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Black woman with natural hair on stage with a microphone

In 2009 I decided to embrace my natural hair as a God given blessing. It was pretty abrupt. I made the decision, did a bit of research on styling and very quickly "Big Chopped", i.e. cut off all my relaxed hair. I immediately made an appointment with my favorite barber cousin (shout out Cameron in Merrillville, IN) to get faded and lined up. It seemed drastic, but it didn't feel that way to me.

You see, never in my life had I been affirmed as a woman, as a person or as a human being when my hair was in it's natural state. I can remember several times when I'd been made fun of, teased or picked on for having "nappy hair". I can recall multiple times when I'd been made to feel less than because I didn't have good hair like some other girl did, even with my relaxer. The funny thing is, even when I was being teased, I never had a personal problem with my "nappy hair". I would look in the mirror at my new growth and think "I actually like the wavy-ness of my hair." I didn't like that it didn't match the straight part but I knew if I didn't get at relaxer all my hair would be "wavy". I remember asking family members if they liked my hair and they consistently said no, no that's not cute, it's time to get your hair done. Usually, shortly thereafter, I'd get my hair pressed or permed but I never, never felt negatively about the way my hair grew out of my scalp. I guess I've always been a bit ahead of my time in that regard.

Since I big chopped in 2009 I've worn my natural hair in it's natural state every single solitary day. To my corporate America wall street job and everywhere else I've been blessed to travel on this planet. I will never forget the freedom I felt after my big chop and I know I've never held my head any higher. Looking back I realize that was a huge part of my spiritual transformation. It was the first time I fully accepted myself, Melitta Shylon (Allen) Wright as the beautiful, brilliant, abundant, resilient, black woman that I am in these United States of America. I thank God for these memories and the courage to share them with you.

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