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Welcome Pi Nappa Kappa, The New Natural Hair “Sorority”

Submitted by on October 4, 2011 – 12:48 pmOne Comment
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Martin Luther King Jr. had a dream that his four little children would one day live in a nation where they would not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character. Well, no one said anything about hair.

Black hair has become a hot button topic in today’s society. Just ask Chris Rock who made millions with his black hair exposé, Good Hair, that delves into the big business of weaves, perms and the difficulty some sistas face when they choose to rock a fro, dreads or cornrows in America. But one girl is hoping to change all that.

Started this past summer by Natural Healthy Hair Society founder, Leola Anifowoshe, Pi Nappa Kappa: The Natural Hair Sorority has one mission: “To educate, inspire and uplift natural hair women, men, boys and girls throughout the entire world. To make the word “nappy” into a “happy” and celebrated term.”

Almost immediately, the organization faced criticism. Despite wanting to bring the black community together, Pi Nappa Kappa seems to be tearing it apart. Many detractors are questioning the need of such a “sorority” while others feelt it shouldn’t even be considered as such.  “Nappa” is, of course, not even a “Greek Letter,” it is a play on the term “nappy,” which last time I checked, wasn’t even a positive term. In order to join, women are directed to Pi Nappa Kappa’s Facebook page, where they are given a number in the order in which they “Like” the page or become a “Fan.” They can also sign an online pledge, which states:

As a member of the Pi Nappa Kappa Natural Hair Sorority, I pledge that:

1. I am a smart, special, valuable person!
2. I respect myself and I respect others.
3. My words and actions are kind and honest.
4. I will respect the dignity and essential worth of all individuals.
5. I will promote the diversity of opinions, ideas, hairstyles and backgrounds which is the lifeblood of the sorority.
6. I will promote a culture of respect throughout the natural hair community.
7. I will not tolerate bigotry, discrimination, violence, or intimidation of any kind.
8. I will practice personal integrity and expect it from others.
9. I will always be proud of my natural born hair.
10. I accept only my best in all I do.
I am PROUD to be ME!

The nine fraternities and sororities that make up the BGLO (Black Greek Letter Organizations), often referred to as “The Divine Nine” (Kappa Alpha Psi, Omega Psi Phi, Alpha Kappa Alpha, Delta Sigma Theta, Zeta Phi Beta, Alpha Phi Alpha, Phi Beta Sigma, Sigma Gamma Rho and Iota Phi Theta) find this whole Facebook process to be a mockery, taking away from the actual, and often difficult, pledge process their members most go through to garner a line number and membership into their esteemed brotherhood or sisterhood. Meanwhile natural and straight-haired sisters alike wonder if it’s cool to create a group that looks down on an individual of great character just because she likes that “creamy crack,” aka perm.

Despite her naysayers, Leola believes that Pi Nappa Kappa will unite black women regardless of their hairstyle choice. “It’s about sisterhood, that’s why I call it a sorority,” she told HuffPost BlackVoices. “My biggest concern is that the women we’re here to serve are the same ones trying to tear us down. I welcome women with relaxed hair to join the conversation and attend our events to see that we’re not just talking about hair, but also about being better mothers, eating properly and taking care of ourselves.”

With 3, 862 members and counting, Pi Nappa Kappa, shows no signs of stopping. The organization will host their first National Meetup on December 10-11 at the Reliant Center in Houston, Texas. Does Pi Nappa Kappa make you happa happa happy?

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