” Happy to be nappy, I’m black and I’m proud that I have been chosen to wear the conscious cloud.” – Donnie
This weekend was my best friends 20th birthday. We took time away from work and studying to really enjoy ourselves on her special day. Like every girl, I had my getting ready routine that involved makeup, hair and getting dressed. I decided to wear my afro out and work my kinky curls. I had many people come up to me and tell me they loved my hair and how it is which inspired me for this first blog post…
Not many people know the history of African American hair and Afros. An Afro, also shortened to “Fro,” is a hairstyle in which the hair extends outward causing it to be in a halo formation. The modern style of afros dated back to the 1960s when actress Cicely Tyson spotted a “TWA,” a Teeny Weeny Afro. Often times, the afro pick would be used to pick out the kinks and curls in afros and make it appear much bigger with added volume. African American hair and afros were also known to be “nappy.” Meaning, many people often thought that because of our hair texture and appearance that it was very dirty and not cared for. The afro gained more popularity in the late 1960s and 1970s as the growth of black pride and black power movements started to arise. African Americans sported their afros to signify their culture and black features. Afros became symbols of empowerment, pride and liberalism throughout the African American community.
I was never a fan of wearing afros until I got to college. For some odd reason or another they weren’t “good looking” to me. Growing up and going to predominately white schools, I had the mindset where if I didn’t have straight hair I wouldn’t fit in. I’d get perms and try other methods to get my hair to be bone straight which overtime left my hair damaged. However, I have now learned to love my kinks and curls. They are a part of my culture and a part of who I am. Although I still wear my hair in other protective styles as well, I can always count on my afro to keep me looking powerful!
Your soul sista,