The Roots

In the tenth grade, I had an epiphany.  This epiphany may seem like:

  • Common knowledge

  • Foolishness

  • Not a big deal

But it was a defining moment for me. I realized that Black was beautiful, that I loved being black, and that I wanted to immerse myself in any and everything culturally related. This was the beginning of “Afro-centric Kibby.”

From that point forward, I’d become so interested in learning about what I was never taught in school that I took to Tumblr, Twitter, and various other social media platforms to learn from Black scholars. Without them, I wouldn’t be the person I am today. I have become knowledgeable about so much due web spaces such as Black Twitter, For Harriet, and various Tumblr blogs.

But I say this all to convey that falling in love (really falling in love) with my culture is the reason that I went natural. For me, it was not solely a fashion statement. Truth be told, I was terrified to cut my hair that day in July of 2011. I was even more frightened when I decided to get my last perm that previous August of 2010.

But I did it because to me, loving my culture meant loving my natural roots. I literally asked myself, “How can I be all pro-Black if I’m getting a relaxer to hide my roots?” Loving my culture meant embracing my natural coils so that the future generation of beautiful little black girls could embrace theirs, too. Comfortably and confidently.

Not all natural women necessarily identify with the aforementioned, though, and being natural definitely has become more of a “trendy” thing nowadays. It has also become a sort of divisive tool when it comes to women of color when it should be something that unifies all. This is troubling.

Some natural women believe that women who get perms are self-loathing and weak for giving into societal constraints when they actually just would prefer to have straight hair. It’s not always about giving in. It’s more of a personal preference, and it is not always true. To say that is true would be to say that all natural women are these Afro-centric females who are down for the cause. Trust me, this is simply untrue.

In my opinion, the “natural hair movement” appears to be a fad more than anything. While I do love seeing these beautiful ‘fros out and about, it frightens me that they will quickly disappear once they are no longer “cool.”

Are we truly comfortable with our natural textures now, or are we simply giving into what a sector of society has now deemed cool? 

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