[Guest Blogger Spotlight] It’s A Woman’s World: Adventures in Black Hair – Part 3

There are some great hair journeys amongst the African-American community. Each is different and unique but they all hit us in different ways. This one hits close to home for me and it touches on the some of the colorism issues that lie within our community. Check out my post [Real Talk] Colorism: Racism from Inside the African-American Culture – My American Story for my personal colorism story.

Enjoy another look into the world of black hair.

Long Hair, Don’t Care..

Shelley Harris

Having naturally long hair has always been a never-ending issue in the African-American culture.   I want to pull a page from Spike Lee’s film ‘School Daze’ and scream, “Wake Up!” It’s not about the length of your hair, whether it’s biologically yours or not. India Arie said it best, “I AM NOT MY HAIR”.  As African-American women, we should define ourselves by our true worth, our character.

My long hair saga….

I am naturally a nurturing and caring person.  I can sometimes wear my heart on my sleeve.  I don’t bother anyone and try to get along with everyone.  The issue of having long hair growing up has caused me to have so many fights that I could have taught a self- defense class.

As a child, adolescent and teenager, I felt out-of-place.  I went to a predominately black school where I was the minority. Not only did I have long hair, I had the nerve to be ‘high yellow’… I stuck out like a sore thumb.  My skin tone saga is for another post :).

I was self-conscious about my hair and never wore it down. I tried everything from trying to cut off my hair to getting a curl (which made matters worse) just to fit in with the crowd.  I have been threatened to have my hair chopped off, had my hair used for target practice for random small objects, and have had my ponytail pulled.

As incidents like this continued, it became easier to just surround myself with a crew of girls that also had long hair and understood my pain.  We created our own support system for each other.  We were not out to get revenge or become the mean girls; we were friends by commonality.  There was an unfortunate divide.  Thankfully once I hit college, occurrences like these lessened and I didn’t have to deal with those childish behaviors…as much.

I have evolved from a girl to a woman.  I am very comfortable with who I am and what I represent.  I am one of the many beautiful representations of the African-American woman.  I am blessed to be a part of such a powerful species and do not define myself by the length of my hair.  Long Hair, Don’t Care.

“Good & Bad Hair” – School Daze 1998

School-Daze-2

Enjoy this iconic scene from Spike Lee’s film “School Daze”, as it speaks to black hair thoughts and colorism

Coming up on the LYFE-STYLE Files (A Mid-WYFE Crisis blog): [*Risk-Y Business] Steps in the Write Direction

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3 thoughts on “[Guest Blogger Spotlight] It’s A Woman’s World: Adventures in Black Hair – Part 3

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