This Wonderful Photo Series Celebrates The Creativity And Intricate Beauty Of Black Children's Hairdos

London-based photographer Emily Stein spotlights the abundant creativity of hairstyles worn by Black children in her vibrant series Hairdo.

All images courtesy of Emily Stein

From iconic Nigerian photographer J.D. Okhai Ojeikere to the many street style snapshots of Afropunk attendees, Black hairstyles have been the focal point of many artist's work for quite some now. For London photographer Emily Stein, inspiration came from the creative hairstyles worn by Black children in her own neighborhood. Her resulting Hairdo photo series features vibrant portraits of young first- and second-generation West Indians and Africans, each of whom are rocking a glorious head of natural hair styled in a very distinct fashion. Box braids, bantu knots, beaded cornrows, a mohawk and a tapered fade are just a few of the spotlighted looks.

"It would take days of hanging around scouting people as they dashed past, racing up to the kids parents explaining to them the idea of the project," Emily told Okayafrica via email. "We carried rolls of colored paper with us which we would throw up with tape on a wall nearby. It was all very makeshift."

Yep, you read that right. Opting for a sidewalk in lieu of a studio, Emily and a partner—usually Celia Willis, one of her best friends—would set up shop in and around the London area, casting and snapping their tiny subjects all in one go. 

"I wanted the photographs to have their own stamp on them, whether they were yawning, hiding or pouting," she told The Huffington Post. "I would [want] people who look at the series [to] feel the positive energy of youth and the spirit of undiluted individuality."

Next up for Hairdo is a limited edition TINY book and, ideally, an exhibit. Until then, check out the entire series on Emily's website.

Image supplied.

Interview: How Stogie T’s ‘Freestyle Friday’ Became a TV Show

Freestyle Friday started as lockdown content but is now a fully-fledged TV show on Channel O. In this interview, Stogie T breaks down why the show is revolutionary and talks about venturing into media.

When South Africa was put under a hard lockdown in 2020, Stogie T started Freestyle Friday to "make SA rap again." Freestyle Friday, hosted on Instagram, saw a different cohort of rappers each rap over the same beat picked by the veteran rapper. From niche and emerging rappers to some of the most notable names in South African hip-hop—the likes of AKA, Focalistic, Ginger Trill and several others all participated.

In the last few weeks, however, Freestyle Friday has found its way to cable TV. The show airs every Friday on Channel O, one of the continent's longest-running music TV channels. Freestyle Friday as a TV programme isn't just about freestyles, it's about the art of rapping and the music business, particularly SA hip-hop. Guests range from lyricists to record executives and other personalities aligned with the scene—Ninel Musson and Ms Cosmo for instance.

But Freestyle Friday is only the first media product Stogie T is working on as he is in the process of starting a podcast network, a venture in which he is collaborating with Culture Capital. In the Q&A below, Stogie T breaks down the relationship with Culture Capital, how the show moved from the internet to TV, why it's a revolutionary idea, touches on his venture into media and his future plans.

This interview has been edited for clarity and length.

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