Melissa Harris-Perry, then goes IN with a Black Hair 101 video. I sweat it's like poetry. It's just dope.
Since then, I've been thinking allot about my own natural hair journey- something I don't do...ever. This video I just watched pushed me to go into deeper reflection about the true motivations I had for going natural- that will be another post. But, what I will say now is that it was a combination of factors....
1. I had a horrific experience with a perm about a year prior to going natural. It was so horrific that half of my hair fell off. I was left with scabs and scars that lasted for months. 2. I was curious about what my natural hair looked like. I mean, I had only seen it in baby pictures or in typical Haitian-girl braids and buns; but only after it had been blow-dried on Sunday afternoons after swim class at the YMCA. 3. I went to an amazing institution (Brown University), that challenged me to rethink social norms, dominant narratives, the politics of black identity, and of course my own existence. It was also the first time I was surrounded by "so many" black people (like maybe 200 of us out of 4,000 people?) I was able to befriend incredibly strong, confident, and open black women who were also starting to rethink their identity and were open to trying out this "natural thing"...that seemed to really take off around the time that I started asking these questions (2008) 4. I was 19 years old. I was finding myself. I needed and wanted a change. I thought it would be cool. 5. I didn't want to continue to spend my money and time on my hair. I was a broke college student. 6. I just wanted to feel free.
Ok. This isn't supposed to be a long post.
Here's what I propose, friends.
Please watch the video and share it! Comment below on this post. Let's get a conversation started! I feel like it will be fun and healthy and awesome.
Here are just a few guiding questions as you watch:
Why did you go natural? Why did you NOT go natural? How did the video make you feel? Do you feel like your hair- natural or chemically manipulated- makes a statement? Why is black women's hair such an important topic? When did you first become hair conscious? What do you think about all of the attention that the "natural hair movement" has generated? What are your thoughts on the recent BOOM of natural hair companies (including black hair companies that historically only made products for relaxed hair, but only RECENTLY offer products for "natural hair")?