In this generation, African American women wear their natural hair and head wraps with unapologetically and proudly. It represents their ancestors wearing what they proudly have. Yet, there are some people who look at the head wrap as a distraction or a joke. Some people don't know the background of the head wrap.
There are three reasons why African American women wear a scarf. From the past to the present, the head wrap will always be a symbol of enslaved African American women who suffered to make a pathway for future African Americans to move toward the future, but never to forget their history.
In Africa, the headwrap represented your status in wealth and success. According to African Imports African Business Blog, "The headwrap originated in sub-Saharan Africa and was often used to convey modesty, spirituality, and prosperity. Even men in Africa wear head wraps to symbolize wealth and social status. Head wrapping is literally a way that African's for centuries have been able to non-verbally communicate their place in life…. In West Africa, head wraps are referred to as 'gele' in Yoruba or 'ichafu' in Ibo.
During slavery times, the headwrap was a symbol of enslavement. It would represent if the woman was a nanny or a regular slave. Yet, African American women took a standpoint to gain their identity. In the blog, "The enslaved and their descendants, however, bravely regarded the headwrap as a helmet of courage that evoked an image of their true homeland – that ancient Africa – or the newer homeland; America. The simple head rag worn by millions of enslaved women and their descendants has served as a uniform of communal identity; but at its most elaborate, the African American woman's headwrap has functioned as a "uniform of rebellion" signifying absolute resistance to loss of self-definition."
In this generation, African American women wear headscarves, which you can find at Target or Amazon. Some wraps show the African pattern. African American women cherish their natural hair. They style to protect it and using the headwrap is the best option. It's amazing how the headwrap still makes an impact on this generation of young African American girls. There are tutorials, that show different styles of how to tie a headwrap for beginners. It is an amazing and positive accessory to have.
In high school, I was that girl. I love wearing my headwrap, because of the symbol it shows. However, some people didn't react well to it. I remember when I was a senior in high school, and I wore a headwrap to school. I felt good about myself and everyone else loved that I showed my ethnicity. Unfortunately, during the break period, my principal saw me wore the headwrap and forced me to take it off because she had the perspective of a "hat." I was very angry and embarrassed.
I shouldn't have to hide my pride because of a rule. I should have the right to express myself and be proud of who I am. Going into college, there was not one that I was forced to take it off because they praised the fact that I'm embracing my culture. To African American women, who have been discouraged, I say embrace the culture! Be proud that you have the right to show who you are.