Does wearing your hair natural mean you're a pan african?

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I was having dinner with a couple ladies the other day. One has relaxed hair and the other went natural about 2 years ago. I was saying that it is a great thing to have black women go natural, embracing their hair and getting out of the matrix of systematic hair processing...

The 2 year natural replied: "I went natural only for the trend. It wasn't anything pro-black or anything... I might change back to straight eventually..."

I was thinking: What's wrong with being pro-black? You are black, it should be assumed that you are pro-black. You won't catch a Chinese person tell you they're "not pro-China or anything", or a Jewish person tell you they're "not pro-Jew or anything." Fill in the nationality or group identity, and the likelihood is you won't get that sort of response. So why is it a perfectly worldly young black lady should need to make a point to distance herself from being pro-black?

Ok, so you're black but not pro-black, and you regard wearing your natural hair that grows out your scalp as a passing trend...

What are your thoughts? Pan-Africanism (the view that black people the world over should unite to attain progress economically, culturally and otherwise) and natural hair. What are the connections you see? What impressions do you have of the situation above?

on YouTube: Moni Tano
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Last edited by monitano; 01-31-2015 at 12:09 AM. Reason: I want to delete this post. I'm reposting in general discussions instead.
Sounds to me like she has a complex since she was so quick to deny something that had not been suggested or alleged. Maybe because of things that have been said to her in the past or maybe because of her own preconceived notions of what it means to have natural hair. My question would have been "so are you anti-black?" LOL


Two years is a long time to do something just to be following a trend. I personally hated transitioning because it totally sucks and I sure as hell wouldn't have done it for a trend. So if that's why she started I doubt that's why she stuck with it with the time and the investment of learning your hair and what products work for you. I really hate how some will say 'oh, all these women are jumping on the natural hair bandwagon and then they'll go back to relaxing.' It's assuming everyone goes natural for the same reason. and that everyone once natural feels that being relaxed was better and easier. I went natural because I had to. I never watched a video, or blog or forum before my bc. I had no expectations for what my hair would look like. I don't miss relaxers. My relaxed hair was not easier to manage and my hair is way healthier and looks a million better now. I had extremely bad scalp problems..
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It's weird that she said she was following a trend.

So take that away (which is hard to do) and I do see where you is coming from. I didn't got natural to make a statement about my blackness. It was my preference and for the health of my hair. It's not that I'm pro-black/not pro-black. But I do have friends that take pro-black to level that it doesn't need to do. So in general, I just avoid the labels being placed on me
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All Black ppl should be pro-Black imo. Feeling comfortable with one's physical features is one of thousands of ways the pro-Blackness might manifest.

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Hm, I would take that statement the same way that someone says "I'm for equality of women, but I'm not a feminist" would say it.
Because we've been cultured to believe that "feminist" or "pro-Black" or "pan-Africanism" are bad/radical/extreme words.

Meh. She's misinformed, but you shouldn't get too bent out of shape and proselytize because that only rubs people the wrong way who misunderstand what it is that you're advocating.

Pan-Africanism as another poster stated manifests itself in different ways in different people, especially depending on your nationality and ethnic identity.

I "went" natural or stopped relaxing my hair because I got tired of relaxing and hot-combing, so I can understand where this woman is coming from; I also got tired of accepting the notion that straightened hair was "normal". Though I also occasionally (attempt to poorly) flat-iron my hair for a style. However, I am staying natural this time because I'm still slightly shocked at how anti-natural some people are, and I would really prefer not to engender in the next generation of children a sense of inferiority, most especially black children.

But I'm also someone who doesn't mind being confrontational. It is sad that being yourself is considered confrontational, which is in and of itself another reason to recognize that you cannot be outside of pan-Africanism if you are black. That is unfortunately how these types of systems work; you can consider yourself out of the politics of everything, but by taking that very stance, you are making a stance and statement about it.

And you might very well catch someone, especially someone who grew up in a minority group whether religious/ethnic/racial/etc., stating that they are not "exactly pro-[fill in the blank here]". It's another unfortunate side effect of minority status and minority culture shaming. This is a global problem, not just for blacks in the Americas.
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"What's wrong with being pro-black? You are black, it should be assumed that you are pro-black."

She may not have a problem with being pro-black. The problem could simply be the fact that people automatically assume that her dramatic hair change is because of her getting in tune with her "blackness". Not everyone feels that disassociating themselves from relaxers is necessary in order to do so. So to some, it's kinda offensive that changing their automatically means that they're trying to make a statement.

But that's my take on the matter.


"You won't catch a Chinese person tell you they're "not pro-China or anything", or a Jewish person tell you they're "not pro-Jew or anything." Fill in the nationality or group identity, and the likelihood is you won't get that sort of response. So why is it a perfectly worldly young black lady should need to make a point to distance herself from being pro-black?"

I disagree. I feel that you simply can not make such a claim when (chances are--I could be wrong) you're not Chinese or Jewish and probably barely hang out with any (I could be wrong on that note too). It's easy to say what other races/ethnic groups do and/ or don't do when you're not apart of theirs and that's an ugly mistake we all make. And when I think about, I'd say that's partly the reason why this matter even occurred. Making fast assumptions.

"Ok, so you're black but not pro-black, and you regard wearing your natural hair that grows out your scalp as a passing trend..."

Yes, to some people, how they wear their hair is just a trend, even if it's the hair they were born with. To others, it's a lifestyle. Perhaps you should ask her what's her understanding of the phrase "pro-black". Compare her thoughts to your own. Consider her tone and your own.

Perhaps she's isn't the only one being defensive.
curlypearl likes this.

Last edited by BrownRose09; 03-01-2015 at 08:37 PM.
I was having dinner with a couple ladies the other day. One has relaxed hair and the other went natural about 2 years ago. I was saying that it is a great thing to have black women go natural, embracing their hair and getting out of the matrix of systematic hair processing...
Originally Posted by monitano
There are many reasons why Black women choose to go natural.

You need to ask each individual and not presume its due to the same reason.

The 2 year natural replied: "I went natural only for the trend. It wasn't anything pro-black or anything... I might change back to straight eventually..."
Originally Posted by monitano
I have a sister-in-law who does this. She flips from braids, to natural hair, to braids, to straight hair etc.

The only thing with her people incorrectly assume her natural hair is a chemical process due to her loose curl pattern, and she has had this problem since she was a child when she didn't ever straighten her hair.

I was thinking: What's wrong with being pro-black? You are black, it should be assumed that you are pro-black. You won't catch a Chinese person tell you they're "not pro-China or anything", or a Jewish person tell you they're "not pro-Jew or anything." Fill in the nationality or group identity, and the likelihood is you won't get that sort of response. So why is it a perfectly worldly young black lady should need to make a point to distance herself from being pro-black?
Originally Posted by monitano
"Pro-black" in your circle is obviously linked to being very political. In this woman's eyes it also has negative connotations, and as she doesn't want to associate herself with this she is explaining to you her for her her hair is just a hairstyle.

In regards to other ethnic groups you need to talk to different people amongst those ethnic groups and you will find they each have different views on certain words that are commonly associated with them especially the ones that are politicized.

Ok, so you're black but not pro-black, and you regard wearing your natural hair that grows out your scalp as a passing trend...

What are your thoughts? Pan-Africanism (the view that black people the world over should unite to attain progress economically, culturally and otherwise) and natural hair. What are the connections you see? What impressions do you have of the situation above?
Originally Posted by monitano
I don't agree with your interpretation about Pan-Africanism. As far as I'm concerned it's got nothing to do with hair.

And yes for some people natural hair now is a passing trend or simply a different hairstyle.

I've met and known men, women and girls with natural hair of all ages since I was a child. For a lot of them they are hairstyles. Some of the hairstyles did and do become political when they cause issues getting jobs, police harassment etc. but not all do.
BrownRose09 likes this.
A lot of people just aren't politically inclined.

The trend your friend was following? Just a fashion trend, perhaps, and we all know how hard some people will work to keep up with a trend that resonates for them.
curlypearl likes this.
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My question would have been "so are you anti-black?" LOL
Originally Posted by adthomas

Yes, yes, adthomas. You might enjoy this video: 5 Reasons Why Black Women Must Wear Their Hair Natural: https://youtu.be/zJkdWNO26Io


The health reason is huge. So too, is the reason of: 'because it grows out of my head.' Folks generally don't make a big fuss if a person with naturally straight hair wears their hair as it grows out of their heads without systematic alterations. It is telling of a deeper ill that Black Women must 'go natural' in order to wear themselves as they are hair-wise.


Be well, sister.
monitano.com | YouTube: Moni Tano
I dunno... I'm with a couple of the previous posters-

Maybe she was just clarifying to say that her hair wasn't necessarily a statement, it was just a fun expression of her personal style at the time?

If I wear a traditional Dirndl hairstyle- say a bun with a braid crown- I just think it looks cute. I'm not necessarily being pro-German, but I'm not being anti-German by saying that I only did it because I thought it was pretty.
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If it's just a fashion trend, what are people going to do when/if natural hair doesn't go away?????
youtube.com/watch?v=2aXQ1ZNMfOs

The link above will tell you everything you will ever need to know about the illusion of being Pro Black and how it is harmful to our true African culture!

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