Not this time…


This is the third time that I am growing my hair out. The other times I let the voices of others infiltrate my mind and influence something  I knew to be important to me. I cut them. Perhaps it was necessary. Perhaps it was part of the journey. All I know is that this time, I make my choice according to what I feel is correct for me.

You see, I’ve decided that I’m going to lock up my hair. It is an important decision, akin to when an Afrikan woman decides to make the shift back to the original and un-fried texture of her hair. It is a statement. Growing locs is a social, cultural, economic, and political statement. It says that I will be what I am in the manner that I was born into this world and I will make no apology for it. However, I understand the possible consequences and I take them on willingly.

It comes down to compromise. Do you compromise yourself in order to grease the wheels of society a bit? Or do you shrug your shoulders and do what is right for you? Now, I’m not saying that this specific instance is the ultimate statement of Afrocentricity. It is how I choose to do so, but for others it may be laying low until they get that degree in economics along with the experience to put themselves in a better place to influence the financial instability that has plagued Ayiti and many other Black nations. In fact, that is probably a much more powerful statement than doing something with your hair. Last time I checked, most people don’t get killed for having locks, but they have been assassinated for attempting to shift the economic possibilities of Afrikan peoples into a better light.

Back to my original point, I comprehend what it is I am doing and its weight in the socio-cultural spectrum. It may seem to be so trivial, a hairstyle, yet, it is something that wanders around in my mind. Popping up consistently throughout my life, therefore I place an importance on it because I have this life to live in the manner I see fit. And as I have decided to live my life as an Afro-Caribbean individual in an Afrocentric manner (with the specific flavor of Ayiti) I have decided that somethings cannot be compromised. To the way in which I see myself.

It seems so trivial, but it is the little things that we hold on to that those who watch us remember. I believe that our significance as individuals, our worth, is intrinsically tied into our role within our group, our community, our people. So, the example I set by being true to myself and what I wish to become plays a huge role in that dynamic. I am human and I am flawed and I can never claim to be any kind of paragon, but I do know that the young ones are watching. They observe us and learn how to maneuver in this world by mimicking us, so I’m going to be the me that is of use to his people in the image of me that leaves a positive image of Black, Afrikan, and Ayisyen.


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