Celebrating Afros vs. The Blue Ivy Petition

Two weeks ago a women created a petition using change.org, the text simply read:

Dear Blue Ivy, Comb your hair.

The creator begged Beyonce and Jay-Z to use their money to ensure that Blue Ivy no longer have “matted dreads or lint balls.” One commenter stated “Because no child whose mom spends thousands on her hair (monthly) should live life looking like a sheep!”  I am disturbed and saddened by the petition especially in knowing that so many black folks (including myself) struggle with embracing our natural roots. Unbelievably, the petition has reached its goal of 5,000 signatures.

Walking through Seattle’s Northwest African American Museum’s Afro exhibit personally provided some balance, hope and strength. The exhibit features stunning photos (by social documentarian Michael July) of strong black men and women who wear their natural hair proudly.

photo-26

One male shared the complexity of natural hair and professionalism:

“Being out of an office environment allowed me to have no restrictions on my personal style. I decided not to cut cut my hair. The longer it got, the more free I felt…”

A woman shares the complexities of being mixed race;

I be that half breed/Bastard seed

Not in need of your validation

Brothers in need/Think I’m pretty

While brothers in know/Know the cost

They say that I am beautiful/By historical default

I am what happens when love mixes with hate

I am what’s produced when oxymorons mate

I’ve become acutely aware of the confused stares from strangers and children, and have mastered the art of deciphering the unspoken wonder from folks who silently wonder if I forgot to comb my hair.  While confused in wondering why life sometimes feels akin to the stories I hear of the afros in the 1960’s being worn as a symbol of power and making a statement,  I’m simultaneously empowered by the proud and few rocking their natural hair.

4 thoughts on “Celebrating Afros vs. The Blue Ivy Petition

  1. My son, Jaren rocks his long natural hair. He has always liked long hair, even before long natural hair came back in style. He wears it afro style or naturally uncombed (Maxwell style).

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Another naturalista here! Thanks for the heads up on the exhibit as I’ll be in SeaTac in August. I love my hair and my confidence in wearing my hair natural has been a great influence on my daughter, Hope. This mess about Blue Ivy really is ridiculous; apparently people have nothing better to do with their time. The child’s hair is fine.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. My husband and I adopted an African-American baby, and we have yet to do anything to it but condition it and comb it. We both think that her hair is beautiful. But regularly I get feedback from AA women who tell me that I need to start training her hair and braiding it or do something to it. Most of these women are 40+ years, so I don’t know if it is a generation thing… anyhoo, I usually just nod and say thank you for the advise. At this point, I am used to the stares from strangers. People already stare at us because a White dude and a Mexican woman have a black baby… What saddens me about this petition is the wasted energy on an issue that is really none of our business. There are far greater issues that need to be brought to our attention; children going to bed hungry, domestic abuse, racism, etc….

    Liked by 1 person

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