Thursday, July 09, 2009

Natural Women: Our Hair, Our Stories . . .

An Intro

"In its natural state, as far as most people are concerned, Black women's hair is unpresentable."

Asali Solomon (from her essay "Black Fuzzy Thing" which appears in Naked: Black Women Bare All About Their Skin, Hair, Hips, Lips and Other Parts)

Professor Aliesha Eaton, the protagonist in my novel, A Natural Woman, is a young Black woman whose natural hair is an integral part of the storyline. A number of different factors led me to write A Natural Woman, among them, the variety of responses my own hair has invoked during those period of my life when I've opted to wear it natural.

For the record, I'm not what some might consider a natural hair "purist" nor am I particularly interested in becoming a spokeswoman for the natural hair movement. Even though it's been over four years since I've had a chemical relaxer in my hair, on occasion, I still get it straightened--via flat-iron or an old fashioned hot comb.

Just as I whole-heartedly believe it's a woman prerogative to change her mind, I feel just as strongly about a woman's right to wear her hair any damn way she pleases. At this particular point in my life, what pleases me most days is to wear my hair in its natural state.

In the coming days, I plan to share a bit more of my own personal story, as it relates to hair and why I currently opt to wear mine natural. Joining me will be a number of other Black women who wear their hair natural and who have kindly volunteered to share their own stories.

If you are an African American woman who wears her hair natural (locs, twists, 'fro, braids, etc) and you are interested in becoming a part of this series, email me and I'll send you the list of questions. You can contact me at (after dot dance at hot mail dot com) or you can use the contact feature located on my website or the one on my blog's profile page (click on the profile link in the column to your right).


pjazzypar said...

Hi Lori, I lost my list of questions. I know they are on these computers somewhere. Please forward them to me again. Thanks.

Oh yeah to comment on what you have written here. I have worn my hair natural (locs) for fourteen years. While I feel it is the best hair decision I ever made, it is not for everyone. You have got to be "ready". I will talk more about that when I respond to the questions.

Lori said...

No problem, PJ. I'll send them ASAP. I added a couple of new questions too. Thanks!