As a child, I certainly wanted to have hair that I could grow long and flip around. I no longer want that. My own hair that I have day to day is a fuzzy afro. And that’s who I am.Sophie Okonedo
World Afro Day is part of a movement towards positivity in the black and mixed-race community and it all centers around the afro, a cultural symbol that’s been part of history for hundreds of years. By removing the biases associated with the afro, this day is all about making the afro beautiful and accepted. Read more to learn about the holiday’s history and how you can celebrate it here at Days of the Year.
History of World Afro Day
World Afro Day was founded to celebrate the natural hairstyles of black and mixed-race people. This day celebrates the afro as a part of cultural identity, Michelle De Leon, the founder of this holiday, believed in the importance of heritage and history and saw a means to change the way people view the afro and find pride in what the afro stands for. She led the holiday back in 2017 and achieved over 2.5 coverage views through her efforts. This holiday has been endorsed by the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human right and the London Mayor’s Office. Leon has also been invited to speak at the United Nations at Geneva for her efforts in bringing pride back into the minority community.
Since 2017, the holiday has been gaining international attention. This holiday celebrates afro excellence because of the stigmas and bias that created isolation, shame, and feelings of inferiority. According to their main website, the beauty industry, in particular, creates beauty standards for women to have long, straight hair and considers it to be the epitome of success. World Afro Day aims to change those biases by helping people all over the world through spotlight events that normalize afros and an education program that teaches children about afro hair and society. This day is about empowerment, equality, and empathy through global networking and focuses on heritage as a new form of beauty.
How to celebrate World Afro Day
If you want to celebrate World Afro Day, then one activity you can do is sponsor the holiday in your schools. If you know about a minority organization that’s local in your area, contribute by telling them about this holiday and see what they can do. You can also buy tickets to one of their spotlight events that take place all over the world and view men and women in their natural beauty and encourage them forth. Share this holiday on social media using the hashtag #worldafroday and let everyone know how important of a holiday it is on this day.