I was reading this post over on Black Girl With Long Hair.
In it the author discusses her transition to natural hair.
She also discusses her freckles and newly realized blonde hair color.
Both of which have her wondering about her heritage.
“…I’ve accepted both my African roots, and the unknown roots. Natural hair has shown me that, yes, I am a black woman. But I’m a black woman in a country where the colors have been mixed and stirred for centuries.”
Many of the commentors criticized the author’s motivation for wanting to delve into her ancestry.
They took her seeming infatuation with her physical traits as being self-absorbed and anti black.
I found the whole debate very interesting.
I have freckles.
They go hand in hand with my moles.
When I was born my hair was blonde and my eyes were green.
The hair is now a dark brown with red highlights.
Other black women often ask me what color I use to dye my hair refusing to accept it’s my natural color.
My eyes have darkened to a light brown.
And I’ve been asked often whether they are contacts.
Yet none of these physical characteristics have ever caused me to think of myself as anything other than a black woman.
Why would it?
I mean there are women in my family who could pass for white or hispanic.
But they are still black.
We come in many different shades.
So the idea that freckles, or lighter skin, eyes and hair means that I am less black is ludicrous to me.
But there are many who assume that these things can not be “African” traits.
That there has to be something else to attribute these physical features.
It’s as if anything that is considered “mainstream” when it comes to beauty has to be anti black.
And sadly many black women buy into this lie.
They don’t realize their inherent beauty.
Feel as if they must give it away in order for it to be worth something.
“Oh I have red coloring because my family has Indian in it.”
“I have straight/curly/light hair because there is white in my family.”
If it wasn’t so sad, it would be laughable.
When will we realize that our physical features are black traits and they are beautiful?
I don’t know the answer to that question.
But I think it’s over due.