Braids are so much more than just three interlocked strands of hair. The history of braiding is deeply rooted.
Black women in America have been braiding their hair since there have been Black women in America. Most of that time it was looked down upon by society and mainstream culture, coined as ratchet and unprofessional. Now they're back, they're cool and they're edgy....well, at least when a white people use them.
This documentary by Elle Magazine focuses on cultural appropriation by giving the black community a voice, featuring people like Lupita Nyong'o, Young M.A, Ayana Bird, Vernon François and more, to talk about braids and black hair culture in America.
"I’m so happy that Elle made this. It’s really empowering to black men and women. And I hope that one day people from other cultures will respect the main message of this video." - Trevelle Connor
"As a white woman living outside the United States, I never thought about, or came across, the history and cultural significance of braids. Now I understand that it is my responsibility to learn and know as much as possible to help make this world a better place. Thank you ELLE and all the participants for creating this and for educating us!" - Oren Harari
"Braids have been in almost every culture and race through time! from Africa to Asia to Ice Land to South America.... We all can wear them... BUT its about the type, the context and the way you carry them and the meaning. It's at the end a matter of respect." - Ingrid Molina
This documentary is engaging and interesting, but also educational. Personally, as an African American, there was so much I learned from those 20 minutes. I can only imagine what we can take away from it as a community. I think this documentary has the power to re-educate millions and can help restore or give pride to the current and upcoming African American generations to wear our hair naturally, braided, and locks with pride. I thank everyone that took part in making this video and if you haven't seen it, I highly encourage you to.