Natural Hair and Injustice

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Young boy touches President Obama’s hair to see if it feels like his
Photo Source: NY Times Photo Credit: Pete Souza/The White House

 

So yesterday I was having a text convo  that went like this:

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I am not a naturalista that shoves my “naturalness”  down anyone’s throat. If you want to relax your hair, fine. If you want to rock a Brazilian weave 24/7, so be it. That’s not my business. I always say a woman should wear her hair however she chooses to, whatever makes her feel beautiful. I will not relax my hair because I do not need to. I will not relax my future daughters’ hair. I would wear a weave and I have in the past. I do not define someone’s intellect or social awareness by how they choose to wear their hair {natural vs. relax, weave}. First Lady Michelle Obama, is intelligent and gorgeous, she wears her hair relaxed. Hair doesn not define a person. With that being said, I was only joking when I said  “go natural”.  Between myself and this friend I was texting, the topic of natural hair {with the exception of  yesterday } only comes up if she mentions it to me. I was only trying to be funny.

Now to say that “some natural sisters” have no idea the injustices that are going on in the minority community, etc  and etc is interesting. Are we supposed to know about all the injustices of this world because we are natural?  And  “I’m all for the movement but let’s create effective change.” I think a black women wearing their natural hair is creating some type of effective change. It’s not solving all the injustices of the world and it never will. However, it’s definitely changing the way a lot of black women and black girls view themselves. It is changing the way many of them define their beauty. Hair is not everything but it does matter. I will not change my opinion about that, especially not when a straight-A black student is  sent home for wearing her hair in locs, story here. Or when a Ohio School bans Afro puffs and braids, story here. These events happened in 2013, the Ohio school lifted the ban because parents were upset with it. The straight-A student was welcomed back to the school that kicked  her out. These two incidents did create effective change. They created an immediate effective change in how the school viewed and treated students with natural hair. We are not our hair and we should not be punished, or banned for wearing our natural hair.  I love what Leila, founder of Black Girl Long Hair had to say in response to the ban.

It’s unclear what the administration means by small twisted braids, but if they are referring to box braids they are banning a protective style that black girls have worn for generations. Afro-puffs are essentially the black version of the ponytail (when pulled back our hair puffs out instead of laying down), and yet the rules do not have a ban on ponytails for students of other ethnicities

Melissa Harris PerryHow Black Hair Matters

Just my two cents for today.  Thank you for reading and God bless you 🙂

~Amma Mama

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One thought on “Natural Hair and Injustice

  1. Excellent post thank you for sharing! I totally agree with you on this one Black hair (especially Black women’s hair, regardless of it is worn natural or relaxed) has always been the brunt of social exclusion, discrimination and down right humiliation. The way Black women and men choose to wear their hair (in many cases) has even had an impact on their socio-economic upward mobility, especially in corporate America. There are many other issues in the minority community, however talking about Black hair is completely relevant to these issues. I really enjoyed the video at the end thank you again for sharing 🙂

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