By S. Sundi
“I’m Black and I’m Proud” is a funk song written and recorded by James Brown in 1968. When James Brown recorded that song Africans in America across the nation felt a sense of pride about their heritage. The atrocious and depressing effect of slavery and racism in America is that it caused us blacks to hate ourselves.
Like a considerable amount of Africans in America, I grew up in an environment where hair like mine, kinky/nappy was labeled “bad hair.”
Straight hair or nappy free hair was “good hair.”
This issue is always a hot topic of debate in the black female community. Black women have given many different reasons for straightening their hair. “It’s more manageable.” “I like to switch it up from time to time.” “It’s cheaper to keep up a weave.” Hmmm.
Recently, I stumbled upon a YouTube documentary about Black women’s hair business in America. (Black Women’s Weave, Hair, Extensions) A statistic in the video that astounded me was that even though Black American Women only make up 10% of the population, they buy 70% of wigs and extensions purchased here in the U.S. Like Spike Lee said, “She’s Gotta Have It.” And I thought we were in a recession.
Excuse me for my ignorance but doesn’t wigs and extensions cover a women’s natural hair? What is it that black women are trying to hide? Is it self hate? I know I’m asking a lot of questions but I’m just a very inquisitive person.