Many black women have enbarked on the wonderful journey of self discovery. It is a fascinating and exciting new trend that has taken over many of the largest cities in the United States and is being filtered down to countries heavily influenced by US culture, including our tiny island of Jamaica. We are "Returning to Natural", we are finally discovering what the world has known all along - black women are truly the most beautifully diverse and exotic creatures known to man. We come in a variety of shapes and colours and that is what makes us unique. Yet nothing has been adjusted with more frequency than our hair, to transform our presence to fit into a culture that never accepted us. Therefore, it is wonderful to witness such large pockets of black women taking such an important stand and letting society know that we are who we are - black and hella beautiful. When I stroll down the streets of Manhattan I am dazzled by the transformation, the rebirth of little black girls "Returning to Natural".
Haven't you noticed the change? Black women are increasingly making efforts to manage their natural hair textures, they are saying no to relaxers and hair extensions. While flipping through your favorite magazine, stop to pay attention to the increase in advertisement featuring African-American models and celebrities who've opted to go relaxer free. "Natural hair is making waves among black women" says USA Today. The internet too is buzzing with the influx of websites dedicated to natural hair care for black women such as "www.CurlyNikki.com", "www.Nappturality.com", "www.BlackGirlLongHair.com" and "www.TribeCalledCurl.com" among many others. There are over 1 million video blogs on youtube dedicated to the black hair transformation. Everything from "How to do the Big Chop (BC)?", "How to get off the Creamy Crack?" to Protective Syling Techniques and Natural Hair Maintenance. Many videos will even teach you how to make your own organic hair care products. .
On recent trips to Jamaica, I am seeing that many women are opting out of societal norms and staying true to themselves. Early this year, I stopped at a Juicy Beef restaurant on my way to Ocho Rios. But It was a bad time, school was out and an influx of students were making their way into the tiny restuarant. But as I looked around me, I was amazed by this particular group of high school students because I noticed that many of the girls had naturally beautifully maintained hair in a variety of styles.
I am excited about this new trend, being one year natural myself I am finding new ways to reinvent myself. As I told one girl who complemented me on my hair and expressed her fear and anxiety about the big chop. "The moment the scissors touched my 15 year long relaxed tresses, I immediately felt liberated. It was like I was being held prisoner and I was finally free to be loved for the person I was meant to be."
I am a black girl on a journey "Returning to Natural".
The Black Woman by Marcus Garvey
Black queen of beauty, thou hast given color to the world!
Among other women thou art royal and the fairest!
Like the brightest of jewels in the regal diadem,
Shin’st thou, Goddess of Africa, Nature’s purest emblem!