Greetings! I have not posted in a bit which means I’m acquiring knowledge, or, more likely, busy washing dishes and doing laundry. Tomorrow is African Liberation Day, and in celebration I’m locking my 2 year old’s hair, using the freeform method. I did that 2 years ago and loved my freeform locs and the journey of healing and patience that it came to signify for me. However, my hair now is unlocked, and I wear my hair natural although recently I started wearing a crown.
My son (in yellow, with a Rasta friend) likes his Rasta friends’ locs and responded in the affirmative when I suggested he loc his hair, too. While I’m not a Rastafarian, I do accept many Rasta ideologies in my own lifestyle and beliefs–particularly the Afro-centric and political views. The only thing that I do not agree with, apart from worshiping Haile Selassie, is the patriarchal dominance. I believe a liberated Black woman’s role is as important as a liberated Black man’s role and we should not be placed on a pedestal and worshiped; but seen as equals and comrades in the fight against Babylon and the unity of the African people.
So, back to the hair. I am excited to begin locking up his hair and to see the transformation because it is always a spectacular (and slow) process. Although for the next few weeks his hair will look like a bird’s nest. But it’s not just a hair “style”, it is a daily visual reminder of our African roots and a beautifully aesthetic way to reject the Straight Hair Ideal of the dominant culture.
t this is one thing I cannot overstand
dem nah teach me nothin bout mi ancient land
Inna the school and the college and the institution
the curriculum that I get is European
Ah teach me bout Marco Polo and Napolean
Nah teach me nuttin bout the river Nile bank
where civilization it began
You say thou shall not steal and should not kill no one
yet you steal treacherize and then you teach wrong
(Sizzla) yea yea slave and you murder all mi dad and mi mom
But wicked Babylonian and you will have to burn
I have been working on finding out who I am. I am looking at myself with new eyes. I am trying not to fear or loathe what I see in the mirror as I shed the white mask that Babylon insists I wear. What I see underneath the mask is foreign to me, as if it belongs to another woman, far away. But she is me, and I am her and we are African.
Rejecting Babylon requires constant consciousness and constant resistance. There is nothing antiquated about finding your roots. But it is more than just digging up old bones and facts. I don’t want to simply learn about Africa, I want to be an African. I want to somehow bridge the hundreds of years of Babylonian captivity from when my ancestors were forced out of West Africa to now. I want to learn her tongue, I want to sing her songs. I want the connection. I pray to my ancestors to show me, enlighten me to follow and continue to spread and grow the African culture once again.
Yes, resisting Babylon is easy. Living naturally, living simply, moving towards everything Afro-centric and away from European culture creates a peace amidst the rage of all the inequality, all of the poverty, all of the death. What is not easy is piecing who I am once I have dropped Babylonian values. Who am I? They do not want me to know. I must find out.
Cassius Clay is a name that white people gave to my slave master. Now that I am free, that I don’t belong anymore to anyone, that I’m not a slave anymore, I gave back their white name, and I chose a beautiful African one.