been a very creative community, and people appreciate their roots and their history. I think people inspired by art tend to carry themselves in a more afrocentric way.”

“Afros” is on display through Aug. 1.

Go to Brooklyn Daily to read what House of Art Gallery ‘s director hopes for the younger generation through works like July’s.

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