Friday, July 29, 2005

A Bump in the Journey - Week Seven

This journey is interesting indeed! Recently I encountered my first negative comments about my hair. It really took me back. You see, I had just been happily-living-day-to- day, glowing in the satisfaction of the freedom and beauty of my Sisterlocks. Walking around so proud - sportin' my beautiful locks, assuming everyone could see and understand the natural beauty, confidence and freedom I felt. Then this sister so adamantly wanted to debate my choice of natural hair style as opposed to wearing a perm. It was a rude awakening for me - call me naive.

My choice of Sisterlocks, has been one of the most liberating decisions I've ever made. This journey is personal and my choice. But her adamant and assertive comments momentarily dampened my spirit. Why was she so angry? Why didn't she understand? If understanding wasn't possible, how about just plain 'ole acceptance of freedom of choice? But then I realized that we as a people have endured years of assimilation passed generation to generation. One's self realization is evolutionary taking time, maturity, knowledge and desire. And sometimes you just "are" - don't want to change, ain't gone change. Then there's the constant bombardment by brainwashing-media-images of how we should look. (That's changing - check out the many natural heads in commercials these days.)

I always had this internal unrest as if something wasn't quite right. I couldn't define it. It wasn't tangible. But as I found the internal courage to go natural, not even really knowing why I wanted to - needed to and as I began to read more and understand my ancestry and history, that unrest began to dissipate. When I got my Sisterlocks it was like - this feels right.
I have been migrating, unknowingly to this state of naturalness and awareness for almost ten years now. It is a liberating and self-defining journey. I now know that someone who has not come into this self awareness and knowledge nor has a desire to could ever understand my natural hair choice.

The nicest compliment I've received recently was from two native Africans who said, "you look African." A big smile spread across my face as I replied, "I am."

I got my locks retightened today by my beautiful Sisterlocked consultant, GiGi, and I'm back to confidently struttin' my stuff again! Because as my ex, Rickie always says, "different doesn't mean deficit, it simply means different!"

Author Tulani Kinard summed up my feelings this way, read on...

We are moving toward the understanding that anytime an African-inspired hair sculpture is performed, an ancestral transmission has taken place...

There is a sense of having come to a place of satisfaction, security and self-confidence that exists in wearing locs. Once you have worn them to a level of maturity, two things will happen: (1) you will never go back to altering the natural structure of your hair again; and (2) a sense of freedom about your beauty will exist, to the point of being comfortable enough with yourself to wear any natural hairstyle with a regalness that exudes self-esteem and constantly affirms who you are.
Tulani Kinard, Author
"No Lye, The African-American
Woman's Guide to Natural Hair Care"

And my journey continues...


Anonymous said...


Count it all joy! That sister will remember that conversation when she finally decides to face truth when it smacks her right dead in the face. The quicker we stop deceiving ourselves and embrace truth, the faster we cross the finish line of freedom.

Stay encouraged as you fight the good fight of faith!

Have you visited Maryee's Place lately?

Anonymous said...

I know as good as you look you were never intimidated!!! be strong and fight that fight because our army (of natural women)is gettin greater in number and I am proud to be in that number!!

NVLadyE said...

Some people dont really understand the freedom of the natural look, I CANT wait to get started with being MYSELF natural and all. I must say I worried alot about how my friends and co workers would react but since they were not paying for my perms and updos and how I FEEL is the most inportant thing, it doesnt really matter what they say.

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