The so-called black man and woman formed from the foundation of earth can no longer be denied their beauty. Somedays I find myself wishing that I could slow down the business of life and play my people in slow motion, giving me time to indulge in the living art we call black people. The way we walk, speak, write, and laugh demonstrates our uniqueness daily. We could never give these qualities it’s complete due diligence when we seek out to describe it.
Though I speak with great zeal of the beauty of our people on this day, I remember when I was once less vocal of our exquisiteness. It becomes near impossible to see the beauty of a people when the beauty within yourself hasn’t been uncovered. I can vividly remember me looking in the mirror and not being confident in my cheeks, my nose, my lips, but more than anything my hair!
I was always a lover of writing and poetry birthed that within me even more. There is a poem, “Lord, Lord, Why Did You Make Me Black?“, by RuNett Nia Ebo, that kept me questioning my negative perspective of my own image. The poem forced me to start seeing the positive in the creation of people, many deem lowly. In this poem, the poet asked why the creator chose to build them black. The question forces the reader to dwell on the view of the black people in society. These perceptions created self-hate within the group of people that were known by this byword, black. The poet urges an answer to why the need to give the big lips, broad nose, and kinky hair. As I read on, the questions hit home for me.
Kinky, nappy, African, and n***a hair are all words that were thrown around all of my life with my family. Yes, we may have laughed and joked about it, but I still am left with a heaviness the impact of the jokes left on me. I hated my hair.
We get so confused in the fragile identity that we want to get rid of everything that makes us who we are. We don’t realize that there happen to be others, who have a solid grip on their own identity, that chooses to identify with our markers that identify us. What we glare at unhappily in the mirror now seems to be in popular demand.
Willingly our essence no longer belongs to us solely.
We try so hard to tame the “beast” on our heads instead of learning how to nurture it. Oh, how bold, dangerous, sexy, and powerful she can be as she sits in her natural state looking like a handcrafted crown. We should not run from her but learn from her. Take the time to discover how to treat and maintain her glory. There are so many natural ways to keep her rejuvenated, fresh and fun. She brings you your spunk, your confidence, and power!
So no, I don’t quite remember when it happened, but I no longer see my hair like a beast I can not tame but a beautiful versatile creature. Even when I decided to lock it the versatility continued to shine through. Daring me to try and cage it.
If you’re wondering, yes, I still wish to watch my people in slow motion. If you care to pay attention you will notice something within us that can not be denied. This something keeps all eyes on us whether in love or hate. We are the artwork that is slowly remembering who we are, and loving every inch of it.