I think.. (Notice I said, “I think.”) that the hair revolution of the 1960’s and 70’s also went the way of the revolution – down the drain. We had no follow through. It was mostly a fad in the populous with no real grounding in our African culture. Similar to naming our children African sounding (Notice – I said, “African sounding”) names during that era. The theories and dialogue were there, but some were not just visual, they are followers – drones. There are numerous examples out there and even more numerous closer to home.
The main ideal was to change our culture and the rest would follow. But the populace grows weary of the struggle and for the past 40 years at least most reverted back to a quasi-Africanism. Natural hair has become a fad for the wanna-bee conscious and a state of being for the conscious, similar to the dashiki. Whites wore dashiki’s too in the 1960’s, but it was a state of rebellion against “the man.” When Chris Rock‘s statement to Black women clamoring for natural Indian hair in his documentary, “Good Hair,” did he ever think that the craze would bring about the ample supply of synthetic African styled extensions? It is still a fad for most. They want to be in. But the first time that they are turned down for a job because of their locks, they fold, feel those insecurities deepen, and lose ground. It has to become an inner-force – a love affair with the African body. Right now, it is like fake boobs and tattoos. After 40 of my 57 years, – I am still waiting.
Mary Seacole (1805 – May 14, 1881)
Mary Seacole was a Jamaican nurse who cared for British soldiers at the battlefront during the Crimean War. She assisted the wounded at the military hospitals and was a familiar figure at the transfer points for casualties from the front. Her remedies for cholera and dysentery were particularly valued.
Septima Poinsette Clark (May 3, 1898 – Dec. 15, 1987)
Septima Clark was an American educator and civil rights activist. Clark developed the literacy and citizenship workshops that played an important role in the drive for voting rights and civil rights for African-Americans in the American Civil Rights Movement.
Clark, along with future Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall and others, worked on a 1945 case that sought equal pay for Black and white teachers. She described it as her “first effort in a social action challenging the status quo.” Her salary increased threefold when the case was won.
via 8 Black Women of the Civil Rights Era Who Don’t Get the Praise They Deserve – Atlanta Blackstar.
Too often the stories of Black women never see the light of day let alone make it to film. It’s no surprise that this depiction of the life of Saartjie (Sarah) Baartman was produced in French. I, personally, can’t imagine an American or British filmmaker ever being willing to produce it. The film details Saartjie’s travel from her home in South Africa to London where she became an attraction for Europeans.
via Black Venus: The Saartjie Baartman Story – Full Film.
As a black woman, I struggle to reclaim the image of my body. I may have reconstructed, re-envisioned and reinterpreted it, but in the eyes of another, those attempts fall to pieces and my body takes on a different meaning. In a fashion that dates back to colonialism, slavery and past and present ethnographic exhibitions, our bodies take on contrasting roles as tools of both our oppression and our liberation.
via The Modern Black Woman and Politics of Respectability.