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I am not your misguided perception of my hair.

by Lian OkolieFeb 1st, 2019

I am not your misguided perception of my hair.

Today I felt like reading the article to you as I thought it would translate better. This is a spoken article Not a podcast.


Mister, when you look at my hair what do you see?
Do you see the coils and kinks that give insight into my illustrious history?
The braids and cornrows that tell tales rich in pride and tradition?
Or do you wish to see something different?
Something you deem more palatable?

Hey mister, when you look at my skin what do you see?
Do you see the dark rich hue of my skin tone?
Do you see the scars, from a lifetime of battles?
The fear and the pain hidden below the façade?
Or do you wish to see something different?
Something you deem more acceptable

You see an “Angry black woman”.
You criticise the lack of a smile on my face as you heap the weight of your insecurities upon me.
You prefer that I smile while you make laws and spin stories to demonize me.


Sista, when you look at my hair what do you see?
Do you see the coils and kinks reminiscent of the locks atop your head,
The coils that share the same roots as the mass of curls that frame your face?
Do you see the braids and cornrows that tell tales of the history we share?
Or do you see the symbol of a narrative you would rather forget?

Hey sista, when you look at me what do you see?
Do you see my chocolate complexion, glistening with the richness of our common history?
Do you see yourself in me?
Or do you see the differences you were taught to see?


Brotha, when you look at my hair what do you see?
Do you see the coils and kinks that give insight into our illustrious history?
The braids and cornrows that tell tales rich in pride and tradition?
Or do you wish to see something different?
Something you deem more palatable?

Hey Brotha, when you look at me what do you see?
Do you see my mahogany skin, Incandescent, in all its’ glory?
Do you see your mother?
Do you see a wife?
Or do you see a part of yourself that you wish to forget?
A part of yourself that brings you shame?

For so long I looked at myself through your eyes.
I never thought of my hair as a source of pride,
It had too much of a kink.
I never thought of my skin as beautiful,
It was never the right complexion.

My hair is not curly and my skin is not fair,
I am not your misguided perception of my hair.
I am a queen, I am fierce and I am filled with love.
Check my swagger, full of pride,
I transcend the confines of your mind.

I treasure my coils and kinks that zig and zag,
Dancing in the wind with confidence.
I embrace my ebony skin that glistens and glows radiating beauty.
I am not your perception of my hair,
I am a Queen by all accounts
The mother of nations, the daughter of Kings
I am who I am
Not who you wish me to be.

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