My Natural Hair Journey Is Sacred, Please Don’t Appropriate It.

and I thought that Miley Cyrus and her “twerking” appropriation was bad…

My natural hair is not a joke and it’s not a trend.

There was an article featured on a natural hair blog that featured a white woman and her “journey to natural hair acceptance.” I am not going to give the name of the article…but it was  featured on Curly Nikki. I advise you not to go visit the site. I do not want to support that site with any more clicks. Curly Nikki, which was founded by a Black woman named Nikki Walton, was  originally intended to give Black women a safe space where they could get advice and support for their natural hair. Ultimately, the blog was sold to a white-owned company, so it should come as no surprise that a white woman who basically just took her hair out of a bun and called herself “part of the natural hair movement,” was featured on the website.

Let me say this…

My natural hair journey is sacred to me.  My natural hair journey wasn’t just superficial, it wasn’t just about not seeing my beauty represented in magazines or on the big screen. It wasn’t just about cutting the relaxed tips off of my hair and it certainly wasn’t as simple as taking my hair tie out and proudly proclaiming myself “a proud natural!” No. Embracing my natural hair was the beginning of embracing my Black identity. Once I went natural, I started researching about my African roots, I started reading about my history and I started taking pride in who I was. I questioned all of the lies that I had been told about my heritage. I learned that my western and central African ancestors had a rich history and still have a rich culture. I learned that much of what the media shows about Africans around the world is untrue…and I started to love myself.  So, my natural hair journey was more than just superficial, it was sacred. It was a catalyst that led me to embrace all parts of my Black identity.

 

Natural hair support groups are a place where Black women can feel safe. We can can feel safe from discriminatory military regulations, we can feel safe from school and workplace discrimination and we don’t have to worry about being called “nappy-headed hoes.” We need those spaces and I find it very offensive that a white woman, who is part of the very group that marginalizes US as Black women, feels entitled to enter this space and impose her views on Black women. Her struggles as a white woman with “natural hair,” [read:white hair] are not comparable to the systematic  discrimination that Black women face for wearing our God-given natural hair everyday.

The natural hair movement is about Black women  bonding, sharing our stories, supporting one another and healing..and I am sorry, but I cannot  identify with a white woman who claims to be apart of the natural hair movement and I will never be able to truly accept a white woman into the natural hair space…not as long as white supremacy and white privilege continue to exist. As long as I have to keep straightening my hair just to go to job interviews and as long as I have to keep reading stories about schools expelling Black girls for wearing natural hair or banning african hairstyles or the military banning braids and afros…I cannot take the “hair struggles,” of a white woman seriously. It doesn’t compare and I certainly think that it’s insulting at best and racist at worst to suggest that it does compare. This is not to say that the woman’s struggle’s with self esteem aren’t important and this is certainly not to say that white women can NEVER be invited into black woman’s space, but it is clear that some white women are oblivious to their own white privilege and as long as that attitude of oblivion continues, there will continue to be a rift between Black women and white women in the natural hair community.

Because my identity as an African woman was stolen from me…My natural African hair is the only link that I have to my origins.

Yes, the natural hair movement is a sacred space for Black women and I completely understand where the anger and frustration that many Black women feel is coming from.

Please don’t appropriate our natural hair journey. It’s not a toy or a fad.

 

read more about my natural hair journey here: https://blacknotwhitedippedinchocolate.wordpress.com/2012/04/06/hairdresser-tales-natural-hair-is-soft-beautiful/

My Natural Hair Journey Is Sacred, Please Don’t Appropriate It.

11 thoughts on “My Natural Hair Journey Is Sacred, Please Don’t Appropriate It.

  1. originalwoman13 says:

    Amen, sista! We can’t have a safe space for ourselves (on or offline) without whites intruding….and I’m sick of it! I am glad that your natural hair journey has lead you on the journey to find the truth about our true history that has been suppressed by the powers that be for soooo long. First for me, the journey into finding truth about African/African-American history has lead me to the path embrace and accept my natural hair.

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    1. i find that often accepting natural hair and accepting your Black identity go hand in hand and this something that some white women don’t seem to understand.

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  2. Déborah says:

    I’m friend with Kola Boof on Facebook (Bin Laden’s ex captive) and here is what she had to say on the matter:

    “SORRY…but “White women joining the BW’s natural hair movement”….I refuse to even dignify that with attention. Ludicrous camel shit. They are just too privileged, bored and JEALOUS of us. **PLEASE: Just be your White self and stop trying to be us.”

    I posted this quote because I couldn’t have said it better and I couldn’t agree more with her.

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  3. I never really like curly nikki website I figured it was white owned, I like black girl long hair better ,they have articles about black hair history. http://blackgirllonghair.com/2014/07/shocking-history-why-women-of-color-in-the-1800s-were-banned-from-wearing-their-hair-in-public/

    Anyway, to a lot of people natural hair is ur hair the way it grows out of ur scalp, so technically white women’s hair is natural, but to feature them on a website for natural black hair is ridiculous. And they have always been allowed to wear their hair the way it grows out of their scalp whereas black women have not. Even during slavery they had black women cover their hair. Black women have been fired for defending or wearing natural hair, I have not heard of white women being fired for their “natural” hair. so yeah when they start getting discriminated against for having straight hair and get called straight haired hoes, and told that their hair is bad and unprofessional, when they are told their hair should be wigged, weaved, or permed to be beautiful then they can be a part of the natural hair movement, till then sit down on ur pedestal and stfu.

    They act like they gotta be in everything, got dam I can’t even search for dreads without mostly pics of white folks and their oily stringy things popping up. the natural hair movement should not involve white women, these same mofos are silent when black women’s natural hair is under attack but I guess we are supposed to give a dam about theirs when it’s not even under attack and scrutinized like ours. No white girl I know has ever had a chemical put on her head at a young age and by the time she’s an adult she doesn’t know what her real hair looks like. I have never heard of a white girl being told her hair is too straight. I have never heard a white girl be told her hair is surprisingly soft. I have never heard a white girl be told her hair needs a chemical in it for it to be beautiful. I have never heard a white girl be told she must do something to her hair or no man would want her. A white girl has never been told her hair is too nappy, a white girl has never had to go to a salon and the people in there not know how to do her natural hair. hell white women can go into a black salon and they will know how to do her hair and that same black salon may not know how to do natural black hair. smh

    Black women have been told all this and more, we’ve been told we are unworthy, un pretty, and made to feel inferior for the way god created us. U cannot say u believe in god but then turn around and ridicule his creation, yes he/she created natural hair. U cannot say u are for women and women’s rights when u don’t support a woman’s right to wear her hair the way she chooses especially if she chooses to wear her hair the way it grows out of her scalp.

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  4. bwhahawha these same type of white women are the same ones that infiltrate the colorism discussions we have and try to compare it to whites with tanned skin vs paler whites. They need to go create their own space to discuss their “issues”, but I guess it is more fulfilling for them to infiltrate ours and try to take over or become the center of attention smh I guess they can’t help themselves. oh lord when they start trying to rock bantu knots, cornrows, and braids i’m done… the same hairstyles they deem unprofessional let’s see what bs they say to accept it when white women start doing it, oh it’s cutting edge, it’s unique, it’s amazing. Black women been doing it for centuries, oh it’s ghetto, it’s ugly, it’s unprofessional, we must stop them. rofl, i’m going to be laughing my ass off at this, they can try all they want to emulate us, we see u we are not dumb. try all u want but u could never be us because of a little thing called melanin and ur hair won’t look right because it’s too straight and oily, it won’t hold the style as long and since u gotta wash it everyday it will be looking a frizzy mess.

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  5. one last thing, black folks: “yall tanning to look like us” white folks: ” no we not we are trying to be bronze” black folks: ” yall getting butt and lip injections to look like us” white folks: “no we are not, we do it to look like Angelina jolie or j lo.” black folks: ” yall trying to twerk like us” white folks: ” no we are not we are trying to copy miley virus” black folks:”yall trying to wear ur hair like us” white folks:” *crickets* ”

    I say let them try to copy our hair, they can’t deny it then that they are trying to be like us, because we are the only ones with this hair texture. just watch it will be like the 70’s when white folks were trying to rock fros.

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  6. soursop says:

    This disgusts me. Why must they inject themselves into everything, onto sanctuaries for the true carrier of the burdens of the world? Smh. Somebody needs to shut it ALL down!

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  7. KC says:

    I am a white girl and just always interested in learning about other cultures. I am the minority where I work by a longshot and work with mostly black people so I listen to the conversations and try to learn. I just want to say I really think this hair hang up is not put on you by white people, but you do it to to each other. I have never once looked at a black person and thought anything negative about their hair, nor have I ever heard any white people use the term “nappy head” but I hear black women talk about other black women in this way all the time. Why do you do that to each other? I really don’t think the majority of white people are busy judging you for your hair (whether that be natural or weave or wig, honestly most of us can’t tell the difference).

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