This week Lekia Lee, mother of 11 year old daughter, has produced a billboard to celebrate natural black woman’s hair in the hope that it will teach her daughter that natural is beautiful.
The billboard features a number of black women and children showing off their natural hair, with Lekia’s group “Project Embrace” displayed underneath.
Lekia expresses how Project Embrace began as she did not want her young daughter to believe she needed extensions, wigs or chemical products in her hair to fit in.
The group promote black women’s natural hair and believe it is something that should be more socially accepted.
Lekia’s campaign comes after the topic of black women’s natural hair has recently sparked debate in the work place.
A number of black women have spoken out about being pressured into changing their natural hair so that they conform to ‘formal’ workplace dress codes. One woman interviewed by the BBC explains how her London employer pushed her to disguise her natural afro, commenting on how she should hide her cornrows. Others explain how a weave “makes life easier”, and even denied jobs due to their hair.
Project Embrace follows the recent battle of Nicola Thorpe, who after being sent home from work for refusing to wear high heels has now set up a petition against the outdated rule.
It has now reached over 130,000 signatures. Despite Thorpe’s achievement, Lekia’s “natural billboard” is a sign that work place discrimination doesn’t stop there.
In the light of social media, the embrace project billboard was branded with the hashtag #afrovisbility, encouraging users to get involved and show off their own natural hair. The advert is being shown on A4 West Cromwell Road in West London.
The billboard is only there for two weeks but Lekia Lee, the embrace project team and many others are hoping this is just the beginning of a much bigger movement.
Support Project Embrace on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ProjectEmbraceUK/