When I was about 10, I received my first relaxer. I was thrilled. This meant that my hair would finally swing freely like that of my White classmates, my dolls, and the popular images I saw on TV. I was so excited.
As I scan up to drink in the rest of the splendor that was this unusually elegant outfit for a Saturday at an African hair braiding salon, I take mental note of each pointed piece. Navy pleated skirt, navy and marigold paisley print blouse, extraordinary naturally long red nails, snow white full beard, deep brown hair with a circular revelation of a pale scalp.