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Dr. Gigi, colloquially known as Mama Kano, is a Nigerian-American mother, braid adornment artist, educator and based in Los Angeles, CA. As an African hair griot, she uses braids and ancestral adornments to tell the histories of female heroines from the past, in the present and future. She completed her doctorate in Educational Management at Hampton University by studying natural hair culture as a vehicle to improving the multiliteracies of Black girls globally. Her daughter, Queen Adaora, serves as a major inspiration in creating a new love language between little Black girls, their hair and mothers. Currently, she is working on rolling out the Black Girlhood Vending Machine project, an initiative that will place vending machines containing free banned picture books, graphic novels and comics in locations throughout the country the U.S. that act as sites of intellectual, physical, and socio-emotional violence and vitriol targeting Black girls. The vending machines will carry free educator’s resources for each text, custom African hair artifacts, and mental health vouchers. Beyond Adornment Club, Dr. G’s nonprofit is the official partner for this initiative. Stay tuned for updates! 


Dr. Nneka Uzoma Gigi

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