Here's What Happened When I Let an Old White Man Style My Natural Hair

xojane.com
By Kelly-X

While studying abroad, I quickly became friends with one of my neighbors on my floor, Thomas. Thomas is Dutch and spent most of his early adult life in St. Croix, an island in the Caribbean that has a lot of melanin — in other words, he grew up around black folks. Thomas also has a son who is close in age to me. We immediately clicked with one another, and I’m just a weirdo who always seem to gravitate to and get along well with older people.

Looking back, I see that Thomas and I were destined to grow close. During the first conversation I had with Thomas, not even 15 minutes of meeting him, he looked at me and said: “Thank you for being confident enough to wear your natural hair.”

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Count On Me: Do You Have A Squad You Can Depend On?

Ciara, Serena, LaLa & Eva Longoria via Serena's IG
By Brenda Alexander

Remember that scene from the movie Waiting to Exhale where Robyn, Gloria, Bernie and Savannah were two steppin’ to Creep by TLC with their hair tossed, outfits on fleek, candles burning in the background and champagne glasses full? From the moment I watched that part of the film, I anticipated the day my girls and I would do the same. That scene and what came afterward had all of the ingredients of what friendship symbolized to me: a tablespoon of fun, a teaspoon of honest truth, an ounce of comroadeire and a cup full of love. Now, I was only 4 when the movie was released so why I was watching it with my mother in the first place has yet to be determined, but regardless, that scene has forever stuck out in my mind as the picture of friendship. It was probably the first image of black friendship I ever saw on television and with that example, I am eternally grateful because it set the tone and standard for what I dreamed my circle would be like.

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