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Photo by Daniel Randall.

Natural Beauties Share Why CURLFEST 2018 Is More Than Just a Hair Festival

Here's what they had to say.

There's something about being surrounded by black people celebrating natural hair that makes CURLFEST so many things at once—a beauty festival, a family picnic, a bloggers hub, and an outdoor party to remember.

The Curly Girl Collective describes CURLFEST as a "Mecca of afros, twist-outs, curls (and beards) set to a soundtrack of positive energy." That's exactly what it looked like this past Saturday when thousands of people strolled into Prospect Park, Brooklyn as afrobeats, soca, dancehall, and hip hop jams blasted throughout the day. Hair was moisturized to perfection and complemented with great style—from floral jumpsuits to more casual t-shirts with slogans like, "Black Mixed with Black" and "Somewhere Between Oprah and Cardi B."

We asked some of the festival-goers to share what the festival meant to them and why they chose the people they came with to celebrate with them.

Here's what they had to say, with photography by Daniel Randall.


Renetta + Renee

Photo by Daniel Randall.

"We are twins, so everywhere she goes I go. You know how Issa Rae says she's rooting for everyone black? We are rooting for everyone natural."

Channy + His Daughter

Photo by Daniel Randall.

"I came with my daughter because she is a beautiful black girl."

Whitney

Photo by Daniel Randall.

"It's beautiful being surrounded by black beauty that isn't your usual experience. Black people are beautiful in all shades. I love it here."

Christina, Danii, Beverly + Valencia

Photo by Daniel Randall.

"We came out with our girls at CURLFEST because we actually met last year at a Deva Curl event right before CURLFEST and we became instant friends; we chilled. So this year we are back, and we clicking and just having a good ass time."

Tinu + Des

Photo by Daniel Randall.

"I feel right at home. Nigerian flag waving on the stage. Nigerian music blasting from the speakers. It's like an outdoor Lagos club right in Brooklyn." —Tinu

Alexiz + Devri

Photo by Daniel Randall.

"This [festival] is the spice that I need, spice in the pot that I needed. It's always the highlight of my year. We just moved to New York a year ago, and I wanted to break her into CURLFEST." —Devri

Janene, Lexi + Janelle

Photo by Daniel Randall.

"This is honestly where I come to be with my sisters, and to make new ones. For me CURLFEST has less to do with curly hair, but embracing each other's hair stories." —Janelle

Charnette + Nic

Photo by Daniel Randall.

"I came with her cause she's my sister. I love seeing everyone here united. I'm in my element." —Charnette

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Image courtesy of Lula Ali Ismaïl

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The must-watch film, from Lula Ali Ismaïl, paints a novel picture of Djibouti's capital city through the story of three friends.

If you're having a tough time recalling the last movie you watched from Djibouti, it's likely because you have never watched one before. With an almost non-existent film industry in the country, Lula Ali Ismaïl, tells a beautiful coming of age story of three young female Djiboutian teenagers at the cusp of womanhood. Dhalinyaro offers a never-before-seen view of Djibouti City as a stunning, dynamic city that blends modernity and tradition—a city in which the youth, like all youth everywhere, struggle to decide what their futures will look like. It's a beautiful story of friendship, family, dreams and love from a female filmmaker who wants to tell a "universal story of youth," but set in the country she loves—Djibouti.

The story revolves around the lives of three young friends from different socio-economic backgrounds, with completely varied attitudes towards life, but bound by a deep friendship. There is Asma, the conservative academic genius who dreams of going to medical school and hails from a modest family. Hibo, a rebellious, liberal, spoiled girl from a very wealthy family who learns to be a better friend as the film evolves and finally Deka. Deka is the binding force in the friendship, a brilliant though sometimes naïve teen who finds herself torn between her divorced mother's ambitions to give her a better life having saved up all her life for her to go to university abroad, and her own conviction that she wants to study and succeed in her own country.

Okayafrica contributor, Ciku Kimeria speaks to Ismaïl on her groundbreaking film, her hopes for the filmmaking industry and the universality of stories.

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Stream the deluxe version of Stogie T's EP 'The Empire of Sheep' featuring Nasty C, Boity, Nadia Nakai and more.

Stogie T just shared a deluxe version of his 2019 EP The Empire of Sheep titled EP The Empire of Sheep (Deluxe Unmasked). The project comes with three new songs. "All You Do Is Talk" features fellow South African rappers Nasty C, Boity and Nadia Nakai. New York lyricist appears on "Bad Luck" while one of Stogie T's favorite collaborators Ziyon appears on "The Making."

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"Kata" single cover.

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The Nigerian artist and producer returns with a melodic banger just in time for the weekend.

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The heavyweight artist and producer delivers a melodic track that sees him singing about his devotion to his lover over drum-filled production from Phantom. The track features subdued vocals from. the artist, and a beat that's easy to move along to. The song follows the track 'Beh Beh' which he released earlier this year.

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South African Jazz Artist Nduduzo Makhathini Releases Highly-Anticipated Blue Note Records Debut

Listen to South African jazz artist Nduduzo Makhathini's new album 'Modes of Communication: Letters from the Underworlds.'

South African pianist, composer, and healer Nduduzo Makhathini has released his Blue Note Records debut Modes of Communication: Letters from the Underworlds. The 11-track album is characterized by Makhathini's trademark piano keys, hissing percussions that collide with expressive vocals. As is always the case with Makhathini's work, spirituality is a huge part of the album deals with humans' connection to the ancestors and the spiritual realm.

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