“Formation” Inspired Me to Chop Off My Hair
And now I feel liberated.
I’m liberated of having to conform to society’s white culture with my relaxed, straight, “manageable” hair. I no longer have to cover my head with chemicals in order to fall into place with everyone else. And it’s terrifying. What if people see my pride seeping out of my pores like sweat? Or what if the people once unbiased towards me, suddenly feel unnerved by my presence. These were the thoughts running through my head as my mom cut inch after inch from my dripping wet hair.
And those same thoughts are silly to think about. This is me. This is my hair. This is how I was born and not something that I had a choice in deciding. But my curls are even more than that. They’re a statement that proclaim my comfort in being in my own skin. They say, “Yeah, I’m black. And I am honored to be so.”
I think that sometimes we forget that real, live people fought for our injustices. They put their lives on the line for something that they wholeheartedly believed in. The law has changed, but have attitudes? Will I still be treated as fair and just as someone with straight hair. Will interviewers take one look at me and already, subconsciously, decide that I’m a no?
In those instances, it’s important to hold your head high and work even harder. You’ve got to show the world that yes, even with natural curls springing off of your head, you can still rise up above the rest. Now come on ladies, let’s get in formation.