Strong hair

Jill Scott
Uzo Adoba
Recently, my sister, her daughter, a friend and I were out dining at a sunny, bay view restaurant when my niece semi-whispered to her mom,

"That lady over there has STRONG HAIR."  After a quick lesson in "not pointing at strangers", my sister snuck a glance at the lady and gladly proclaimed,

"Why, yes, she certainly does have strong hair!"

I had just discovered the term they privately use for African-American hair when it's styled naturally; something I would have called (back in my hippie days) an "afro."

When the adorable niece gets her hair taken out of braids to prep for the next hairdo, she and her mom love making it big and bold and taking amazing photos.  The niece completely ROCKS the Esperanza Spalding look, I must say.

Anyhow, that conversation got me doing some Google searching on "natural hair" and doing a few drawings inspired by this experience.  There may also be (ahem) just a tiny bit of hair envy going on here too.  I feel sort of sheepishly unqualified to draw these women, but as an artist, I just gravitate to certain things and right now, it's this hair.

Pam Grier

Traci Ellis Ross


  1. Oh how I envy "strong hair" and wish I had it! Your drawings of these lovely women and their hair is fantastic! Remember we artists can draw whatever we want to draw!


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