As I raise my Black consciousness, it seems almost necessary to change the name of this blog as to not dissuade readers looking specifically for natural hair information!
As I have spent some time reading people’s stories who have changed their slave names to African names, it reminded me of Black women who have told their natural hair stories and let go of chemically processed, straightened hair (or weaves) to embrace their natural hair. Natural hair and African names are at the core of the Black identity.
When I told my sister I was changing our names to African names, my declaration was met with clear vitriol and ridicule. She reasoned that my son’s name “Dominic” meant “Dominica” the island we come from. Yes, I argued, but Dominics is the colonized name given by Christopher Columbus, not Wai’tukubuli, the Kalinago name of the isle given by its native inhabitants meaning “long is her body”. She then foreseen my son suffering terribly because people would make fun of his Africanized name, Chilongola Masego. I argued, in order to be great, one must stand apart from the crowd. I will teach my son to be proud of his African name. I’m beyond sick of carrying the French name of the man who colonized my West African family and separated us from our African names, language and customs.
I am not completely comfortable with my Blackness. I still have a lot of systemic brainwashing to overcome. There are unconscious oppressive thoughts I still don’t even realize I have adopted. I love some aspects of living in a wealthy, first world country like fast WiFi, sushi and hot showers but we can make Canada even greater if we acknowledge and embrace and uncover our roots.