More Than About Black Hair

Your hair is your glory,

But fake hair is another story.

Many people praise your extensions,

But they fail to mention

The roots and edges

Which look like hedges

Whose roots are receding

From the ground for lack of water.

For chemicals have placed things out of order.

These man-made concoctions

Cause unnatural stresses

Upon the natural perfection

That God abundantly blesses,

Notwithstanding man’s reckless behavior.

But the Lord continues to be our savior;

He will even save black women

From their own rejection

Of the wonderful perfection

That he so carefully created

As their growing crown of splendor.

No matter how hard they continue to hinder

God’s divine and beautiful creation

By seemingly harmless manipulation,

God uses their own sisters,

With their afros, braids, twists, and locks,

To unlock black minds lost within a white box—

A box that contains a history of oppression.

These enlightened black women have begun the lesson

That the “big chop” is more than about

Just cutting of the hair, or the style you wear,

It is about baptism of the spirit and mind.

It helps blacks to loosen the ties that bind

Their unique and God-given ethnic traits

From the clutches of their own unique self-hate.

 

by Phillip McCullough Jr.

Read the essay that inspired this poem

 

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