I think today is the best time to be bringing up a black girl. Dark is considered beautiful, all you have to do is look around, the most beautiful people right now are really dark people. A good example is Lupita Nyongo, who would have ever thought, a dark skinned female with no hair would be considered beautiful.
That is why it’s so exciting to have a baby girl in this day and age. Black people and especially black women have come full circle. We have developed the confidence to be our natural selves; black women are rocking their natural locks and loving it
When we were coming up (like people here would say) we did everything possible to straighten our hairs, from the hot comb to blow drier to relaxer. We dreamt and waited for the day we would finally get a relaxer on our hair.
I remember when I finally got one; it was just about the most exciting day for me. I am not sure where my mum had got the chemical (relaxer) from, but my older sister and her mixed it up, put some gloves on and filled my edges with Vaseline.
”This will prevent it from burning your skin they told me.”
I was sitting in the middle of the living room with a towel around my shoulders anxiously waiting. I was about 12years old, and finally I was getting my first relaxer.
Once they were done putting it on my hair and making sure it was completely rinsed out of my hair, they checked to see how many burn marks I had. It was a few, not too many and that was considered a great success.
I could not wait to show off my hair at school the next day, I remember we were going swimming and for once I would have open hair while I was swimming. Once I put my hair in the water, ohh wow it lay down on my head flat, I was walking on cloud 9 after that. My mane was gorgeous I thought, I had never seen hair lay that flat on my head before.
My bubble was later burst, about a week later my hair started cutting. What is going on with it I wondered and asked my mum? We did not really know much about conditioning and treating hair then. Due to lack of proper maintenance I ended up having to cut my hair.
This was the beginning of relaxing my hair.
Now when I think about all those days, all I hope and wish for, is that my daughter will never have to go through all of this. In my mind she will grow up to love her natural look, she will love being multi cultural, she will love her language, she will love that she has family all over the globe and will visit them, (since as an American citizen it’s so easy to travel) she will be well traveled, exposed, humble, confident, respectful, natural and beautiful
But then is this realistic for me to hope for? Right now she’s surrounded by more white people than black, her caregivers are white, she’s the only black girl in her class, so a part of me wonders….will she wish she was white, will she admire white girls golden locks, will she be attracted to only white men, will she be embarrassed when I speak my language in public or in front of her friends???
I don’t know….all I can do for now is tell her she’s beautifully and wonderfully made, and her hair is gorgeous and her skin is always perfectly tanned and maybe just maybe all this will be enough for her to be all I hope and dream for her and much more…..