Nigerian author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie was a recent guest on Channel 4 News where she talked about racism in America, feminism and the politics of black women’s hair.
According to her, “If Michelle Obama had worn her hair in its natural state while her husband Barack Obama was running for US president eight years ago, he would not have won”.
“I’ve often said that if Michelle Obama had natural hair when Barack Obama was running for president, he would not have won.”
Because her natural hair would have signified certain things to people and those things are negative things. It would signify that she’s some sort of militant, neo-Black Panther, frightening, angry – angry in a bad way because of course, talking about gender in some ways women are not allowed to be angry, particularly black women, so anger in a black woman is something that is just a no-no.
And I think it would somehow signify that she’s not mainstream, because we’ve decided that mainstream hair is hair that sort of falls down. When you have hair that is natural and black it stands up and it’s not really considered mainstream.”
“I don’t want to be complacent at all because I open a magazine now and there’s maybe one black woman who has natural hair. It’s changing a little bit, but what I would love is to not have it be something remarkable. it would be lovely if it were just normal. It would be lovely if we didn’t have to point out well look, ‘there’s this one person with natural hair, isn’t that cool?” she added.
Meanwhile, a session was recently held by The Guardian U.K for fans of Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie where she talked about motherhood, the Nigerian civil war and her best book of the year.