NEW CONTENT COMING SOON!
NEW CONTENT COMING SOON!
My name is Lauren, and I am the founder of the My Colorful Nana Project (MCN) AND Joyce Brown's (my nana's) granddaughter. Thank you for joining our community and welcome to our fifth year of producing original MCN-related podcasts & content. Currently, I am pursuing a PhD in Drama, Theatre, and Performance Studies in the English and Comparative Literature Department at Columbia University as I am passionate about storytelling and movement building for communities interested in innovative educational strategies and advocacy.
Our collective of Generous Thinkers creates space for discussions on self-expression. We celebrate individuality, “beauty,” and Black hair as an educational and creative platform that encourages our listeners to define "identity" on their own terms. We study the ways in which art and community serve as productive tactics of emotional relief. This podcast is a cathartic space that compliments my studies because it uses my research in racial theory and performance studies as well as my creative exploration in audio editing as a tool to elevate certain voices in and outside of an academic space.
THE HISTORY OF MY COLORFUL NANA
MCN is inspired by my experience growing up as a Black American girl in white suburbia. As a child, I felt a sense of inadequacy that stemmed from the darker tone of my skin color and the kinkier texture of my hair. When I was 13 years old, a friend of mine turned to me in the girl’s locker room, held her pointer and middle finger in the shape of a scissor as she began to inch closer to the top of my scalp. She squinted her eyes, laughed, and said, “I really want to cut all of your hair off.” I was embarrassed and confused.
At the time, my hair was badly damaged by the perm that straightened my natural hair, so I assumed her urge to cut my hair off was justifiable. While growing up, I felt extremely lonely because my friends did not know that every day when I would get ready for school, I chose to straighten my hair because all I truly wanted was to look like them.
Before I created My Colorful Nana, I remember visiting my Nana and digging through her old boxes as I stumbled upon a wrinkled and stained photograph from 1963. In this photo, my Nana was around my age. She sported a crisply cut, yet wonderfully curly-headed afro. I stared at her collection of kinks that looked like mine, and I gradually found myself wanting to look like my Nana this time. My Nana and I began to exchange stories about the difficulties we have with our hair. We laughed and then grew sad as it became clear that an American Black woman's struggle with her hair and other visible forms of self-expression are still a reality for most Afro-descendants of the world.
I’m ultimately committed to steering my creative research towards uncovering a clearer intersection between the Arts, Education & Development in a way that feels global, flexible, & accessible.
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Thanks for Thinking Generously.