Edges? The term that mainly Black, African American women use when their baby hair isin't laying flat against their head after setting their hair in a style. For some its brushed down and some manner of styling gel is placed there to keep it from flying away. The term "my edges are tight" or "my edges are layed "comes from that. Edges isin't an issue for me personally. I wear my hair in its natural state most of the time. Its either in an afro or two strand twists.. That's all I need to be happy with my hair, just straightforward no fuss. I can watch hair styles on the net all day though. Articles of late, regarding Olympic gold medalist, Gabby Douglas' brutal social media attack on her hair and others, have prompted me to write a post/poem about Black women's obsession with edges and hair in general.
I'm all edges baby and its fine by me. Don't test me! You're gonna get hurt on this here sharp HAIR...its called an #AFRO, it comes in countless varieties and its texture can be described as kinks, twists , curls, naps, coils and bends...darting in and out dazzling the senses..mind body and Soul II Soul blaring out my window...Keep On Moving..no wait keep it moving!!!! How Forward thinking the Funky Dreads were back in the day! Their Afrocentric flair made it all seem ok to be just ME.The Funky Dreads knew the way the truth and the...Lifestyle of living with kinks, growing their hair in what was considered to be unconventional hairstyles, dealing with stares, rejection and comments...good or ill.
Why do people choose to live their life.. this way? Our colonized elders meandered down the Nile in denial of their esoteric aesthetically pleasing locs in all its delightful array...along Golden Coasts.... Mama Africa!!! Heh!!!
Edges...Stop you play too much!...have you forgotten your roots? Fussing bout those edges allowing it to stomp on your pride....your head was held high a spring in your gait , strong hips, intimidate.. all who gazed upon your lush frame, drenched with kinks sending seismic pangs throughout, hills and plains.
Edges...It's just hair....they say. Why this obsession with hair? We've been told by those in the days of old to .. "Fix that hair!!!"
"yuh poppy show!" " yuh favor likkle pickney with yuh hair a jut out so!!"
...Regressing...reminiscing...getting those edges done with the hot comb before church...wincing at the scorching heat by my hairlne... Praying ill have at least one ear left to hear Soldier of
Love.....the smell of my tightly coiled burning DNA, perhaps only to be comforted by the chatter of the Mamas at the salon .... All with kinks embedded in their melanin core.
....flipping through Mama's collection of glossy Bible stories...relating to images of Lot's wife yearning for the good life, that good fruit, That GOOD HAIR, though it always puzzling me. I liked my own hair growing at the root and why did I have to kill it? The sadistic process of burning, tingling, waiting and touching my dissolving thickness till... my beautiful waves were all gone.
Don't look now you'll turn to a pillar of salt!!!
Edges...*flashback* catching my breath now sitting on a hard church pew...my pink foam roller set airborne and rising....looking like cotton candy...Shame flushes over me.. "it is finished!" Head hung low refusing to make eye contact with that cute boy across the hall Ive been crushing on since birth.
Edges...It's NOT presentable!..panic stricken..sifting through the collection of Yaki 1,2,3XYZ in search of On fleek!!!.....pressured cooked and pasted down to perfection to appease the masses...the masses "Yes Massa...." Frantically reaching for you head covering ..covering.. covering ...hips sway to an invisible drum.... Mama Africa!! What was once a source of pride has become a burden ... Hair wasn't covered to hide our beauty but to enhance and dress it up for fetes , ceremonies and celebrations. Across the great divide our pride had to be broken, piece by piece Used against us so we would then turn against each other... Fed lies "its ugly", "its nappy" "its dirty" "it shouldn't be seen" "cover that up!", "how dare you go out like that? *drumming faster* "Now we do the same... "How dare wear your afro to work, cornrows at school, beads to daycare, locs on the beat..." Drowning ourselves in self hate.
Yet one little stray coil Wading through the Waters...
Once our ancestors laughing, dancing, rejoicing with wiry bent strands which now transcend through our thick skulls... What have we done???
While we kill it so we can Kill it!!!! ...No, you're killing with the edges you have Layed!! *drums beating* Killing it when you don't allow yourselves to mentor a Sister who needs a kind word and upliftment. ..which will allow her natural beauty to flow free, her achievements given honour to and value placed beyond her exterior. We are more important than just a 'bad hair day'.
Have we progressed through this process to where kinks flowing free is considered a mess and now our EDGES repressed is a measure of success?!?
Edges...How Dare We Be Who We Are?????
We are adorned with glorious crowns which give praise through the UV rays directly to our Maker...singing to the treetops, reverberating to the mountaintops.... Non-stop...
Thank you Mama Africa!!
Thank you for my edges!
August 28, 2016
Gail Jordan (Cammydoll)