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Getting Back to Our Roots – Perception of Our Hair

Photo by Terri Davis

Working at a station that encourages those of African-American descent to “Know Thyself” is something that I take great pride in. After all we, as African-Americans, are descendants of the great kingdoms of Africa. And considering the greatness of these nations I believe we should take pride in what and who we were before we were brought to this continent. My focus is mainly on a specific form of identity. The identity I am referring to is black hair and how we have come to treat it. Or should I say, abuse it.

The structure of our hair has often been described as nappy, kinky and considered unacceptable by those who considered us property during the time of slavery. As a result we began to think `that way of ourselves too and over time, did everything in our power to make it conform to what a culture, other than our own, expected it to be.  To “Know Thyself” is not only getting back to our cultural roots, which I consider a definite must, but also to the roots on our head. Think about that.

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