EVEN OUR HAIR IS POLITICAL
I’ve featured some amazing black owned hair companies here before. I was so excited when Tamu Mcpherson and the team at her site All the Pretty Birds asked me to share my hair story for their series “Our Hair, Don’t Care” with their pretty birds community. It was so cathartic thinking through it, going through old photo albums and talking to my mom about my hair growing up. I had been taking notes and then one night about to go to bed, I had a line and it all came flowing out. Our hair is our crown but as black people we’ve been much maligned for our hair. Gabrielle Union came out about the America’s Got Talent Team deeming her hairstyle’s “too black.” The high-school wrestler Andrew Johnson was made to cut his hair or forfeit the match. You couldn’t help thinking of the biblical story of Samson and Delilah when you saw them sheering his locks. The black community was outraged. Even when our hair styles are accepted, they’re often co-opted: Kim Kardashian calling corn rows “Bo Derek braids.”
When I say political, I truly mean it. Black hairstyles are policed in schools and the work place. Recently, driven by senator Holly J Mitchell, California became the first state in the US to ban employers and schools from discriminating against people based on their natural hair. “This law protects the right of black Californians to choose to wear their hair in its natural form, without the pressure to conform to Eurocentric norms.”
Whether you wear it pink, straight and down your back or a Shea bitter twist, I see you and love you kings and queens.
How many of you have had people reach out and touch your hair without your permission?
Here’s a sneak peak, for the full story: Check out my hair journey on All The Pretty Birds now!
You should wear your real hair. Don’t be ashamed of it because in the end it is what defines you truthfully.
Ahh, wise words from… “anonymous.” I do. Nowhere in this piece did I saw I was ashamed of my hair. Most people read it as a celebration of the variation of black hairSTYLES, not one way is the right way. And wittling down ALL the things that define me into a hairstyle, is reductive and sad, truthfully.