This was an assignment for our human development class today. We had to choose a song (and write the lyrics) to describe us, our culture, or are cohort. During class we used youtube or a CD to play the song while the class read along. Then we described how/why the song described us. It was so interesting. I learned so much about my classmates. We shed tears, we laughed and we were mesmerized.
Below are my song and my "Who Am I" statement. It's super looong....but all my posts are long so you should be used to it by now! I've included the video I played in class as well. I really hope you enjoy the video, the lyrics and what it means to me.
India.Arie featuring Akon - "I Am Not My Hair"
"WHO AM I"
I love my hair.
I can wear it short, long, straight, wavy, in bantu-knots, curly, as an afro, in a ponytail, in cornrows, in braids, in a braided ponytail, in afro puffs, in a ponytail afro puff, under a wig, fingercoils, in extensions, in plaits, in extension plaits, twist-outs, braid-outs, flat twist-outs, bantu-knot twist out, bantu-knot braid-out, teeny weeny afro, chunky afro, chunky twist-out, curly afro…and that’s not even the end of the list!
I love all the creative styles in which I can wear it. I love using my hair as an expression of my feelings. I love washing my hair, styling my hair and learning my hair’s (sometimes fickle) personality.
My hair is an extension of me, but it is not me. I recently cut off my long tresses in an attempt to rid my hair, and my body, of the chemical relaxers used to straighten my hair for most of my life. I want to wear my natural, afro-textured hair. I enjoy the flexibility of it, but mostly, I love creative, funky hair.
I love this song, I Am Not My Hair, by India.Arie. I’m very attuned to hair and the power it has over us, especially as I watch my aunt battle breast cancer. In a way, the lyrics to this song represent my ‘coming of age’ story about my hair. It describes perfectly the decades-long internal and external battle I went through before deciding to eliminate relaxers from my life. This song describes the judgments and perceptions attached to natural black hair. It reveals the positive and negative reactions of others, the personal experiences that accompany wearing various natural hairstyles, and the overall importance prescribed to hair, particularly for women.
But ultimately, with straight hair, curly-afro hair or no hair, I am always me.
I am not my hair.
I am not this skin.
I am always the soul that lives within.