The Brazilian Cultural Weekend started on a rainy Friday which forced us indoors at the Society Hill Dance Academy. There Rakia and I, among others, giggled through samba lessons before I moved on to sip some Brazilian inspired cocktails.
Saturday, the weather cooperated and we were all over South Street checking out the capoeira perfomances, the sambistas dancing it up, and listening to the great sounds of Xande Cruz and the Batukis band. I rocked my new little sequins sandals that were made in Bahia and given to my mother as a gift. She couldn't fit them, but guess who could! It was a fun time and I'm surely looking forward to next year's Samba on South.
Eight years ago this month I went natural. I walked into a barbershop in Largo, MD for my appointment, sat in the chair and as a the barber cleaned his clippers he asked, "Are you sure?" I nodded with excitement. This decision was about a year in the making and I knew for sure it was what I wanted to do. My relaxed hair was long and aside from the chemical abuse it was healthy. So the on-lookers did not understand what I was doing or why I was doing it.
If you've ever been in a barbershop you know there are all kinds of sounds: someone cracking jokes, music playing, the buzz of several clippers going. Well, not at that moment — all eyes were on me as the first few locks of hair landed around my feet. From the corner of my eye I could see the barber, who I had the biggest crush on, shaking his head.
I caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror as the barber continued cutting, and the only thing I thought was, "Oh my gosh I think I have dents in my head!" But when it was done and I got that first full look, I was so happy. No more relaxers, no more hours in the salon, no more hair-denial.
The anniversary of my going-natural decision has landed during a time when the film Good Hair is approaching it's release and when there is this consistent fuss over the natural coils rocked by the Obama girls. It's something I've always discussed with family, friends and colleagues, but it's interesting to hear/read how others approach this topic. The NY Times has an article about the politics of Black hair. It's a ok but short surface article, yet interesting enough to create dialogue which I always appreciate. I'd love to know what you think so definitely check out the article. Be sure to listen to the interactive feature where women talk about their hair journeys and also read the comments. Click here for the article. All images via NY Times.