Background: After several years of informal spoken word performances, occasional vending events, and natural hair design demonstrations a group of determined young women decided to approach developing their businesses in a different manner. In 1994, those three Nubian business women with the help of committed sponsors began planning an event to celebrate the unique beauty of their natural hair and provide a venue that offered an opportunity to exchange goods, services, and information; share experiences; learn techniques; and support each other’s growth: culturally, mentally, emotionally and spiritually. Now years later, "Locks The Alternative" after a few changes and natural evolution, the Annual International Locks Conference: Natural Hair, Wholistic Health and Beauty Expo has grown into two exhilarating days full of excitement, edutainment, delicious healthy food, informative and consciousness raising workshops, soothing healing circles, great live music, soul-stiring poetry, alluring fashions, breath-taking hair styles, hair adornments and a stunning natural hair show and competition. Proving that the not-for-profit Locks Conference like an Afro is bigger than a hairstyle or hair show. It is about spiritual upliftment, social change, empowerment, and celebration of our divine rights and natural beauty.
The Annual International Locks Conference: Natural Hair, Wholistic Health &Beauty Expo is the original and longest consecutive running African centered and Indigenous cultural and educational natural hair conference in the country. The Locks Conference in Philadelphia is always held the first weekend in October, and since its inception it has placed a specific focus on natural hair care, cultural heritage, social change, justice, and wholistic health and wellness. Over the years the organizing committee and sponsors have produced and promoted a conference that is more than an educational, cultural, and natural hair event; it seeks to turn around the damage created by 400 hundreds without a comb, and it is a memorable experience with something of value for all who attend.
The Locks Conference has always been a special and nurturing event for families and friends to enjoy a wholesome weekend together. The dedicated members of the Kuumba Family Organizing Committee are committed to continuing the tradition and have dedicated their energy as previously stated, to promoting cultural awareness, education, wholistic and natural health and living, social change, and raising consciousness.
Attendance:Over the past years more and more patrons have converged on the expo from New Hampshire, Massachusetts, New York, New Jersey, Virginia, Washington, DC, Maryland, North Carolina, Ohio, Georgia, California, UK, Canada, and the Caribbean: Jamaica, Trinidad, Barbados, St Thomas.
The Kuumba Family Organizing Committee is very appreciative of the growing numbers of people who attend year after year and will work hard to produce a conference that more and more people will want to attend.
Organized by: Kuumba Family Organizing Committee and the Hair-ITAGE Society
Attractions:Annual International Locks Conference (AILC) features local, regional, and national arts and craft artists /merchants exhibiting the finest quality hand crafted jewelry, natural body and hair care products, African artifacts and Aboriginal and urban fashions, poetry cafe, doll making and belly dancing workshops; line dancing, yoga, visual art and cultural entertainment, African marketplace, children’s activities, live musical performances, workshops, lectures, cultural fashion shows and natural hair show and competition. AILC also features leading Aboriginal Indigenous experts from the natural wholistic health and natural hair care field, world-renowned scholars, activists, and artists from a myriad of professions. They join many people who utilize the expo as an annual autumn family gathering and networking opportunity. Attendees report that their time at the conference year after year has provided physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual upliftment and renewal.