African hair salon gives black women a community
on December 12, 2017
Cynthia Obleton was born and raised in Abandze, a coastal town in Ghana’s Central Region. She started braiding at age fifteen and opened her first salon at seventeen. In 2010, Obleton moved from Ghana to Oakland, where she started a braiding business at her house. In 2014, she opened Sankofa Braiding and Natural HairCare in South Berkeley. She says she wants her salon to be a place where black women feel comfortable. “I realized that I’m living in a place where we are not really recognized,” she says. Obleton never finished secondary school in Ghana, and wasn’t able to continue her education until she moved to Oakland. She says she has no regrets, but wants her three children to have more opportunities than she did growing up. “They don’t have to figure out how to sit up and crawl and be tested. No,” she says. “I want them to start running.”
Oakland North is an online news service produced by students at the UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism and covering Oakland, California. Our goals are to improve local coverage, innovate with digital media, and listen to you–about the issues that concern you and the reporting you’d like to see in your community. Please send news tips to: firstname.lastname@example.org.