If you are an African-American woman you may already know where I’m going with this. However, it’s always amazing to me that other races don’t know what the hell I’m talking about when I say the little black girls rite of passage. This concept that has played in many African-American women’s lives still to this very day can be tagged as a “Tradition”. But if this is a tradition I will NOT be passing it down to my little black girl.
Relaxer, perm, creamy crack, the good stuff, my straight fix are some of the terms said in the kitchen that I can remember coming up. I don’t blame my mother for applying a substance not made to help me on my head. I don’t blame myself for continuing to use a chemical known to burn holes in my damn scalp, literally. I don’t blame the black beauty supply stores for always carrying Just For Me. I only blame “Ignorance”. All my blame is to ignorance because it carries more weight than a dumb truck full of Christmas trash. The ignorance of people during times of no Internet but a library pains me. There were signs that so many black families still ignore to this day; countless headaches, scalp burns, lack of hair growth, limp looking tresses, a scalps dry cry for grease and don’t forget death.
Is it interesting that the little black girls rite of passage would entail things to stop her growth? Now we are not the same so our adverse effects vary but really some of us tell the same stories of succumbing to a head scratch only minutes before placing the harshest topical chemical known to man on our heads. And for what? A good week of straight hair and approval from others. The days of perms being the only option in the black community are decreasing. I for one will not raise my child in perm utopia sin-land. I’ve already begun arguing with men who in the end can’t hold a candle to being my husband but seem to have an opinion about “our” daughter having a perm. As to say her not having a perm is going to keep her from applying to Yale and actually being accepted.
The days of Blue Magic grease, Neutralizing Shampoo, and plastic gloves that never stayed on anyone’s hands are OVER. I am praying for my little black girls rite of passage to be her accepting God as her personal savior NOT her getting a perm. Sure, the ones who finally woke up from the ignorance will be able to tell the tales of relaxers. But just like the good ol’ days they will not be lived by the children of tomorrow. Let’s raise a glass in honor of the last toast to the little black girls rite of passage; relaxers, you had a long run in the African-American community but just like the introduction of crack you have done nothing but bring it down.
Cheers to you and good riddance.
Read the follow on post, I’m Natural and So is My Child .
Living in the Curl of it…
Diana (a.k.a DRamZ84)