Today ended the era of rule by Queen Elizabeth II. It signifies the end of a reign that spanned 70 years! Yes 70 long years!! Longest reigning British monarchy in history! Should we be sad, should we rejoice?
Our people lost their self confidence, our children lost their fathers, their families, we were robbed our resources.....the list goes on, but what I really want to talk about is the way in which our people were left to feel. Less than, ugly, dirty, not good enough, adjectives that haunt us to this day.
Colonialism played a major role in our self esteem. A MAJOR ROLE!!
The African tribes wore their hair with pride. They styled it to communicate different messages about social status, heritage, culture and religion. It was a symbolic tool. They felt confident in their hair, with themselves.
This was all stripped away. They were dehumanized... we were dehumanized. I say we because we are still trying to climb out of this. We have to affirm our existence everyday, our beauty and our purpose. It has been a long road.
Today, in 2022, we are reaping the effects of those 70 long years. Yes! We are still afraid to be who we are. We are still scolded for wearing our hair the way God intended, and we are still trying to please someone out there, just not ourselves.
Today, in 2022, 18 of the 50 states of the United States of America will allow women to wear their hair as they please. Yet we talk about slavery being abolished. 18 states ONLY!! Thirty-two states can still discriminate against women in the workplace because of their hair.
Today, in 2022, in my home country of Dominica, we still have laws about how boys should were their hair at school. Yes, little black and brown boys! Living in a black and brown country! We ask why? Colonialism.
Are we truly free?
Many say that we as women had a role model. We had the longest serving woman. Really? Misuse of power, genocides, robbing countries of resources, really? A role model? OK.
Today, I wear my hair with pride. Today I will teach my daughter and anyone I can teach, that their hair is beautiful. I will admire those that wear their hair naturally and tell them how beautiful they are and how proud I am of them. Today, in my own little way, I will try to undo colonialism!