Hi my name is Ayesha and I’m the lead author for this blog. As other writers come on I will add information about them here.
So this blog is an extension of a video that I created a few years ago by the same name., originally posted on a little channel called Najahface in 2008. Actually this is the modern-day living breathing representation of a project that I hope will circumnavigate the globe (digitally of course).
African Hair…Why not Black Hair?
There is some misconception that African hair is just this one type of hair, which is usually thought of as the curliest tightest driest most difficult. But that isn’t always the case. Even though this type does exist in the sphere of African Hair, it isn’t the only type.
We have this habit of tribalizing ourselves, in some cases creating differences where there is none. Notwithstanding differences in cultural styling, hair texture in the African world is diverse, even on the African continent.
I’ve heard people call my hair African-American hair only because I was born in America. However, neither of my parents were born here nor were my foreparents so how did my hair become American. I thought that hair was determined through lineage not geography so since my lineage is predominately African wouldn’t it stand to reason that my hair is African?
For those of us who grew up in the diaspora never traveling The Continent we usually uphold this view. We’ve created separate categories of African hair like Afro-Caribbean and Afro-American or Afro-Latina hair when in reality so-called Afro-Latino hair could look generally the same as Afro-Caribbean hair or the hair of a person from Botswana.
So it’s for this reason why I’ve done away with hyphenation or rather never really subscribed to it at all.
As for not using “Black Hair” well I’m all about bringing it back to focus. As an African woman via the Caribbean via Africa I want to tie all things back to the center of where we all originated from and pay homage to a global African people who have continued African hair cultivation in spite of all efforts to eradicate or hijack it from our respective cultures.
So this blog will hopefully be a collaborative effort by African people around the world allowing you all to share your hair stories and how it relates to culture and identity. This may be a different type of hair story than you’re use to. I want us to dive into the cultural significance of African hair and hair styling.
My hope is that this blog will enlighten all who pass through and be a stepping stone to seeing ourselves as African people.