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Dispatches from the Moth · Posted On: Dec 12, 2018

The MOTHerview with Storyteller Aleathia Brown

by Suzanne Rust

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With less hair, artist and storyteller Aleathia Brown feels more like herself…

“I wanted to tell my Moth story because it is ties inwith the Unveiled Unlocked movement that I created to celebrate and empower bareheaded women. I also wanted to help expand perceptions of beauty. Shaving my head brought on a storm of emotions from fear and excitement to freedom and elation. It was something that I needed to share.”

“Cutting off hair offers a new beginning. DNA has memory, which hair holds onto. Experiences, both traumatic and triumphant, all nest in your hair. This is why you sometimes feel lighter and exhale after a haircut. It’s liberating!”

“The subject of hair, or lack of it, can be fraught and it changes globally. In some countries the bare head is revered, in others, shamed. Most folks in the United States don't have the knowledge and history that bare heads on men and women were considered both beautiful and acceptable. Explorers came to Africa in the 1500's. They witnessed shaved heads and called them exotic, but slavery put shame on the practice because it represented Blacks’ dignity, beauty and power. Many people of color still struggle with self-acceptance left over from slavery.” 

“Being on stage was an out-of-body experience. I was thrilled to have a new audience to present an idea that has been my driving force. I love that it gave me a chance open up new perspectives.”

“My favorite storytellers exude truth, life experience and passion, and are captivating in their delivery. When my mother, my cousin Hope Hankerson, Dr. Wayne Dyer or Maya Angelou tell a story, you want to know how it turns out… and you don't want it to end.” 

“I’m proud of my art in all of its forms, whether it’s writing poetry, storytelling or freestyle dancing, they all connect. When I'm doing my job it feels beautiful and amazing to step outside of myself and say, ‘wow, I did that.’ 

“I’m inspired by color because it ignites my creativity, and by stories that I'm told or eavesdrop on. Human endurance and joy enlivens me, and struggle and triumph grounds me.”

“Storytelling is important because…. It gives layers and texture to a journey, helping us see our connectedness.”

For more on Aleathia, go to

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