Black Is King: Beyoncé's Visual Ode to Black Hair

Beyoncé’s new visual album, Black is King released July 31st on Disney+ network. In our humble opinion, is a full fledged declaration of LOVE for ALL Black heritage & culture.

When Beyoncé recited Yrsa Daly Wards prose; "We have always been wonderful. I see us reflected in the world's most heavenly things. Black is King. We were beauty before they knew what beauty was." I was literally moved to tears of pride and joy, a similar reaction I had to the Black Lives Matter protests.

Despite being a longtime Beyoncé fan, I was curious to see how she would top herself. With Black Is King, Queen Bey did not disappoint! From the choreography to the fashion, the visuals in this film are a breathtaking celebration of Blackness!

Needless to say, the HAIR in Black Is King is a key theme in the film. According to Neal Farinah, Beyoncé’s longtime hairstylist. He stated in his interview with Vogue, "[I] sought to celebrate Black beauty and African women throughout history, [hair] was something spiritual...your hairstyle represented your power.”

I have put together a breakdown of the the ancient roots/African symbolism behind each hairstyle used in Black Is King.

Black Is King

This braid crown pays homage to traditional styles worn by the Congo’s Mangbetu people.

Black Is King

African women wear the Dhuku (headwrap) as a queen might wear a crown. 👸🏾

Black Is King

The word Bantu universally translates to “people” among many African languages, and is used to categorize over 400 ethnic groups in Africa. Bantu knots are also referred to as Zulu knots, because the Zulu people of South Africa, originated the hairstyle.

Orisabunmi hairstyle was worn by Nigerian women to special events in the 1960's.

Braid hairstyles were an indication of a person's tribe, age, marital status, wealth, power, and religion.

Black Is King

Natural kinks, curls, and coils 🖤

Black Is King

In summation, Black Is King featured a wealth of Black/Afro-inspired hairstyles from cornrows to Afro puffs. If you haven't seen the film yet, I highly recommend it.


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