The History of My Hair

My curls

These grays….
Mis canas
maps of my life

Each strand confirming
I’ve lived through things
I’ve been through things
I’ve seen some things
My curls scream Africa
Afrolatina
Woman
Guerrera
Amazona

Choking on messages about hair
That the world wants to force feed me
How it represents my true beauty
“Blow it out! Para que parezca gente!”
“Sécate ese pelo porque pareces una loca!”
“Use this cream it will straighten it!”
“Ven ponte aqui!”
“Come sit between my legs, I’ll do your hair!”
“Tráeme el peine, y las bolitas!
moving too much a guaranteed cepillazo

five years old learned that pretty girls wore their hair right
Pretty girls wore their hair straight
Pretty girls got everything
Domestication
Beautification
Objectification
All words I had no idea were forming me
Informing me
They were words i would become–
Wear my hair straight so i wouldn’t look ethnic
Wear my hair straight so i could pass
Wear my hair straight so to get that man
Wear my hair straight to have those right kids
Wear my hair straight to bring home those white kids
Wear my hair straight to get that job
Wear my hair straight to get that apartment
Wear my hair straight to be one of them

Words I would become… if i let them

Because
to be one of US
IS ugly
To be one of US
IS to be foreigners
To fully assimilate
We needed to change who we were
And WE
Are NOT wanted!

My hair
THIS crown
I never knew i was of royal blood…

And not just because France and Spain invaded us
Having their way with my women!
Those crowns brought with them another crown
It’s where i got my hips,
my lips,
this beautiful hair,
To be black for me is found in this crown

AFRICA

The gray that resides in these curls
Holds my story
They are my legacy
They are my history
Each strand a force
Marking my stages of passage
hurts and disappointments
People who have come
People now gone
My grays are my ancestors blessings
The stories they tell are my lessons
Gained a new gift
Taken a new step
Collapsed to the ground
And got back up
Failed relationships
Poor choices
Tremendous successes
Greatest loves
Best lovers
A life lived
Each gray holds my history
My mother
My grandmothers
My great grandmothers
My aunts
My great aunts
My sisters
My cousins
My daughter
The woman in my life
These grays
I honor these grays
They are the essence of me
They are my story

Yo amo mis canas!

Maferefun eggun ❤

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