The reignition of self love and natural hair within the black community has changed the dynamic of societal culture and the discussions we have surrounding it.

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The main focus of the natural hair movement is the black woman’s journey to disregarding European beauty standards. But oftentimes we neglect to acknowledge the black man’s position in the movement, including his journey.

The main focus of the natural hair movement has been on women. Sometimes we neglect the black man's journey. 

Recently, Damon Young of The Root spoke about the stages of the hairvolution, reminiscing on the once popular Rakim box cut, the Allen Iverson braids, the Caesar fade, and the era of 360 waves.

Black men have transformed from complementing black women on their natural to growing their own hair out from their standard cuts.

Young acknowledged how today's black man, young or old, is rocking his natural hair in more ways than one. Walking down the streets of our cities and boroughs, we see young black men with natural hairstyles across the spectrum. From neat to free form locs, from sky high flat tops to bleached ends, the possibility in styles are endless. And of course, the weekly edge-ups will remain for years to come.

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Some people might look at black men who sport free-form locs (like Jaden Smith) and ask, why would you let your hair grow that way? With the natural hair transformation of black men styles are done intentionally and with a purpose. Sometimes it's meant to make a political statement. But whatever the reason, leaving their natural hair movement uncombed but shaped is a reaffirmation of love for their blackness, and support of the movement as a whole.

On the surface it's easy to see the black community members that support the loving our blackness.

There is, however, a secret society of black people who have chosen to publicly not support the movement. Unfortunately, when discussions arise about black culture, society turns to these individuals for commentary. One of these public figures is Charles Barkley, who made a comment about Derrick Rose needing to "put something on his nappy hair."

Barkley, a black bald man, fails to realize the history that African American men's hair has had throughout the many years of slavery.

During the era of slavery, a black man’s hair was thought of as his source of strength and power. In an effort to further oppress our people, they shaved black male's heads to eliminate that fear within themselves and the power that ties to African Americans and hair. With knowing the history behind shaving a black man’s head, it could be concluded that Charles Barkley is a powerless man within the black community.

While the highly disputed topic of culture appropriation is known relatively well, cultural imperialism is fairly unknown concept connected to discussions about blackness.

Essentially, culture imperialism is the dominant group forcing their culture preferences onto the oppressed group, which is where the origins of European beauty standards derived from.

The black man’s journey to being proud and nappy shouldn’t be discouraged by the ashamed, brainwashed members of the black community.

What we fail to realize is this:

If the black community is not willing to defend their own culture, history, and start practicing self love, then who will?