This is a love letter of sorts. Kind of like an ode to black women who wear their hair natural.
Now don’t get me wrong…I love all kinds of (black) women.
Not just naturals.
There’s just something special to me about a woman that wears her natural hair.
Not in some dreamy, fetishy, righteous-queen-mother-do-no-wrong type of way. More like an admiring, calm, and quiet, “I can dig it.”
Now, I know some of my more “enlightened” sisters will say, “who cares what you think about how we (I) wear our (my) hair? We (I) don’t need your approval!”
And to them I would say, “Yeah, right. Kill that noise!”
You see, trying to play hard and tough is played out to brothers who are hip to the game. (We knew the time an hour ago.)
What I think…matters.
What you think…matters.
If it didn’t, where would we be?
This world would be a cold and colorless place.
Life would be a little less inspiring.
Hope would have no passion.
So, understand this. I’m not talking about me judging your self-worth.
Or setting limits and dictating your dignity. Or acting from a position of “male patriarchy”.
Nah, it’s nothing that deep.
What it is, is this: When you embrace the natural texture of your hair, you embrace what is us.
You embrace our common bond as if a long lost lover.
You willingly take hold of an additional struggle that others try to avoid.
Does that seem a little strange?
A black MAN talking about the hair “struggle”.
Really, it’s not.
Black men face the same stigmas, stares, and struggles that relate to hair as you do.
In his classic best-selling book, “Black Men, Obsolete, Single, Dangerous?: The Afrikan American Family in Transition”, Haki Madhubuti poetically writes about the 5 daily battles/struggles/things that every black person in America must deal.
And hair is one of them.
It is a struggle.
It’s a struggle to maintain a sense of dignity when everything around you seems set up to strip you of your dignity.
It’s a struggle to have to wear a mask to cover your own beauty because your own beauty doesn’t look like the beauty of the people that sign your check.
It’s our shared struggle because a human shouldn’t have to tell another human that they are both human.
The (hair) struggle is real!
Now, I can hear the unconscious sisters saying, “Bruh!!! I didn’t go natural because I’m trying to make some type of pro-black, show-I’m-militant, kumbaya type of statement! I just wanna …grow my hair long…let my hair rest…try something new!”
And to them I would say, “I hear you, Miss Lady. Keep doing your thing”.
See, I’m not the one (for the most part) to question the motives of a person when the outcome of their actions can have a positive affect in my community.
If accepting yourself and, your natural hair, can give a little black, brown, or yellow-black girl the courage to embrace her own natural beauty (blackness)…then you can call that spade a hammer.
I know the game, though.
At some point, we are all in the struggle.
And to the sisters who are openly, visually, and unabashedly declaring their independence from the “creamy crack”…I salute you in admiration.
See, we could go deep with this.
It’s more than just hair.
It’s about culture, self-acceptance, and having the courage to love yourself when powerful forces say you are unlovable and don’t deserve love.
This didn’t start with us.
It started way back with the first fiendish mind that realized if you control what a people believe about themselves, then you can control them.
But I’m not even going to speak on that right now. Just know that it’s not just about hair.
To be continued…
What do you think? Share your thoughts below in the comments section.