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Community Highlights: Meet Alisha Brooks and Elizabeth Austin-Davis

Today we’d like to introduce you to Alisha and Elizabeth Brooks Austin-Davis.

Alright, so thank you so much for sharing your story and insight with our readers. To kick things off, can you tell us a bit about how you got started?
We have been friends for over ten years. Initially, Elizabeth shared her desire to create a photography passion project around black women and their hair. From there, I (Alisha) proposed curating an interactive experience turning the nostalgic moments of shared experiences into interactive installations. The fusion of these two ideas resulted in the creation of The Black Hair Experience. The Black Hair Experience was inspired by the desire to create a safe space that celebrated shared nostalgic moments in Black hair culture. We wanted to create a visual celebration of the experiences that tie us together regardless of how you wear your hair. Our goal was to create something that promoted self-love and celebrated the beauty of black hair. The Black Hair Experience brings these similarities to life by combining art with beauty, stories, and culture through the universal symbol of hair.

I’m sure you wouldn’t say it’s been obstacle free, but so far would you say the journey have been a fairly smooth road?
No, this has not been easy at all. Creating The Black Hair Experience has truly been a labor of love. To start, we were originally supposed to open in June 2020 but no one was anticipating COVID-19. The pandemic definitely sent us through a loophole. It forced us to pivot, go back to the drawing board to see how we connect with our audience digitally and remain relevant because we were offering an in-person experience. Prior to the pandemic, we can’t say it was easy either. Finding a building that would lease to us was one of the most challenging processes we encountered. It was like people had spaces available but once they got wind of what we were creating and our name, they completely ghosted us. There were times we were questioning ourselves because we were having so many doors closed in our faces. However, our partnership is what really kept it together. We were able to persevere through all of the struggles and be our own cheerleaders and that is what helped us push through.

Thanks – so what else should our readers know about The Black Hair Experience?
We are the only experiential museum created to celebrate black women, black hair, and culture. We wanted to create a space that black women could feel seen in, something created by them and for them. We have curated over 15 photo-worthy spaces that tap into shared experiences, nostalgic moments, and self-affirmations all set around black hair. We are most proud of creating something that is positive and will have attendees leaving feeling better than they did before they came. Ultimately, we want The Black Hair Experience to spread joy, foster self-love, and hopefully empower connections. This is an opportunity to celebrate black women, black hair, and black culture.

Where we are in life is often partly because of others. Who/what else deserves credit for how your story turned out?
We have to give credit to our families, our husbands and close friends because they have been in our corners cheering us on even with all of the uncertainty the pandemic causes.


  • General Admission Adult Tickets are $28.00

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