This post is a response to When Natural Hair Tells a Different Story.
Kia Ling [Source]
by Charron “Ronnie” Andrus, Contributing Writer
I have freckles.
They go hand in hand with my moles.
When I was born my hair was blonde and my eyes were green.
The hair is now a dark brown with red highlights.
Other black women often ask me what color I use to dye my hair refusing to accept it’s my natural color.
My eyes have darkened to a light brown.
And I’ve been asked often whether they are contacts.
Yet none of these physical characteristics have ever caused me to think of myself as anything other than a black woman.
Why would it?
I mean there are women in my family who could pass for white or Hispanic.
But they are still black.
We come in many different shades.
So the idea that freckles, or lighter skin, eyes and hair means that I am less black is ludicrous to me.
But there are many who assume that these things can not be “African” traits.
That there has to be something else to attribute these physical features.
It’s as if anything that is considered “mainstream” when it comes to beauty has to be anti black.
And sadly many black women buy into this lie.
They don’t realize their inherent beauty.
Feel as if they must give it away in order for it to be worth something.
“Oh I have red coloring because my family has Indian in it.”
“I have straight/curly/light hair because there is white in my family.”
There’s a distinct flaw in immediately attributing light skin, hair and eyes to a dilution of African blood. These traits can and do exist in purely African blood lines.
Blonde hair and blue eyes:
This coloring is common in people from North Africa especially Berbers. Milder forms of albinism can often present as blue eyes.
Red hair and freckles:
There are African tribes who have a predisposition to red hair and freckles as an expression of their albinism. This type of albinism can also cause a reddish tint to the skin. Hyper-pigmentation due to melanin production can also cause freckles.
These are just a few traits that are more commonly misinterpreted. Educating ourselves on the truth behind our physical differences is the first step in ending divisiveness.
When will we realize that our physical features are black traits and they are beautiful?
I don’t know the answer to that question.
But I think it’s overdue.