So many of us don’t understand the beauty values are cultural. What one culture can find beautiful another culture might diss.

It is so important to elevate Black beauty standards to cultural importance. black kids cannot grow up thinking their hair is not beautiful. Of course it is!

We’re just taught that it isn’t.

I used to have an office (many years ago) in a community center. The center’s receptionist and greeter was a beautiful Black woman with gorgeous, big, naturally curly hair.

When Black children came into the center for activities, she would often stop the girls and single them out for praise for how beautiful they were and how beautiful their hair was.

I didn’t necessarily understand what she was doing then. I just thought she was being sweet to children. Now I see that she was trying to counter negative messages.

Writer. Runner. Marine. Airman. Former LGBTQ and HIV activist. Former ActUpNY and Queer Nation. Polyglot. Middle-aged, uppity faggot.