The Crown | Mina West

Instrumental: @TheDreamers_UK


For those of you who do follow my blog, you’ll be aware that I always do a write up about my new material and rational behind it when I have a new poem go live, feel so bad that it’s taken me this long to write it up - I’ve been a little bit busy but still no excuse.

So The Crown, a combination of my love for natural hair and poetry. I was quite nervous to share this poem because I did not want to come of as a natural nazi, but it’s a subject I’m quite passionate about so I couldn’t run away from it. I do not want to go into it too deeply here, but I love how the natural hair movement has grown … and for me it is not just about hair. Learning to love my hair, taught me to learn my ‘blackness’, my ‘Africanness’. Now I’m not saying girls with weave or relaxer do not (please do not get this messaged mixed up) I’m saying it personally opened my eyes to see how much black culture had been westernised, to the point my own natural hair seemed alien to me, I was afraid to deal with, I was afraid it wouldn’t be viewed on as attractive. And that upset me, because one day God willing I will have a child, that was not the same message I wanted to relay on to her.

To learn how to look after my hair, I became a little obsessed with the “natural hair journey movement” and did research on its science, but as I digged deeper into the science of it, I started to learn its history. Black woman have always been sooooo creative and different with our hair, I talk about it in the poem. I love to embrace the different hairstyles from Fro’s to weave, it just upsets me that the westernised style is favoured more, and in that meantime what is trademark African is appropriated by western media and stamped as their own. Looking at history, I’ve seen what is African being stolen through its music, inventions and even hair … tbh I’m just tired of it. But I cannot tell another race to stop stealing from us …. If we do not even love what is naturally ours.

I can talk about this forever, but I will stop here. Take ‘The Crown’ as an opening for a lot more to come. I’m excited and nervous, but I will soon be releasing a collection of work that highlights where my heart is right now.

I would love to know what you think of The Crown, please share in comments or email :)

Some behind the scene pictures by [instagram] @cheekomedia & @zek.snaps

Lyrics - The Crown

It’s amazing to see how much the natural hair movement has grown over time
But you still get people saying ignorant lines like
Not all black girls can wear natural hair
That saying had me replaying
The memory when I first told my aunt
I was going to stop using relaxer
She looked at me with a confused face
To say
“Why the change, I don’t understand
Afros are hard to maintain,
or even attract a man”
I guess you can call me a rebel child
Because that gave me more ammunition
To go against a system
That had ingrained her brain
With a false proclaim
That natural hair was a problem
Something to resist
I had to insist it was for myself and my health
So when I say, when young black girls say “we are fearfully and wonderfully made”
It will be played and replayed in our minds so much
You will never feel inclined to conformity
It scorns me to know
We still show, self hatred in places we are not ready to admittedly face yet
Hair is just one of them
But in this one I won’t back down
I wear my hair fitted like a crown on purpose
Unapologetic of our status we are Queens

See I had to change my way of thinking for my unborn child
So she can look in the mirror and see her afro as ordinary
No shame
Not the stigmatized afrocentric extraordinary experiment to explore
Mothers remember your face will be the first face your daughter comes to adore
So please be an example
And open the doors to her mind
Because we are in a mental war
When I say we are in a mental war
It is with the ideology that has been stored in our minds and attacked us since birth
Time to be re-born and challenge the concept of beauty on this earth
I pray my child will not have to use her hair as a shield in the battlefield
Her heritage surpasses the chains that contains poison
She Links to kingdoms and queendoms that built empires dressed in rubies and sapphires
So she’ll never need to wear the lies of a western disguise,
to be seen as that precious ruby in my eyes

She won’t cling to idea that hair needs to be european, malaysian or asian
For society’s acceptance
she won’t be blinded by this deception
Why are we so obsessed with this perception
And you may talk about loving your black skin your in
But if you discard the hair it brings you are not an exception
Natural hair gets a positive reception from people outside our own race
But some of us still carry its rejection, Why?
For so long we have been attracted to images in media
Displayed all around us
Hairstyles that’s laid flat surrounds us
To manage our kinks and naps
We damage it with chemicals and glued in weave tracks
Causing receding hairlines
As we mentally recede back in time of inferiority
When we had no authority
Trying to blend in because you believe you are the minority?
Longing for the approval of the supposed majority
Just remember to love yourself and your own is your main priority
It is a thorn in me
Seeing how perms links to fibroids, thinning hair, balding spots and all sorts
Making black girls emotionally and physically sick  
But yet we still stick with it

I do not want to use this platform to preach or push
Emotional blackmail
But when that black male tells me
When my own friend who is black resales me false tales that
“natural hair looks good on you, but it is not for everybody
Just think x3
there is a possibility that you will reproduce one day
May it not be the same lie you play to your offspring
Because you know that they cannot run away from their skin
Thinking if they straighten their hair to fit in, they can win
But it will bring a string of more self-deprecation

“Natural hair does not suit everybody” - that doesn’t even make sense
How can what is on you, not be for you!
No other race has had to put their hair through this tireless case
That we still place ourselves … in
In that one line you question God’s design
You have power to redefine beauty for the next generation
But instead you assist with our own decline

See when I finally took sometime to retrace our history
The mystery of our race
That we still found it difficult to embrace
Our God given position in this place
Did the willie lynch syndrome really do a number on us that strong,
Because they tried to destroy us before
But our ancestors came through with a mighty raw
So why do we still feel that your natural self is wrong
We still strut along
Covering our head with weaves and extensions
Rejecting how our own hair is an extension of ourselves

And don’t get me confused or misunderstood
I love being creative and different with our hair
So please continue to rock all the different hairstyles out there with good care
But if you can’t stand the stare when you hair is laid bare it will be you that tears us down
Hair is a black womans trade
We were creative with our hair
Before being colonised or made into slaves
Black people Introduced braids, locs, straighteners and weaves
Madame C J Walker - A black hair business woman
A beautiful legacy she leaves
Black woman paved the way
Black woman Came and changed the game
So when the white washed world try and claim -  boxer braids as their own
Remember black girl with african hairstyles, we own that throne
Never let it be shame that’s shown, or disown our history that is in the hearts of our homes
Don’t sit there and moan about cultural appropriation
You take back what can only ever be OURS
Hold your head high showing no humiliation
Afro hair no other race can ever replicate
You demonstrate your not afraid to do you
When you showcase your afro hair do
No more can they ignore
The lionesses roar
But simply adore her crown and beauty
For all of the nations to see

It was a Black woman that birthed all humanity  
So loving your crown and all its glory
Is something this humanity needs
Instead it feeds of a negative portray
And we stay in it
And we use our tongues to say
“not all black girls can wear natural hair”

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