Why Black ZULU?

Mom with her 5 kids and a friend's child. I'm the one in the center back - obviously!
Mom with her 5 kids and a friend’s child. I’m the one in the center back – obviously!

I am the third of five children and the darkest of all four girls. Growing up, my Grandmother referred to me as “Black Zulu”. I can almost still hear the disdain in her voice as she called me that. My oldest sister loves animals and when her dog dropped a litter of puppies, the blackest of the black dogs was called ‘Niki’.

As a child, I never felt anything other than inferior because of my color.

As  a young adult, I remember when one of my cousins had her first child and I visited her in the hospital. Her mom, my Godmother, held her grandchild, who was fair skinned, and looked at me and said, “Nikki, when you have a child you better have it was someone light because when you were born you were a very black baby. Black, black, black, black.” I smiled.

I’ve also listened to too many men speak about their love for ‘browning’ [fair skinned women] and their disdain for extensions, weaves, braids or ‘nappy head’.

Now couple that with what we refer to in the Caribbean as “sal’ head” (the correct term would be hair that literally refuses to grow or ‘picky head’). I distinctly remember as a teen  having the notion that because I was the darkest among my closest friends I had to ensure that I was always dressed properly – I changed outfits (home clothes) more often than I dare to mention each day – and that my relaxed hair was always properly combed. I would relax my hair every opportunity I got. I could have just had a relaxer 2-3 weeks ago and my Godmother came to get her hair relaxed…I would use the left over relaxer in my hair right after her’s was done.

I was doomed from the get go.

Nikki-2004
18th birthday – I’m in the back center

Now, I am by no means saying that I had it ‘hard’ and back then I probably would have said that none of it bothered me….and I truly believed that it didn’t. But when I started seriously dating, I  found that I refused to date anyone whose complexion matches mine or is darker than mine. I had a horrible tendency to declare that I would not have a child with anyone who does not have or comes from a line of ‘good hair’.

Bottom line, I was affected.

It took a long time for me to look past my face and see myself as beautiful on a whole. I have a beautiful face, and I have always known that, but I never quite felt beautiful clothed in this dark chocolate complexion and crowned with a mass of “ill-faithed” hair.

But HALLELUJAH! I have overcome ALL that. I am now a super confident 28-going-on-29-year old black woman who finds full lips on a black man absolutely irresistible *-*

Today, I am much more confident in who I am as a person. I am a delicate dark chocolate sista and my skin tone and length or texture of hair does not determine my aptitude or who I am as a person. I have embraced Nekisha and even tho I am still learning to accept every little thing that makes me ME, I am happy in the skin God has blessed me with! I am created in God’s likeness. When he made me, he looked at me and said “you are fearfully and wonderfully made!”

Black Zulu? From today, I wear that title proudly! It reminds me of where I’ve been but it also reminds me that it certainly does not determine where I’m going! Black Zulu is about taking something that negatively impacted you in the past and making it stand for something positive going into your future.

Today, I breathe life into Black Zulu with a fresh big chop (BC) and plans to embrace more of my natural side. This blog is my journey to loving me – utterly and completely – from my roots up!

Big chop3

39 Comments

  1. I am in love with your introduction and for many reasons I embrace your passion to journey into finding ‘you’. Way to go and you’re a beautiful black sista who wears her blackness well.

    1. Thanks Lauricia! I’m in a much better place since choosing to let my insecurities regarding my color go. One by one they’re disappearing! I am so much more confident now. Thanks for the encouraging words xx

  2. I TO CAN UNDERSTAND HOW YOU FEEL AND WHY THE NAME IS SIGNIFICANT. I AM THE ELDEST WHO IS DARK SKINNED WITH A SIBLING THAT IS LIGHT SKINNED “YELLOW”. I CAN REMEMBER BEING REFERRED TO AS “RUBYS BLACK DAUGHTER ” AND MY SISTER WAS THE WHITE ONE.ITS KIND OF FUNNY WHEN YOU FIND OTHERS OUT THERE LIKE YOURSELF.YOU KNOW “CUTE TO BE DARKSKINNED” I AM 4 MONTHS POST RELAXER LEARNING TO LOVE THE REAL ME. FROM CHOCOLATE GEMINI TO BLACK ZULU

    1. It is amazing, or sad rather, to know so many other children were made to feel like less of a person because of their color; especially by those meant to love and protect you 😦 What can we do but embrace and love ourselves and just keep smiling? I am motivated to never let my future daughter be made to feel the way I did growing up. Every experience is a lesson learnt. Stay positive and very best wishes on your hair journey xx

    1. Thank you so much! I plan to take every negative experience and ensure my child/ren doesn’t feel the same way (whenever I have them) haha. Something as simple telling your child she’s beautiful can make the world of difference. x

  3. Hi. Found your blog on the NHBD. I like reading your story. Glad you overcame all the negative talk to become a very beautiful lady. I look forward to reading your posts.

    1. I’m sorry your grandmother put you through that. It must have really hurt you. It’s sad that our own family can be so cruel at times. Colorism is a sickness in the black community.We must learn to love all the shades of blackness. We can’t let that divide us anymore. But you overcame it. Your beauty is undeniable sweetie. Let no one tell you different.

  4. Wow! Thanks for being so honest. I have always admired darker skinned women for the beauty of their skin complexion. I find that darker skin women tend to have clearer and even skin tone. I’m a brown skin women and have struggled with blemishes on my face. You have gorgeous skin btw! Although, I’ve never had issues with being called dark, I have heard others in my family have issues. As a woman with a daughter, I have vowed to not make her feel superior because of her skin tone, or refer to her hair as “good hair”. She has lighter skin and her hair is natural curly. Thank you for this blog. I’ve noticed that you are one of the few with my hair texture. I can’t seem to get on board with the number hair texture. Seems like another way to dived us as Black Women.

    1. Hi Erica, thank for taking the time to read my blog 🙂 Its a tough world we live in trying to walk the thin line of black but not too black :-/ You shdn’t have to feel like you can’t tell your daughter she has “good hair”….but I do understand that you do not want her to feel superior because of it when compared to a child with a more 4C texture.
      Wishing you all the best with your hair journey and hope you continue to find my blog a good read x

  5. Your post was very bittersweet to me having experienced/witnessed some of this in my own Jamaican family. Being ranked alongside other lighter/darker cousins etc I’m on my natural journey too now and it’s so empowering isn’t it? Frustrating too but ownership! Celebration! Knowledge of self etc. well done for your blog and your inspiring hair journey. Thank you x

    1. Empowering it is indeed! Thank you for taking the time to read my blog! Here’s to wishing you well and may many happy hair days be yours! xx

  6. Thank you for sharing this. I being 44 years old am JUST NOW embracing who I am and accepting my dark skin and short “nappy hair”.

    1. Acceptance, at any age, is a beautiful thing and deserves to be celebrated *sprinkles essential oils* 🙂 I’m very happy that you have made it to this point. It only gets better from this point on so enjoy the exhilaration that comes with self-acceptance and self-love xx

  7. Before reading your background story I assumed you were South African and thought you had a stunning face and great skin. I find it amazing how we as humans are fooled into not loving the way we look based on the feedback a handful of people in our circle of influence say. I am so glad you realised the “lies” about yourself people tried to sow. I believe you’ve been beautiful your whole life it just took self reflection for you to see it.

    1. Hi Laetitia,
      I believe you are right. One has to accept all the things that makes them them in order to see themselves as beautiful on a whole. May have taken me a little longer than some others but its great to have made it 🙂 Stay beautiful. Stay blessed. xo

  8. Hello, I recently did my big chop about a month or so ago (for like the 20th time). I’ve noticed that I get sores in the center of my scalp as my hair grows. Do you have any remedy for this?

    1. I’m so sorry, but I do not. Try doing a Google search to see what other bloggers recommend. If its something that happens all the time then you may be best off going to see a Dr. Hope you get through and over this issue. Hugs.

  9. Gyal, me so glad me find you! The internet ram wid all sort ah ‘Merican, Canadian, English nehga and Caribbean people way lib ova sea, (me nah hab notting ‘gainst dem); me jus’ glad fuh see somebady from right yah. Ah nah now me ah look fuh somebady from ’round de place but me min neva know dat me woulda find somebady from right yah inna likkle Wadadli. You dun kno me a go falla you likka how sheep falla shepherd! LOL!!!

    I am extremely, happy. I am happy that you have taken the bold step to join the international community of natural hair bloggers. I am happy that you are adding to the West Indian community of writers. Congratulations! Keep writing. When you write you are representing all of us here. I am very proud of you. Happy Independence. An’ ‘memba fu write ’cause now me know one Antiguan gyal ah say subben, me go support local.

    1. You literally had me cracking up with the first half of your comment! Thank you for following!! It is great to find the rare local followers so very happy to have you 🙂 There are a few other Antiguan bloggers such as Caron Jacobs of IslandGirlCurls.com and Saran P. King of antiguabarbudagirl.com. There is also a very awesome fashion blog by a lady from APUA but I can never remember the name! Will have to search it up and get back at you. We’re out there, hunny! 😀

  10. I also have 4c hair which is the same size or lenght as yours but the styles you have achieved is so much and gorgeous. pls i want to know if you have a youtube channel or on facebook so that i can learn the styles from you. Thanks so much.

    1. Hi Chiemela! So glad to have you on my page *-* Unfortunately, I only have a blog page – no YouTube channel. I do try to be as detailed as possible in my explanations and pics for the styles I have posted.
      I do hope you will still attempt some of the styles even though there are no videos posted.
      Happy New Year and cheers to many successful hair days ahead 🙂 – Nekisha x

  11. It’s always so strange when I find out that beautiful people have insecurities about color, hair texture, size, etc..what drew me to your page was the fact that you are GORGEOUS and your skin is so incredibly beautiful. Plus we have the same hair texture 🙂 Keep doing your thing!

    1. Hi Josie. All a result of growing up being told you are essentially ‘ugly’. But lets rejoice with each that have cast that mentality aside and whose eyes have been open to see themselves as truly beautiful 🙂

Please feel free to share your thoughts!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s