don’t let our hair divide us

 Don’t Let Our Hair Divide Us
We as black women should not
let our hair be the dividing element
that destroys our development.
Our hair is a unique blend
of the diverse experience
we have experienced in America.
It is an expression of our horrific history
that at times, the white system has used
to destroy Sister Unity.
Yes, our hair defines us,
but it should not deny us
the right to wear it any way we want.
After all, when we look into the magazines of America,
we see what has been believed to be beautiful,
and then wonder if we are okay–
yes, we may say we are okay,
but when we search within
and find that dilemma that
makes us wonder if we should blend
the nappy with the straight
in order to relate to a world
that has denied our beauty
from the very beginning,
then our hair still is a
difficult and complex issue.
Deep down we wonder if our men
like it straight and blowing in the wind,
and then after feeling its awesome texture,
we fall in love with that glorious natural;
yet when we stand against the world,
the eyes of society don’t often see
our natural halo as beauty.
And then we rush back to the straight
hoping that this will dictate
that we must compete in a competitive world;
but blackness is a state of mind–
the color or length or texture of our hair
really cannot be defined;
the decision is ours–
we might plague it for hours,
for in the end what should really matter
is the genuine love we have
for our God-given hair.
Carolyn Hopkins


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