The culture of natural hair

POSTED: 02/24/14 11:39 PM

Panel discussion on International Women’s Day at the Library

St. Maarten – “Hard Hair: St. Martin Women and the Culture of Natural Hair” is a panel discussion set for International Women’s Day on March 8, at 7.30 p.m. at Philipsburg Jubilee Library, organizer Rochelle Ward announced yesterday.

The lifestyle discussion of natural hair stories by St. Martin women is the first program in 2014 from Don’t Break the Comb (DBC), the island’s first natural hair group, said co-founder Ward. The panelists are Ombudsman Dr. Nilda Arduin, linguist and educator Dr. Rhoda Arrindell,  Lizzy Lizard’s author Robin Boasman, and two poetry-writing attorneys, Patricia Chance-Duzant and Ayana Tyrell.

“Robin Boasman, who is also a kindergarten teacher and mother of one son, is delighted to tell her story. Ayana Tyrell, a practicing lawyer at Alex Richardson and Associates in Anguilla, will speak about natural hair perceptions; and Attorney Patricia Chance-Duzant will share her fascinating childhood hair stories,” said Ward.

“Nature is beautiful,” said Dr. Rhoda Arrindell, “and if your hair is natural by design, though it may be adjusted to fit your moods and phases in life, it is already created perfect.” A former minister of education and culture, Arrindell will share her thoughts on hair and identity. “The panel will create greater awareness and appreciation for afro hair as a way of ‘being’ and accepting oneself,” said Dr. Nilda Arduin, whose “Aha! Moment” about her hair occurred at age 16. “It is fitting for us St. Martin women to tell our own natural hair stories as many women from the Americas, Europe, other parts of the Caribbean, Africa and the South Pacific are returning to or taking this natural hair pilgrimage toward self-acceptance,” said Ward. And as if hair stories will not produce a lively enough discussion, a table of books by St. Martin women will be added as a unique centerpiece of the program. “I think people will be surprised to see how many St. Martin women have written books within a short period of time,” said Ward, herself a leading new generation published poet, blogger, and high school teacher.

DBC is inviting all interested women authors of St. Martin who would like to participate in the book table exhibition to email DBC at contact@dontbreakthecomb.com “It’s a perfect International Women’s Day feature. Attendees of the panel discussion are invited to purchase books by Ruby Bute, the first St. Martin woman to publish a book in the 1980s; and books by drs. Gracita Arrindell, Felicita Williams, Esther Gumbs, Robin Boasman, Janice James, and others, including newly published women writers in Where I See The Sun – Contemporary Poetry in St. Martin. A number of the authors will be present to socialize and autograph copies after the discussion,” said Ward. The panel discussion, “Hard Hair: St. Martin Women and the Culture of Natural Hair,” is sponsored by the Philipsburg Jubilee Library, SOS radio, and Ital Shack. The March 8 discussion is also a follow-up to last year’s hair workshop attended by over 200 people,” said Ward. “That workshop was called ‘Natural Hair Mixology: How to make your own homemade hair products,’ and hosted by DBC at the 11th annual St. Martin Boo

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