It’s taken me a long time to get these words together. Not because I didn’t know what to say, but because the rage behind them was so strong. It’s been about 2 weeks since Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain died by suicide. In the attention span of social media, that means it’s old news– ancient, forgotten, erased.
Natural hair expos are the drivers behind the natural hair movement, connecting businesses, stylists and aficionados. But who are these women, what moves them and how do they do it? In a new series we feature the fabulous women behind the these hair expos. This week: Meet Dorcas Meyers the woman behind the Roc-A-Natural Hair Expo happening this weekend in New York for the 5th consecutive year.
All my life I had to fight creamy crack scabs, flatiron burns, and do the Matrix to avoid rain droplets to achieve and maintain my straightened hair.
Just when I think there’s nothing new under the sun to say and express, somehow I get drawn in by an age-old argument wrapped in a new cloak of deception and regulations designed to exclude, disempower and strip others of choice, options and healthy life-style alternatives, simply bc misunderstandings that plague the culture of black hair care.
Be warned that your “different-ness” will often single you out and will make you and instant celebrity in some places in the region. My travels around Asia have yielded some pretty funny situations that are primarily due to my skin colour. In Cambodia and Thailand, people pointed at me and yelled out “Obama!”
Tales of Hair, Manhood and Social Justice. When I was first asked to consider writing a column on hair from my perspective as a man and activist, I was ambivalent. C’mon. Hair? Okay, I admit that beyond the role it plays in style and fashion, hair is fertile ground for commentary. There are few places where black people carry as much psychological baggage and cultural wealth as in their hair. From the multi-billion dollar black hair industry, to the drama that is played out every day in black women’s lives as they negotiate their hair texture, it’s certainly no secret that hair profoundly shapes racial identity and gender politics.
Teenagers are in a rough spot when it comes to personal decision making. On the cusp of adulthood though not yet of legal age, high schoolers have to contend with both peer and parental pressure of varying degrees. Often, having natural hair is at odds with other classmates, making the desire to wear their hair in its natural state a challenge, at best, in a school environment. At worst, the young woman has to come home to hear the daily refrain, “Child, you need a perm.”
I often get asked about my mohawk. Surprisingly, during the course of our two-plus year relationship, we’ve yet to solicit a single negative comment from a potential employer, nor have we lacked in male or female attention. I say “we” because, over the course of being natural (which, in my case, is
NPR featured Tom Burrell, author of Brainwashed: Challenging the Myth of Black Inferiority, who mentioned that in order to understand Black people, our reality and experiences in the West, you have to first recognize that “Black people are not dark skinned White people.”
A Xerox image worth copying. A few months ago, my friend Louise sent me an article with good news about the appointment of Ursula Burns as chief executive officer of Xerox. The appointment makes her the first African American female to head a Fortune 500 company.
Today is my husband’s 57th birthday! As much as I talk, I actually had only few words of Celebration! Quote: ” So you are 57 years as of today.” His gift is “less words” & perhaps better timing on my part for those words.
Ok, this is the beginning of my blog. What do I write? I am very talkative but I do not care to be inconsiderate of any possible readers that I may have. Here goes.
Last Sunday, October 24th, I had a conversation with the female guard while at church (since we have no brick and morter building, yet, we simply gather in the public health building) about her new hair style. I learned that it was a weave, but I did not ask. I simply admired her hair do. She then shared with me three local INDY sources where I could get my own hair done.
“Why would you DO that to your hair?” “That doesn’t ‘fit’ you” “All that pretty hair…what a waste!” “Your hair used to be so pretty”
Believe it or not, all of those are statements I have heard from people, in one form or another, when I decided to lock my hair as well as my daughters’ hair. It can be very disheartening when people make such comments and even more so, when the remarks are coming from people you love – family members, close friends, a spouse or lover.
As people of African-descent, many of us know all too well the angst we go through regarding our hair ESPECIALLY if it’s really coarse and…oh I’ll just say it rather than trying to be so “P.C.”…NAPPY!
But the history of our hair in Western society has caused us to go through a plethora of changes with it from the sizzlin’ hot tools to flesh-eating, hair-breaking lye to the drippiness of “the Curl” to receding hairlines due to super-tight braids to being humiliated with weaves and a whole lot in between.
Isn’t it interesting that despite the efforts, the time and money we put into taking care for relaxed hair, women still believe that straightened hair is easier to care for and natural hair is unmanageable?
Here is a list of Things I Wished I Knew Before I Went Natural. It is a long list of 25 tips but I am hopeful that these bullet points can help make your journey to transition to natural hair a lot smoother.