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In the creative writing workshops that I conduct, I like to engage the participants in exercises that helps them relax and challenge their imagination.

The one that really gets them excited is when I ask them to give voice to a body part. My favorite is the one where I ask them to let their hair talk.

“If your hair could talk, what would it say?”

Once they stop looking at me like I’m crazy, they let the role play begin.

I posed the question during a workshop sessions with women who belonged to a support group for former prostitutes. One woman’s hair “talked” about being pulled and dragged around by abusive men. Another participant’s hair shared its frustration over being subjected to so many chemical relaxers.

“I’m tired of being set on fire,” the perm-challenged hair proclaimed.

During a workshop I conducted at a senior citizens center, a cancer survivor tearfully allowed her hair to speak about its experience with chemotherapy.

“Bit by bit, pieces of me floated to the ground,” she read. Her hair spoke of being taken to a wig shop and how strange it was to see a store full of "hair with no heads.”

I originally created my Hair Talk exercise to use in the cultural enrichment workshops that I conduct with young African-American girls. I wanted to get an idea of how they perceived themselves without asking them directly.

“I am happy because my owner takes good care of me,” wrote Ke’Asha, a sixth grader.When I posed the question to a group of middle and high school age girls at a community center in South Dallas, the responses were as varied as their personalities. They were candid, humorous, poignant and proud.

“She perms me, shampoos me and even greases me! I love how I feel and look.

Surayyah’s hair pleaded with her owner to give her better care.

“Please comb me. I am all over the place,” wrote the fourth-grader. “Please grease me because I am starting to feel a little dry. Make sure to condition me or I will fall out.”

Madison’s hair was angry.

“I’m sick of being in braids,” wrote the fifth grader in her complaint to her owner. “I don’t like to get wet. I don’t like it when you sweat.”

Dante’s hair issued a desperate warning to her owner who was obsessed with keeping it straight. “Touch me with that hot comb one more time and I will run away!”

Zakia, a sixth grader, had hair that expressed pride and a positive self-perception.

“If my hair could talk it would say how pretty it looked today. That’s what it would say in a great, black and beautiful way.”

Final thoughts

Hair talk. Never know what you might get when you let your tresses be expressive.


Contact Linda or read her bio.

0 Comments
Thank you for finally loving and accepting me. The more you love me and carry me with such pride, people around you love me as well. However, please stop touching me so much. I'm doing my best for you, all I want is some personal boundaries. O and tell your friends to lay off too. I'm not as soft as I look!
Im thirsty i need a drink.
Why can't you just love me? Others love me.....why can't you? ( I feel I can finally listen)
I love how you let me dance and twirl whenever I want and leave me down when you dance. I always feel so free and beautiful.
Thanks for loving me, allowing me to eat, be nutured and free!!No more shakles holding me.
I'm thirsty!!
My curls always say I am who I am with a twist. That always shines through in my personality.KEEP IT REAL!
Sike! You thought you could use that gel on me and I'd look cute AGAIN? Wrong sista! I might let you use it again in 3 months tho so don't throw it away...
Find a regimen and stick to it, stop putting all of these random products in me. Be more gentle when removing my knots, be patient!!!
I know I am fine and wavy, stop trying to change me:)
Dear Tasha, Let go of the ponytail , babe. I know you gotta wear a hat at work , but after you clock out , let me spring. Oh , and lay off the hairspray!
Stop straigtening me!! You're so gentle and kind, but the straigtening has to stop. I know you love your wild hair, so let me be free!
Can't you let me be free, stop putting me up, get rid of these frizzes and let my natural beautiful waves come through.
Why do you always have to be so rough??
My hair would say... can't you just leave me alone. Always trying a new product, style or whatever else... Braid me up and leave me be woman! Don't touch me!
i like the idea of thnking about what your hair and other parts of your body could say if they had a voice...something to think about!
Yawn!
im tired of the straightener and the hard curls. put me in a ponytail now and then!!!!
Winters comming i need more moisture.
stop putting heat on me, and deep condition, and I will grow and grow!

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