I met a lady of a different race and she says to me I have a headband like the one you have on. I love it but it just slides right off. I say when I straighten my hair, it does the same thing. She says to me in a shocking tone “Why would you ever want to straighten your hair? I wish I had hair like African Americans. I would never straighten my hair. I’d do all of that creative stuff you do like twist it, braid it, dread it…all of that!” I laughed and many times I have wished I had hair like yours until I learned to love the hair that grows out of my head. “Absolutely,” she says “There is nothing wrong with your hair. People should just get over it already.”
Then we started to talk about life and come to find out she always wanted to be a fashion designer too and to be an actress. We talked about how we were discouraged from seeking out those dreams. I encouraged her to try acting and learn to sew. She encouraged me to to do the same and to keep writing and stop being afraid to submit the manuscript. We even talked about loving Memphis and we both said the only thing missing is the beach! We talked about how we have this underground but emerging arts scene. I told her there are auditions all the time in Memphis and gave her the Facebook site for one. You see, God causes the strangest things to happen in the strangest places. She says “We have much in common.” I said “Yes.”
This reminds of how just last week I sat on a beach in Alabama and instantly bonded with three white women who were sitting next to me. We laughed so much until we were gasping for breath and could hardly get words out. We shared things, bits and pieces of our lives and we could all relate as human beings and women.
These things give me hope as it related to race relations. If we can just forget about what we see and TALK we would find out just how much we are a like and dispel the lies we have been fed by our parents, leaders, media and few bad experiences.