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23 Oct

Why Non-Blacks Should Never EVER Call my Natural Hair

Why Non-Blacks Should Never EVER Call my Natural Hair

Getty Images/ Peathegee Inc/Mix Images

My dad and I actually have all the time had a thing for jamming to old skool music. Anytime a Marvin Gaye, Earth Wind and Fire or Stevie Wonder hit got here on it was our cue to belt out every word. It was our special moment. But at any time when James Brown’s “Black and Proud” hit the waves it all the time hit a novel cord for him. Growing up in a segregated Baltimore within the 1950’s, dad had reason to be proud. He was a survivor.

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As a baby when family and friends referenced my hair as “nappy,” it was a term of endearment. It was my special James Brown moment. Combing my kinky coils meant I used to be apart of the club. I, like my dad, had a reason to be Black and proud. I used to be unique.

Fast-forward 15 years, and the term still gives me warm and fuzzy feels, however it fosters a unique emotion when my white counterparts use it. When Elle France used the term in a headline earlier this month it stung. Not that they stole my Black-and-proud moment, but when African American’s use it, it’s rooted in positivity. When non-Blacks use it it’s often rooted in negativity, and is awash of cultural insensitivity.

This will not have been the case for Elle France—for them it’s an American buzzword that might translate into more views for his or her story. I don’t think they intitially meant harm. Nevertheless, when is enough, enough? The term’s history is laced with negativity and using the term means you haven’t due your due diligence, otherwise you simply don’t care who you offend.

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The term also left a foul taste in Solange’s mouth. She recently re-tweeted the article and made light of the situation with the comment, “Follow me on snapchat y’all, my name is Nappy and Snappy. See, Elle France thinks I’m nappy too.”

I’m not suggesting we give non-Americans (or non-Blacks) a pass for not doing their homework, but using a more appropriate term, like “natural” is palatable for everybody. It’s truthful, honest and to be frank, isn’t steeped in hatred.

What do you’re thinking that of the word? Have you ever used it and are you comfortable with non-Blacks using it?

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