Stop calling cornrows “boxer braids”! Fierce Black women reclaim the style in short film
By Erin White
March 9, 2018
It’s no secret that we black women have a special relationship with our hair. Sometimes referred to as “our Glory”, the hair that grows on the top of black womxn’s heads are our crown. And the unique ways in which we design and protect our manes often have sacred roots carried down through family and, regions and community. Box braids, locs, individuals, and cornrows are very much a part of that heritage. As a means for protecting textured hair from damage, protective styles like cornrows were tools slaves used as maps to freedom during slavery. And while blacks of the diaspora still use protective styles for style and, well, protection, non-black cultures (typically white) appropriate these looks to appear “edgy”. Calling them “boxer braids”, because apparently, they’re more reminiscent of women boxers than the people who have worn them since the dawn of time.
And this short film, ‘Future First, created by the LAMBB collective—which stands for Look At My Black Beuaty—is an uplifting, but unapologetic visual interpretation of the black femme community’s response to “boxer braids”.
“The anchor point of the film is cultural appropriation but it expands much wider than that – it isn’t about taking a stance as a victim, it is about reclaiming our place as black women and not being afraid to take up space.”