Tuesday, July 6, 2010

"Dramas of a Bald Head Queen" Chapter .5

I was the youngest of my parents’ children and my older brother was quite an independent individual and although I was as well, by being the youngest, I think that placed me in a position to watch and see what to do and what not to do, therefore, eliminating a lot of heartache. At the same time, I was going through that time in my life where I must’ve thought I was “more mature for my age” than I really was. There was some truth to this recurring comment but I was in fact, still a child. I can hear the voices of so many teachers and mentors, “Nina, if you would just apply yourself…,” which would follow with some other encouraging words worthy of “Guidance Counselor of the Year” honors.

This is one thing that I should keep in mind when dealing with young people. Even if they don’t seem to be listening, seeds are being planted. I recall so many times I just sat in tears over a paper that I could’ve gotten a higher grade on had I just not procrastinated. I may have displayed anger towards various teachers because of their loving me enough to tell me about myself and where I lack; In reality, I was more angry at myself for not being mature enough to have grown out of the inhabited place of mediocrity. Although not expressed at the time, I am most grateful for their patience and for the love they continued to show me. Knowing that I was capable of so much more, I made life harder than it had to be by procrastinating on projects, papers, getting caught up in boys, parties, weed, “Banana Red Mad Dog”… Even all of the positive things I was involved in, track and field, choir, student government (too much of a good thing can be bad…).

I made life harder by settling for just passing when I had all of the potential in the world to be an exceptional student. I’ve made life harder by…this is what this book is for, so that the reader can make a conscious effort to live life to the fullest, making it as easy as possible. This world has enough hang ups and distractions without us adding our own limitations. God is still working on me in many areas, breaking these old habits and molding me into the woman He has intended for me to be.

Those that know me personally, or that were a part of my life during the various times showcased in this book may contest the accuracy and accounts mentioned here. Keep in mind that this is my perception of occurrences. I do not intend to give any half truths about myself or the things I’ve done. I do intend to allow God to use me to the fullest through this book. There may be times that I cry through this thing. There may be times that I question what details to spare and what to give. In doing this, I want to be as transparent as possible but understand that specifics may be too much for some. I pray that I do not allow myself to take the reins on this one. That I be totally led by the Spirit and the world sees this book for what it is: the gift of life through Christ Jesus, who lives within me.

So why “Drama’s of a Bald Head Queen”?

My preferred look is a low cut. Some would consider me “bald headed”, some have even gone as far as to think they were damaging my esteem by calling me out. At one time in life calling me bald headed did left me feeling lower than low, but this was at a time when I was most uncomfortable with who I was. I did not understand at that time that I was made perfect by God. Even with all of my imperfections to include “bad” hair, I have become most comfortable with as little hair possible. Over the years I’ve had various looks trying to fit into others’ ideas of what a woman should look like and what beauty is. I think I looked alright with some of them. There are others that were not so…complimentary. From the jheri curl of the ‘80’s to a relaxer in the ‘90’s, there have been battles lost and won with my hair as, it has always been an issue.

Like so many little Black girls before me, having short hair seemed a curse placed upon me for reasons unknown. Had the sin of my ancestors been so great that God was seeing to it I never love myself? I felt doomed to be ugly in the eyes of others forever. I say in the eyes of others because for as long as I can remember, I would look into my brown eyes still trying to find the perfect fit into my big head and dared to believe that I was pretty. I had to have been about seven or eight when I first started really believing I was beautiful. Back then, I couldn’t help but be nappy, so by the time I was in middle school, I finally accepted that I’d always be “nappy” and vowed to be happy in my nappiness.

It was also sometime in middle school that I felt a greater connection to Africa, the Mother Land. In the world of hip hop, Queen Latifah, MC Lyte and other soul sisters reigned and their level of impact on me led me to a longing for greater knowledge of self. Boogie Down Productions, X-Clan and A Tribe Called Quest told me I was beautiful beyond what Seventeen magazine ever expressed to me. I found more of myself in the pages of Young Sisters and Brothers (YSB) magazine and on Saturday mornings as a satellite member of “The Posse” on BET’s Teen Summit. I found love for myself and for my people and told myself that had “my people” remained in Africa and never been enslaved in the Americas, I would have been Queen of my village.

The sisters in my crew adopted the nicknames Toy-Toy, Treecey, Ray-Ray, Quesha and ‘nem and there was already a Ne-Ne so I toyed around with various aliases in hopes to find one that would suit me well and define me upon mention even in my absence. My girlfriends began calling me Mother Africa and from there, Queen Nina became the moniker. By my second year in high school, I had not only cut my hair off and gone natural but, Queen Nina was who I was. No questions about it, no explanation required. I demanded respect from all through humility and in a determination to carry myself as a queen I made a conscious effort to walk worthy of the title amongst my peers.

It was about 2003 that the name “Dramas of a Bald Head Queen” was given to me. If I recall correctly, I was sitting at Applebee’s with my friends Tiff and K’Bana who had first hand observations of my lifestyle at the time. They had watched me evolve on the open mic scene in the Tidewater area of Virginia and also as a “pimp” amongst men. I had a lot going on at the time in regards to…well, to everything. Life was moving very fast. Three years into the military, I dreaded the process of completing the final year, I had more men than should legally be allowed and was caught on the battle field of spiritual warfare; that place between good and evil, between doing what I wanted and doing what God wanted, with no armor. I had teased on numerous occasions about the goings-on in my life and how, “I couldn’t wait for the book”, so I could really take a look at who I had become. I looked forward to the day that I could look back on such times and be amazed at what God had done.

I was at a point in my life where I felt as if there would never be a revolution. That night at Applebee’s there must’ve been some fuss about my hair. Comments about my Caesar had become common place and I just laughed off the stares and chatter from corner tables, and took it as admiration…admiration for my boldness and, even the audacity, to go so low and to wear it so well. It was that night that K’Bana gave me the name for my book. He is so good for having these “deep” spiritual moments where he’ll receive revelation about any number of things at any given moment. And that night two years ago, I was divinely given the title my first book. The “Dramas of a Bald Headed Queen”.

The dictionary gives several definitions for the word drama but there is one that best defines what this drama is about. “A series of events involving conflicting forces.” How appropriate. Whether we realize it or acknowledge it or not, there is in fact a continuous conflict in the world around us.

Second Corinthians 10:3-6 states that,

“3 For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh. 4 For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, 5casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ, 6 and being ready to punish all disobedience when your obedience is fulfilled.”

Besides what we see in our day to day lives, there are conflicting forces within the spiritual realm. That part of life that we may not be able to explain. As I mentioned earlier, this is that battle between good and evil, heaven and hell, etc. A part of this warfare has been depicted in scenes of cartoons for decades. We walk with a demon on one shoulder and an angel on another. In retrospect, there was, and still is, a battle in the spiritual realm for my life, my attention and my intentions. God’s will vs. my will. My personal desires vs. God’s desires for my life. So my whole life has been a drama. Life is a drama. It consists of a series of events involving conflicting forces. Those forces being God and His army on one side and the enemy that seeks to “steal, kill and destroy.” (John 10:10) The devil should’ve kept me while he had me…Lord, I’m all yours…

This book is for me. It’s for you. It’s for the people who will never read it but that may hear about it. It’s for my father, my brothers and sisters, nieces and nephews, any children I may ever have, for my future husband and for my beloved mother, who bragged for years before her passing of all of my accomplishments, even those that she never got to see, even those that we all have yet to see. She was so proud of her my brother and I… *wiping tears* I remember her beaming when she would tell her co-workers and friends that I was going to be a writer. In high school, household PC’s were not yet the norm but she bought me an electric typewriter so I could start writing. I never did get a whole lot of use out of that typewriter. But she bought it for me in hopes that my thoughts would flow more fluidly through keys than through a ball point. She would listen to my poetry and share hers with me. It’s times of sharing like this that more young people need to experience…

Thank you Lord for my mothers…my father…all of the people you’ve ever placed in my life that have ever had faith in me, those who had hopes and dreams for me. Most importantly, thank you for those who have kept faith in You on behalf of what You can do with me and through me. May You receive all of the glory for every word typed, spoken, written or even considered. I praise You and I love You Lord, for all that You are, all that You’ve ever done and all that You’re doing. Amen.

*listening to* “Give Me a Clean Heart”—Fred Hammond, Purpose By Design

Queen Nina (2006)
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