She was born in Marion, Arkansas to Sennie Hall. She was 18 before she met her father, Grant Morgan. When they found each other they embraced as though they’d never been apart - they were family. She once recalled a picture of her grandmother hanging over the head of a big brass bed. The picture was of a beautiful lady with a lot of hair, fashioned in the Gibson Girl style, she recalled. The name of the hair style was something she learned later when she studied and became a cosmetologist. Decades before hair weaves were popular with the masses, she was a master hair weaver. She made her own strands of human hair, sewed them onto her clients’ braided natural hair with needle and thread. She made beautiful hair creations like a seamstress makes gowns. Around 1965 she began buying pre-woven hair, and in her last decade, her clients had very little hair to which she could attach those strands. But she believed that they too deserved to be beautiful. At 98 she was still practicing her trade as a stylist—she served her last client in winter 2013.
Alma Robinson was much more than a stylist; she was a writer, poet and a stage actress. She was a stepmother in the greatest sense, loving Lewis Robinson’s children as her own. She saw their grandchildren - and all children - as our future and treated them with loving care while inspiring their pride in being African Americans. She was aunt to many, and Godmother to many more. Most importantly, she was a devoted Christian in the truest sense - always giving and expecting nothing in return. She saw herself as part of God’s family which was broader than blood. She cherished this larger family by capturing some of her feelings, observations and experiences to leave us her legacy. The “family” can read her poems and short stories in Heartbeats a book of poems and short stories that came from deep in her heart. On July 4, 2015, Aunt Alma celebrated her 100th birthday and her published work was presented to her that day. Heartbeats will forever spread her joy!
It is fitting that her life on earth ended on January 18, 2016, the day the nation celebrated the birth of Martin Luther King, Jr. We celebrate her life today like the Independence Day on which he was born. She had an impact on all who knew her; her ever-present smile will be missed by all.