So here I was, looking into news stories about natural hair and black pride since, for once, I was feeling a tiny amount of pride.
So let me get this straight: if I instill pride in my child by styling it in a natural style, it’s unacceptable?
That, honestly, doesn’t surprise me.
I had the misfortune of having to cut my son’s gorgeous natural curls this summer. Mind you, I didn’t want to.
But I was told, “His hair won’t grow properly unless you do. At least, that’s what [my mother] was always told.”
After I did it (and nearly cried), I was told by one of my cousins,
“It’s a good thing you [had his hair cut]. He would’ve had a lot of problems later on, when he starts school. My niece (who lives in Washington DC mind you) had a lot of problems with her son this school year…”
Why, I asked myself.
Because his hair was long, according to my cousin.
“After [my niece] had his hair cut, she didn’t have any more problems with the school. His teacher had labeled him a trouble maker until [his hair was cut].”
Sad, huh? A child can’t show styles from their own culture without being labeled trouble or a disruptive force.
People in the Black community preach about instilling pride in our children. How, I ask, can it be done when we have to be wary of our children showing where they come from, be it hair, fashion, or anything else?
Guess what my grandmother told me when I took my mother and son to visit her last week?
“His hair’s getting too long. He needs a hair cut!”
Sigh. I can’t win…