What’s the Haps on the Naps, Black Girl?



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.



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