A Real World Rapunzel Who Rescues Herself

Recently I spoke to a group of cosmetology and barber students at the Manatee Technical College.  Over forty, mostly young people, some with multi-colored hair, ranging from maroon, to aquamarine highlights, were mesmerized by the hair and the accomplishments of Martha Matilda Harper.

One student said to me, “I thought I had it tough, but Martha’s childhood was far worse than mine.”  Another student said, “She was a real life Rapunzel with her floor-length locks,” but was interrupted by another who exclaimed, “Yes, but she didn’t wait for any prince to appear.  She rescued herself! ”

By the end of my presentation, these originally hesitant students, were speaking out,  applying the lessons of Harper to themselves.  “I don’t have to simply be a hair stylist, I could own my own shop,” said one.  Others said  “my training can lead to a whole new kind of business.  I am going to build on it.”

As I left, one Hispanic student stopped me and asked if Harper story was for sale.  When I told her yes and that there was a child’s version, too., she exclaimed, “I will order both.  My daughter needs to be inspired also.”

Bravo, Martha, for continuing to guide students who thought their life options were limited.



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