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hair lovers celebrate International Keep It Kinky Day

hair lovers celebrate International Keep It Kinky Day

Niketa Newell, left, and Raven Alerte join in a group cheer at the conclusion of an International Keep it Kinky Day presentation on Saturday, February 21, 2015 in Miami. The company spearheaded the event to counter Dove’s global study results that just 10 percent of women love their curly hair. It reached out to curly , kinky and wavy haired women to be celebrated without judgment. The event was at Touching Miami with Love, 711 NW Sixth Ave. 21, 2015 during a free International Keep it Kinky Day event. It reached out to curly , kinky and wavy haired women to be celebrated without judgment. Kennedy, who works preparing legal transcripts, said she processed her hair at one point during her career and since has changed her approach. "You just have to embrace what God gave you," she said. The event was at Touching Miami with Love, 711 NW Sixth Ave. The free event was at Touching Miami with Love, 711 NW Sixth Ave. in Overtown. The free event was at Touching Miami with Love, 711 NW Sixth Ave. in the Overtown community. The company presented the program to counter Dove’s global study results that just 10 percent of women love their curly hair.

"My hair in general: I hate it but I also love it. I hate it because it’s kind of tangled, and I like it ’cause it’s poufy," said third grader Kaliyah with a smile, sporting a high afro puff.

Kaliyah, along with other girls and their parents, attended the Florida meet
wholesale hair up of International Keep it Kinky Hair Day held at the nonprofit outreach center Touching Miami with Love, 711 NW Sixth Ave., on Saturday.

The event kicked off the all day celebration of natural hair.

"International Keep it Kinky Hair Day is to celebrate natural hair. To say, ‘Hey ladies, wear your hair in its most natural state,’ " said Yannick Brackenridge Jackson.

Brackenridge Jackson and Tiffani Knowles, co owners of Brackenson Knowles Enterprises, launched the first International Keep it Kinky Hair Day with meet ups in cities across the United States, in Scandinavia and in Jamaica.

The hour long forum held in Miami was punctuated with video clips such as the Sesame Street music video, "I Love My Hair," and Dove’s "Love Your Hair" campaign video that featured an 11 year old explaining how she wished that she could rip out her curly hair.

"I get a little emotional every time I watch that," Brackenridge Jackson said to the audience at the end of the clip. "Anyone else got emotional watching that?"

The hands of parents slowly rose.

Mothers shared their experiences and struggles with wearing their hair natural in professional settings one woman recounting how she was forced to put on a wig or risk losing her job.

Youth therapist Niketa Newell shared her internal apprehension of wearing her natural hair in professional settings.

"Sometimes I get nervous and think, ‘Is this professional enough? Will people look at me? Is this ghetto?’ " said Newell, who wears multicolored dreadlocks.

Parent Jamilah Kennedy shared how friends advised her that to get a job she should relax (permanently straighten) her hair.

"I was natural, but I got a perm," Kennedy said, who has since returned to being natural. "It’s one thing to be comfortable with your hair in your position but it’s another thing to be looking for a job."

Kennedy’s daughter, Imani, has her own story of peer pressure. At school, other students tease Imani because of her natural hair.

But the ninth grader with the curly afro said she doesn’t let it get to her.

"I don’t really care what they say. When I hear comments, I just ignore it because it really doesn’t matter. The friends I do have support me," Imani said.

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