Last week I decided to join a natural hair group that best identifies my hair texture…4 something. It has hundreds of thousands of members, so I was initially pretty excited about all the content I’d see on my Facebook feed. It didn’t 24 hours before I was disgusted enough to get out.
One woman posted a giddy message about her big chop, telling the group that her husband hadn’t seen her natural hair in eight years, but he loved it. For the sake of this post I have to mention her husband was white. And while most people on the page responded favorably, there were some really glaring, bigoted comments from black women who told her she “had a lot of nerve” posting that picture in a 4C hair board, knowing how white people have historical rejected it. Another one suggested she was bragging because she had a white man. Still another said her husband looked like a lump of dough or something like that. My jaw dropped, and I decided, like several other black women on the board, to post pictures of our non-black husbands in solidarity to the original poster. Luckily she seemed to brush off all that bigotry in stride, because, well…she’s happy.
REMEMBER WHO TOOK THE HITS FOR YOU, CHICKS.
My goodness. How quickly we forget the history of how the natural hair revolution began. Now that it’s become mainstream in the black community, folks are acting like it was done as some rebellion against white supremacy. Don’t get it twisted–the pioneers of the natural hair movement were the outliers in the community, and got virtually no support for their natural hair journey in the BC. Hair stylists mocked the idea of black women doing their own hair and no longer being dependent on their lack of professionalism and sense of entitlement. And until the chief Poobah of the He Man Black Woman Haters used weave and relaxer shaming as a vehicle to degrade and demoralize black women, most black guys WANTED their women in weaves and relaxers, and would LEAVE THEM over their hair. We were the dark-skinned bead-dee-beeds nobody wanted, ‘memba? Black mothers and fathers chastised their daughters about going outside with their hair “nappy” and try to cajole them back to straight-hair dependency. Black women shamed other black women who decided to take the leap, and warned them they wouldn’t get a man with their hair looking “like that.”
Make no mistake. Black women wearing their natural hair were once the rare minority, and like I mentioned above, received LITTLE acceptance from their significant others. That is, unless those significant others happened to be non black. There was once a time with natural hair sites and message boards for natural haired ladies were bastions of safety and acceptance because many of the members where interracially paired. Why were there so many swirlers in those spaces? BECAUSE THEIR SPOUSES AND BOYFRIENDS LOVED AND EMBRACED EVERY KINK AND COIL. Now that natural hair has become mainstream, and black women feel “safe” about uncovering their natural hair to their black partners (although let’s not kid ourselves; it’s still an issue) and black men did a 180 about their preference for stick straight hair and weave, they’re making this out to be some race revolution against the “evil albinoids.” Please. Interracially paired natural haired women were doing apple cider rinses and twist outs when you were still in the stylist’s chair getting weeping, puss-filled relaxer burns. We were the Egyptians building the pyramids while you were still in caves rubbing sticks together. Black women interracially paired took all the heat and hate so you could saunter in here looking so “woke.” We were the ones who took the barbs about looking like Buckwheat, being called “nappy headed hoes,” lesbians, and jiggaboos so you could come into a 4c hair board and turn around and mock the only collective group of men who embraced our hair?! HOW DARE YOU!
Now before you come in here and say there’s always been Afrocentric women who wore their natural kinks or even shaved heads, I know that already. I also know how those women were generally treated by the opposite gender.Let’s not act like their dance cards were being pulled. And no need to bring up the fact that white people three centuries ago started our hair hate. I know. But the white men TODAY were the ones who gave many of us the courage to wear our kinks, and reminded us that we were uniquely and beautifully made. And no; I’m not saying ALL white men love natural, kinky hair–don’t be ridiculous. But the ones OPEN TO INTERRACIALLY DATING BLACK WOMEN ARE.
Listen, I want ALL black women to embrace healthy hair practices, regardless of their romantic preferences. But don’t you dare saunter into these online communities like you’re so “woke” and we “negro bed wenches” have no place there. You better recognize who made the path easy for you to mock us. Have some damn respect.
If you want to join into the discussion, I’ll be having a LIVE hangout to discuss today, May 9 at 7PM PST/10PM EST. Make sure you’re subscribed to my channel to get notifications.