I really like that we are starting the series off with this photo.
The whole situation of hair is more of an american cultural issue for me than anything. In Black culture (to me Black culture is American Black culture), the appearance of your hair is EXTREMELY important – it makes or breaks your appearance. It is something that you are judged on.
Hair has always been an issue for me – it was something that I was made fun of about in school. When I got older, it became something that I could control. To me, my hair sets me apart in Berlin. It is the one thing that is obviously “fake“ about me. I generally wear hair extensions and wigs because they are easier to maintain and, if I am being honest, as a form of protection. It’s a piece of myself that I don’t often give. I don’t feel that black hair is something that Germans particually pay attention to. My struggle with my hair is something that is deeply internalized and something I project unto other people. Here in Berlin, I see it as one of the things that divides me from Afro Germans and African migrants: the culture of maintenance is very different and it is something that I use to identify the people I see on the street in my head.