Skip to main content

Posts

Featured

"Not up to Par"

I remember being in high school in Kenya and, on two separate occasions, having a male schoolmate walk up to me and either tell me he didn't like my hairstyle or it was not up too par. The key word in that sentence: male. Did I mention that the schoolmates in question were both black?
My sin: my hair was unrelaxed. Whether it was neat and tied back or in neat braids/lines, it was apparently a problem. Hair was not hair unless chemicals or extreme heat had been used to straighten it. There were "approved hairstyles" for the middle class. And they were so well-known that even the boys knew what was acceptable and what wasn't. I remember some others asking me if I was saved because, apparently, that was the only rational explanation for not relaxing one's hair: a religious injunction.
Imagine I was just okay with my hair as it was. In the same way that I was okay with my skin as it was. There was no compelling reason to change them radically, no conviction on my pa…

Latest Posts

Other People Exist and Their Voices Matter

"African men do not talk about kitchen issues in public."

BEING "PERFECT" AIN'T EASY

Sexual Assault and Gendered Stereotypes

Questions Folks are Asking in the Wake of Obama's Recent Trip to Sub-Saharan Africa

Violence and Accountability

On Partington's "War on Kwani?"

The little things do matter.