It's MY ShXt

by Da'Ja Cooksey

This hair is my shit.

No, my hair is not just hair. It’s more than that. More than just a collection of follicles on my body specifically my head. To all my black, beautiful brothers, and sisters. That hair is yours and it’s special. It is who you are, your soul, the rhythm you walk to, your way of life. My black kings and queens are different individuals. Amongst all of us young or old, “this” hair is significant. Its’ differences amongst each and every one of us, collectively make us one as a unit, yet extraordinarily we are all our own.

The song “Don’t Touch My Hair” written and sung by Solange Knowles is about more than just simply hair – It’s about ones true identity. It’s about not having to explain why you do the things you do to people who genuinely don’t give a “f” about you. It’s about having the independence as a black man or woman that you deserve. Hair has not only been something extremely “policed throughout history”, but it is used metaphorically by the Queen – Solange – to symbolize everything that blacks have dealt with throughout the years, plainly for not conforming to what whites believed to be right or patriarchy.

Solange has dealt with a number of uncomfortable situations because of her body, her skin, her hair (her shit), even her presence itself. She is tired of feeling like she has to accommodate the ignorance of people who aren’t black and ever some who are black, but aren’t WOKE. Solange blesses us often with looks, whether it’s dressing or her lovely hair. We know her visually specially for her hair and how she dresses. Solange uses hair to express a special code about history and “black-ness”, to tell stories of black evolution in art, style (fashion) and culture, and to make vivid points about her divergent aesthetic.

Nowadays, more and more blacks are starting to realize their hair. It’s 2017 and our naturalistas are coming out left and right. It’s time to finally appreciate our hair and who we are because it is our shit! We should be as proud as Solange is. It makes perfect sense to me, why shouldn’t I be happy to be free with my curls, my skin, and my body? I grew up with such beautiful, long curly hair-- but as I began to get into my teen years it was “Why isn’t your hair done? Your hair looks a mess? Why didn’t your mom do your hair?”. I cried about my hair, cut it, permed it to make it straight so that it’d always be “done” but I mean why?? My hair WAS beautiful and still is. People spend millions to obtain the features and characteristics of the bold black woman (& man), and I’m ecstatic that we have finally began to OWN IT.

The video puts image to a lot of the different hair we all have. It’s not only about the words that she’s singing. It embraces those beautiful differences and shows us coming together. Celebrating every styles of hair, every curl pattern and every braid.  We don’t have to conform. We don’t have to be just like everyone else, or do our hair the way others see fit. It’s okay to have that hair anyway that you’d like! IT’S YOUR SHIT.