Revolutionaries in the Moment

Preserving the Image of Black Hair Culture
featuring Valencia Jones and Tyra Ferrell

By Gaetscha Marcelin

My mother used to say, “you can tell the standing of a person by his or her hair.” I realized she wasn’t saying that crazy hair meant crazy person. She was defining hair as emblematic of one’s characteristics. Hair: a delicate extension of ourselves; a depiction of it’s era; an article of our being that is so sensitive to our surroundings, it can epitomize exactly what is going on in our lives at that very moment. It’s no wonder we take extensive efforts to promote the good hygiene and overall look of our favored follicles. 

Keeping these ideals at their fingertips, natural hair studio Mandisa Ngozi Art & Braiding Gallery, a few miles east of the Florida’s capitol building, has been promoting hair and health through their services for almost 20 years now. Before moving to the new address, I visited the original location of the shop to meet with Valencia Jones, owner of Mandisa Ngozi, or “Sweet Blessings,” as translated from Swahili.

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