Natural hair and spoken word


It almost seems as if natural hair and spoken word go hand in hand, but why is this so? Why does wearing my Afro automatically make me a target for spoken word events, poetry fests and neo-soul concerts?

From the research I’ve done, the stigma of peace, love and Afro’s dates back to the 1960s. During this period in American history, a group of people emerged who were named ‘hippies.’ Because the nature of the hippies was nonconformity, some of the hippies would wear out their Afros and try to spread peace in a time where war was prevalent. Also during this time, because an Afro represented nonconformity, it was a major identifier of the Black Panthers group.

Naturally it makes sense that people connect Afros either with peace and hippies or with nonconformity and the black panthers. However, one would think that with all of the political ‘progress’ that America has made, this stigma would have either disappeared or died down over the years. This is not the case. Now with the natural hair movement on the rise, these same stigmas are now back in action. Will they ever truly go away?