Natural hair and a stash of “awkward black girl” memories

I need to share this with you.

It’s a shout out to all my fellow natural hair wearing women with a secret stash of awkward black girl memories.

Issa Rae (Director, Writer, Editor, MessTalker) served up a beautifully-written piece about learning to love her hair. As I’m always looking for ways to help instill a sense of pride and emotional wellness in my daughters, I read her article as last night’s bed time story, and boy did it conjure up some healthy conversation!

Ages 10 to 14 were definitely my awkward black girl years, and I remember them clearly.  Culture shock, family drama, and standing out like a sore thumb as “the weird, know-it-all, Jamaican girl with the big gap between her teeth”…yep…memories.

When was your awkward stage, and what do you remember most?

One of my beautifully awkward black girls reminded me how early this all starts, and how important it is to TALK ABOUT OUR HAIR from a space of PRIDE, and not from a place of how to HIDE it, or have it CONFORM to fit into someone else’s comfort zone.

Your hair, your choice.

Hell yes.

But as in all things, it’s worthwhile to address
the WHY behind your choice.

[featured image via]

  • Sandra Hicks

    My awkward years were from 12-16’sh , a long time. And I try to help my children (boy and girl) to understand and deal with theirs in a better emotional and mental ways than I did. Dialogue and empathy is so necessary ! I want them to love, accept and embrace their individuality and especially to know the WHY . Thanks Akilah for sharing this, I’m going to read it to me kids too.

    •  Thank you for sharing, Sandra! I think you are spot on with your “dialogue and empathy” statement.  Let me know what your children say about Issa’s article, please. I’d love to keep this dialogue going, and let my girls know how their self-expression affected someone else.