As Black History Month comes to a close, I can’t help but to reflect upon the past year of dashing in and out of hair and fashion events filled with great styling professionals and the spirit of brave and determined African-Americans that made this all possible.
The martyrs and pioneers of the hair industry, Annie Malone (1869-1957) established Poro Products, built a million dollar beauty school/ factory and philanthropist, Madame C.J Walker (1867-1919) an employee of Annie Malone, also a successful entrepreneur who coined the phrase “I got my start by giving myself a start”; and Alonzo Herndon (1858- 1927) a former slave that became the first millionaire barber in Atlanta, Georgia, amongst many other African-Americans that probably weren’t documented back then, paved the way for successful cosmetologist, barbers, make-up artist, stylist and publicist in 2012, and for this on behalf of the industry we say Thank-You.
I have always had a passion for hair, fashion and entertainment since I was a young girl. That is why when I was 23 years old, even after receiving two degrees from Michigan State University I enrolled in Dudley’s Beauty School an African-American owned school in Chicago, Illinois. “I knew the power of my mind; I wanted to see what I could do with the power of my hands.” This was one of the best decisions of my life; my license would be something that I would fall back on in this rough economy if I ever needed to.
Or it could have been one of the best decisions of my life, because it was here- Dudley’s Cosmetology School, that I actually met successful people that didn’t play basketball, rap or sing. Mr./ Mrs. Dudley and their daughter were passionate about their school and product lines. It was Dudley’s beauty school where Johnny Wright (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/01/21/johnny-wright-michelle-ob_n_159…), the hairstylist for First Lady Michelle Obama attended, and it was here that I met Kim Kimble the hairstylist for Beyoncé and Mary J. Blige, (http://www.kimblehaircare.com). Who would have known that it would be African-Americans that would change the face of beauty to the world?
African-Americans have come so far in this industry, but you would never know it, just by looking at the negative images that are depicted in magazines, music videos and on the news. In fact I couldn’t believe it myself. As I would go to different events I would meet so many people that were really creating avenues for themselves with revenue and training from the cosmetology industry.
Just go to one of the Bronner Brother Hair Shows in Atlanta, GA, and you will understand exactly what I am talking about on a larger scale. But on a smaller scale there are events that are happening on a weekly basis that show- case African-Americans that are breaking barriers in this industry.
To name a few, LAMIK, http://lamik-beauty.com/, an African-American owned cosmetic line that will be on sale at Macy’s this fall; Ja’ishe, cosmetics currently campaigning to get their product line on the shelves at Wal-Mart, (http://jaishecosmetics.com/), Kris Nikoles, (www.KrisNikolesBeautyandCosmetics.com), Yago Mo’Nique of Yagolicisous Cosmetics, (www.Yagolicious.com), Taliah Waajid owner of Taliah Waajid Natural Hair Care Products, and World Natural Hair, Health and Beauty Show,(www.naturalhair.org), Joi for The Look by Joi, (www.THELOOKBYJOI.COM), The V-Bar Lady, (www.THEVBARLADY.COM), Dr. Tiffany Baily Lash and Dr. Tashni-Ann Dubroy of Tea and Honey Blends, (www.teaandhoneyblends.com), Miko and Titi Branch of Miss Jessies Natural Hair Care Products, (www.missjessies.com), Nadine Thompson of Soul Purpose Lifestyle Company, (www.soulpurpose.com), Mae Tapp creator of (ww.naturalChica.com) and Mia Johnson, makeup artist and socialite (www.mimijonline.com), Jane Carter of Jane Carter Solution, home grown hair care, (www.janecartersolution.com), Ginger and Liz Colour Collection, (www.gingerandliz.com), Award Winning Stylist, Angela Stuckey, (www.shadezofbeauty.com), Celebrity-Make-up Artist, Emoni Peebles, and Celebrity Manicurist Kalea Nails have made great contributions to the world of hair and beauty.
Black-Cosmetology History salutes you for breaking down barriers and making yourself significant in the world of Beauty, Congratulations!!!