It’s Black History Month, and I’ve decided to share some ways our history and our heritage have been instilled in my life — not only in February, but all year long.
Hair is hair, like I always say. But by simply saying “hair is hair” doesn’t stop us from being judged, objectified and pit against each other for what sprouts from our heads. In a society where hair means much more than just hair, it’s important to remind ourselves of the culture, the valor and the heritage that comes along with our hair.
Braid styles originated from all over Africa. Certain cornrow styles have Ethiopian roots. Particular haircuts can be tied to certain regions as well – for example, cuts similar to Lupita Nyongo’s have been said to be traced to the Kalenjin of Kenya. Our Egyptian ancestors have been weaving hair for some odd centuries. Some styles denoted royalty and prestige, while others were simply forms of creative expression.
Those before us have been rockin’ our styles long before us. Essentially, our hairstyles are extensions of our ancestors and our lineage. We get caught up in the politics of hair and forget all about the heritage and the pride behind it. No matter how you wear your hair, know this – you are wearing a crown fit for a queen or a king.
If that’s not black history, I don’t know what is.