El Pajón

By Rachelle Garcia

Mira y ese pajón?

Proceeding with the lines “hazme el favor y coje pal salon”

But who told you that I want to straighten my hair

Ma you don’t see that straightening my hair is erasing the history

and giving them the right to continue to be unfair.

 

The kinks in my curls, the patterns and swirls

All represent and uphold moments in history even if I wasn’t there

The Mirabal sisters who fought for feminism and got killed in despair

How dare you tell me to straighten my hair?

 

You tell me I walk around looking like I don’t care

When the rizos on my head are the biggest representation of todo lo que pasamos

Que en los Haitianos confiamos, en los Españoles tambien

En la visualización eurocéntrica nos asimilamos

To straighten my hair is to let them win again,

Why are we repeating the same things now that happened back then?

You see to straighten my hair is to reject who I am

To succumb to their views,

It’s to let Trujillo buy me and God I’d be damned

It’s to say that I am unsure

That I am not proud in my skin

It’s to let all of those who rejected me for who I am in.

 

So Ma don’t you ever tell me to go do my hair

‘Cause with every time you ask me

You remove a breath of air from those who fought for these locks

And you’re just turning back the clocks

Who cares if the vecina talks?

 

I won’t go to the hair salon

So they could put that white creme on my strands

Unlock me from the hands

Of those ancestors who held on to me before they knew me

Why would I let go?

 

I won’t straighten my hair

Because these curls are a sign of proclamation

This pajón is a sign of reclamation

It shows the desperation

That was faced in my nation

It is choosing to be me

No matter how much people stare,

So don’t you ever dare to ask me to straighten my hair.