Tangled Roots, An Exploration into Diversity, Culture, and Identity

Published 10:00 am Thursday, March 21, 2024

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Suffolk, Va. – The Suffolk Center for Cultural Arts, in collaboration with Good Society World, presents an experience celebrating the deeper meaning and expressions of the textured hair community. On Sunday, March 24, 2024, from 3 — 7 p.m., join us for a free afternoon networking with local black hair salons, three empowering keynote speakers, eclectic soulful performers, visual artists, and spoken word artists, over fourteen vendors, and delicious food and beverages available for purchase by Soulful Vegan, Pressing on Juice, The Pink Box, and Kooky Momster.

 “Tangled Roots is not just about the beautification and adornment of our textured hair. It’s about our history, where we come from, our ancestral roots, and the meanings of expression within the culture. The legacy that has been passed down to us and what we will leave for the next generation. And though our past is complex and intertwined, stemming from many African tribes we can come together to celebrate and honor our heritage. Supporting the local community knowing that no matter how far we may stray, the path back to our roots is always within reach. “- Brittany Waller, Suffolk Center Visual Arts Coordinator.

 Explore the conversations, feelings, and undertones in today’s black hair salons and barbershops. Need recommendations on care and styling? Want to meet a new barber or beautician? Interact with local cosmetologists in our pop-up salon featuring hair art by Jasmyne Hampden and Chi, a holistic beauty industry professional from Village Hair Suite in Virginia Beach. Visit their “Tangled Roots Natural Hair Garden,” showcasing live models and designed mannequins with natural styles/head wraps, incorporating flowers, vines and accessories. Discover the significance of African hairstyles such as Fulani braids, Senegalese braids and twists, Koroba braids, and more.

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Tangled Roots attendees will enjoy three keynote speakers addressing education, economics, and empowerment. We are excited to welcome Reverend Dr. Dwight Riddick, pastor at Gethsemane Baptist Church in Newport News, specializing in leadership development, Dr. Khadijah O. Miller, Dean of the Robert C. Nusbaum Honors College and Professor of Interdisciplinary Studies at Norfolk State University, lending expertise on the CROWN Act and hair discrimination and Dr. Karima K. Jeffrey-Legette, Professor of African American Literature, Caribbean Literature, Postcolonial Studies, and Womanist/Feminist Theory at Hampton University. Dr. Legette seeks to examine the trauma endured by people of African descent in the United States by providing a compelling interpretation of prevalent, well-received, and recurring images of Black women and girls in American popular culture. An informational and educational panel discussion will follow.

Connect with local black visual artists, an eclectic set list of soulful performers, and spoken word artists. Mona Cunnikin at Mona Not Lisa Paints creates original acrylic paintings and prints. David Rogers with Mama-Girl Art features whimsical folk art and Bria Tyler analyzes the relationship between modern-day black culture and the history of the Victorian era through painting. Come and enjoy Tangled Roots’ featured Poets /Spoken Word Artists: Dionne Wright, Kelli Sweat from Chesapeake, VA, Jasmine Smith, and HEYUNGTEA from Norfolk, VA and free performances by AFTERDARKMUSICGROUP, ZACKLEE, MALIKK and MITCH.

Tangled Roots highlights an assortment of vendors promoting their businesses, services, and products. Some of the vendors include Brittney Eldridge from Britt Brat Nail’Dit, located in Suffolk. She will offer health and beauty products. Jilohn Williams from Body Love in Virginia Beach will sell hair products, soaps, and lotions. Erica Baker from Dazzling Boutique, located in Suffolk, will offer the latest fashions and jewelry.

Tangled Roots is free and open to the public on Sunday, March 24, 2024, from 3 — 7 p.m. in the Suffolk Center’s Taylor Ballroom. This diverse cultural event is presented in partnership with Good World Society, a creative lifestyle brand and design studio pushing for equity and access within the culture and the arts. The Suffolk Center for Cultural Arts is located at 110 W. Finney Ave., in historic downtown Suffolk, VA. For additional information, please visit SuffolkCenter.org or call 757.923.0003.