Right now as I write this, Mark is playing with my hair. I had just undone my braids and Mark loves the feel of my aburn waves as they fall just pass my shoulders.
Having learned my lession from years ago, it has been years since I'd my hair cut (trim yes, cut not) frankly, I quite enjoy my beloved playing with my hair.
One of the wonderful things that occur when I had my first afro, my hair became "wash and go." No more hot combs, vaseline and having to sit for hours as my mother straighten my hair. No more having to wear swimcaps so my hair didn't get wet. I could actually enjoy the breeze blowing through my hair since it was free of the two braids. I could now wash my hair, add the new 'adro sheen' hair dressing, Pick my hair out and go about my busniess. Of course, one carrys one's Pick. A Pick, a comb that is thick with long teeth and it is used to comb, lift and shape the afro.
It was a time where people of colour were beginning to realize that their natural hair was beautiful, wearing it as G-d intended and tossing out the lie that their "nappy hair" was ugly.
Several years later, I would learn to cornbraid and frenchbraid my own hair.
At four-teen years old, my mum handed me the comb, brush and pick. It was now my hair and my job to keep it up. This was the first step in my mum releasing me to grow up. Soon I would start picking out my own warerobe and even in a few years, have my own room.
From time to time I would go back to the perm or straighten hair for specail occaions, the last time my hair was straighten was for my wedding and was done so that the crown fits better.
Then in the 60's the afro or 'natural' was a politcal, social statement. To many an act of rebellion and feared so it meant a people were defining who they were and rejecting the label of others.
It was a good time to be a child; for the rights and freedoms my mother could only dream about at my age, were real for me