A curated convention for the global understanding of African culture and its influence on the world. This convention and festival curate the best in African art, fashion, food, hair & beauty products, health & wellness products, innovation, music, pop culture, talks and workshops. It is scheduled for 2025 in Miami Florida, the gateway to the Caribbean and South America.
The monetizing of African culture has been accomplished by many outside of its own people. AFRIKINCON levels the playing field and gives equal opportunity to micro-entrepreneurs as well as enterprises to present products from our community for our community. Businesses and individuals who ready to present their ideas and products in sustainable ways are welcomed to show how they improve the presence of the black dollar in our communities. Nation-building through diversity and inclusion. An understanding of our nation through commerce designed to bring visitors from all over the world to this curated convention to partake and purchase authentic and handmade products that provide socio-economic development that advance the ingenuity and promise of our people.
AFRIKINCON will highlight our likeness more than our differences and make it viable for our respective communities to grow therefrom.
Hair Stylist From?
Fashion Designer From?
We are in a renaissance of the Black is Beautiful era of the 1960s and 1970s with the Queen’s crown making the political statements found in apparel, makeup and hair choices of the past.
In 1964, Miriam Makeba was marketed and ultimately accepted as “the Voice of Africa”. Her style of dress spoke to and for a generation accustomed to the pressures of Black respectability or – at the other end of the spectrum – “primitive” Black sexuality. Already a style icon in her native Johannesburg, her look subverted expectations of South African women and American concepts of African women’s appearances. Makeba’s signature short natural hairstyle was a strong statement to all young South African school children forced to shave off their intricate plaits and cornrows – a mandate from the apartheid government aimed to erase intraracial ethnic differences in order to deny individuality through forced uniformity. Makeba gave a new face to what was an act of aggression by the government by expressing beauty and femininity with this political stance.
Makeba, alongside Americans Nina Simone, Odetta, and Abbey Lincoln created a “Soul Sister” look that challenged the status quo. These women were more than simply singers or entertainers. As Artivists, their humanitarian work inspired a generation eager to make a difference in the world for a people with which they identified.
Tanisha C. Ford, author of Liberated Threads: Black Women, Style, and the Global Politics of Soul, offers, “By pairing “Afro” with the word “look” African tastemakers were communicating that the American constructed notion of blackness could be packaged sold consumed and performed through bodily adornment.”
Ford adds, “As Black youth, and Black women in particular fought to define their Blackness on their own terms, they held soul culture as a product of the long history of Black presence in the U.S. South, which white America was itching to shall just as it has already done with the blues, jazz, and other forms of Black expression.”
After hundreds of years of being told the Black woman was ugly, it was quite jarring for the Black man when his counterpart took ownership of her appearance. How revolutionary to completely dismiss the multi-billion dollar influence of the beauty industry and create an entirely new look based on one’s own culture – a culture discarded by one’s captives, the same keepers of the beauty industry! No longer hiding her crown, the Black woman fights it all and continues to do so with styles that celebrate the textures and conditions native to her.
AFRIKINCON reflects the creativity and ingenuity of fusing traditional African style with current regional trends – an amalgamation of ideas that unite across the diaspora from hair pieces of kinky textures to threads adorned with gold. We center on healing thyself holistically, including the emotional aspects involved with self-worth, as natural hair has moved beyond Black Power statements and into personal expressions of pride, eschewing Eurocentric standards of beauty with a new focus on Health and Wellness.
As demonstrated, the Black woman’s role in her personal style expression is revolutionary, and today’s return to natural hair has been a catalyst for economic independence. A generation unfamiliar with taking care of natural tresses is uniting across the diaspora in a statement of love for self and individuality while populating search engine results with tutorials and reviews. Many naturalistas are taking ownership not only for their appearance but their financial independence by selling personal hair care products they’ve created using food grade ingredients, avoiding the sulfates and parabens found in commercial products.
Though the internet is a “global marketplace”, like any neighborhood, the big businesses own more real estate and have more funding for marketing than the mom and pop shops. How then, do our sisters and brothers reach each other and build our economy?
AFRIKINCON presents these hidden gems like MYSCA Natural Cosmetics and quietly celebrated products like Curls to an audience seeking authentic brands, made for us, by us. Our audience is open to discovering new products to maintain their position of political defiance and expression of self-love, eagerly offering honest feedback and testimonials. Our vendors are thankful for exposure, sales growth, and movement toward their dream enterprise.
But how do our sisters and brothers expand their businesses? It is still very difficult for Black-owned businesses to secure funding. And, for the loans for which they do get approved, Black-owned businesses are more likely to receive lower amounts and higher interest rates than other businesses.
Richelieu Dennis CEO of Sundial Brands (Shea Moisture, Nubian Heritage, etc) and Essence Venture recognizes the value of the woman in leading the community and the importance of providing opportunities for her advancement, with his work to convert beauty mogul Madam CJ Walker’s legendary 42-room mansion in Irvington, NY. into an incubator. The training center and retreat will support Black women entrepreneurs in their efforts to turn their ideas into flourishing enterprises. “Black women need access, support, expertise and capital,” Dennis said. “I’m building something, so I take that wealth and help the community. We have to create our own businesses so we can hire ourselves.”
And hire each other. Keeping our dollars in our community builds more VCs like Dennis who can pay it forward by helping others to create more businesses and work opportunities – ultimately leading to our own self-sustaining economy regardless of political bias and systemic racism.
We will monetize our culture to the benefit of our people and community by embracing the Lupita Nyongo’s over the Jennifer Lawrence’s, and purchase our sister’s products instead of those of Madison Ave. We will maintain integrity and environmentally responsible, using sustainable practices for socio-economic development.
Rejecting the messages provided by the beauty industry has proven a revolutionary move for Black women, making strong statements ranging from self-worth and individuality to financial independence and nation building. The woman has always been the key to our people thriving, so let us support her in the ways she needs so she can continue to provide for our growth beautifully. Following her lead works to the advantage of us all. A nation can rise no higher than its woman.