I’m Not My Hair

2 11 2009

Shani 003

I was recently perplexed when an audacious relative confessed that although they loved my hair, I would have found employment if my hair wasn’t natural. I was also urged not to dye the color and believe me, I wasn’t considering a radical change…a light auburn would do. They advised me to get a wig and wait to get a job before I did anything else to my hair. Normally I’d let unsolicited or negative comments just roll off my back since becoming thick-skinned but since it was served from a relative, it caused me to wonder; am I being judged by my hair? During this volatile recession, I’ve become a seasoned pro with all the many blessings of interviews but I haven’t secured anything permanent as of yet. Was there any validity to my relative’s statements? Did it matter that I was highly qualified with years of experience or that I was impeccably dressed and could strike a pose if a camera was avail? Are businesses still intimidated by Afrocentrism in this day and age? Did President Obama not signify that change has come from what we were accustomed to? Naivety isn’t clouding my judgment, I know that I’ve been turned down for some assignments just based on the color of my skin; and I still proudly fill out the voluntary ethnicity questionnaire on applications. Prejudice and discrimination is still rampant among us but it doesn’t shatter my pride nor make me regretful of going natural. I’m proud of who I am; black, intelligent, and definitely beautiful! I shouldn’t have to straighten my hair or cop a wig to be socially accepted for a position at an organization or otherwise; that would falsify my natural essence. So I’m listening to the candid advice that my fore-mothers instilled in me which is to always be myself and if something is meant for me…it is ultimately mine.