Comic: Anti-Black feelings about natural hair don’t just affect Black women
"If one more white dude tells me that I “need a haircut,” I am going to lose my fabulous shit."
If one more white dude with side-shaves and a Gandalf beard looks at my glorious afro and tells me that I “need a haircut,” I am going to lose my fabulous shit.
To them, I say, “Black men can’t rock our glorious moisturized curls while you’ve got a whole-ass pile of road-kill growing out of your face? Sir. You have the white-ass audacity. Kindly take your limp mohawk and that gigantic soup sponge on your chin, sit the fuck down, and shut your whole entire mouth.”
Growing up in a white supremacist environment, Black people are conditioned to believe that we will not get anywhere in life unless we are a shaved negro, because our kinky hair is evidence of our Blackness.
I remember being in junior high, surrounded by non-Black kids who were all permitted to wear their hair at varying lengths. All of those children had one thing in common: their hair wasn’t nappy like mine. This fucked me up well into my 20s. As soon as my hair got “too long,” just lengthy enough that it could be pinched at and pulled, it was time to shave it off. I believed that the only time I could be considered attractive, by myself and/or others, was with a finely buzzed head.
It took over twenty years of work, knocking down internalized anti-Black thought, to be able to love myself enough to finally to let it grow. One morning, I finally looked at my electric razor and thought, “You know what? Maybe I should just let it grow? I’ve always wanted dreadlocks, after all.”
Every day I live with the existential dread that, at my current age, growing the back-length locs that I truly want will be next to impossible. I lost time that I will never get back, because I spent so many years trying to adhere to white supremacist and anti-Black standards of beauty and propriety.
These standards were enforced by non-Black people and Black people alike, because white supremacy invites us all to uphold it. Many of us continue to perpetuate to this day.
Cishet Black men, y’all are not off the hook for this. I see y’all with your double-standards, trying to tell Black women what to do with their hair. Telling her that she hates herself if she doesn’t wear her natural, even as you get your curls cut down every week, just like I used to. Black women can never win with y’all.
To anyone who tried to impose white supremacy and anti-Blackness onto the bodies and hair of Black people, you can take your Eurocentric beauty standards, and your preference for shaved negroes, and shove it.
Have a blessed day.
Gamer, geek, and social activist. JeCorey Holder has been weaving tapestries of shade and fury since the early 2000’s. Pro-LGBTQ, pro-black, and pro intersectional feminism, he is full of feelings and opinions that try to call out and tear down the oppressive status quo.