These Roots of Ours

Black hair holds histories that must be acknowledged—it finds itself at many intersections of identity, of beauty, of fashion, of power. While society relentlessly places its own opinions and critiques onto Black women for simply existing, we have found ways to express our own truths and livelihoods through the roots that rest in our bodies.

“These Roots of Ours” explores these complex intersections through illuminating the versatility that lies within a Black women’s curls. With an emphasis on collaboration, the project serves as a playground for Black creativity and innovation. Through intricate hair styling, clothing design, and numerous image making processes, an all Black team of artists celebrates the beauty and power that lies within Black hair, all while utilizing their respective skills and passions.

The presentation of the images on paper, fabric, and clothing provides a more physical experience in which texture takes control. This layering of varied mediums emulates the role of performance that is inherent in expressing one’s identity, and creates multiple galleries in which the final images may be viewed.

In “These Roots of Ours,” hair becomes an entity of its own—forming connections, shifting as the world moves around it, reaching out from one’s scalp and owning its many manifestations.

Cyanotype prints on cotton

Handmade dress, featuring cyanotype prints and adorned with braiding hair

Project Credits:

Artist/Director: Rhianydd Hylton @rrrhia

Hair Stylist: Dhairius Thomas @dhairiusnyc

MUA: Aliyah Abeni-Taylor @aliyahbenimua

Muses: Kyneijee Wubah @ky.nij Rel McKeon @rel_thekid Bethany Renee @betaniarenee

Photographer’s Assistant: Chrissy Nelson @chrissy.h.n