Maurice Evans Celebrates Black Women's Hair in His Series "Crowning"

Updated on December 23, 2019

At a time when controversy over black women’s hair is alive and well in America, Artist Maurice Evans is putting finishing touches on his ongoing series entitled Crowning.

His latest series of work is about how black women wear their hair.

“A woman’s crowning glory is her hair.”

The Crowning series consists of various single portraits of black women, either wearing head wraps or natural hairstyles. Each portrait is titled with an African name accompanied by its literal meaning. Examples include “Ayotunde” (Joy Has Arrived), and “Gugu” (A Precious Person).

Evans intentionally gave African names to each portrait to convey the messages “This is where you come from” and “She [black women] is everything.”

In creating Crowning, Evans turned to a technique called Scratchboard, which involves treating a wooden surface with India ink, then scratching out the image.

“The use of India ink conveys her blackness,” Evans said.

On various portraits, he used paper with bright colors and bold designs for headwraps.

Evans used the headdresses in some of his portraits to point to 18th and 19th century American history when women of color turned to wearing head wraps because they were ordered to cover their hair in public.

Apparently, in the 1800's, particularly in Louisiana, black women were wearing their naturally high hairdos so beautifully with jewels and feathers, they provoked jealousy and threatened the social stability of the area. Because of this, there were actual laws put in place banning black women from wearing their hair in public.

While the law was meant to distinguish women of color, and to minimize their beauty, in the end; because they used elaborate designs and bold beautiful fabrics for their head wraps they became even more beautiful and alluring.

For much of American history, black hair has been considered bad hair, and black women have felt pressure to straighten it to look presentable.

During the 1960's and 70's, having natural black hair was a political statement. And today, with abundant hairstyles such as locks, braiding, and hair extensions, black women often encounter unwanted comments and adverse reactions to their hair.

Evans’ response to all this, in creating the beautiful portraits in Crowning, is “This is who you are” and “The crown represents pride, beauty, social status, and so much more.”

Evans uses the series as a counterbalance to racism in his own way.

Evans has been an artist for as long as he can remember. His father was a drummer and military man. When Evans was four years old, one of his father’s band mates, who was also stationed at Moody Air Force Base in Valdosta, Georgia taught him how to play guitar.

Meanwhile, his mother, who was a favorite teacher at school, was displaying his artwork early on and using it for her school bulletin boards.

“There wasn’t a time I wasn’t an artist,” Evans explained.

As far as his drawing goes, Evans remembers being especially inspired as a kid while living at Moody Air Force Base. He recalls seeing his play friends’ drawings of aircraft carriers: “They drew stick-men for people in their drawings below the carriers, but I still thought they were cool.”

While Evans went on to study at The Art Institute of Atlanta from 1986-1988, and is known as a painter, he also has a degree in Fashion Illustration and plays and produces music.

As a mixed-media artist, black issues and visuals have always been very important to Evans.

“Black women in particular are constantly bombarded with imagery that tells them they are not beautiful or worthy,” he said.

Further, he feels black women need more attention in order to begin healing.

"Crowning is a celebration of black women's beauty."

Evans presents his artwork privately through appointment either at his studio in Lawrenceville, GA, or at the homes of prospective buyers. Publicly, he shows his original pieces at art shows throughout the country. You can visit his website,, to view his collections. If you can’t afford to purchase one of Evans’ original pieces from the series Crowning, he also has made available for purchase somerset canvas reproductions and high-quality digital prints that can be purchased online.

You can also view the Crowning series by visiting his Facebook page, The Art of Maurice Evans. Original pieces can be purchased online by clicking on the provided links on the Facebook page.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

Questions & Answers


      0 of 8192 characters used
      Post Comment
      • profile image


        3 years ago

        Hi Lauren, this is a very artistic article about your artist friend and hair of black women. When I was in grammar school I really admired the ways the girls wore their hair of various styles. I thought female blackness was the most beautiful thing on earth. Now, all women and their cultures matter. Sisters need to be more spiritual and stay with spiritual brothers more than anything while displaying various hairstyles and beauty.

      • Ann810 profile image


        3 years ago from Sunny Cali

        Hi, the art is inspirational of Black women. My daughter's are artist also, they said it's time consuming drawing Black women's hair, and I told my daughters that it's time consuming actually doing Black women's hair. God made us Black women with the high maintenance hair, which is a masterpiece.

      • profile image

        Grace Kisa 

        3 years ago

        A well stated article of a prolific American artist


      This website uses cookies

      As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

      For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

      Show Details
      HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
      LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
      Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
      AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
      HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
      HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
      Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
      CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
      Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
      Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
      Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
      Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
      Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
      Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
      Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
      Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
      ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
      Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
      ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)