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Repatriation Forum

Why I Am Letting My Natural Hair Grow Out *LINK*

Nearly all the newspapers, TV, movies, videos in the world contribute to the conspiracy to push Negroid blacks to bleach their skin to light complexion and straighten our curly kinky hair! This is humiliating and vicious against the pride and integrity of our race.

To black people I say, do not alter you beautiful black complexion, do not straighten your kinky hair. Don't be a MONKEY, Racial pride is SELF-RESPECT!

Bantu-Kelani.

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"Why I Am Letting My Natural Hair Grow Out"

After waiting for years to grow up and get a
relaxer maturity has led one young woman back to her nappy roots.

By Shaniek McLiesh

Growing up, like most of the other black girls in my neighborhood I wore my hair in cornrows. I loved the beautiful designs that my older sister made with my hair and I always saw it as a craft. The only problem with getting my hair braided was that it was excruciating. It felt as though my head was being torn apart. As much as I loved the beautiful, intricate designs I couldnít wait until I got a little older so I could get a relaxer. When I finally turned 12 my mother let me get my hair relaxed. The day after I was ecstatic. I loved my new hairís texture and I loved not having to get cornrows. The only thing I missed was not being able to have an Afro, but I thought it was a small price to pay for more manageable hair.
The truth is, a lot of my heritage and identity does lie in my hair and in retrospect I see now that getting my hair relaxed was a way for me to find independence and a way to fit in.
Well, itís been a while since that first day and I have not yet let my natural hair grow back in. Iíve been really comfortable with my decision to have a chemical intervention but lately Iíve been having a bit of a complex. It seems all of my close black girlfriends, and even random girls I see on the street, have been wearing their hair in natural styles. Itís led me to feel like a bit of an outcast, maybe even a traitor.

Please donít get me wrong, just because I havenít let my natural hair grow back in doesnít mean that I am not as afro-centric as they come. My heritage isnít proven by how I wear my hair. Itís just that lately Iíve been faced with so many hair-raising questions (pun intended). For instance, did I give up on my natural hair too quickly? Itís very possible. As a young girl I only knew one style of wearing my natural hair and that was cornrows, although natural hair is so much more versatile than that. I mean, my friends have new styles every week and me ó well, Iím working on it. Moreover, from middle school all the way through high school I rarely ever saw other black girls with natural hair ó it was (to say the least) taboo. The ones that did wear their hair natural did so only because they were too broke to maintain a relaxer. I guess at some point I feared not having my hair straight because where I come from it says something about your class. In school everyone wanted to believe that they came from money. Some would maintain this falsehood by constantly boasting about things they didnít have or wearing brand name clothes. I, like many other girls, did it by straightening my hair. So I suppose another reason seeing other African American women with natural hairstyles made me green with envy is because they arenít preoccupied with class and public perception. But maybe Iím overreacting; maybe this whole natural hair thing is just a new fad. Weíve all seen a white girl with dreads, whatís wrong with a black girl with straight hair?

The truth is, a lot of my heritage and identity does lie in my hair and in retrospect I see now that getting my hair relaxed was a way for me to find independence and a way to fit in. The idea of having my mother decide how I was going to look everyday was kind of limiting. Coupled with the fact that how my hair was going to look caused such tremendous pain only gave me more reason to rebel. Besides, I donít think I could have lived with natural hair if I was the only girl wearing it. Although relaxer maintenance was more than my meager allowance could cover and I would inevitably have to borrow money from my mother, straightening my hair brought me a certain measure of freedom and self-reliance that has prevailed up until now.

In the past couple of years as I have witnessed the upsurge in African American women who wear their hair in natural styles I have had many conceptions as well as misconceptions. Originally, I was quite cynical, believing that the only reason they wore their hair natural was to assert a sense of superficial Afro centricity. I also believed that it was just another transient hair craze like the Jheri curl. But the truth has dawned on me that before there were Jheri curls, relaxers or weaves there was natural black hair. These girls werenít merely shallow fashionistas; they were women who saw the versatile beauty of their hair. They were women who saw no need to tamper with the laws of nature. They were women who simply loved their hair. And through them I have become conscious of the fact that I may have swindled myself out of great hair. I say this with absolutely no disrespect to black women who wear their hair straight, I am currently one of them. But one cannot deny that consistent use of chemicals in the hair will over time lead to irreparable damage. It doesnít have to be that way though, because with all the attention natural hair has been getting lately there has been a great increase of natural hair care products. It seems Walgreenís is finally on our side.

I have decided to start letting my natural hair grow out because I donít feel I gave myself time to truly appreciate its magnificence. Itís almost as if I threw away an entire part of my identity before it even developed. I love having my hair straight but itís not who I truly am and until I bring my natural hair back I will be living in a perpetuated state of denial.

Messages In This Thread

Why I Am Letting My Natural Hair Grow Out *LINK*
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Re: Djehuti
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Re: Djehuti
Is Ethiopian/EastAfrican not considered "Negroid"?
Re: A Question of phenotype *LINK*
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Re: Being Natural is being Real!
Re: Being Natural is being Real!
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