As a society, we have to stop picking and choosing what parts of history we want to keep and discard…
Did you know that in the late 1700s there were the Tignon’s Law which prohibited women of color from “displaying ‘excessive attention to dress'”? During that same time, slave owners saw head wraps as a sign of poverty and subordination and required their slave women to wear them at all times.
Yet here I am, rocking a headwrap because I am lazy, it is hot and it is convenient. Mostly because I can, mostly because I have been afforded the choice. Because it is an option and not a requirement to show my stature in life. Because of the people that came before me and were forced to wear them, I now have the choice. I have decided to stop killing my hair with chemicals and heat so wearing a head wrap is a way to protect it.
The Tignon law was intended to be a badge of dishonor, but instead became an empowering statement.
We are out there pulling down statues, changing sport teams names, and changing the faces of household kitchen staples but completely disregarding some of things we so openly embrace came from the same period of time we are essentially trying to erase.
You cannot block off the parts of history that are painful and pretend they did not exist. Then turn around and embrace the parts you feel liberated by.