Nappy Out Loud 1.0 ~ The Movement

I know that this site is for naturally curly and kinky hair and there are many of you that are not African-American. Know that I love you, but in this post, I’m not talking directly to you. However, I am a believer that we can all learn from one another and apply universal lessons introspectively without regard for source or intended audience so read on.

Now, on with the post.

From Eric Garner to John Crawford to Michael Brown this has been a rough summer in Black America. The above named, may they rest in peace are not the only lives that we have lost to the spirit of hate. We have been killing one another at record rates in the city of Chicago and all across the country. Why?

David Banner posted on his Twitter Feed

@therealbanner : “Our situation is more psychological than people will admit. Black kids kill black kids for the same reason cops do. They see no value.”

I believe that now more than ever it is important to push the agenda of self-love within our community. Not just inside the natural hair community but every child of the Middle Passage on this side of the Atlantic (because it’s not just a USA plight) needs to be able to look in the mirror and see both beauty and value.

So what do I propose that we do as sisters in the struggle to reconnect and with our heritage and our roots? I propose an extremely small step as an act of solidarity that we go weave and makeup (heavy) free for the next 30 days. What will that do?

Remember the first story in this series where I told you all about how young black girls would stop me in different places and ask me about my hair? I want them to do that you too! The more of these young ladies we can reach the more that we can instill pride and display the value in who we are as a people and they will then possibly influence the young men. Don’t forget to tell them what you do for a living and be sure that you pay them a compliment in kind! (no big deal right?)

It’s not going to shake up the world… we won’t make the news… it won’t be on CNN… but I can remember growing up and seeing the women in my mother’s circle of friends wearing and making African garments and reading stories or singing songs to their children about Kings and Queens and the concept of the Village. Years later I can readily grasp at how proud I have always felt to be Black, even in the face of being called out of my name. I have been able to defend myself with my words because they had been given to me by my elders.

“I am proud of my heritage and who I am.”

We all hail from different tribes and countries, many of which we are not aware of the exact origins, but the curls and kinks connect us, our skin in every shade connects us and our history in the collective sense entwine and unites us. Let the children see who we REALLY are. Be Nappy Out Loud for 30 days and share your pictures/stories  with the hashtag:

#NappyOutLoud

 

on every form of social media. Show us pictures of you doing work in the community, excelling academically, having good clean fun with friends, being a family, etc. (THE NEXT BIG POST IN THIS SERIES WILL CONTAIN A COMPILATION OF ALL OF YOUR GREAT PHOTOS THAT WE CAN FIND ON THE WEB)

The media would have us believe that we are less than human. We can’t be too surprised as this has been the consistent propaganda ever since the south wanted to count slaves so they could obtain greater representation and the North wasn’t having it, (look it up for yourself…that’s off format, but it’s true).

Let’s do this very small thing in an effort to restore the children’s vision of just how valuable and beautiful we are. Perhaps they will be more inclined to respect, protect and love one another.

Follow me on Instagram where I’ll be posting my #NappyOutLoud pics @Marri76.

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Nappy Out Loud 0.1

So I hope you all rock with me on this. This is the first post of many where I plan to explore the life of being natural in a world that hasn’t quite figured out what that means. These posts are strictly for entertainment/encouragement. I still want it to be easy for you to find the tips and tricks but this part needs to be shared. These will fall under “The Journey” category if you ever miss a story and want to find it quickly.

Currently I’m in Ohio and the natural hair movement here is a bit different. The spectrum ranges from the militant “Overstand me” black is beautiful crowd; to the divas that are along for the trend and the thick swinging hair. Then there are people like me that are in the middle and see the economical, mental and physical benefits of not subjecting oneself to European standards of beauty on African hair and body.

So what’s the point of starting this series?

Because I still get stared at walking down the street when I’m having a big hair day. Not just from the little old white ladies that you expect to serve you major side-eye, but from people who I think look like me. I know I can’t be the only one.

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I used to make up stories for people when I caught them staring.

“It must be because I’m tall.”

“Maybe I’m wearing something that they haven’t seen before.”

Or my favorite line that I know my man is thoroughly tired of;

“Do I look crazy?” 

The fact of the matter is that there are not many, in this area at least, that are un-apologetically Nappy Out Loud.

Nappy Out Loud: The act of having nappy hair outside, in front of people, on purpose.

Now I embrace the fact that I’m unique, but what I’ve embraced even more are the phenomena that take place (I looked it up, that’s the right word) when I’m out since I’ve just owned my individuality in style. The young girls that stop me in malls or out on the town and start conversations about my hair just when I really start to feel my odd ball vibe turn up a notch.

“I’ve been thinking about going natural.”

“Is that all your hair?”

“How long have you been natural? I just started, what do you use?”

So if you’re out there hiding under a weave, a hard press or just in a state of not being quite ready to give the world your 100% natural self. I hope that in the upcoming weeks (or however long this still makes sense to do) as I share stories of what I’ve experienced you find the courage to be Nappy Out Loud!

Be sure that you subscribe and share with all of your friends (CLICK THAT FOLLOW BUTTON IN THE TOP LEFT). I plan on telling you all the stories that I usually keep to myself, as they occur. From the people who I catch staring and what I say, to the ones that actually have the nerve to touch my hair or say something crazy. (LOTS OF IN-LAW STORIES ON DECK …. They’re not ready).

Join me on this journey, Nappy Hair, Out Loud, In front of people.

-Clutched pearls and twirled curls

 

Life on the other side of my loc attempt

I have been having the time of my life since I took my locs down. There are days that I miss being able to just wake up and go, but not many. Locs are beautiful, on everybody else but me. 🙂

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I’m posting some pictures of the fun I’ve been having since taking my hair down, but I thought I’d share with you a moment that took place this weekend that changed my thought process on my hair.

I’ve done every type of style imaginable over the past decade, relaxer-free. Weave is my weakness, but it’s not a chemical, and I don’t use glue so I’m still on #TeamNatural.

Sunday evening I raced all over town, completely forgetting about the fact that during the Christmas shopping season the stores in the mall stay open until 8. I made it to a hair store in what I thought was the nick of time with only a half-hour to spare.

I paced the isles toggling between a full sew-in and long twists with Marley hair to hide away my hair in the cold. I never spend a lot of money on the hair I sew in because I rarely keep a style over two weeks, but the prices have changed dramatically. The cheap hair that hangs in the isles is $30/pack. For those of you that haven’t ever explored the Wide World of Weave, the isle is reserved for the synthetic, non-human or poorly conditioned hair and the price range for that is not much higher than $20/pack. I found myself asking a question that I’d never considered before.

Is it that serious?

How my hair looks is always important to me, let’s not confuse that. However, it’s not become important for me to achieve styles that my own hair isn’t designed to do. I have fallen completely in love with my curls and kinks. My new perspective on a good weave is one that accentuates my hair, not one that hides it away. Straight hair is fun, but not when I doesn’t feel like a straightened version of what I grow.

It used to be very easy for me to braid my hair back and take on a new personality, and now the thought of it gives me separation anxiety. During my short loc journey I was taken away from being able to play with my hair the way I’d become accustomed over the years. I’m not saying that I’ll never rock a wig again, but I believe my journey helped me appreciate my own hair so much more.

 

Perception Deception (don’t believe the hype)

Nobody prepares you for the spectacle you may become the further into the natural journey you travel. I remember my first month natural, people talked about how they were surprised that my hair was essentially a bunch of ringlets, I still can’t imagine exactly what they were expecting.

There are some people, even African-Americans that hear the word “natural” in reference to hair and their mind drills down to a picture from National Geographic from the 1970s. Honestly I had hopes that my hair would spring forth and declare without words my African roots and serve as a symbol of pride in my ancestors that arrived in South Carolina on a boat from Ghana and from those three sisters I sit in a boardroom like fearless and “reppin’ my people”. However, my lineage, as most pre-1800’s lineage African-Americans, is much more complex and with that I’m left with a head of hair that boasts cowlicks  and whirls in the midst of my ringlets and waves.

It is that fact that caused me to seek professional assistance along my hair path my first few years. Because all of the passed down information and the few YouTube videos out at the time I found myself lost when people started giving curl classifications and assigning DIY styling instructions based on 3c, 2b, etc. and noticed that I’d have to change techniques from one section of hair to the next. When I took time away from wearing a styled afro and took what I call a braid break, I’d get one price when they looked at my hair, and about halfway through I’d get a new quote for the next time because my shrinkage would hide not only the length but how full my head of hair was at the time. This would incite a gathering of the braiders behind my chair and a few of them reaching in to touch a few different spots in my head and discuss it among themselves in French.

The most notable part of my past journey revolved around the curiosity that my hair created, in others as well as introspectively. It will take time to get used to exactly what your hair is going to look like so use the words, videos and instructions as a baseline to formulate your own techniques.

Just a bit of fortune cookie wisdom. Enjoy!

The Details

The Details