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Free Yourself… Naturally
What does your freedom mean to you? Happiness, or maybe even joy? Think about that elated feeling of unclasping those three hooks after work and experiencing that “ahh, finally!” moment. That moment when you take those lashes off and snatch that laid lacefront to throw it to the side. That sigh of relief. You know that moment!
This article will explore the various facets of the meaning of freedom deriving all the way back to the Emancipation of African Americans AKA Juneteenth and time-traveling up through the African American woman’s journey to natural hair freedom. So sit back and let’s get into it…
Remember growing up and playing outside with your cousins — you know everybody your mama knew was your cousin, regardless of blood relation — and y’all would be playing so hard that you work up a thirst? Then you would go inside the house to get something to drink only to return moments later asking to go to the bathroom. You remember that line your mama used “stop running in and out my house letting my good air out, stay in or stay out!” Sometimes, the choice wasn’t given, it was made for you. Now here you are sitting inside, glaring hopelessly out the window at your cousins having a blast and enjoying their freedom. That’s exactly the feeling Texan slaves experienced in 1863 when the Emancipation Proclamation freed everybody but them.
As you may already know, many slaves gathered apprehensively on New Year’s Eve of 1863 for what was deemed “Freedom’s Eve”. If you’re wondering if this was similar to present day church “Watch Night” services, you are correct; in fact, it was the first! Anyhow, it was at this time, at the stroke of midnight, that President Abraham Lincoln signed the declaration freeing all slaves in confederate states. However, per anything pertaining to the success of Black people in America, (but I digress) there was some red tape.
The freedom of certain slaves depended on the successful victory of an American army. In the mean time, half a million slaves decided to FREE THEMSELVES! Yep, you guessed right! They packed up and went after their own freedom. It wasn’t until June 19, 1865 that Union troops galloped their way to Galveston Bay, Texas to announce that ALL enslaved African Americans were finally free. Of course it was a celebration— and that my friend, is what leads us up to today’s Juneteenth. As we all know, when one door shuts, another opens; the end of one thing is the beginning of another...
Most people think of Harriet Tubman, Rosa Parks, and Martin Luther King Jr. when discussing Black History and our journey to freedom. Many forget the likes of Madam C.J. Walker, Annie Turnbo Malone, and Marjorie Joyner. If it weren’t for these women, we wouldn’t be able to get our hair fried, dyed, and laid to the side (if you know what I mean). After they were freed, these women, and many like them, paved the way for Black women to have versatile hairstyles today. Whether you like to rock it cute and curly, keep it tight with a TWA, secured and sewed-in to the gods, boujie and box-braided up, keep ‘em lookin’ for the lace with the laid lacefront, or loc’d and fully loaded to start your day at whim these ladies made it possible!
The freedom of versatility! Microaggressions may lead us to believe that bone-straight and long is the only right. Corporate America and American military attempting to dictate the freedom of Black hair versatility. But we love a switch-up, don’t we? The ability to turn locs into box-braids one day, turn around and rock a sew-in, just to get another protective style by acquiring a wig! We’ll rock the twists for the twist-out for a couple of days prior to the actual hairstyle. The experience of that moment when you take that bonnet or head wrap off, massage your Mauvelle guava and pomegranate infused hair oil through your scalp, take that twist-out loose, and rub your Mauvelle guava and pomegranate curl cream through your hair to see a perfect twist-out. That’s what makes it worth it. The versatility. The freedom. The naturality. And that’s what makes us magic! I mean be honest, you ever seen any other race have hair that naturally grows toward the sun and skin that naturally deflects it?
Enjoy the read? Be on the lookout for more Natural Natters! posts; coming to social media and an email address near you soon!
More About the Writer…
K. Realist has entertained the masses via poetry, short stories, and novels for the past 20 years and has now expanded her catalog! From website copywriting and weblog features for viral brands including NaturalHairLoves. ©, brand marketing for start-up businesses, and brand ambassador development for local shopping boutiques; K. Realist has delivered quality and professional writing services— while creating captivating content, with personable flare— for targeted audiences.