The first year celebrating the Brooklyn Born event in Newark New Jersey. IILBD2021 celebrates braids as a strong staple in the African American community. For those of you who do not know, the Brooklyn holiday belongs to none other than Debra Harebey. She is a master pioneer for nu-locs. The name has been coopted many times, but there is only one originator of this. Not familiar with the style? If you’ve ever seen the character “Maxine Shaw”, played by Erica Alexander on “Living Single”, her hairstyle was created by Debra Harebey.
This particular festival is a commemoration of braids and the pride and confidence they bring to the Black community. Each year, vendors and models gather at a specific location to celebrate this. During this time, they have various showcases from stylists, designers, and even stilt-walker performances. It is a constant reminder to enjoy and celebrate braid culture. Debra has created strides in braid styling and hair styling in general.
This year, the event takes a switch from the bustling Restoration Plaza in Brooklyn and heads over to Newark, New Jersey.
Braids and Fashion
For the main portion of the event, we find ourselves witnessing live braiding with the incorporation of various elements. Additionally, one of the biggest focal points of this is the yarn which Debra Harebey uses. She incorporates this into her styling of braids. This is where the term “Nu-Locs” came from. Images show the amount of love and care that goes into braids from those who make their living off of it. IILBD 2021, just like all other years, is an exploration of love for braided hairstyles.