I had the opportunity to interview Isis Brantley, master natural hair stylist, spokeswoman, and activist for Black ancestral culture. Better known as “NaturallyIsis” she has established herself as a well-known icon in the struggle for cultural identity for African Americans.
In 1997 Isis was arrested for braiding hair without a license in the state of Texas. For more than ten years she battled the state regarding its anti-braiding regulations. After countless meetings, a legal battle and conversations with state officials, Isis was ‘grandfathered’ in 2007 by the State of Texas and received the prestigious honor of being the first natural hair care expert in Texas.
Currently Isis is preparing for the 2nd Annual NaturallyIsis Natural Hair Parade & Festival. Eryah Badu will be the Grand Marshall for the Festival which takes place September 1, 2012 in Dallas, Texas. In its first year, more than 1,500 people attended the free event. The 2012 parade will promote Black-owned businesses, community development and economic empowerment. We are educating, celebrating and ‘healing through the hair’ states Isis as she reiterates her mantra.
During our interview she talks candidly about her inspiration to educate people on the importance of liberating natural hair care for African Americans. We also talk about the business of Black hair and the economic engine it represents. Always solution oriented, NaturallyIsis also tells me about The Institute of Ancestral Braiding that she has established. Finally we get into her vision for the expansion of the event. She also makes it clear that there’s still time for people to get involved with the 2012 Natural Hair Parade and Festival.
I think you’re going to really enjoy her passion, her knowledge and the love she shares for people during the interview.
Take a look and please leave your comments below.