I found Brittsense a week ago while combing through Losthairdressers, which is one of my favorite Instagram feeds for hair inspiration. I went to her website, and spent the next hour pouring over the photography of Brittani Sensabaugh and her Power of Melanin Project, feeling like I had stumbled upon a golden palace of shimmering, uplifting energy, vision, beauty and strength. I reached out, she graciously agreed to share some photos and some words with HTHG readers.
Stunned, I have no other words but to introduce Brittani Sensabaugh and thank her for sharing her art, her point of view, her mission, and her words with us. Please read on, then check out her work, and share in her potent vision of healing, empowerment and love.
All photos in this feature were taken by Brittani Sensabaugh
Talking Vision, Inspiration, Society, and Hair with Brittani Sensabaugh
Dear Nubian Empress, Every root of your hair tells a different story, Do not be fooled by fools that will tell you otherwise… It grows out like a bush because YOU are a reflection of the SUN.. It dances around because your MELANIN has soul & like Gold it will continue to shine. There’s no way to duplicate it which makes you one of a kind, Remain pure & Continue to Embrace it. Always wear your Crown of History Proudly because no one can erase it – Poem by brittsense
I created the “Power Of Melanin” series to show the strength & different levels of beauty that my people embody. My people struggle physically but even more mentally. When you are raised up in broken communities without any resources or a blueprint in society to guide you through your journey, it’s much harder to maneuver & build a foundation. When you are ruled under a system that is meant to destroy you & not build you up, It makes you question your worth. When your identity has been erased and replaced with misguided truths, You feel lost & angry.
A lot of us are out in the world creating a foundation from nothing & that is something I will always give us credit for.
Whether your 9 to 5 is owning a business, creating art, playing sports, getting an education, making music or selling drugs, the common denominator is survival & trying to make sense of situations that make you feel hopeless. We learn from the individuals & environment around us & when that is constantly destroyed you feel defeated & trapped.
THE MISSION of this series is to REMIND my people of the Power, beauty, strength, but most importantly the LOVE in the pain we may often feel daily. It’s to show you that no matter HOW MUCH we go through, WE still shine & will always shine in all that we do because MELANIN is Real Power. Our hair, Communication & everyday movement is because of the Melanin within our skin.
I became a documentarian once I realized the Power of Energy. The biggest gift the universe has given me is the ability to FEEL. I feel EVERYTHING & that has allowed me to connect with other souls that want to feel but are scared. I see so many people on this earth that walk around just existing because society has made them feel that being numb is the way to survive.
I started 222forgottencities to bring back awareness, but most importantly the ability to feel throughout every moment in your journey while being on this earth. I wake up everyday crying because there are so many emotions that flow through me constantly & I’m super aware of the energy around me.
Daily I’ve become truly thankful for all of my transitions & Emotions because I learn the balance of discipline, acceptance, patience, & Unconditional Love.
I have realized that whenever you submit your will to someone else’s opinion apart of you dies.
Society has a way to make us feel that in order to obtain a certain level of happiness you have to ‘believe in this, have this much money, know these many types of people, look & act this certain way, love this way, do things in this order’ & most times it leaves us feeling confused, disappointed, dissatisfied, & not worthy because it doesn’t happen the way we expected.
My biggest gift when documenting 222forgottencities
Showing them that they aren’t FORGOTTEN because their a reflection of me through all conditions, & that being numb isn’t surviving but it’s disconnecting them from the unconditional Love they deserve to feel.
I see & learn from them & they see & learn from me which is what makes US so powerful.
I see life in pictures & I freeze frame every moment I see in my head.
It’s almost as if I’m living in a motion picture. Every since I was younger I’ve been able to feel the pain of the world but most importantly the Love. My camera allows me to balance out both energies.
With all of my documentations my mission is bringing awareness to different aspects that are overlooked in society & Hair is one of them.
Hair has always been a big part of my life since I was a little girl, especially Hair braiding. I used to cry every time I got my hair braided because I was tender headed & super hyper so sitting for long periods of time was challenging for me.
I remember feeling really pretty though afterwards because my sister would braid my hair in funky styles that no one else had at school & everyone always wanted to touch the colorful beads on my braids.
I remember when I got my first perm & I cried even more because I didn’t understand why I had to put something in my hair that burned & made me feel super uncomfortable just to get my hair straight when braids were a style that I had already gotten used to.
As I got older, when my sister did my hair not only was it beautiful to get all the funky styles but the process behind It was even more amazing.
My sister used to tell me that your hair is Love & you should always take care of it but most importantly embrace it. Once I became an adult I started realizing more how much my people are conditioned to believe that their hair holds no value because of Societies negative perceptions.
For years our hair has been talked about in such a bad light & my mission when documenting is to bring back the value & Importance. I want people to realize the creativity but most importantly the love & building behind hair braiding & the uniqueness of the texture that Black hair has.
My mission is to also bring awareness for all the little empress that don’t Overstand the beauty of their hair because they’re bombarded with Imagery that shows them differently. I wrote that poem for them.
When I’m not wearing my hair Natural, I wear it in protective styles such as Braids & Marley twists. Most of the time my hair is wrapped up in fabric which makes people assume that I’m Muslim, but I wrap my hair to protect my realm from toxin energy.
Visit her website: Brittsense.com
Tumblr – Brittsense
Instagram – @Brittsense
Thank you all so much for being here, and for reading and sharing this vision.
xo, HTHG and Brittsense