Be Manzini, Writer and Film maker

"One of most vivid memories of me having natural hair was a random man approaching me on the street and spitting out the words: “You disgust me…I would never let my sister walk the street like that” pointing at my head. It was the 90’s; I was a teenager and had decided to cut off all my hair. I wanted a change, to experiment and never thought to consult anyone. I was soon ‘corrected’. Apparently no girl and certainly no respectable young lady did that. I was seen as being a rebel for wearing my hair the way it grew. The guy I was seeing at the time told me I was “lucky” he was staying with me. I dumped him.

What those moments began to reveal to me is how policed Black women’s bodies have been. If saying ‘I choose’ is rebelliousness or a form of activism, I’m happy to be labelled a rebel.

Right now I’m on my second cycle of locks, I’ve added colour and shaved the side incrementally. I may decide to do something completely different soon… who knows?! What I do know is whatever length, colour, shape, texture I’ll claim my own style and walk tall wearing my crown in whatever way I choose…my hope is that every woman can and will."


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