Even with full-on laws banning natural hair discrimination, young girls continue to face hair drama around their kinks and curls. But, 10-year-old Promise Sawyers is not here for the shenanigans. The Nashville, Tenn. teen was recently teased by her classmates at Head Middle Magnet school for rocking her natural hair in an afro and braids.
Instead of letting the mean words defeat her, she turned hair bullying into an empowering moment for young girls everywhere. She talked to her mom, Qui Daugherty, who encouraged her to love who she is and made an inspirational video for other young girls to do the same.
“I went to school and I wore my hair in an afro like this, and a lot of people had a lot of mean things to say about it,” Promise says in the video. “So that made me feel some type of way. So yesterday when I came home I told my mom and she said, ‘Promise, don’t forget who you are and whose you are.’ I said ‘OK.’ So today I’m going to go to school and I’m going to come back bigger and better. Don’t let anyone tell steal your joy. Don’t give them that power.”
The video went viral with nearly 1.8M views and even caught the eye of Tracee Ellis Ross who was also inspired by the young girl. Tracee spoke with Promise on singer Kelly Clarkson new talkshow to talk about the video.
“Promise you are my dream,” Tracee told the young girl. “I was so moved because your hair is an extension of your legacy, what you come from, your story and everything that you are — and your beauty. I’m so glad that you knew at 10-years-old what took me so long to learn about myself and you are such an example.”
Promise is also continuing her message of empowerment with a new book, My Hair, Their Stares, Who Cares? which is available for pre-order online here.