Camillya Taylors’ parents saw her as a future stylist and fashion designer as she grew up.
She would always do her sisters’ hair, said her parents, Sabrina and Arthur Hardison.
Taylor is the oldest of their four daughters and carried a lot of responsibility.
She always took care of her sisters, Sabrina said. If they all went to the playground, she made sure they were okay. She always told them, if no one else loves us, we are each other.
The family lived in Indiana County, and they were the only black family in their school, Sabrina said.
They got along with everyone, but there were many who didn’t like them because of their color, she said. Camillya said to them: We are each other. She was 12 or 14 years old. The girls always go to her at this time for help in difficult times. She is very knowledgeable.
Police like our friends
The Hardisons are originally from Prospect in Johnstown, but moved to Norfolk, Virginia, while Arthur was in the United States Navy from 1972 to 1979, then in Indiana because Arthur, a police officer, had accepted a employment at Indiana University of Pennsylvania. police department.
The family returned to Johnstown when Camillya was 18 years old.
My father was a preacher and a policeman, Taylor said. He was super strict, but strict in a way that would teach you lessons.
As a child, Taylor and her sisters often traveled to the local Sheetz in Indiana crossing the IUP campus, where their father said they weren’t allowed to go alone.
Their fathers, fellow officers, saw the girls and drove them to the store to avoid trouble with their father. The common joke was that their father would put them in jail if he found out.
For me, growing up, I always saw the police as our friends, she says.
Place for safety
Now 44, Taylor said she was devastated by police brutality against unarmed black citizens, especially George Floyd of Minneapolis, whose life ended with his neck below his knee. a white policeman who didn’t give in for nine minutes despite Floyds screaming that he couldn’t breathe. .
Seeing the police mistreating people, I didn’t understand, she said. This is not how it is supposed to be. It was the most difficult thing to understand. When I hear people say things like, I hate the police. I’m like, wait, wait, they’re not all like that. And sometimes you get the rebuttal of the genre, you’re on the wrong side.
It’s hard to be on the wrong side when that’s all I grew up on. My dad is a cop, my dad saves other kids. If you were to go to Indiana and say: Do you know the art ?, they would say: Yeah, there were times we did things wrong and he took us home.
His salon and boutique, Camilles House of Styles, is located in the Johnstowns Moxham area.
She said she was generally business and didn’t show any emotion. But thinking about the state of race relations since the death of George Floyds, she choked back tears.
It’s very difficult to see the police not being honorable, she said. It’s hard to see the police not being the example because that’s all I knew.
So, for me, this whole situation is sometimes difficult to watch. That’s not what I know … And I’m not saying all cops are like that. I know quite a few in the city (Johnstown) that I love. But it would be nice for children to know that it is a common place for safety.
One of Taylors’ hairstylist mentors, Genene Price, lives in Johnstown but is originally from Minneapolis.
I lived two doors down from the store where (Floyd’s murder) happened, Price said.
It was my neighborhood store when I was a kid. I visited last year. Seeing my neighborhood change dramatically was … interesting. My mother lives near the police station and everything that has been burnt down.
She put it in a Johnstown perspective.
Let’s say Value It’s Scalp Avenue down to Windber, they burned it all down, she says.
When the protests started, they were silent protests, she said.
Foreigners destroyed buildings in the city, she said. We (from Minneapolis) don’t do this.
Residents of Minneapolis have already protested peacefully, she said, when a police officer shot and killed Philando Castile, a black man, in his car in 2016.
But in 2020, racism had been emboldened by the national political environment, she said.
One person can wreak havoc and others will follow, Price said.
It comes from love
Speaking of Taylor, Price said she was a person who was a leader and a role model.
She is as genuine a person as you can meet, Price said. It’s his family. They are all genuine. It comes from love.
Both Taylors parents are pastors at the International Ministries of Works of Deliverance Fellowship in Moxham.
When it came to raising our daughters, we believe as the Bible says, Sabrina says. Train a child how he should be, and when he is old he will not stray from it.
Arthur said he always emphasized to his children that they don’t have to go with the crowd.
No matter what someone else does, he says, you don’t have to do it the same way.
Taylor takes this lesson in the fashion business.
This year marks the 10th anniversary of the first Taylors fashion show in Pittsburgh. There have been many more in various cities since then.
She’s planning a fashion show for March with a new line she created called Modest, inspired by a religious woman she met and who has been overlooked by other designers.
Last year I did a fashion show in Lancaster, she says. A Muslim woman was there. The designers have neglected it. She wanted her arms and legs to be covered. It inspired me.
The show has already started online on his Facebook and Instagram accounts.
I would like to work with all shapes, sizes and ethnicities, she said. If you are a Muslim or a Christian, this collection is designed for modesty.
Price said Taylor is a great role model for young girls who are inundated with images of pop culture women who are not good role models.
Taylors’ presentation for young women to model themselves is great, Price said. She has two beautiful daughters.
Interaction to understand
The Taylors children attended the Richland School District where, like their school days in Indiana, they are part of a racial minority.
Similar to Taylors’ school-age experience recalled by her parents, Taylor said her children have faced incidents of bullying because of their race.
She said the Richland School District has a great anti-bullying policy, but there is a lot going on outside of school.
Taylors has led youth groups since his family returned to Johnstown. Shes has worked with after-school students in the Greater Johnstown School District.
She said she saw firsthand the different opinions that children have of others in different school districts.
Improved race relations in Johnstown could be achieved through temporary student exchanges between area school districts to eliminate prejudice, Taylor said.
I think it would be great to take 20 students from each school and swap them, I would say, for a month. she said. Because you really need that interaction to understand where people are coming from.