Last month I had the pleasure of meeting Little Miss Tiana Parker at the Oklahoma Naturals Hair & Health Expo. It was totally on a whim but meeting her ended up being one the highlight of my entire trip! During the bloggers panel I mentioned that due to my high active lifestyle my loctician, Seneka, uses the latch method for my locs. Right after our panel discussion I found myself explaining the latch method to a lady whose little girl had some of the prettiest little locs I’d ever seen on a kid. As we talked about the latch method her mother ended up mentioning that her daughter recently switched schools because of her hair. I was taken aback by this. Apparently it was all over the news and I hadn’t heard about it. Well me being Ms. Get Up Stand Up Stand Up For Your Rights/ Girl Power/ Power To The People/ Jesus Love The Little Children/ I Believe I Can Fly/ I Believe The Children Are Our Future lookin’ self went straight into encourager mode. I asked Tiana “Do you like your hair?” She slowly nodded up and down. I replied “Well I think it’s awesome.” I then asked her “Do you think you’re awesome?” Smiling and kind of confused she shrugged her shoulders and nodded yes. I then replied “Well I think you’re awesome.” Tiana, her mother, and myself went on to chat a few more minutes. As I reflect on my brief time I spent with Tiana and her mother I came up with 10 things I love about Tiana Parker.
10. Moe Love The Kids
If you read my blogs where I share some of my community outreach efforts you know for a fact I love empowering and educating youth. Whitney Houston (well really Linda Creed and Michael Masser wrote the song Whitney sings) hit the nail on the head with the phrase I believe the children are our future. Teach them and let them lead the way. Show them all the beauty they possess inside. When chatting with Tiana, it wasn’t enough to tell her I thought she was awesome. I wanted her to believe she was awesome. Hence, me asking her “Do you think you’re awesome.”
9. Her locs rock!
As a loc wearing sister myself, I mentally high five every person I see that makes the commitment to rock locs! Especially little kids. But check #8.
8. She’s a bold little kid
During our chat Mrs. Parker informed me that Tiana begged for locs when she was six years old. What? I think the first time I saw someone with locs was around middle school or high school. And at that time I was not brave enough to go against the grain and wear a bold hair style like locs. Truth be told there are grown folks who desire to start locking their hair but are hesitant or afraid because of this or that reason.
7. The name Tiana Parker has a nice ring to it
Call me cheesy, but I always tell my students I imagine their name on the cover of a book, the American Journal of Medicine, or in the news for something good. And won’t you agree with me that TIANA PARKER sounds like someone whose going to do something major? Like create an engineering system that further reduces agricultural costs and droughts in third world countries? Yes, I dream big!
6. She’s not shy
Although our chat started off with her being bashful, by the end of our time together she was bouncing all over the place. When I asked her to hop on the table to take a picture with me to compensate for me being six feet and her being four
5. Her Black is Beautiful
I mean look at her. Isn’t she adorable!?
4. Every girl needs parents like Tiana
Every time I read an article or watch a video clip of the whole ordeal I’m so proud of her parents and the stance they took in supporting their daughter. Big ups to Mr. Parker for making the decision to move his daughter to another school instead of assimilate to the rules that do not promote diversity. He didn’t put up a physical fight or demand the heads of everyone there. By removing her from that school was powerful enough. Awesome Black Dads:1. Media Hyped Stereotypes: 0.
3. She’s not a rule breaker but a rule changer
As a result of the media publicity this story received, the school policy was changed. Way to be a rule changer and not a rule breaker Tiana!
2. I am Tiana
When you look at the footage of Tiana Parker when she’s crying, how can any woman of color not relate to her? Don’t we all want to be accepted? And doesn’t it bother you to realize that your hairstyle might be “too ethnic” for some people?
1. She’s changed my heart
Having spent all of my childhood, adolescent, and teenage years attending all girls after school and summer camps I’ve been around my fair share of females. As a result there are times I have prayed to God to give me all boys. However meeting Tiana has changed that for me. This world needs more positively bold girls of color who love themselves. What a joy it must be to play a role is grooming a queen! Mr. and Mrs. Parker, I salute you. And to Little Miss Tiana Parker, may you always posses the courage to love the skin you’re in and the hair that adorns your crown.
Love, Peace, and Sweat
Monisha I. Randolph is a Senior Contributing Blogger for Sporty Afros. Founder of Runner’s Revelations, Monisha is a RRCA Certified Distance Running Coach specializing in running clinics and training programs for beginner runners. She’s also the author of Runner’s Revelations: How Running Changed My Walk. To learn more about Monisha please visit www.runnersrevelations.com. Follow her on Twitter @RunRevelations , join the Runner’s Revelations Fan Community on Facebook, and subscribe to the Runner’s Revelations Youtube channel.
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