Ten years ago, I put together a photo exhibit that featured African American natural hairstyles while posing questions of race, beauty, and culture. The exhibit was called “Skillets.” Folks like Rena Church at the David L. Pierce Art and History Center, Karen McConnaughay, Kane County Board; Amy Roth, Aurora Public Library; and Angie Richardson, Illinois Math and Science Academy, were all supportive in providing a platform and/or wall space for the exhibit. So, I thought it would be fun to track down some of the participants and see what they are up to now.
Currently a first-year master’s student at her Alma Mater, Tuskegee University, Jaiere Harlow continues to grow, learn and venture out on her own. Although she hung the rackets up and wrapped up her tennis career post undergraduate, her time is still very much occupied with schoolwork and making memories with loved ones. As the world looks a little different now, she has realized how much more important it is to “give people their flowers while they’re still here.” So, she plans to continue amplifying, celebrating, cherishing, and handling her life and the lives of loved ones with care and compassion. She thinks the act of being is something many take for granted and life deserves its flowers.