Runner-up contestant Yanely Salgado, 31, displays her hairdo on stage during an Afro hair contest in Havana, Saturday, June 13, 2015. (AP Photo/Desmond Boylan)
Run­ner-up con­tes­tant Yane­ly Sal­gado, 31, dis­plays her hair­do on stage dur­ing an Afro hair con­test in Havana, Sat­ur­day, June 13, 2015. (AP Photo/Desmond Boy­lan)

Havana per­for­mance artist, Susana Dela­hante held a black hair com­pe­ti­tion in Cuba this past week­end. Black and mixed-race wom­en were invit­ed to com­pete in three hair cat­e­gories – nat­u­ral, braid­ed and dread­locked.

The two hour com­pe­ti­tion which had over 70 con­tes­tants was described as an effort to bol­ster pride with­in the Afro-Cuban com­mu­ni­ty. Dela­hante states:

“I want­ed to do some­thing that legit­imized my hair, this under­val­ued type of hair.”

Accord­ing to the 2012 cen­sus, 64% of Cubans iden­ti­fied them­selves as white, 23% as bira­cial and only 9.3% as black. Soci­ol­o­gists have stat­ed the rea­son only a small amount of the Cuban pop­u­la­tion will­ing­ly iden­ti­fy as black is due to lin­ger­ing prej­u­dice. From the Wall Street Jour­nal;

2009 esti­mates place the black or mixed pop­u­la­tion between 60% and 70% of Cuba’s cit­i­zens, but there are no offi­cials of col­or in the upper ech­e­lons of Cuban lead­er­ship. The tor­ture and humil­i­a­tion Afro-Cuban dis­si­dents face upon being arrest­ed is often exac­er­bat­ed by their skin col­or.

Take a look at some of the beau­ti­ful pho­tos from the day.

AP Photo/Desmond Boylan
AP Photo/Desmond Boy­lan

Feli­cia Solano, 72, was the over­all win­ner of the Nat­u­ral hair com­pe­ti­tion.

AP Photo/Desmond Boylan
AP Photo/Desmond Boy­lan
AP Photo/Desmond Boylan
AP Photo/Desmond Boy­lan
AP Photo/Desmond Boylan
AP Photo/Desmond Boy­lan

Four-year-old Dayani­ra was a run­ner-up in the hair com­pe­ti­tion.

AP Photo/Desmond Boylan
AP Photo/Desmond Boy­lan

Five-year-old Pauli­na Cham­pan was also a run­ner up in the hair com­pe­ti­tion.

AP Photo/Desmond Boylan
AP Photo/Desmond Boy­lan

 

What do you think of the com­pe­ti­tion as a way to rec­og­nize black beau­ty in Cuba?

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64 Comments on "Cuba Holds Its First Natural Hair Competition to Promote Black Pride"

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mummy21

Wow — very nice might do some­thing sim­i­lar in Jamaica!

Guest

Beau­ti­ful! Love see­ing nat­u­ral hair being cel­e­brat­ed across the globe.

Emprezz Abena

It’s a step in the right direc­tion. It will take some time but it will cer­tain­ly cre­ate the aware­ness as well as boost the con­fi­dence of blacks in Cuba.

cryssi

Beau­ti­ful

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