Why does my hair offend you? Nope, not just my natural hair, but my weaves, my wigs, my braids, my freedom to do whatever I want with my hair. Furthermore, do you really believe I have low self-esteem because I choose to wear my hair straight or that I am not properly kept when I wear my hair natural? Today’s podcast allows me to explore just that. I take you on my personal hair journey and also talk about the policing that comes from various people when it comes to your hair, but I think the key word in that sentence is YOUR.Your hair, your decisions, your freedom.
Find out why I don’t get offended when people ask me if my hair is my hair, and why the conversation of hair is such an important topic in the African American community.
What’s your stance when it comes to hair politics?
I know the importance of hair to black women and men. I’ve learned this even more while reading Hair Story: Untangling The Roots of Black Hair in America by Ayana D. Byrd and Lori L. Tharps.
Since our days in Africa, hair to blacks is a form of expression and a source of pride. When we came over here on slave ships, one of the many ways we were dehumanized was by being denied the right and resources to groom ourselves, specifically our hair. As slaves in America, we had to find resources to maintain our tresses. Unfortunately, we weren’t able to carry on with the eccentric styles and braids that we wore in Africa. Some of our ancestors settled with plaits or a head tie. As times changed so did our hair. After slavery we wanted to fit in so figuring out ways to keep our hair straight was important to us. Once we realized a revolution was on a rise in the 60s and 70s we took pride in our kinks and started wearing it natural, no longer wanting to assimilate; we allowed our hair to send a message to the masses and it did. Black men and women take pride in their hair and this book, is one of my must reads. It allows you to go on a hair journey that doesn’t end with the last page of this book because our hair is constantly evolving.