About my Hair 

One time my cousin said to me, “My God Qal you are so fucking white.” There’s a beautiful irony here. She lives in Sweden and she’s so light skinned she could very easily pass off as white. I live in Ethiopia and I am dark skinned although my face color alternates between the colors of the layers on a mars bar depending on which part of Ethiopia I am in at the moment. Technically speaking I am the blacker one. But still she said to me, “Qal, you are so fucking white.”
I saw Imperium last night and all the while Daniel Radcliff played an FBI agent gone undercover as a white supremacist, I basically saw Harry Potter with a buzz cut. That didn’t stop the message of the movie getting to me though. Race is a dirty motherfucker to discuss with white people because no matter the black people oppression of a few hundred years and counting, white people are sort of paying for it now. They might have not liked our wide noses and our dark skin and appreciated our strong bodies and tolerance to the sun then but now they also get to hate our minds because we might have a good brain and talent too and we mix with them and bring forth a beautiful mixed race. Okay that was not the point of the movie but it’s what I was thinking when I was done watching racist Harry Potter and I don’t hate them for it. I have a theory that had Donald Trump been an Ethiopian, he would have been such a celebrated hero for putting Ethiopia first. I often hear people get frustrated by the growing Chinese population in Addis and if a Trump rose in Ethiopia and banned the Chinese from entering the country, a lot of people would be glad for it.

Last year the Oscars boycott was a thing and now apparently the Grammys have pissed off all my friends by setting Beyoncé aside yet again. The articles I scanned very reluctantly claimed that her music was a little too black for the public taste. I am not here to comment on that. White people have always done whatever they want and I don’t understand how basically just having milky white skin made them this way. I think it’s the fact that they set the standard for everything and we let them.

I went to Wikipedia and it says that “Racism is discrimination and prejudice towards people based on their race and ethnicity.” Then it goes on to say that racism today doesn’t fall under a single definition.

I think racism is basic human nature. We can’t help it. Somebody argued with me quoting someone important that the disadvantaged group can’t be racist. Like black people can’t be “racist” to white people. I think this idea was the plot of the 2014 movie Dear White People. I still totally disagree on the idea that the disadvantaged group can’t be racist. Absolutely any one can be racist. It doesn’t matter what I say because my circle of influence contains like two people and a cat but I doubt racism will ever go away because we are always going to look at each other and we are always going to be different from each other in color, culture, belief, sex…. and we aren’t always going to like it.

I was straightening my hair the other day and I was only done like 2% when I started to get angry with my hair and then at my friends who’d told me that my hair looks better straight. Why couldn’t they have just appreciated my poufy hair as it is? I have killed my hair so much attempting to keep it straight that it has sort of stopped curling nicely at the touch of water and now it just becomes this thing where it is half way straight but the tips curl like it is also racially confused. I guess Lady Gaga was right. “I am my hair.”

I always laugh when I hear, “You can be whatever you want to be.” Teehee. There are certain things you cannot be. You can be a human wearing wings but you can never really be a bird. You can wear spots on your back but that don’t mean you a cheetah.

I am an ethnic black woman who likes punk rock and guitar riffs and appreciates indie music that isn’t about freedom and oppression. I don’t use words like “fleek” or “swag” and I can’t twerk to save my life. I honestly haven’t ever even tried. Mental note to do so when I’m done writing here. I don’t worship Beyoncé on the knees and I don’t spontaneously bust a move to hip-hop music upon hearing it. With most of the modern white population embracing the black culture like a warm blanket, I guess my very very very! culturally black cousin found me to be white and got a little insulted. It’s like to be white is the most privileged thing to be and the racially black cousin finds it insulting.

Don’t get me wrong. I am not really white. I like the culturally black things too like the eating with the hands and the political right to say Nigga and not have to look around for people to react. I like that frisky hair (although I could never pull it off) and I like having the right to be ignorant and justified which is the worst type of racism really but at least they are blaming something else and not my brain. I like having large thighs and being called beautiful for it. My cousin wasn’t entirely right to call me white but she wasn’t too far from it. I like that blues that’s just oof! in the soul and I could listen to The Weeknd on loop all day but the thing is these things have been designated white people black things, get it?

I look around in very black Ethiopia that is very free from white supremacists and actual white-black racism unless you count the fact that we, the blacks, the friendly locals, have to be searched before entering anywhere but the pasty foreigner who is more likely to be a terrorist than I am gets to pass without having their bags searched or their thighs groped and I wonder who goes around branding the entertainment culture things here? I personally think entertainment culture is likable because it is relatable and understandable. I like My Chemical Romance because

“I am not afraid to keep on livin’

I am not afraid to walk this world alone. 

Honey if you stay I’ll be forgiving 

Nothing you can say stop me going home.”

And I like Kaleo because,

“Wanna prove you’re the better man

you wanna reach for the things that nobody can

all you need to break away 

keep telling yourself there’s no shame.”

I don’t understand how just because I have a dark skin complexion I am supposed to relate to

“6 inch hills she walked in the club like nobody’s business 

Goddamn she murdered everybody and I was her witness

she stackin’ money money everywhere she goes

Peso outta mexico…”


“call me on my cellphone 

late night when you need my love

I know when the hotline bling

that can only mean one thing…

Ever since I left the city you 

got a reputation for yourself

everybody knows and I feel left out…”

And of course that

“Work work work work work work

he said me have to work work work work work work…”

Many black people I read online get very touchy about black people not liking that black culture stuff. Justin Bieber and Conor Maynard get a pass for being so fucking pasty yet so black and the black girl gets shade for liking Green Day?



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