I wrote this:

 

21 years after we learned

that nappy hair didn’t make you pretty

and the boys didn’t like it either,

someone is still pulling my coarse strands

to see how long it is

 

brown girls learn to love flat irons

that kill coils

brown women behind me in the mirror

tugging at my stubborn kink

to see if it’ll flow past my shoulder

 

4 years after my best friend

bent her face in pain and said sadly,

I look like an African

she’s behind me in the mirror,

pulling pieces of my hair

to see if it flows past the shoulder

seeing if it hangs there,

but it doesn’t, just curls back and

bounces out of her fingers

wanting freedom

 

brown women in the mirror,

wishing for hair past shoulders

pulling mine to comparison

hating the African that’ll always scream through

their faces

cuz the boys didn’t want the bald headed girls

and mine gives her a mission

to get longer

 

-Nijla Mu’min

© 2011

Partly, in response to this:

 

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