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A Viral Moment: NABJ Members and Leaders Celebrate Being On-Air with Natural Hair

Updated 9/10/2019

When NBC News correspondent Simone Boyce and NABJ members shared their journey to embracing their natural hair while on-air in a special TODAY feature titled “Embracing my natural hair on-air wasn’t easy — but I’m not alone,” they never expected it to go viral. But it did.

“At the National Association of Black Journalists conference this year, I asked 25 storytellers to join me and stand side by side, proudly celebrating our coils, braids and locks,” Boyce said about the special moment.

That’s right. The magic happened at the #NABJ19 Convention & Career Fair, held Aug. 7-11 in sunny South Florida. And within a few days of the story being published, social media users, news networks and local stations and publications around the country were sharing the breathtaking images.

The NABJ sisters captured hearts across the world in bold, beautiful colors gathered to celebrate the beauty of their crowns. Featured at center of the main photo are NABJ President Dorothy Tucker and Region II Director Sia Nyorkor.

“It wasn’t until my hair was peppered with gray that I decided to go natural,” said Tucker, reflecting on the uplifting moment. “After decades of straightening my coarse and curly locks, I was ready for a change and prepared to fight previous news managers for the right to be natural. Fortunately, it wasn’t much of a battle. I love the new me.”

Nyorkor and other ladies featured in the viral photo have been interviewed by news affiliates across the country — from LA to Ohio.

“I had relaxed, I had straightened, I had covered, worn wigs, worn weaves, wore extensions, and I just didn’t feel like it anymore,” said Nyorkor, during her interview that aired across multiple CBS platforms.

She described the importance of the photo: “So many of us sometimes feel we’re alone but in that moment, we didn’t feel alone because there were so many other women who are doing the exact same thing.”

Read the TODAY story here.

See the CBS interview here.

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