Since I stopped using chemical hair relaxers slightly over a year ago, I have been more attuned to the reactions of people to black women’s hair. I am sometimes perplexed by the feelings of some people that black hair in its natural state is unkempt. I have heard the word ‘crazy’ used. (Shudders). Suggesting that if more care was taken of black hair, it would be sleek. This is my tribute to all those sisters (and brothers) taking on these preconceptions.


So, this is how a black woman’s hair grows,

Straight up.

Resistant to strong winds. Inflexible. Immovable. Unbending.

Never falling under the heavy weight of gravity pressing down,

Steady and secure, rooted and sure, it grows.

Straight up.


If it wants to, it can bend and twist into shapes,

Dense formations, creative curves and spirals. Majestic.

But sometimes it hides behind hair said to be a 100% more human.

Hidden. Yet,

It will not bow down to heavy waters,

Will not lay down sleek under the water’s weight, it grows,

Straight up.


An acid that strips chicken to the bone in seconds,

Burns flesh, is the only thing that it will succumb to.

But only for a minute. For a while. The undergrowth, over grows.

A constant monthly battle between this forest and white napalm,

Between science and God’s creation.

The evergreen forest always rises from the ashes,

Because this is how a black woman’s hair grows,

Straight up.


And this is how the black woman goes…

Straight up.


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