Original Poetry by Latasha A. Willis
I came to this world with nappy hair
And when I was too young to really care
I loved to twirl each curl in my hand
And appreciate the texture of every strand.
But when I got older I was told
That the straightest hair was just like gold.
My hair got ironed with a metal comb
And the smell of burning grease made me moan.
I got a relaxer to run from the smoke,
But the pain of my overcooked scalp was no joke.
I even tried a Jheri curl to give myself a break
But being a target of jokes made my heart ache.
Oh, the day I turned my back on chemicals and heat,
I felt so free – oh, what a treat!
I trimmed off what was left of the damaged mess
And saw in the mirror what I thought was success.
But society said I had lost my mind
And that I would run back to tradition in time.
I got the strangest looks everywhere
And even loved ones frowned at my nappy hair.
I can’t get a black brother to take me out for a meal
Since my hair lacks European appeal.
But when I look at my origin,
The continent of Africa, where my ancestors had been
And the beauty of the people who live there,
I saw nothing wrong with my nappy hair.
God gave me this hair
So I should not be ashamed
It is part of who I am
Ain’t nothin’ wrong with it, I exclaimed.
So I will wear my Afro, my twists and my coils!
I will not allow my confidence to be soiled.
Even if my hair is locked and dreaded,
I am proud of being nappy-headed.