Crowns: My Hair, My Soul, My Freedom shows hairstyles being worn by Black women. Each hairstyle presented is based on the specific model’s personal “hair story” and is modeled after something she would wear on the street. The uniform black tone painted on the models’ skin serves as an equalizer that removes any potential prejudicial biases. Hair is made the focal point of the images, as each model is set against an either vibrantly colorful, or strikingly black background in order to accentuate the colors and shapes of her hairstyle.
Sandro’s technique brings together the past and the present and emphasizes the beauty of blackness, successfully demonstrating his ideas about racial freedom and hair. African American women have been oppressed with regards to their hair from the dehumanizing practice of shaving heads during slavery to the 1978 Louisiana Law that ruled black women had to cover their hair in public. “Today, African and other black skinned men and women are free, their souls no longer enslaved and through the styles worn on their heads their freedom shines”, said Miller.
As a combination of traditional African tribal art and the modern Black woman, this exhibition explored the stigma attached to black hair and other societal beauty conventions and captures the confidence, power and beauty of women.