I found this article on the blog Pop & Politics. As you know hair is a major topic of discussion in many parts of African America, here is an interesting take and one persons journey.
My hair, myself
By Vanessa Mizell
By Vanessa Mizell
Swivel chair. Mirrors. Wads of my hair landing on the wooden floor thunderously, like the sound of an urban demolition. Or at least that’s how it sounded to me.
“When’s the last time you’ve been to the beauty shop?” asked the hairdresser, scissors in hand, disturbed expression on face.
I couldn’t recall. When was the last time I sat on one of those chairs? When was the last time the back of my head had been tossed in a sink then stuck under a helmet stove, then forged by the iron torch?
“I don’t remember. Maybe eleven years ago?” I finally responded as quietly as I could.
She paused mid-snip and looked at my face in the mirror. My eyebrows slanted upward as I released a contrived chuckle.
She shook her head and continued snipping away.
The beauty shop is the site of rites-of-passage for young African-American girls. You’re taught values while listening to women philosophize about relationships, love, family and especially the latest African-American celebrity on the scene. You don’t say much. You just listen. Feminist, poet and professor bell hooks wrote about the experience as she remembered it in a 1988 Z Magazine essay called “Straightening Our Hair”:
"The beauty parlor was a space of consciousness raising, a space where black women shared life stories—hardships, trials, gossip; a place where one could be comforted and one’s spirit renewed. It was for some women a place of rest, where one did not need to meet the demands of children or men. It was the one hour some folk would spend “off their feet,” a soothing, restful time of meditation and silence.”
Read the rest of this article here.