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Me, black and nappy, and it's all I ever wanted to be was happy to be my natural self. Oh believe me I've been through all the relaxers, and every kind of chemical that would make me resemble that black Barbie, I forgot her name,...oh yeah, Tiffany Taylor. Yes, not that she was really The black Barbie, I think the real black Barbie actually came later....and didn't last. She got no Ken and no Malibu doll house, 'til now.
Well there's a whole lot of sistas out here looking like Tiffany Taylor and I don't really give a damn man, I'm just doing my thing, by loving my nappy, knotty, listening to Gotti, through my ear buds, kinda hair. So maybe I did go natural because it's easier. That's what a lot of "Hawaiian Silky" sistas would say, but is natural hair easy? I don't think so. I was fooled too. Hey if I just let this shit go, I can get to the club earlier...but when it's time to let this shit grow...well, it ain't easy.
My intentions are to grow dreadlocks, my dream for over a decade, but every time my hair, which used to be nearly bald, starts to look crazy, I cut it again. It's a tough relationship, I love you, I love you not. I love you straight, bald, I love my knots. It's complicated. I can hear my hair saying, "gurllll, you better go out and get yourself a lace-front wig. I'm not trying to go out like this!" Ok, I hear you hair of mine, but you are mine and I can do anything I want, even look ugly. Oh, the white man's conditioning, or is it? No it's the Black man's neurosis. Over hair? Yes, always, over hair. Didn't you see Chris Rock's movie, Good Hair?
So, dreadlocks, back to my dream. I can start small, (I'll have to), and begin a new relationship with my hair as it goes through all its unkempt stages. I'm going to do my best to make it look presentable until it grows long enough to begin my locs. It's a long, hard road for me and my hair and this time, I'm going to make it to the finish line. I'm going to sing like Solange, "Don't touch my hair, it's the feelings I wear."
So why do I want dreadlocks? My heritage speaks to me through my hair. I want that connection one feels when they touch hands with their ancestors. I want to know what it feels like to say, "Jah Rastafari!" And feel it to my bones. I know what you're saying, that I don't need dreadlocks to connect with my culture. You're right, I don't. But I want them.
Many would argue that if I sat in the kitchen waiting for a hot steel straightening comb to bust through my nappys, that I would also be connecting with my ancestors. I remember waiting for the heat. And then it would rain and it would be all over; from black Barbie to Angela Davis in a few minutes. Back to the drawing board.
Locs, my dream come true. I can't wait for the day when I can twist this hair and run my hands over thick knotty dreads. No, I can't get any more black but I can represent some of us that love our hair when it's not straight and silky.
I can represent some of us that want to feel the fire of our locs, that new energy, that knotty locs energy, that Bob Marley singing "every little thing's gonna be alright" kinda energy. And then what is inside, will then flow outside and the connection between me and my hair will taste sweeter.