For Tiana: A Care Package FULL of Locs of LOVE

by Yesha Callahan

mg_8754aEarlier this week,  7-year-old Tiana Parker was sent home from the Deborah Brown Community School because of her dreadlocks were deemed a faddish hairstyle and unacceptable according to the school’s policy. During an interview with the local news station, Tiana is seen crying because she didn’t understand why her hair was considered so “bad”. Tiana’s father, Terrance Parker, removed his straight-A student from the school.

“She went to the school last year and didn’t have any problems,” said Parker.

Parker said her hair looked the same.

“It hurt my feelings to the core,” said Parker.

“I think that they should let me have my dreads,” said Tiana.

Well Tiana isn’t the only one who thinks the school should let her have her dreads. Since her story broke,  the outpouring of support for Tiana has been amazing.

But one gesture of support definitely stands out.

Dr. Yaba Blay, co-Director and Assistant Teaching Professor of Africana Studies at Drexel University, compiled letters of support and photos from women with dreadlocks.  The e-book is nothing short of amazing. The outpouring of support from women from all walks of life, as well as letters from little girls Tiana’s age, goes to show that there’s nothing “faddish” about dreadlocks.  The letters come from artists, doctors, and even acclaimed director Ava Duvernay.  At the end of the book, Alice Walker allowed for a special message to be printed just for Tiana.

Tiana Parker will know that the love and support she has from around the world is amazing, but the love and support she received from her father will definitely shape her into an amazing young woman.


  • JN

    This would bring tears to my eyes! Such an amazing outpouring of support! I love supportive Black women.

  • areyelle

    So beautiful!

  • Ash K

    This was so perfect, esp. the history lesson! Who says we do not support one another?

  • Natalie B.

    Just wonderful! I love that this little girl will see beautiful, successful, confident reflections of her beauty by these supportive black women.

  • mochachick10

    ABSOLUTELY BEAUTIFUL. LOVE IT! Tears of joy are literally running down my cheek.

  • PsychNerd

    This brought tears to my eyes. So much love :-)

  • K

    this seriously brought tears to my eyes im so damn sappy this is beautiful just beautiful

  • Miss E

    I LOVED IT! I’m showing it to my niece when she comes home from school today because she’s been having issues with her hair (the kids at her school with perms call her natural hair nappy) & her skin color (she’s dark skinned). Well done to Dr. Blay, Alice Walker & all those who wrote to Tiana. You have no idea how much your letters to her today are going to cause her to love & value her natural self tomorrow!

  • Dalili

    Talk about standing in the gap!! This is/was absolutely divine! Thank goodness for these women…..and little girls with dreadlocks. Such a wonderful gift!

  • omfg

    that alice walker speech to spelman college is what made me go natural several years ago.

  • Michelle

    Amazingly, Beautiful, much respect to all the Sistahs and Tiana you are just as amazing and beautiful…

  • elyse

    Love it! And I just saw my Aunt in it…pretty cool.


  • lynn

    I teared up when I first read this story a few days ago and saw the news clip of little Tiana crying. . . the thought of one more little black girl being taught that her hair was ugly just brought up so many memories and emotions for me. . . cause we have all been through it, all we kinky headed black women of the world.

    Now reading this latest news I am tearing up again, but this time I am so happy that the time was taken and the effort was made to show Tiana such love and support. What a beautiful message! And so many gorgeous pictures! Let the cycle of shame end NOW with this new generation.

  • Phillygurl

    This is absolute beautiful! What a wonderful way to provide this little sister encouragement and affirmation after what she’s been through.

  • Girl CJ

    That is sweeter than sweet. I hope Tiana reads this book over and over and I hope she sees her beauty all the time despite any negativity out i the world.

    I cried when I read it because it felt like some of those women were speaking to the little girl I used to be.

  • MommieDearest

    I can’t even think of proper words to capture how profound this is.

    I’m still choked up…

    What a fitting end to what has been a hectic week for little black girls and their hair.

  • Pepper

    I love Angela Davis’ Fro!! Bring back the Fro ladies…..bring back the Fro

  • jamesfrmphilly

    this is excellent…….

  • BreukelenBlueByrd

    This is absolutely BEAUTIFUL!!!

  • Deb

    what speech?

  • Deb

    this is unbelievably beautiful and so inspiring! i really hope she gets to see this….wow…

  • greendoondoon

    I loved that there were so many doctors, educators, businesswomen and other shining examples of proud black women giving Tiana such lovely words of support and encouragement. I’m so happy that as a result of an ugly incident, Tiana has been uplifted. Black sisterhood is awesome and powerful. A message to the negative folks out there: this is who black women truly are.

  • leelah

    It never went away…don’t worry the fro lives on

  • Me27

    i absolutely loved this!

  • SayWhat

    Faith in humanity has been restored, what a way to counter ugliness.
    I hope that administrator has trouble looking in the mirror after what she did to that poor child.

  • JN

    I wonder if this e-book comes in hard copy form?

  • Teflon Jawn (@Author_JGail)

    There is sooo much power in this.

    Thank you Dr. Blay & Co <3

  • binks

    LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this! This is what it means to be apart of a sisterhood and supporting one another.

  • Kes

    Wow, the power of unity, love and sisterhood. I am proud of us! Sending love to you Tiana!

  • geenababe

    I bet that school and it’s President feels so bad now.

  • march pisces

    i’m a little late getting to this, but as one who “rox lox” it touched my heart to see all the women and young ladies who reached out to tiana. beautiful!!!

  • Tet tee

    I was wondering the same!

  • Tet tee

    Towards the very end of the book. Before you see only images. Her speech is share

  • jacque’

    I’ve not experienced what Tiana did you see I was fully grown but a little girl at heart watching in amazement as my hair began to twist and form cylinders unique to only my head. I feel very blessed, empowered and regal having read this touching pictoral essay. I need this as a coffee table read, something to refer to whenever I need a little affirmation. This is in a few words, Awesome, Empowering, Magical and Inspiring! I plan on showing this to my granddaughters mother in hopes of her allowing me to loc her hair when the time is right, she is only 3 months old now but I would dearly love her to see and walk in her true God given beauty

  • Tanaka

    This was so beautiful!

  • Ashley

    This is absolutely beautiful! I almost cried!

  • Sharde Starr

    This situation shows us how far we haven’t gotten in 50 years.

  • Linda L. House

    Why do we continue to use the word dreadlocks? The word is locks, the hair has locked. There is nothing dreadful about our hair. Locks! Locks! Locks!

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