Monday, September 20, 2010

Going Back to My Roots!

My Mom and Cohen enjoying the steel pan.  This man was the most enthusiastic performer I have ever seen.  It was almost child-like!
This Sunday afternoon my mom and the kids spent some time at the Toronto Natural Hair and Beauty show. I didn't want to bring the kids but my mom insisted.   This event took me back to the first neighbourhood I lived in when I came to Canada.  This neighbourhood is now just called The Hood.  For some very scary reasons.  I have to say when I lived there I had no idea it had a reputation.  We went to the church across the street from our building and went to the school beside the church.  I felt pretty safe in my cozy community blanket.  And who wanted to admit that their early beginnings were from The Hood anyway?
Colourful hair designs!

So after 30 years I stepped back to the place where my Canadian life began.   I see faces that hold pieces to my past and I feel comforted and connected.  We are here to celebrate the natural black hair movement.  It has been over 1 year since I stopped chemically straightening my hair.  I made the decision after I found  out I was pregnant with our fourth child.  I said good bye to hair that would behave when it woke up and not grow into a mountain of frizz on the first wave of humidity.  It has been a troublesome road going natural.  As a teen and for most of my adult life I wouldn't be caught dead with frizzy (and don't even mention nappy) hair.  Smooth, straight, and long were the only words I wanted associated with my hair.
Loved seeing the beautiful braids on the little girls. 

Going back to the hood and the natural hair show I was surprised that I felt pride.  I didn't care if anyone could see the unruly curls peeking out from under the smooth bits.  I didn't even think about my hair that much to be honest.  I was too busy admiring the locks of all the women around me.  I also was grateful that I took my mother's suggestion to bring the kids.  My boys were soaking in every piece of visual beauty in front of them. Where we live they are not exposed to these sites and sounds.  I forgot how important it was to give their roots a home.  As my almost three year old danced to the steel pan playing rasta and my older son looked wide eyed, I was filled with awe and gratitude.

Afro-tar! The most creative hair team. (In my opinion.)
Loved this woman's (the one in the dress) passion and excitement for her craft!

I was grateful that I had something to pass on.  Grateful for the pride I felt in my people, my awe-inspiring friend Stephanie.  Grateful for the chance to return to a place that I turned my back on.  Grateful for women who take a chance even though it is not popular, it isn't comfortable and doesn't always slide graciously into the minds of others.

Thank you God for taking me back and allowing me to bring my children with me.

Join Ann Voskamp as she gives thanks!


GlowinGirl said...

I only have some natural wave in this very white girl hair of mine. So from my perspective, your "unruly" curls are GORGEOUS!! I'm thankful for the wide variety of colors and textures that God gave this world of ours -- and the one to come!

keLi said...

"Grateful for women who take a chance even though it is not popular, it isn't comfortable and doesn't always slide graciously into the minds of others."

Yes. This is what we pray for our daughters, isn't it?

Great post.

Kathleen@so much to say, so little time said...

Great pictures, and a great event.

Shan said...

Great pictures! I had wanted to go but was busy. My daughter is multiracial and she has very tight kinky coily hair so I'm very into natural hair and soaking up everything I can learn!

Btw...we started out in The Hood as well and still live very close by. It's sad it has such a bad reputation and those bad seeds because there are a lot of amazing and beautiful people in the neighbourhood, I love and treasure my time spent there.

The Mom Chef said...

bravo! I think it's awesome that the kids came along for that event. What an opportunity for them.

Thank you for this wonderful post.

Mike and Katie said...

I hope there are these kinds of events in the Twin Cities where I can take the girls: places where Tali and I will be the odd ones out for a change.

I've been reading and watching videos on Happy Girl Hair and learning how to better care for Amanda's hair. It's been a low priority since I've been in survival mode with the babies. But I 'm hoping to get a better routine and plan so she doesn't look so unkempt all the time.