Black Woman Research Paper

995 Words4 Pages
For centuries, Black woman have been defined by their skin color and hair texture and they have endured social and institutional pressure that as a result, have kept many women from embracing the hair textures they truly desire whether that be natural or straight. Hair has meaning. It is never just hair because it is an extension of our inner selves. It is an extension of our personal, spiritual, cultural, and inner sexual identity. Hair is what we make it, but because of how society has been constructed and more importantly because of the history of Black oppression in this country, more outside meaning has been assigned to black hair. Before, many black features, including, natural hair, was looked down upon and so many black women were taught…show more content…
For example, in the past a Black woman with natural hair could be seen as a culturally “woke” individual. On in another context, a woman with kinky hair may have been called nappy and painted as someone who didn’t care about their appearance. On the other side, a black woman with straight hair may have been complimented for having “good” hair or she may have be seen as having a colonized mind. These are the views that exist in society and they are just some of the pressures put on black women not only by non-blacks, but also by others within the black community and they affect black women every day. These views and expectations of what Black hair should look like has played out in the media though depictions of characters in movies and vixens in music videos and even in the work place. Society has tried to define what beauty is and what is expectable for black woman and that has left many women believing they were not beautiful. Women have been denied jobs and kept from succeeding in their fields because of their hair… in America, the home of the free. It’s ironic and disgusting. But if we were so free, then why are we not completely free to do whatever we please with our…show more content…
She walks us through her personal hair journey, from a press and curl, to a jerry curl, to a relaxer, to natural, to dreads, and finally to cutting it all off, demonstrating her knowledge and experience with various black hairstyles. She sings about how she is not society’s expectation of her and how she should not be defined by the hair on her head or by her skin color but by what’s within. Because of black hair’s identity as an extension of identity, she charges us, the listeners, with the task to “redefine who we be” in order to get away from the meanings society has placed on black hair throughout time. She then goes on to explore the meaning of hair by singing, “does the way I wear my hair make me a better friend, does the way I wear my hair determine my integrity.” For India, hair is her creativity, her window to the soul. She is saying that hair is a free canvas. We should be free from outside interpretation and expectations and should be able to wear our hair however we feel without having to explain or validate our decision. From her song, I received the message that hair can reflect what you want it to when you want it to and no matter what the hairstyle is or isn’t, you are still

More about Black Woman Research Paper

Open Document