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[Pics] Chicago Artist Shani Crowe Takes Braid Art to Another Level

Braids.  They are more than a “trend”.  They unite black women in conversation and tradition.  They tie the African diaspora to the Motherland.  They bring us healing through introspection or connection.  Braids are big part of our culture and possess a depth that is lost on its appropriators.
Artist (and braider) Shani Crowe unveiled her work, Braids, in Chicago early this April.  For those who are unable to view her breathtaking photographic exhibit, prepare to be blown away by just a few of her pieces.

As an interdisciplinary artist, I have always wanted to incorporate my braid training into my work, while also asserting my voice into a rich tradition that has become increasingly appropriated in mainstream culture. I want to offer a gesture of genuine gratitude and imagination for my craft amidst the exploitation of trend. With this campaign and your support, I will honor this evolving tradition seated within the crest of the Black feminine experience. – Shani Crowe on her exhibit Braids, 3Arts

The artist, Shani Crowe, with her parents. Source:
The artist, Shani Crowe, with her parents. Source:
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Shani Crowe’s piece: “Fingerwave Saint”. Source: Fusion
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Shani Crowe’s piece: “Shakere”. Source: Fusion
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Shani Crowe’s piece: “Above All”. Source: Fusion
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Shani Crowe’s piece: “2 Dey Back”. Source: Fusion
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Shani Crowe’s piece: “Dorcas”. Source:
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Shani Crowe’s piece: “Suntrust”. Source: Fusion
Shani Crowe's piece: "Sankofa". Source: Essence.
Shani Crowe’s piece: “Sankofa”. Source: Essence.
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Shani Crowe’s piece: “Conversations with God”. Source: Essence.
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Shani Crowe’s piece: “Content with Confusion”. Source: Essence.

Shani Crowe’s piece: “The Breadth We All Share”. Source:

Also, here are bonus photos of Crowe’s process from her Instagram:
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Shani Crowe, herself. Source:

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Shani Crowe at work. Source:
Crowe braiding another’s hair.  Source:

What do braids mean to you?

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6 years ago

I love this

6 years ago

These are beautiful.

6 years ago


6 years ago

Nice work Shani. pure talent.

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