Ok, I promise this won't become a blog where I document the progress of my hair semi-monthly. But after more than 15 years with relaxed hair (son, I don't even remember my first perm), I'm going natural. But first things, first. It's Militant Monday! Last night, I watched Spike Lee's Malcolm X for the first time in close to ten years. Actually, I watched 2 hours of it. I still have an hour and some change to go. While I watched, between putting up the black power fist and snapping soulfully, I was chatting with Lauren on BlackBerry Messenger. I relayed, to her shock and glee, my plans to possibly cut off all of my hair, rather than do the slower transition. 'No more of the white man's chemical fire cream on my natural born black scalp!' I typed, forcefully. And so on. While I've been feeling an urge for natural hair for a while, the restriction the conk has put on my workout routine is the main catalyst. I want to go swimming and not spend two hours fixing my hair every single time. I want to wash and go. I want to stop planning vacations and events around when I do my hair. The list goes on. And it really isn't about getting 'back to my roots' (whatever that means). I went to Howard, where going natural was a aesthetic choice, and there was no guarantee that the fine brotha with the locks had read even a line of Marcus Garvey's, or that the sista with the fly 'fro was as interested in revolution as she was in how fierce she looked on the Yard. In fact, if being au naturel isn't as great as I think it is, I reserve my right to go back to the fire cream. With that said, there's a pretty dope exchange between Malcolm while he's in prison and the brother that leads him to the Nation. He's putting more conk on his head, because on the outside "everybody does it," to which the brother -- who's a bit of a buzzkill, truth be told -- responds, "Why don't you want to look like what you are? What makes you ashamed of being black?" During that scene, I wrote to Lauren.
Shani-o: I'm gonna show up to work bald. Shani-o: and they're gonna be like, "What happened?!" Shani-o: and I'll be like, "I watched Malcolm X, white devil!" Lauren: LMFAO!! Shani-o: This movie is bad. Shani-o: Black people shouldn't be allowed to watch it. Lauren: LOL. No they shouldn't. Lauren: Or 'A Time To Kill.' Shani-o: Or 'Rosewood.'And so on. One of the benefits of not getting to the last hour of 'Malcolm X' is that you miss the denouement, in which Malcolm makes the Hajj and unpacks his extremist, all-white-people-are-devils mentality and takes a more moderate approach. Well, that, and the assassination. I'm one of those people who hopes that the ending changes whenever I watch a sad movie (like, in 'Love Story,' I'm always surprised and heartbroken at the end). But anyway, skipping the end means you get to stay outraged. I'm sure I'll calm down once I watch the end. But for now, happy Militant Monday everybody!!