A celebration of black hair
Youthlink Writer: Mickella Anderson
Dozens of your favourite artistes have declared, in song, that there is no shame in the black hair game. That being the case, fluff your puffs and check out these six songs that celebrate black hair!
1. 'I Am Not My Hair' by India Arie, featuring Akon
Standout lines: "Good hair means curls and waves, bad hair means you look like a slave ... . It's time for us to redefine who we be. It's not what's on your head , it's what's underneath."
In I Am Not My Hair, India and Akon take us on a journey through the many trends in black hair and the associated stereotypes and stigmas. From the press and curl to the dreadlocks and cornrows, the duo explicitly reveals how a simple hairstyle can contribute to racial profiling. Between them they express a love and acceptance for self and culture.
2. 'Don't Touch My Hair' by Solange Knowles
Standout Line: "They don't understand what it means to me, where we chose to go, where we've been to know."
Did you know that in White-dominated societies, asking to touch a black woman's hair is racially undermining but made to seem like a compliment? In Don't Touch My Hair, Solange identifies just that and establishes that there are boundaries to her personal identity. In a personal essay, she says, "A black woman's hair is a crown: not a sideshow for white commentary, judgement, entertainment or amusement."
3. 'Cloud 9' by Donnie
Standout line: "Happy to be nappy, I'm black and I'm proud."
Recorded by American Idol finallist Donnie Williams, Cloud 9 illustrates that the black hair revolution is never just feminine. Our men, too, have abandoned their nappy roots for the perm, weaves and extensions. Genius.com writes, "Cloud 9 is a love song for natural/nappy hair. With a few biblical references thrown in, Donnie is promoting pride in being who you are."
4. 'Formation' by Beyoncé
Standout line: "I like my baby with his baby hair and afros."
It is described as the song that made Beyoncé black! Indeed, Formation was much more than an illustrious beat and a flurry of popping Instagram captions. Bey's lyrics identified with some of those characteristics that once 'flawed' the black community, like the hot sauce in her bag and, of course, her baby's baby hair and afro!
5. 'Juju on That Beat' by Zayvion McCall
Standout Line: "Skinny jeans on me and you know my head nappy."
You didn't expect that a viral dance trend would find its way on this list, right? In 2016, Zayvion McCall's Juju on that beat had us all dancing, rocking and loving our nappy hair (even if it's just for one line. LOL!)
6. 'Love Me So Naturally' by Alicia James
Standout line: "No need to change what's already perfect 'cause being me is always worth it."
"Brown skin, coily hair; plump lips and a thick derriere ... . It shakes when I walk, I'm loud when I talk." If you've never heard this song, you need to take a listen and just feel it! Feel how James so accurately identifies and speaks to all the little things that make black women black women! The song seeks to empower, embrace and encourage the sisterhood.