Friday, April 20, 2012
The Meltingpot Remembers: Black Hair Icon, Yvette Smalls
Hello Meltingpot Readers,
It is with great sadness that I post about the passing of Yvette Smalls. For those of us in the world of Black hair, Yvette was a pioneer and an inspiration. She was a master braider, stylist and hair artist. She was also a filmmaker, an educator and a Black hair activist. Sadly, she was only 53 when she passed earlier this week.
I met Yvette over 10 years ago when my book Hair Story came out. As it turns out, Yvette's award-winning documentary, Hair Stories was debuting at the same time, so obviously we had to meet. Here I was thinking my co-author and I were about to educate the masses about the amazing history and significance of Black hair, and Yvette was already 10 steps ahead of us. She'd been sharing her knowledge way before we even realized there was something to say. We were fortunate to do some events together with her film and our book.
Yvette and I ran into one another far more once I moved to Philadelphia, because this is her home city. You can't say Black hair in Philadelphia without Yvette's name popping up. She wasn't just a popular stylist, she truly was the authority on the history, culture and beauty of Black hair. For Yvette, Black people and their hair was a passion. It was a calling. And she was always there to answer.
Please take a moment to read this memorial writing in Yvette's honor. And be inspired by her life and work.
(photo courtesy of the Leeway Foundation)