Black History Matters: Damini Awoyiga on “Learn”

 
written by Damini Awoyiga
 
 

About Our Crowns

Every Black girl has their journey to loving and accepting their hair as beautiful. The Our Crowns poem is dedicated to all Black women and girls who have gone through the different phases of hair acceptance.
 
I wrote the poem to inspire and showcase the beauty and diversity of Black hair, and to challenge mainstream perceptions of beauty. Our Crowns is about pride in Black hair. It encourages Black women and Black girls to embrace and love their hair as it is.
 
Experience Damini's original poem below, in video/audio with accompanying images, or written format.

Our Crowns

by Damini Awoyiga

Our gravity-defying hair
Our hair riots and rebels
against the things
that try to tame us
that try to shame us
our hair sustains us
Gives us pride
it is beautiful
With every twist, kink and loc
We sing praises of our hair
as it goes through phases
braids,
cornrows,
shuku,
dreadlocks,
box braids,
Beads in our hair
clinking as we play hopscotch
as we do double dutch
Our hair full of its own wisdom,
rocking and bobbing in a natural fro
With a Black panther power spring in our step
We walk with strength and purpose
We will continue to refuse to cower
But to speak truth
it hasn't always been
I have not always loved my hair
There was a time I wanted my hair to behave like
Rapunzel’s
for the long hair to be the piece that would solve my puzzle
but now I know we can-knot
be stopped
NO!
Our hair, sparkling with a Black girl magic spell
our magic courses through our veins
and grows out in our hair
The smell of shea butter
coconut hair cream
scalp spray
conditioner
“ breath in ”
reminding us of last night potion
Mmm hnnmm!
creating this
stunning
This stark
This radiant
head a’ hair
moisturized n’ curly
Smelling good
Feeling good
looking good
all the things we put into our
kinky
lustrous hair
to beautify
with care
all the broken combs that fought with our hair but never won the fight
all the gel that tried to tame our hair
pulled back tight
all the
creams  n’
conditioners
relaxers
from Just for Me Hair Relaxer
To Luster's Pink Oil Moisturizer
our tall coiling Crowns
are written stories
with curled cursive words
Our coils hold the stories of survivors
The story of us
The story of our ancestors
of our culture
of our past
of our present
of our future
of our beginning
of our ending
Our origins
Our Hair empowers us
Hair is an identifier
Our hair tells the story of power
The story of influence
The story of tolerance
Our hair holds emotion
it holds our pain
it holds our history
Learning to braid hair
the art passing through
generations of strong Black women|
our hair in its different but wonderful shapes
shaping history
shaping cultures
shaping paths
cutting combs
making paths through our hair
like the ones
We...
walkthrough
the hardship we endured
as Black girls
as Black women
Our hair does knot Stand Down
It stands up
demands what it wants
just like us, Black girls,
Place your crown atop your head
Whatever it may look like
whatever it may be
Embrace who you are
from head to toe
wear your crown with your head held up high
How...evaa way
you choose to style it
just know….
you are rocking it!


About Damini Awoyiga

Damini Awoyiga is a teenager with a passion for making change, using her countless talents in countlessly creative ways. Spoken word poet, fashion designer, content creator, and—of course—student, Damini uses the power of artistic expression and community to drive her messages home. Damini is a Nova Scotia Youth Ambassador for Digitally Lit, opens a new window (and founder of its Afro-Indigenous Youth Book Club, opens a new window) and Junior Artist in Residence for Wellness Within: An Organization for Health & Justice, opens a new window.

Follow Damini on Instagram, opens a new window and Twitter, opens a new window for inspiring words, community connection and activism, and boundless creativity.

About African Heritage Month at Halifax Public Libraries

More than a month.

Every year in February and the months that follow, Halifax Public Libraries, in partnership with the Black History Month Association and countless dedicated individuals and groups, offers high-quality programs that highlight and celebrate the rich diversity, culture, and heritage of our African Nova Scotian community and people of African Descent.

The TD Ready Commitment is the generous presenting sponsor of African Heritage Month 2021 at Halifax Public Libraries. Their ongoing sponsorship—2021 marks 6 years of support!—increases our capacity to host important programs and conversations, and expand our collection, year-round.

Discover more stories, events, resources, and videos on our website at ahm.halifaxpubliclibraries.ca

Check out the rest of our Black History Matters: Listen, Learn, Share, Act community voices series.

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