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Nappy Natured

January 31, 2011

By: Natalie d’Auvergne

Yes, I think I would be perfect
for your institution
I have great people skills
and a genuine interest in helping.


No, I won’t consider
straightening my hair.
To be honest, my mother
relaxed the kink out of it
when I was only nine,
she couldn’t manage
My father’s “ole hair,” as she called it.
I cut it all off when I was sixteen
and what you see now is me
the way God intended.
Just looking at me you won’t believe
that my great grandmother was a Carib,
with black, straight hair down her back
and my great grandfather was a white man
from France, and my grandmother
has hair like a horse.
Is just that the women in my family
love their black men.
My mother, though she look like a Latina
loves their dark skin too.
So, when you say you won’t hire me,
because my hair is nappy like chicken scratch,
that it clings to my scalp
like great coarse o’s of wool,
that cornrows, plaits or corkscrews
look too much like a Zulu,
which leads you to believe that
the clients won’t feel comfortable
trusting me with their money.
Well I have to ask…
Why won’t they trust someone
who looks just like they do?


 Natalie d’Auvergne is from the Caribbean island of St. Lucia. She holds a BA in English from Southern University and is currently pursuing Dual Master’s degrees in Literary Studies and Creative Writing at Chapman University in Orange, California. She is a writer of fiction and poetry. Read her interviews and book reviews at Chapman University’s Tabula Poetica website and subscribe to her literary blog at

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