True Power

True Power

Friday, January 1, 2010

Gabrielle Minor: A rose in bloom


My pending book "Don't Dread Dreads" is a book I would want someone contemplating dreads to read. I would love it to be filled with beautiful photos of beautiful African women and men proudly displaying natural hairstyles, especially dreads. I would also like it to be a book of honesty.

Gabrielle is just the person I would like for my readers to know about. She gives us a candid look into her life and the early roots that our natural hair lays down long before it is in full bloom for on lookers to view. I am so thankful to her for her story.

1. How long have you been contemplating natural hair?
On and off since high school. Now that I'm in my second year of college, I'm ready to take the plunge.

2. Why do you want it?
I really want to be free from my hair. I'm envious of people, any race, that can just enjoy their hair and not be tied down to it. I have paid a woman to do my hair just to accumulate damage and a sick sense of what "good hair" is and what it means to me. I'm not a foo-foo kind of girl, and it's never sat right with me how much attention I had to give to my hair, just to not like it. I don't want to be tied down to salons anymore, just tied down to me. Hell, I just want to be caught out in the rain and enjoy it for once.

3 What is your biggest fear about going natural?
What people will think. I know I shouldn't care, but I've had relaxed hair, pulled back or straight down, for many, many years. My friends have never seen my natural hair, my mom no longer remembers it. With all the self hate in our own community and the hate of our own hair, I wonder how people will react. Sometimes that worries me, but I'm sure I'll get through it.

4. What is the predicted response of family friends, peers?
Well, I've told most of them. My friends either don't care or are excited. They're mostly white, so they're just curious more than anything. My aunt and grandmother have told me they don't like natural hair, and my aunt doesn't understand why I'd want to do this. My mom is actually very supportive, but a little skeptical. Their reactions showed me I had to do this for me.

5. What state are you from?
PA

6. Do you think your identity will be altered with natural hair?
It might a little. Since I was younger, I was praised for my "good hair," even though it was just relaxed, I was even picked on for it, and now that that hair will be changing, I'm assuming I'll change a little bit with it, but hopefully for the better. I really just want some freedom from it so I can form my own identity, not just be an extension of my hair.

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