Wednesday, June 10, 2009
Hair It Is!
I don't know about you, but I'm really not feeling this new hair era. African American women have so much more knowledge, resources and products than our ancestors, but we can't seem to come together when it comes to certain issues.
The other day I was having a conversation with two beautiful sisters and the topic of hair came up. One woman was under the impression black women should never wash our hair more than once a week. The other woman and I protested immediately! "What?" we were a bit frisky, "You can wash your hair everyday if you care for it properly," I told her still looking at her like she immediately grew a second head on her shoulder. She then went on about white hair versus black hair. It reminded me of the old, "good hair, bad hair" arguments I had grown tired of. Why do people believe African Americans are deemed to hell for having a coarse texture of hair. No, we don't all have 4 a/b hair, but even so, with proper care and maintenance, you can grow your hair to your waist and I have done this and I don't have any Dominican Republic or another ethnicity I can trace.
That said, the conversation got a bit more interesting when another sister came and scolded us for having "relaxed" our hair!
I knew where the conversation was going, so I'll speak my peace here. What anyone chooses to do to his or her hair is their business. Why does our "crowning glory" determine our Afrocentrism? I am no less black for having relaxed hair than a person is for having natural hair. I'm not going to become any less black by chemically straightening my hair than bleaching my skin. I'm not brainwashed and I don't think Madame C.J Walker was either. If I want "natural" hair, I don't think I'm going to be embracing my race any more or less than I do with it relaxed.
I remember being in Texas and being "educated" about how white America had brainwashed me. Well no, I wasn't brain washed when I marked "black" on the plethora of applications for school, work, etc. I knew I was black. I wasn't in denial the first hundred times I was called a "nigger." I don't think when I was called a "black bitch" by a woman in the mall that she meant me. So...I am pretty sure I'm black.
It should be infuriating this is even a blog post, but it's sad. I am not in denial the black culture has a lot of issues in terms of afrocentricity. If we aren't fighting over light skin vs. dark skin, we are ghetto or sell outs, we are representing or perpetrating. When will be just be?