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.