Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Four Women

I have been pondering on whether to write on this or not for a while and then today my sister A presented me with the perfect segue. I lurk on many natural hair blogs and could make a living watching youtube vids (if only somebody would pay me LMAO) and even though by and large it is generally a very supportive community one thing that disturbs me a little are the "beefs". I know, it is kind of irrational to expect that there would be no beefs. After all, there is animosity in EVERY community and there seems to be a general pervasiveness of bad manners, internet thuggism, hating and related behaviors now. But I think for the natural hair community it is particularly sad because many ppl seem to forget that despite the fact that our hair is wrought with history and politics at the end of the day we are all individuals and hair is just that, hair.

Synopsis of some of the "beefs" in the natural hair online community

Really? Is it really this serious? Maybe I just don't get it. Coming from the Caribbean for me hair is hair and the more ppl embracing their God given beauty without pretension the better. No need to be exclusive, no need to be militant, no need to make ppl feel like less of a person because of their hair choices. What somebody else chooses to do with their hair is THEIR BUSINESS, leave them be! Underlying a lot of the judgement that goes on there seems to be some kind of dissatisfaction with self that manifests itself in being a hater or argumentative or downright mean, oftentimes towards ppl who are complete strangers. 

My sister sent me this vid today, a modern day take on that great visionary Pan-African talent Nina Simone's Four Women.

As I listened to this performance I got GOOSEBUMPS. I wish I could share this with all my diasporic Sisters. At the end of the day, we are all different but at the same time a reflection of each other. Regardless of what we look like, our place in the diaspora, our specific circumstance or station in life or the hair on our head for that matter, we all share in this blessing and this curse called BLACKNESS. And it is a BEAUTIFUL THING!

So as we go about our business lets try to be supportive and love each other and lend a helping hand. Lets leave the judgement and disparaging remarks to somebody else. Old people often say if you don't have anything good to say, don't say anything. lol Not to say that we shouldn't have debates or even arguments or we shouldn't check ppl when their attitude is off or they are not communicating effectively but this can be engaged in healthily and come from a place of LOVE. Personal attacks, snippiness and rudeness  are not the answer. 

To end things on a positive note I must say that I personally have only had positive experiences with other naturalistas on the www as well as in real life. I really appreciate all the bloggers and vloggers who spend so much time and labor in love to give us the multitude of resources we have now. I also appreciate the sisterhood and helpfulness of the facebook community as well as the people who come through my humble little spot on the webs. It also feels so good to trade tips, stories and compliments with my fellow real life naturals be they family and friends or random naturals I encounter walking down the street, in the airport, at clubs, in walmart etc etc. 

Here's the original performed by Nina

And here is Talib Kweli's re-interpretation which I LOVE. He is such an amazing storyteller


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