Washington D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser recently unveiled a colorful mural in Ward 8 celebrating Black women’s natural hair.
According to WTOP News, the mural decorates the side wall of the Southeast Collaborative Center at 2004 Martin Luther King Jr. Ave.
Painted by artist Candice Taylor, the mural features five Black women of all ages and complexions rocking their natural hair styles.
Taylor explained the purpose of the piece saying, “It’s about celebrating Black hair independence, amplifying Black beauty,” Taylor continued: “I wanted to create something that could radiate that sort of Black joy and hopefully instill some confidence in Black women in terms of how we view our hair,”
In addition to instilling confidence, the mural was inspired by advocates who have been working to pass the CROWN Act in American cities around the country.
The Act bans discriminatory hair practices in employment that target people of color. As it currently stands, Montgomery County, Maryland has adopted the measure.
Taylor the piece is personal for her.
“As a Balck woman, I’ve been in situations where I’ve felt like I had to conform. I’m comfortable now expressing myself through my hair, whereas there have certainly been times in the past where that wasn’t such an open idea,”
Taylor shared that she used to wear her hair straightened before she began wearing the colorful locs she does now.
The mural is one of seven pieces of artwork that has been commissioned by the District’s Murals DC 2021 program. The other six pieces are set to appear in Wards 1, 2, 5, 6 and 8. All of them have themes of social justice, unity, respect for the environment and D.C. pride.
Taylor shared it was a tremendous honor to have her work chosen to be displayed in her community.
“I spent time running up and down MLK [Avenue] as a child, so to now have my work be such a center point, a point of interest—hopefully, it just becomes part of the neighborhood.”
Murals DC has sponsored 133 original works of public art in every ward since 2007.