Leanna Commins

High School Senior Girl

“I felt blessed that I had ‘good hair’ since I was young. People used to run their hands through my hair, and if they couldn’t easily rake their hands through, they’d say, ‘It’s nappy, but it doesn’t look nappy,’ which is a blessing.”

It felt like someone had accused me of being fortunate that I didn’t inherit a feature from my mother (in this case, thick, kinky curls). It turned out to be quite devastating to both her ego as a parent and my self-esteem as a Black person.

“It was only after I began identifying those remarks as insults and vocally expressing my displeasure with them that I felt more positive about my identity and reclaimed a protective posture in my Black womanhood. — Leanna Commins