decolonization

Happy To Be Nappy

My hair is nappy, yeah, my hair is free/
I’m super proud of how it grows up out of me/
A lot of people, yeah, they wanna hate/
‘Cause they don’t know that nappy is what makes me great/

You see to tame out my crown, would be like taking it down/
So while I’m making these rounds, no need for sating these clowns/

I can construct it, yeah, in many shapes/
Although sometimes I got them beadies in my nape/
They’re my antennas, yeah, they’re my transistors/
Just like my brother’s and my sister’s and resistors/

People forget that DNA is curled up just like these coils/
The N-A-P’s of the OG’s are much more precious than oils/

They mine for mine, yeah, that melanation/
A pharmaceutical could never be replacement/
That’s why I’m happy, yep, just to be me/
My hair is nappy, yeah, my hair is free

Every hair that grows out of my head seemingly has a freestyle story of its own to tell. Some don’t live to tell their stories because of inevitable uprootings while detangling, some because of breakage. Some are WAY straighter than you would expect based on their direct neighbors. One day, some traitors will decide to change colors on me in my sleep (let’s hope that day is far away, although I know there’s one or two alien gentrifiers — greys — gathering intel up there right now).

The point is that the anti-gravitational, non-deterministic behavior of my hair (individually and collectively) exudes freestyle. Yours too, even if it’s not tightly coiled like mine. Looking at hair, and how it flows or bounces, sways or droops, rustles or silently wisps through the air, one can see evidence of life. The actual cross-section of a hair is fascinating if you’ve never seen one. It looks like a kaleidoscope image, and somewhat unlike most cells in the body. To imagine that each hair is just a physical kaleidoscope image projected into 3-dimensional space is a fun mental exercise.

The foundational structure from which freestyle expresses is always perceivable, even if it must be microscopic (or macroscopic). We just have to be able to understand that the output has just as much tacit structure built into it to make it all make sense. Coils exist in nature; it’s not as though my hair makes a bunch of right-angle turns, although I’d like to imagine there’s some dimension of reality where that is a thing and those folks have awesome styles.

So the output is understandable in naturalistic terms. Maybe it doesn’t always make *sense* but there’s rhyme and reason hidden in the unknown when you really bring out the magnifying glass and the sleuth getup. Locs? Sure. Or just a poof of magic; that works too! However you slice it, just don’t slice it off.

Tearing the colonialism out of my psyche to love the way my hair naturally grows, and seeing what kind of experiments I can do with it when I have space to freestyle it, is such a liberating experience that many people will never get to have. This is why I’m happy about it: because Joy can be gleaned from unlikely sources. And some of us have a duffel bag full of joy to discover once we decolonize our minds and set ourselves free.