On a warm spring night after performing to a jam packed arena of her biggest Birmingham supporters, the Queen of Neo Soul lounges on a sofa in her hotel room. At a dining room table not far off, her body guard and agent have struck up a candid conversation. Like an old girlfriend, Erykah Badu excitedly directs us to sit with her on her sofa and easy chairs. She munches contentedly on a tray bearing bunches of red and green grapes, slices of granny smiths and huge strawberries while waiting for us to start our interview.
An impromptu interview at that. A chance meeting at the lobby’s front desk, led to an animated conversation about natural hair, which was followed by us joining her entourage, getting jealous looked from star struck observers and now, sitting in her hotel room trying all but in vain to stay professional.
Our camera has spazzed under the pressure, so I pull out my phone and fidget nervously for the camcorder.
Ms. Badu is on the sofa. Candace is perched and thrilled beside her. My camera chimes that it’s recording.
Curlologists: Thank you for interviewing with us! So, I have never seen you with your hair straight. You seem to have embraced your natural hair even when pop culture wasn’t. What were the reasons behind that?
Erykah Badu: My hair is an aesthetic choice. And I don’t feel I have an obligation to wear it one way or the other but to health for myself. And to me it’s healthier to, I guess, be as natural as you can in your most natural state. At the same time, how you wear your hair is a political statement as well. Pretty much everything you do as a black woman is a political statement. I don’t feel like it’s a responsibility or anything cause at that point I’d be putting myself into a penitentiary and that wouldn’t be a natural state! So the most natural thing to me is to stay as pure to or real to or close to who I am as possible.
C: So I know you know about the natural hair movement that’s sweeping the nation. What are your thoughts behind that if any?
EB: Not at this point. I really don’t [think] a lot about how people wear their hair right now, cause I’d rather see a person with a natural mind and processed head than a processed mind and natural head. I always feel like I’m a spiritual being first, a human being second, man or woman third, Black, White fourth. Nappy headed or whatever else anybody wanna call it, ‘good hair’, that’s last on my list. And it may be a result of not altering myself.
C: You don’t seem to be a person that’s influenced at all by anyone but yourself. Has that been constant through childhood or is that something you’ve been cultivating?
EB: Somewhat through childhood. But I’ve always been a non-conformists. I don’t know why, it’s just the way they made me whoever “they” be. But the confidence does develop over time like any other muscle, so yeah. Being natural is really fresh but every once in the while, super natural!
“Women of other ethnicity’s, their hair falls by nature. It drops, and drapes, and hangs loosely. But a Black woman’s hair rises by nature. It blossoms against the current of life. At its best, it swirls and spins like the earth, or the sun – a supernova of sublimity and strength. And like any other heavenly body, a Black woman’s natural hair demands nothing less than orbit: total praise from every physical thing within her influence, all revolving around her omnipotence – instinctively, humbly, and altogether. Whether dynamically drifting, or stationary and rooted, every living thing that finds itself before a Black woman’s natural hair is designed to stare and wonder.”—(via hellomynameiscourt)
I love this post made by “Black Girl With Long Hair” yesterday. For those of you who don’t know what BGLH is, it’s a blog that keeps users updated on all the need-to-knows about natural hair and natural hair care. As well as a provider of inspirational images and interviews with women across the country who have natural hair. Needless to say, it’s one of my favorite blogs by far.
But back to this post though…This is for the chicks with relaxed hair. It’s all the things that we already think or already want you to know, but never really told you. A lot of people often assume that because we have natural hair we don’t get along with, or don’t care for, sisters with straightened tresses. This is far from the case, and I’m glad BGLH decided to highlight this topic.
So from us to you, here are the facts. This is what we really think about women with perms…
We don’t just associate with other naturals
Cutting people out of our lives because of how they wear their hair is ridiculous. We have mothers, aunts, grandmothers, sisters, co-workers, and friends who are relaxed, and it doesn’t make us respect them any less. Natural women do tend to find and connect with each other, but making new connections doesn’t mean we abandon old ones.
We don’t believe that all straight hair is unattractive
A beautiful head of hair is a beautiful head of hair, whether it’s kinky, curly, coily or straight. But while we can appreciate a mean round brush blowout, we also refuse to drink the Koolaid and believe that hair is beautiful *just because* it’s straight. We’ve seen too many dry, broken-off or thinning relaxers to believe that.
Hair shouldn’t be another topic that divides black women
Hair is an emotional topic. Many naturals are frustrated that we live in a world where black women are encouraged and incentivized to believe that straightening their hair is the only and best option. And while this is a serious issue, it’s not worth feuding over. With so many other divisions between black women — based on skin color, hair texture and class — do we really want to add another one?
Pretty interesting right? I found after reading it that my views were right in line with this post. It’s so true! Click the link to read the last three.