Sometimes I can't believe that I live in a reality where I felt the need to develop a website entitled Natural Is Cool Enough (N.I.C.E.) in an effort to be a part of what has come to be known as a natural hair movement. The fact that Black women are/were gluing and sewing hair into their scalps for a Eurocentric appearance is sadly understandable, given the history of slavery and ongoing racism that Black people experience for which the outcome of such is self-hatred. The weave, creamy crack and wig situation has become so extreme and intense that it prompted me to do something and say something. For the love of Black people, history, and posterity, when folks come to their senses, I just wanted to make sure that it is/was clear where I stand on this matter.
It has been a hard-fought approach towards communication about why we must love our natural hair but I have not been alone. There is an army of other Black naturalistas who have stood steadfastly against creamy crack and who have argued that weaves and wigs, promoting a Eurocentric appearance for Black women, must be left behind. Some of the push back has been that weaves, wigs, blow drying hair bone straight, flat irons etc. is about fashion and Black women wearing their hair however they want. Well, clearly those two points are understood but in the context of the reality that Black people are currently experiencing in the U.S., there is no doubt that these are excuses for self-loathing and self-hatred as a result of traumatization, so aptly referred to as post-traumatic slave syndrome by Dr. Joy Leary Degruy: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s0gpbIeVJbc
In any event, if you do not agree with the perspective that Natural Is Cool Enough, anytime, anywhere and any place, for Black women's hair, as a review, below, I have compiled a list of 10, recent, interesting pieces written about Black women and natural hair along with brief commentary. Hopefully, as we head into the New Year, self-love will continue to emerge about our beautiful natural hair and we will realize that without a doubt, natural is cool enough! http://naturaliscoolenough.blogspot.com
1. Eighth grader was sent to the Principals office for wearing her hair naturally and told that it was "too poofy" and "unprofessional." The Principal is Black.
2. Eleven-year-old cheerleader whose mom believes she was kicked off of her cheerleading squad because she chose not to straighten her hair.
3. Taraji P. Henson wore her hair naturally for a photo shoot. It should not be a big deal or newsworthy that she wore her hair naturally as it grows from her scalp, but nevertheless, fabulous!
4. The natural hair movement and the desire to save money on natural rather than chemical "creamy crack" products is possibly impacting sales at Black hair salons.
5. Maria Borges is said to have made history for wearing her hair naturally on the Victoria Secrets runway. It is absurd that this is historic but applause to her for doing so!
6. Gwen Jimmere is the first Black woman to hold a patent for a natural hair product. This is fantastic and exciting--a first in 2015.
7. Society needs to stop politicizing Black hair. Yes, this insanity must stop. No politics, just the truth that natural is and always will be cool enough.
8. Five Reasons to Ditch the Weave. All I can say about this article is YES!
9. Minister asked his parishioners to stop wearing weave. Sigh...
10. Director, Ava Duvernay's, beautiful Barbie doll with locks is released. This deserves a standing ovation. It gives hope to little Black girls for 2016!
So for the New Year (2016), I hope that the creamy crack, weaves (glue and tracks) and wigs will continue to be left behind for Black women. Also, departing from straightening combs, flat irons, and blow dryers will be an added move toward self-love, in terms of embracing natural hair. I continue to dream of a world, where for Black people, in terms of our hair, Natural IS Cool Enough.