“I was not used to taking care of or doing maintenance to my own hair. I depended on my mom to come during parents’ weekend to bring all my stuff: my detangler, all my different combs and my little box that had all my hair bobbles and scrunchies and little ties and clips. Hair: such an integral thing to black culture, especially the types of laws and policies that are put into place surrounding black hair and the stigma that comes from the history of Blackness in America. I was in a shack at the time and I noticed that the girls were treating me a bit differently and laughing and mocking the hairstyle that was mom was doing. I felt so ostracized and alienated. I understand our hair is different but do not diss what grows out of my head. Afterwards, all the comments on my hair and people wanting to touch my hair…like okay I’m not a poodle, not a show dog, not a pet. The lack of consent was a big thing for me. The fact that people didn’t know how to go about other people’s differences stuck out to me for a while and I kind of looked at all those other girls differently. Later on, a tentmate just said ‘I like your hair’ and honestly it made me feel a lot better. It didn’t make the whole situation better, of course, but it was nice to know that someone could just go about their business and not make it a big thing and make me feel badly about being different because I don’t have the same thing they have.”
—Hive Camper, 2008
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