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I feel like I’m constantly put into this position. “Jacks, can I touch your hair?” And honestly, the fact that someone even thought to ask and not just automatically touch is appreciated. Regardless, when people want to touch my hair, I don’t know how to feel, but here are some thoughts that run through my head when someone asks me to touch my hair.

Hit Play and then read my thoughts.

  1. Don’t Touch My Hair by Solange immediately starts playing in my head.
  2. It’s 2017 and people are really still asking this?
  3. Does it look like I want to be petted like a puppy?
  4. If I say no, will they ask someone else?
  5. Should I take this one for the team?
  6. Where have their hands been?
  7. Are they going to throw off the carefully orchestrated, delicate oil balance I worked tirelessly on to perfect? Should I have calculated for this?
  8. Is it cause I’m black and they’re not use a black persons hair like this?
  9. Is it cause I’m black and they just feel comfortable around me?
  10. Do they think it’s okay?
  11. Is my hair really just that cool?
  12. If the roles were reversed, would I ask this?
  13. Is it hurting me by letting them touch my hair?
  14. Should I feel appreciative because they asked this time?
  15. Should I feel honored that they want to touch my hair instead of bash it?
  16. Is this some sort of back handed compliment?
  17. If I say this is okay, would I support a system commoditizes Black culture?
  18. If I say yes, am I part of the problem?
  19. What would my Grandmomma do?
  20. Do I want my hair touched?
  21. Is this a joke?
  22. Will people be asking me this for the rest of my life?
  23. Should I be offended?
  24. Does anyone else see why this could be offensive?
  25. Am I overreacting?

When someone asks you “Can I touch your hair?”, how do you feel?

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