My first post of the New Year was going to be a blog entitled Things Only the Blood of Jesus Can Fix featuring these poor, misguided souls. You may have seen these faces in the news:
But then I went to the salon to get my hair done two nights before we crossed into 2015 and decided to take a step back after I looked in the mirror after the stylist had finished her work. She had robbed me of my hairline, like a robber in the night or like a politician exacting an Edges Tax. This woman had taken it all! This was no time for me to be worrying about the woes and fopperies of others. I needed Jesus’ transforming power to fix me – or my edges, more precisely. I needed the Lamb’s transfigerational, redeeming, hot and holy blood poured out all over my edges, for it is only Christ’s magical hemoglobin that has the authority to restore them. Hei! I am so distraught. It’s six days into the New Year and I’ve just now mustered the strength to write about my anguish. Ghanaian born artist Peniel Enchill drew what can only now be described as an iconic image of a woman leaving behind a certain set of weights that beset her in 2014. (It’s ‘iconic’ because Rihanna re-pinned it, and anything that Riri pins is blessed.) If you take a look, you’ll see the typical list of things grown women seek to leave behind them as they grow in age and wisdom. These things include, but are not limited to: heartbreak, fake friends and jealously. I wholeheartedly connect with this list, however I need Ms. Enchill to consider adding another item… another dimension to this spiritual liberation that she depicts in her art for it to resonate with me completely. I left my edges in 2014. Is there any room for a block at the woman’s feet marked “edges”? Woi. But you may be reading this and asking yourself: “Oh, Malaka. What is the big deal about these edges you are going on and on about?” There are only two circumstances – possibly three – in which one would feel the need to ask such a question:
- You are not a Black woman
- You are a White man
- You are a Black woman who hasn’t seen her edges since the last time Oasis sat down to a peaceable Sunday dinner.
Silly as it may sound to the rest of humanity, a Black woman’s edges are a status symbol. They are an indicator that you have been well loved and cared for your whole life and that as an adult, you have taken on the duties of preserving that tradition of care. Baby hairs that lay just so are coveted. Good edges mean good nutrition. Tamed edges mean good parenting. Laid edges signal self-respect and dignity. You can be broke and homeless, but the world would never know it if you walk into an establishment with your head held high and your edges intact. So in fact, any attack – planned or successfully executed – on a Black woman’s edges is considered a threat of the highest order! You may as well take her soul! It’s a stupid, stupid code, but I don’t make the rules. I just live by them. My only consolation where my now-stripped and receding hairline is concerned, I am in good company. There are several powerful women who have defied the odds, taken the world by storm and asserted their power despite their jacked up follicular barriers. There’s Gabby Douglas, winner of two gold medals at the London Olympics, for example. Though she earned the ire of African American women everywhere for not slathering on an acceptable level of gel on her forehead before attempting the balance beam event, she won the heart of the globe. And then there’s Naomi Campbell, who at the ripe old age of 612 is still ripping the runways with NO edges to speak of at all. (Fyi: Models age differently from other humans; sort of like dogs. 1 year in an average human’s life is like 14.82 years in that of a runway models. This is why at the age of 22 you can be considered “too old” to model in the fashion world. See? You learned something today!) But of all the sisters of power without edges, my most favorite has to be aspiring presidential candidates, Samia Nkrumah. The woman is a power house…but her edges are in retreat. I mean retreating like a British battalion in the face of an Ashanti onslaught. It’s magnificent to behold, and very, very memorable. We will remember and vote for Samia in 2016! May her opponents scatter and surrender just as her edges! Mmmm. Me too, I’ll face 2015 without my hairline. Perhaps it is the key to doing great things. Maybe people will be better able to see into my brain this way. Help ya’ll see what I’m thinking. Happy New Year.