By Elizabeth Wellington
I love my natural hair. Anyone who knows me knows I’m a huge supporter of all things kinky and curly. I love black people. I love black hair.
That being said, if I see one more commentary about black women’s natural hair in its natural state and the negative reactions to it, I’m going to turn in my girlfriend card.
The latest offender is the worst: Lisa Respers’ France story on “Can I Touch It? The Fascination with Natural African American Hair,” on CNN.com [posted today].
Is she serious?
This whole story is based on the false premise that all black women get irritated when white people want to touch their natural hair. What a waste of web space.
Maybe people wouldn’t treat us like a science project, if we didn’t think of ourselves like one.
After years of being forced to straighten their hair, black women are finally feeling free. Natural hair salons are booming and Afros, whether soft, curly or spongy aren’t just trendy, they’re a lifestyle.
When I first stopped straightening my hair, I didn’t know what my real hair felt like. When I saw it minutes after taking out two-strand twists. I was amazed at how beautiful it was I wanted to touch it all day. If we’re just learning how to appreciate how our natural hair feels, why is it so hard to believe that people who aren’t black can’t be mesmerized by our manes too. What’s wrong with a little curiosity?
I found this quote by blogger, Los Angelista most offensive. Here is what she says: after telling a presumably white person that they were not welcome to touch her hair.
” … My black ancestors may have been your ancestors’ property, and had to smile while they got touched in ways they didn’t want to, but I am not YOUR property and never will be so you’d best move your hand away from me …”
Does she realize how hateful that sounds? People touch things they love. They touch things they are curious about and amazed by. Maybe folks’ intentions aren’t always negative. Maybe this person, and their extended hand, is trying to show some love.
Maybe it’s time you let them.