batswana photographer celebrates black history month with a captivating series on cornrows

February 9, 2017

To celebrate Black History Month in the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom, Batswana photographer Jordan Indigo Isaac put together a three-part mini blog series that celebrates young men of color in Botswana as his contribution to the annual month long remembrance of important people and events in the history of the African Diaspora. Model Brandon Simbarashe Moyo dons cornrows in this epic shoot, baring lots of bronzed caramel skin against the dusty sands of Gaborone. Historically, sources suggest that cornrows are an ancient hairstyle, dating as far back as 3000 B.C with evidence in Stone Age paintings depicting women of the Tassili Plateau of the Sahara with cornrows. Its popularity in the Horn of Africa and West Africa has persisted throughout the ages and became a notorious hairstyle for great male warriors and kings in and around Ethiopia in the early nineteenth century. From ancient empires to Allen Iverson, cornrows are as African as they are contemporary as they are loved. Jordan said, “During times of enslavement in America, black peoples heads were often shaved upon capture, which had a psychological impact of being stripped of one’s culture. Re-establishing traditional hair styles in the new world was thus an act of resistance, one that could be carried out covertly. [Which is why I believe] the hairstyle went through such a controversial phase in the 2000s […] it made white supremacists uncertain of the intentions behind an otherwise ancient traditional hairstyle.” Take a look at some of these amazing photos and get to know Jordan Indigo Isaac via his website!

By T. McLendon, AFROPUNK Contributor

Photography: Jordan Indigo Isaac
Model: Brandon Simbarashe Moyo