Here we are at the peak of the year 2013 and Black hair is still being criticized and cause for judgment on one’s character. A few weeks ago, the nation caught news that 7 year old Tiana Parker’s dreadlocks were a cause for concern to change the school’s dress code policy to ban “”hairstyles such as dreadlocks, afros, Mohawks and other faddish styles”.
With a growing number of black women taking the transition and “big chop” as it were to go natural, one would think that America was becoming more accepting of black women wearing their hair as nature intended. But in certain places in the nation, particularly Tulsa, Oklahoma, natural hair is not okay. Even more closer to home, I found today that my black body and black hair in an overwhelmingly White environment was also cause for huge disruption.
Today, I styled my hair for work in my go-to nappy roots style otherwise known as my back up plan for when my roots get too thick for me to handle alone without professional help. For this style, I washed my hair then braided it in cornrows which I removed in the morning for a purposely crinkled and kinky style. The response by my young White students was utter confusion and concern. An otherwise bouncy and natural looking style sent them into a frenzy of questions about what had happened to me to make my hair look so crazy, wild and weird.
Since the days of slavery and the following years of the dreaded Jim Crow era black people have been forced to tame our roots, take down our tone and in other words, not to do anything that might be a cause for attention. The fact of the matter is, that in our most natural state, this is who we are and no one should make us conform ourselves to make them feel comfortable. Every sort of black art; song, dance, fashion, hairstyle, has been made of purity of us defining who we are despite the corners we have been pushed into.
My advise, is to support black purity in its most natural state, whether you are natural or not, let no one discredit who you are, because it does not fit some sort of genre. Black people are beautifully made and create beautiful art.