BLACK VOICES

Mara Brock Akil's Empowering Lesson On Embracing Her Natural Hair

"Truth is all black girls hold stories in their hair, all of us."

To Mara Brock Akil, the resiliency and transformative power of black women's hair is partly what makes it so magical.

Akil, the celebrated producer and screenwriter behind popular shows like "Being Mary Jane" and "Girlfriends", is featured in the second episode of "The Hair Tales," an online show created by cultural critic Michaela Angela Davis that highlights black women and their hair stories.

In the episode, which debuts Tuesday, Akil opened up about her own personal hair journey, which she said came with one not-so-pleasant experience growing up as a biracial child.

She told the story of how she was physically and verbally picked on by kids who made fun of her big hair as a young girl. "I remember being in the bathroom and attacked by these girls," Akil recounted. "[They] were like 'there she go, thinking she cute with her hair,'" she added.

Akil moved passed the taunts and instead used the moment as an important lesson on self-empowerment. "I accepted being different, I wanted to standout," Akil said. And she did, by continuing to rock her curls for years to come. "I come from a family of beautiful women, strong women, and strong defined by being themselves." 

Davis said Akil and her lustrous natural hair help to exemplify the power and beauty of black women.  

"Her hair, that luxurious wavy texture just tumbles out of her head, it's magnificent," Davis told The Huffington Post. "And though she has hair 'to die for,' I knew at some point it was probably threatening, confronting and liberating in all its beauty." 

Akil's resiliency shows through not only her curls but also through her character. Perhaps this is what makes her so magical, too. 

"Truth is all black girls hold stories in their hair, all of us," Davis said. "Mara is just brilliant at telling a specific intimate story in a big way."

HuffPost

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