me up, something was off. Earlier that summer, her glossy hair had rested at the collarbone mark to which Black girls esteem. Through its many permutations, the fullness and length had been an enviable constant. The rolled-down window showed a scalp barely covered by shorn hair. “It was hot,” she said, laughing at my open mouth. “And I wanted you to show you that it’s just hair.”
I remind myself of this, finishing up the last twist in my daughter’s style. She runs to the mirror, shaking her long twists and jumping up and down. She turns to me, her face suddenly serious. “Mommy, why you hair don’t move? My hair move! You hair don’t move!” She is sweet like her grandfather, I am wise like her grandmother, and we’ll make it through this world as whole as we can be. Or I’ll be damned.
Asha French is a mother and writer in Atlanta.