“It was just my third day on the job; I was still learning to use the fax machine. A coworker who’d been on PTO my first two days appeared in my office, introduced himself via nutcracking handshake. He made small talk, then business-speak, back to small talk. Only so much to be said about the weather, the traffic, and the mayor. A column of silence rose between us. His gaze alighted on my head. “How did you get your hair like that?” He reached across my desk and ran his fingers through my hair.
I gripped his arm mid-arc, squeezed it just hard enough to signal my spirit, and flung it away. “If you want to touch my hair, you ask first. And when you do ask, I’ll say no.”
Shock and puzzlement leaped through his features. He flushed several shades of red, pivoted, exited.”—
It takes care and attention and time to handle natural hair. Something we have lost from our African culture are the rituals of health and beauty and taking time to anoint our-selves. And the first way we lost it was in our hair.
Yes. We had to re-learn everything. Babies without cradles. But we managed to find it again.