Pride, crown, and soul: The power of Black hair

Sarah Morgan

Black hair is unique, special, and something to be proud of. Because the texture of our hair is different, historically we have struggled with our identity and the things that set us apart. We’ve been made to feel ashamed of our hair and our bodies in their natural states. Systemic oppression has deemed our hair as improper, unhygienic, and restricted our choices in how we express ourselves in any professional environment. Now, Black women are accepting our natural hair and its beauty as a vital part of our identity.

Black hair is so versatile, and there are so many different hair types, ranging from loose to very tight curls. People should appreciate all of these variants rather than succumb to the tendency of glorifying whatever style is closest to straight hair.

Avery Wright, a sophomore, said she prefers a puff bun for hair. “I like having my edges done. I like how the curls are defined… It’s my go-to. I take care of it, I make sure my curls are always popping, because it takes time and effort, and I make sure I do it the way I want.”

Ayomi Wolff, a junior, prefers her afro. “I think [my hair is] very important to me, a big part of my identity that developed as I have developed, a part of me that I’ve struggled with, as well as tamed and let loose… I used to be so bad with my hair because I didn’t know how to deal with it. I used to cry because I didn’t look like the princesses in my books.” Sophomore Angeline Daniels shared a similar experience with hair, saying that it got damaged in elementary school because “People would throw pencils inside of my hair, and I started straightening it… Now my curls are coming back, and slowly we’re on a journey to natural.”

My hair is my pride. My hair took a long time to get used to. My hair makes me who I am. I used to wish that my hair was straight and blonde. I’d love to explain to a seven-year-old me, that while white beauty standards temporarily ruined my self-concept, I would later pick up my own pieces and become strong, skilled, and satisfied with myself.

Black people have created so many hairstyles: cornrows, afros, braids, box braids, slick backs, afro puffs, twist outs, you name it. I’m so proud to have a heritage where the people have created so many styles to work with to flaunt our differences instead of hiding them.

I am happy with my hair, even though it takes more work, it gets tangled, and people touch it when I’ve asked them a thousand times not to. I love my hair, which sits in the middle of loose and tight curl. Regardless, I appreciate every curl type. I love Black women, and I love that we can do anything we want with our hair because of its texture and versatility. I’m hoping those with Black hair can come together and see that we’ve all shared experiences and can appreciate each other for who we are.