Many of you who have kept up with my blog from day one have most likely read or heard me talk about my experiences as a naturalista at my alma mater The College of Charleston. CofC played a major impact on my decision to “go natural” and my day to day college life inspired this site. I saw my first naturalista on the campus a few months prior to my first semester while I was still a high school senior during an overnight experience on the campus called M.O.V.E—a program sponsored through the Admission’s office that allows high-school students to experience life as a college student with a college student. I saw her walking down the street while walking a few paces behind with my MOVE host and couldn’t stop staring at her fro and her confident stride. I wanted to be like this Queen.
I was later fortunate enough to befriend said naturalista (None other than the blogging Cultural History Interpreter herself Ms. Sara Daise c/o 2012) and continued to grow within my own journey thanks to her and another natural queen/friend Ameerah Natae c/o 2012.
While I was an undergrad, Sara, Ameerah and another good friend Stephanie (c/o 2013) were the only upperclassmen sistahs I saw embracing their natural do’s (without wigs or weaves) outside of my own 2011 classmates who were mostly transitioning like me (only a few were already soulfully natural). It took some time but over the course of my freshman and then sophomore year I watched with pride as others joined the natural hair community until it became very rare to see a sistah on campus with a perm. This is why I instantly jumped for joy when I learned that a group of Queens had come together to initiate a positive impact on the campus community through uniting and encouraging the natural hair community. They are called Collegiate Curls of CofC and after their introductory event “Unwind” I had the opportunity to sit down with their founder Courtney Hicks and other members of the executive board to do what we do best. Chat about natural hair.
Collegiate Curls of CofC Mission Statement
“To uplift, empower, and support multicultrual students as they embrace their natural beauty through healthy hair and skin care practices”
With almost 90 attendees it was evident that these young ladies worked their tooties off in preparation for Unwind. As a former student I can honestly say that this organization was needed on our beloved campus. I only wish I wish I could have participated during my own undergraduate years. Unfortunately I missed the event itself—when adulting won’t let you be great—but thankfully I caught these young ladies before they’d finished cleaning up.
Upon asking the ladies where the inspiration for Collegiate Curls came from I realized right away that Courtney and I share a similar background when it comes to our hair
journey. She was no stranger to being bullied at a young age by her peers but then receiving compliments about her hair at the same time. This drove her to sites such as curlynikki forum where she drew inspiration and confidence from her chats with other naturalistas thus developing her passion for healthy natural hair at a young age. She saw a need for Collegiate Curls on the campus and saw the potential of it growing into a prosperous networking opportunity for other like minded individuals particularly those who did not want to get involved in conventional campus organizations.
A few of them entered while I was still thriving on campus but for many of them I was a fresh face and since the 3 ladies I mentioned above in the intro were long gone I knew that our perceptions and experiences were different. I explained my own perceptions upon arriving at the College (as laid out above) and asked the ladies what they saw. Many of them agreed that class of 2014 was the largest class of entering natural hair ladies at the College of Charleston. My friend Jada (another natural queen who graduated along with me in 2015) and I agreed with this notion. We then reminisced on our observations of the SPECTRA class that summer recalling how awe struck the two of us had been with all of the “babies” with “flourishing curls, kinks, locs, and coils”.
After our little group finished chatting, laughing. I couldn’t help feeling more inspired and motivated. It is because of ladies like them that I blog, that I strive to empower and inspire. I cannot wait to see what all these ladies have to offer not only to our own campus but to the community as well. Before we wrapped up I asked them what their short term and long term goals are for Collegiate Curls of CofC. I wasn’t shocked when they told me they hope to see Collegiate Curls on EVERY campus in the US as a patented Natural Organization and I look forward to watching/supporting them as they grow. Do me a favor and Follow @collegiatecurlsofcofc on the gram to stay posted on their commitment to natural hair and beauty. Stay tuned for their Empowerment Weekend coming up February 24-25 2017. Once again I am so proud ladies!