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Evening Service

A Reflection On My Childhood Relationship With My Hair

Image by Shannon Wright

The way Beyoncé uses cultural and religious images and aspects in her work, to capture her experiences as well as the experiences of black women is really inspiring. Not only does it contextualize our experiences in a way that gives room to understand them, but it also makes them profound, something that’s especially important within a society that only disrespects black women.

I’m nowhere near Beyoncé’s level of artistry, but I wanted to try and apply her way of re-imagining experiences to one of my own from being a black girl.

At my second baptism
where my knees knelt cutting
into the cold, white tiles
of the bathroom floor
slick with soap water and salt tears
my mother gave the evening sermon,
balancing the no-lye scripture with
one gloved hand and the chemical
anointing oil in the other wafting
like hydroxide and carbonate incense
sitting thick on the tiled room’s
air, sitting thick on my hair
burning the sins of my mother and
her brother and my father
till the curls ran limp and
I was purified.

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Ifueko Osarogiagbon is a wannabe magical girl and style and makeup junkie who loves smashing the systems of oppression through her writing. You can contact her by email through ifueko.osarogiagbon@gmail.com.

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