Culture  Fix Your Hair

Poetry

Kinky coils finally flourishing from my scalp.
A flawless kind of disorder. A wild kind of miracle.
A new kind of freedom
To be wearing my God-given crown with pride
A joyful relief to be accepting these coils as mine.
I model for myself. Strut my stuff showin’
the mirror how much I adore myself.
This is me feelin’ myself
Weave free.
All new growth
No lye
See how the curls roll and tumble around one another Twist and turn and fold all up on each other, see
how they tell my history in their dancing
How they curve out maps to my freedom
They rise like I rise
Bouncin’ back like I do from setbacks.
More than a mane, an ordainment on my history
But blind mothers will tell the story a bit differently Blind eyes land on precious coils claiming to see flaw-filled disorder, a wild kind of mistake. Another flashback to slave days
“Fix your hair!” she’ll say.
Never mind how long you’ve spent conditioning your hair to shine and be soft like the finest of maidens. Never mind the potions you’ve made mixing essential oils like the mambo priestesses who came before you Never mind how much money and time you’ve spent sifting through the aisles, through products for women who don’t look like you, eventually starting a revolution of products that are now made for you
“Fix your hair!” she says…

It is always wise to examine the choice of words
of those who know not their power
Fix (\‘fiks\ ) – English verb of many interesting meanings To make firm, stable, stationary; to set or place definitely; to hold or direct steadily; to set in order; to repair or mend what has been set out of place, broken or damaged Now see…
How master’s influence still lingers in our minds Stand up straight negro! Let me examine your jaw line Be firm young negro! A tool you are to be mine Don’t move little negro lest I whip scars
down your back serpentine
Are we a broken people to be mended and put back
in place to fit in the box of white normalcy?
Am I broken? Or am I black? Let these
words not be bound by pact
I am not out of place, broken, or damaged!
My hair needs no fixing.
Grooming? Yes.
Care? Assuredly.
Deep conditioning? All day, everyday.
Fixing?
Miss me with that brainwashed type shit
If it means I embrace myself, I’ll gladly
embody this slave type shit
This be who I be type shit
See the beauty in me type shit
So, you can tell a blind mother to hush
with that ignorant type shit
“Fix your hair!” she chimes.
I replied
“There’s nothing to fix.”