Arms Length

Is my blackness too black for you? I’m light skinned. While in school I was either too black to hang with the white kids. Or too light to hang with the black kids. So the black kids would bully me. I’m not the average black girl. Light skin, long hair. I looked foreign to the black kids. Then all the white kids would want to do is touch my hair like they’ve never seen hair before. So most of my friends were Hispanics. I could relate to them. Mostly because they would go through the same things. I say all of this to say. I hope my daughter doesn’t have to go through any of that. Yes, it’s everywhere how black is beautiful. How natural hair is beautiful. How light skin is beautiful. How dark skin is beautiful.

“My black is beautiful.” That’s awesome. I can’t take anything away from that. But I still experience a white girl reaching her hand out attempting to touch my hair when it’s natural. Or try to run their fingers through it when it’s straight. Black girls asking me if my hair is a weave. Black men asking me if I have a lace front. Then reach out their hand. NO!. Did your mother not teach any of you BOUNDARIES! Or the unwritten rule. NEVER TOUCH A BLACK WOMAN’S HAIR. No. You cannot touch my hair. What is so fascinating about our hair? Texture, curl, kink? How many ways we can style it? How we can pull of all of these styles? Doesn’t mean you can just walk up to me and touch me. I can’t seem to wrap my head around it. It may not be for me to understand. I actually had a man pull my hair because he didn’t believe my hair was real. Obviously he had to hit the door after that. But don’t feel like its okay for you to touch my hair when I don’t know you like that. Or you think its okay because its “just hair”. It’s not just hair. IT’S MY HAIR.

(Cyn Santana – “Real Life”)

(Missy Elliot – “All N My Grill”)

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