“Proud to see Blacks owning their hair”

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I have noticed with great pride recently the ever increasing numbers of black women in Barbados who are unashamedly wearing their God-given, natural hair openly, without chemical processing.

As I pass through Bridgetown and other areas of Barbados and observe the many different styles of black hair worn by females, I cannot help but admire their natural beauty in all of its manifestations.

As other races have their hallmarks of beauty, it is long overdue that we as people of African descent accept ours without being apologetic to anyone.

In the schools, in Parliament, in workplaces, in places of worship and at social gatherings there should be no hindrances to our own creative expressions of beauty.

It is an act of criminality that our black children and women are still judged by the standards of Europeans and bombarded with idiotic remarks about “doing something” with their hair.

Long gone are those days when conservatives and racists think that they can belittle the efforts of Blacks who have chosen to walk an independent path and do for themselves, rather than be browbeaten tools and slaves. 

I want to encourage these strong sisters to keep their heads high and not be intimidated by backward comments emanating from self-haters.

Your hair is your crowning glory and you do not need the relaxers, the wigs, the hot irons, the weaves, the extensions, the dyes nor the scissors in order for you to look beautiful. You are beautiful just the way you are.

It is time that black men, too, appreciate black women’s hair, the same way that they appreciate the other more visible and tantalising aspects of their anatomy. There can be no compromise on this.

Keep exuding pride, black women. Your efforts have not gone unnoticed.  

– IAN A. MARSHALL