Today, March 9, marks the 20th anniversary of the very first book about natural hair in the Netherlands entitled: 'Kroeshaar, wat je moet weten en meer’. Natural hair was still quite controversial back then. Discussing natural hair issues felt like a taboo so I didn’t really know how people would respond to my book.
At that time, natural hairstyles were hard to detect. The fast majority of Black women were relaxing their hair or wearing weaves.
The event took place in the Koningskerk in Amsterdam. It was packed.
As an IT graduate from the University of Amsterdam, who started building professional websites in 1996 (see ToBeFollowed), I thought a website would be helpful to get a bit of feedback but also connect with people who were interested. That’s how kroeshaar.com, the very first hair website in the Netherlands, was born; Out of curiosity what people would think of natural hair but also to teach and spread information for those who were interested.
To my delightful surprise my debut as a writer was not only fun, it was a pretty big success. Several newspapers and radio stations reached out for interviews and I had the privilege to walk the red carpet on Boekenweek 2003. Just that was quite an experience. My very first book signing though, topped it all.
Friends and family showed up that day.
More than exited, I was overwhelmed by the crowd that showed up. I had no idea so many people would be interested in hearing about natural hair let alone reading about it. I was happy by the fact that so many people were interested and came out.
My dad Daisy Liong recited my favorite poem named 'Wan Bon' from one of the first poets in Suriname, Robert Ravales aka Dobru. Wan Bon means one tree. As different as we, our texture, the leaves of a tree may be, we are all rooted in the same history and that is not only what connects us but also holds us together. I wanted that message out from the start.
On drums was Raimaita Hoop. The talented young drummer is the son of Carlo Hoop a well-known drummer with Suriname roots. I remember my dad being so impressed with the little man.
So many beautiful people showed off their natural hairstyles.
When I went back to Suriname, friends started telling me that I started a revolution. I had no idea. It was certainly not intentional. I just wanted to create a place for people like me who were struggling with their hair and going natural. I am so glad I did and looking back now, I am thankful to be named as one of the trailblazers who propelled the online natural hair revolution.
Celebrate with me, share and Buy Going Natural How to Fall in Love with Nappy Hair