Spoken word artist Glenis Redmond’s poetry of self-acceptance reveals the ritualistic use of hot combs in the African diaspora, and which reflects the longstanding pressure on people of color to reject their natural physical characteristics in favor of white beauty ideals.
Bless my bad ideas and butt whippings:
the black plastic combs passed out on picture day.
Bless my taking the comb and listening
to the blond haired girl promising: I can make you pretty.
Bless me for wanting to be pretty,
but obviously lost in the whitest of seas
The Tao of the Black Plastic Comb
by Glenis Redmond