19 News’ Sia Nyorkor featured in CBS News story after #NaturalHairOnAir photos go viral

Nyorkor & dozens of women featured are breaking the mold and embracing their natural hair
Updated: Sep. 6, 2019 at 8:37 PM EDT
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CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - Images of 25 black female journalists — including WOIO-TV’s very own Sia Nyorkor — are going viral, all over the world.

This photo was taken last month during the National Association of Black Journalists annual convention in Miami, Fla., when more than two dozen female journalists of color came together for a one-of-a-kind photo shoot.

“The light was right, the colors were right, the weather was right,” said WOIO anchor and reporter Sia Nyorkor, describing the moment.

Wearing huge smiles and bright outfits, the newswomen proudly showed off their curls, locs, braids and afros, hairstyles they’ve chosen to wear on air.

“Just to walk out and you see so many women with curls, with braids, locs, just saying, you know what, I’m accomplished, I’m professional," said Nyorkor. “It was just beautiful.”

Nyorkor decided to go natural on TV last year in an industry dominated by straight, slick hairstyles.

“I had relaxed, I had straightened, I had covered, worn wigs, worn weaves, wore extensions, and I just didn’t feel like it anymore,” she said.

Ten other women from CBS affiliated stations appeared in the photo.

“So many of us sometimes feel we’re alone but in that moment,” said Nyorkor. “We didn’t feel alone because there were so many other women who are doing the exact same thing.”

She said all reporters should feel comfortable wearing the hairstyle they choose, without fear of bias.

Related: Anonymous person insults Cleveland 19 reporter’s hair and Twitter responds in the best way

“It’s your hair, wear it the way you want,” she said.

She said she’s encouraged by new measures like the crown act in California and New York that outlaw hair discrimination, and she hopes this photo inspires other women to embrace their natural beauty.

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