My Response to Alice Walker’s Foreword in ‘Dreads’

26 Aug

When I first started this odyssey of locking my hair you (Ms. Alice) were the public figure that really gave me the courage to look within myself and truthfully ask, “Why have I taken so long to decide to lock my hair?” The journey could have well started 15 years ago.when the seeds of these thoughts were first planted in my mind. Back then I was much younger and a lot more aloft in my thinking so I don’t know honestly what fueled my desire. Besides you hadn’t written the foreward to Mastalia and Pagano’s book yet so I would like to think the time wasn’t ripe for my transition.

Which brings me to the foreward that you wrote. I am so glad that you spoke on the natural aspects and beauty of black hair. I honestly had forgotten that my hair was beautiful, though I know the comment you were making was mainly to women. I understand that you were speaking as a feminist and lover of all things woman to include their hair. But my hair is beautiful too, right! I took your comment to have a universal appeal because something took root in me when I realized what I had in my possession. I felt liberated. I feel liberated. I have black hair.

I am always entertained when you speak on romance. The romancing from a locked person is something special. I can only imagine. I am still in that phase of curiosity however. I don’t know what locked hair feels like or any of its characteristics.I have never touched anyone’s locks or even asked. I am a virgin. I want to know what it is like to be loved as a dreadlocked man and to love as one.I want locks. My wife is on a natural journey as well so I may get a chance to make love to a woman with locks. I will keep my fingers crossed on that one!

Can I call you Alice? Thanks. Alice, I really appreciate you explaining the simplicity of maintaining your hair.  There is no magic potion or a wizard who will magically clean your hair. In essence you said stick to the basics and I appreciate that. Do what you have always done. You needed to say it though to get through to those who refuse to understand that locked hair is like anyone else’s hair in the sense that if you don’t wash it your hair will be unhealthy. But even though you told them to chill with the stereotypes they’ll persist. That’s no one’s fault but their own for not getting the message.

You said,”  After all, if this major mystery could be discovered right on top of one’s head…what other wonders might not be experienced in the Universe’s exuberant, inexhaustible store?” You were speaking of feeling good about going natural. There is a sense of empowerment by being natural, accepting you. Because I am a guy, this feeling only came when my afro started getting some length.. How could we have missed the happiness that is with us everyday, naturally? You were right to make a point to share your joy. I loved it when you said, ” is not an exaggeration to say there is a way in which I was made happy forever..” I am warmed by your admittance of love for your natural hair.

I don’t know how you were vetted to write the foreword or who the other candidates were. But I am grateful that the stars in the universe aligned and you were picked as the writer for this book. You are a natural fit.


1 Comment

Posted by on August 26, 2011 in dreadlocks, Dreads, Locks, locs, natural hair


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One response to “My Response to Alice Walker’s Foreword in ‘Dreads’

  1. Naturaldisiac

    August 26, 2011 at 9:47 pm

    I would have to say that this is by far my favorite blog post. You captured the very essence of what being natural means to you and I love the display of affection that is in this blog for Alice Walker’s expression of her love for natural hair. I felt like your words walked with me…as if I was one with them as I read each word on your blog I was able to find something there that sparked a flame in me….it is only because I too am natural…I too am in love with my hair and I love the confidence I feel when I walk in the room and I am the only natural there. You can love your hair…it’s only who you are. For men…growing dreads or wearing a fro is your expression of love for yourself and your natural hair. You are saying I don’t have to shave or wear a low fade to “so call” fit into someone’s definition of being civilized or being accepted. Great blog post…keep typing!


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