My Wife, Teresa Francisco Holland,
Does Not Straighten, Iron or Otherwise Mutilate Her African Hair,
Letting Her Dreads Swing Naturally.
Cross-posted at the Francis L. Holland Blog.
We need to study our own culture, including traditional African hairstyles throughout the Diaspora, and prefer our own hair culture to that of whites. This is about esteeming ourselves, but it also has some very practical advantages.
|Failing at Whiteness|
I told my Afro-Brazilian wife about the hairstyle/culture/self-esteem concerns expressed by Bronze Trinity and in the video: that although whites constantly wave their hair about like horses wave their manes, natural Black hair does not wave about in the wind like white hair can. An afro stays put. In response to this, my wife tossed her head to and fro and her beautiful long dreadlocks flew in the wind around her, just like white hair does, but better for us, because my wife's hair is not the product of harmful chemicals, hot irons or money spent at white-people stores, making white people wealthy and us poorer.
Braids are ideal hair styling options for all-year round action like swimming, camping, or sports. Opting to braid your hair is a perfect choice when transitioning from chemically straightened tresses to au natural tresses. They give your hair a rest from styling aids like chemicals and hot irons while protecting your natural tresses. Bivi.NetThere are so many stunningly beautiful ways for us to wear our hair in Braids. Long, flowing, beautifully organized and maintained braids and dreadlocks, on the other hand, are an ancient African cultural art form that highlights our beauty, history and culture all at once, without making an new industry for "the man". One Black man said, "If God had wanted us to have straight hair, we would have been born that way. I accept me as I am."
When we braid our hair, all of the money generated stays within the Black community because whites don't care to learn to braid and because no fancy chemicals, machines or treatments are needed for beautiful braids. Just as African women braided their hair before the invention of electricity, during the time of the construction of the Pyramids we can do so today, with great beauty and tremendous longevity.
A Black person with straightened hair is like Cinderella, who is out of her element and waiting for her horse and carriage to turn into a pumpkin at midnight. If our hair has been straightened and then gets wet, there is no fairy prince who is going to save us from the embarrassment that comes when the forces of nature denounce us as cheap immitations of traditional whiteness. Unless our hair is Braided, it returns to its natural curls when wet, like nature telling us to "just be ourselves" and refusing to play along with our attempts at white identity appropriation.
Although they complement our straightened hair to our faces, whites secretly laugh at us for spending so much of our time and money trying to look like them.
When I was single, I couldn't let a woman with Braids walk by without at least learning her name and complimenting her hairstyle. Braids are THAT compelling.
. . . . . . . . . . . .
Girl, those Braids are sexy!
I once went out with a woman who had long, beautiful braids when I met her. I found her irresistable and I told her so, because she had the uniquely beautiful curves of an African woman and long flowing braids that reminded me of our culture and our ancestors.
But, then she straightened her hair. She became afraid to come with me to the beach or get near ocean-spray, because the forces of nature would make her chemically-treated hair would revert to its natural curls. She no longer wanted to learn to swim or take long walks on rainy days. We broke up, because she was no longer the woman I had met.