University of Southern California
Describe something outside of your academic focus that you are interested in learning about?
Picture me: the morose toddler, hands balled into fists as my mother pulled a wide-toothed comb through my full, coarse hair. Tears stung my eyes but I did not cry even when my mother held a ball of knotted hair in her palm, a triumphant grunt escaping her lips. Afterwards, I would lie still on my bed, transfixed by the orange and crimson lights behind my closed eyelids as my scalp continued to tingle.
I hated my hair. Each characteristic- from its Afro texture to its thickness- promised a burdensome future. My mother's attempts to improve its appearance merely worsened my sentiments. However, I enjoyed a brief reprieve during the occasional visits to the local hairdresser. I would watch as Nneoma, the woman with the enchanted fingers, transformed my nest of hair into a breathtaking sight. Nneoma called this magic various names: suku, two-step, patewo. However, I was unable to attribute my improved esteem to the intricacies of any particular woven hairstyle. There and then, I determined to impart the same sense of joy and beauty to other young girls in my community.
African hair braiding is a skill that I chose to learn for both its practical and communal value. When I weave the hair of a Honduran friend into suku, for...
Join Now to View Premium Content
GradeSaver provides access to 1047 study guide PDFs and quizzes, 8132 literature essays, 2277 sample college application essays, 354 lesson plans, and ad-free surfing in this premium content, “Members Only” section of the site! Membership includes a 10% discount on all editing orders.
Already a member? Log in