Hair plays a vital role in black culture. Hair, for black people, has always stood as a symbol of self-expression and power. I wanted to be proud of my hair and proud of my culture.
I love how black culture can express itself through hair. I am fascinated with the precision and talent of professional barbers. The clean edges. The fades. The designs. I saw the movie Barbershop as a celebration of the black community and the support system that accompanies belonging to a tight-knit group.
After watching the movie, I eagerly anticipated my opportunity to be a part of such a community. However, public spaces like barbershops terrified me because of the potential of watching, judgmental eyes. My history with bullying prevented me from joining such spaces (but that's a conversation for another day). I assumed I was required to have these experiences to be a member of the black community. Since I couldn't, I felt alienated from my own culture...