I’d really be remiss if I did not come clean and explain why the latest drop by Chimamanda Adichie has me smiling inwardly (and outwardly) on my train rides to and from work lately. I’m currently midway through & for serious…. so much in love. Between the pages, lessons on identity, culture, acceptance & class are told through the context of our hair. Opinionated, head strong, intelligent, witty, Adichie weaves the story of her main character, Ifemulu and her journey to becoming Americanah – but how she lays the story down is where we find the smarts. From nearly the first few pages of chapter one, we enter an african braiding salon and head down a winding journey that begins in Nigeria, traverses to the States of the US – then back again. But the in-between? Here’s what you’ll find:
On an unremarkable day in early spring – the day was not bronzed with special light. nothing of any significance happened, and it was perhaps merely that time, as it often does, had transfigured her doubts – she looked in the mirror, sank her fingers into her hair, dense and spongy and glorious, and could not imagine it any other way. That simply, she fell in love with her own hair.
Now my list of girl crushes is quite short, but Adichie had my heart after reading these thoughtful interviews where she discusses her journey to natural & the complexities that still exist when choosing to wear your hair natural in Nigeria. Are you guys still reading along? If not, what’s the hold-up, hmmmmm….