I wanted to go a different route with this post. I always say, when God speaks, I listen.
I want to talk about my natural hair journey. It will be about 4 years this July and I am really interested to see how big my afro will be (if I don’t cut or dye it). This journey of mine has been a rollercoaster ride of emotions, good and bad. I want you all to join the ride.
I decided to go natural my last year of high school. My mom was not with the idea what so ever but being the stubborn child that I am I did it anyways. I refused to get relaxers and just threw an attitude every time my mom tried to touch my hair. Then I realized, graduation and prom was slowly approaching and I don’t want to look like a hot mess. So I straightened my hair and added some extensions. I eventually relaxed it because I was tired of my mom complaining about my hair. Fast forward a couple of weeks, I started to transition. I believe I started in March of 2013.
My hair was breaking off and I was starting to get a bald spot in the back of my head, so not cute. I transitioned for 6 months and one washday I was fed up. I told my mom I wanted to cut it. She asked me 5x that day if I was sure, and I was. After she cut it, I felt so liberated (cliché natural woman term). It was the best decision ever! I also dyed my hair a light brown color. Boy did I think I was cute. Then all hell broke loose. I didn’t know what style to do. My hair was really short and I couldn’t pull up in to a ponytail. I seriously felt like a boy.
All of my friends were proud of me and were very encouraging but I felt extremely ugly. It really didn’t help my already low self-esteem at the time and I felt defeated. But thank the Lord for weaves and braids. I wore those as much as possible to help my hair grow. I realized that my hair grows best when I don’t touch it so it definitely flourished. By the time I was 19, I was able to pull my hair into a puff. No body could tell me NOTHING. I was fly and I knew it.
Now my hair is just doing its own thing and I want to cut it again. I know you’re probably thinking that I’m crazy but I want a change. I want something different that really shows the true me.
It took me YEARS to appreciate and love my blackness. I was one of the girls who idolized people who had lighter skin. I was never even told I was pretty for a black girl. And honestly, that would’ve made me feel better. I wanted the light eyes, straight luscious hair. I even prayed every day for God to change my skin tone. Clearly, He never answered them and I’m glad. I love who I am now. I still have some days where I’m tired of being a black woman because of how society treats us, but I wouldn’t trade it for the world.
I had a teacher in high school that said to me, “ You have two marks against you; you’re a woman and you’re black. You have to work twice as hard as anybody else”. I took that to heart during my undergrad years and still to this day.
It doesn’t matter if a woman wears weaves or has her kinks out, the only thing that matters is that she loves herself.
To my Stolen Queens, this is for you.
The Black Woman
She is a god.
Creating life through her canal of wisdom.
She is sunshine.
Her smile brightens any darkness that forms in our minds.
She is intelligence.
Through trials and tribulations, she continues to better her self.
Taking a stance for generations that will be silenced
Through the oppression that binds her, the crude whispers of others, the stares of disgust at her crown…
Still, like a stature.
Rotting away, beaten by the waves of 400 years yet she still stands.
She exudes brilliance, magic and the softness of wind.
Mama Africa, thank you
Without the Black Woman, there would be no us.
I want you to know that you are loved and you are not your hair.
You are pure magic.
My journey is not to force you to go natural, it is to inspire you to love yourself the way God loves you.
Continue to let your melanin shine.