Impact Blacks

It’s no secret that African Americans have greatly influenced modern America, having dabbled in nearly every walk of life, from literature to space to food.

This February, let’s take a little time to reflect on some of our greats lost to time and seemingly silent throughout history.

Rich Central has mostly black students that are affected by the actions of these people daily, and it’s a shame that we only know bits and pieces of our history.

This needs to change.

Let’s start by talking about something we see everyday: weave. A healthy portion of the students and staff wear, or have worn, weave, but not many of us knows where it came from.

We know more about the hair we order from Aliexpress than about what actually went into making these styles.

Hair is something that can potentially change someone’s full appearance at the drop of a dime, and a beautiful Mrs. Christina Jenkins came up with the “sew-in” in the 1950’s and received a patent for it in 1951.

Now, people have been wearing wigs and hair extensions for thousands of years before Jenkins, but she invented a new way to keep the hair in for a longer time. Her technique started by braiding the hair into cornrows, and then adding thread in to extend the hair. This process took an incredibly long time to finish. The final product, like most extensions of the time, looked unnatural and bulky, but it was the start of a hair revolution that would encompass the world.

Jenkins and her husband, a famous jazz musician named Duke, would open a hair shop in the early 1950’s, and name it Christina’s Hair Weaves. At the company’s prime, people would come from all over the world to have Christina do their hair and learn from her.

This incredible woman passed away in 2003. She does not have a wikipedia page, and there aren’t too many places where you can read about her. Yet, her invention is still in use, nearly 70 years later. We improved her techniques, continually use them, some of us look down on people who use them, all without giving a second thought as to who she was.

Christina Jenkins was a person, almost lost in time due to silence. Don’t be silent anymore. Be educated.