2017 has been teachable and outspoken. It has been triumphant. I think many would agree it’s also been a “wild ride.”
Uncle Funky’s Daughter has undergone many changes and has strived everyday this year to elevate, expand and include curly girls everywhere. As we bring 2017 to a close, I wanted to share some of my most memorable moments and happenings from the past year:
We started the year off in protest for things as important to us at the Women’s March in January, and are still pumping our fists (and moving our fingers) to be heard (or read). Millions around the country participated in the Women’s March, advocating for women and LGBTQ rights in the U.S. According to Newsweek, “it was the largest single-day protest in U.S. history,” and the Washington Post counted “at least 653 marches across the country involving between 3,267,134 and 5,246,670 participants.”
The #MeToo campaign was also a big part of the “social awakening” in America, where the hashtag went viral on social media in the wake of countless sexual assault allegations from victims of crass politicians and celebrities. Countless women — and some men — around the world shared their stories and shook the world. Have you seen Twitter lately?
In 2016, San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick started kneeling before games to raise awareness of social injustice, including police brutality against black Americans. The protests really took this year, when players from across the country joined him and refused to stand for the national anthem. However, in March, Colin opted out of his contract with the 49ers to further the protest and push his message, eventually winning him the Sports Illustrated Muhammad Ali Legacy Award later in the year.
“I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color,” Kaepernick told NFL Media. “To me, this is bigger than football and it would be selfish on my part to look the other way. There are bodies in the street and people getting paid leave and getting away with murder.”
In August, the City of Houston, along with several other cities and countries experienced the hurricane season of the decade. We are still working to repair our city from the damage Hurricane Harvey caused, (in its wake 80 deaths and $150 billion in damages). We partnered with the Windsor Village Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund to allow us to help with the recovery of Houston, and launched our #HoustonStrong campaign, where we donated 20% of all purchases made on our website to Harvey Relief efforts. The community aspect of our city was displayed and we are delighted to have been a part of that.
On a lighter note, a very pregnant Serena Williams not only took the Australian Open title in January, but engulfed herself in so much love and prosperity in other areas of her life for us to see. On September 1st, she welcomed her beautiful baby girl, Alexis Olympia, and married the love of her life in November. It’s important for our youth to see successful people of color, women of color, but its also imperative to identify success as not only monetary, but mental/emotional, physical and social. Seeing her win was a plus this year.
I laughably tried to avoid politics in writing this article, but I think this year was just a “political” year. As 2017 comes to a close, I want to take this opportunity to thank everyone for their support of Uncle Funky’s Daughter, as its head and as a woman in business. As we head into 2018, my goal is to continue to welcome social and political awareness and continuing to grow a brand that services the needs of women, people of color, and the youth as they come into who they are and where they stand in this country and the world.
“Not everything that is faced can be changed; but nothing can be changed until it is faced.” -James Baldwin
Let’s keep changing the world in 2018! Happy New Year!