Friday, January 23, 2009

Unlocked: The end of a journey

For the last 9-plus years, I have proudly worn my hair in locks. It has been a journey that is spiritual, self effectuating and and at the same time self conflicting. The journey has been redeeming and illuminating. It was a journey that cleansed my soul on so many levels.
On January 21, after much prayer, soul searching, and self-evaluation, I cut my locks off. I did it. I now look so much more corporate. But, it was time. I decided last fall that I would cut my beloved locks and intended to enter into 2009 without my beautiful hair, but ran out of time to catch up with my people to do the deed.
The 2009 MLK weekend and subsequent Inauguration of President Barack H. Obama gave me pause to reflect on my essence as a Black American. I thought of my parents, both of were patriotic, yet deeply conscious. My Mother always pushed me to read, but always made sure I read about my ancestry. This background stuck with me as I grew into adulthood, and certainly, I have always been a man who never disregarded my heritage, never chose self hatred when I looked at myself in the mirror. Part of my self expression in this regard was to develop and grow my hair into locks. I love my hair - my natural hair. I love my dark chocolate skin. I know I am American but remain conscious of the sacrifices my people have made in order for me to enjoy the rights I enjoy.

That said, I embarked on a 9 and a half year journey of locking. And on January 21st, I went to my loctician and asked her to cut my locks completely off. Yes, after Mr. Obama took the oath of office, and initiated a season of change in this nation, I too stepped forth into a season of change. For those who know me, they will agree that this is a deep and poignant change for me. I am known for my beautiful locks. People look at me and see themselves.. and sometimes, people are caused to reflect on their spiritual consciousness... I was called Black Jesus by so many brothas and sistas.... Here's a funny story: We were hosting an advance screening of Kung Fu Panda. The event was held in an IMAX Theater and attracted a diverse crowd. There was a Caucasian man there with his son - a little guy about 5 years old. The child kept staring at me until his curiosity could not be contained anymore. He looked up at his dad and asked "Dad, is he Jesus?"... His Dad answered, "I'm not sure...." True story.

And so here we are. 2009. A new year. A new President. A new consciousness in America. And deep in my soul I have a new consciousness... I am an American. Not just a black American, but an American. And so I march out on 2009 with a new look, a new attitude, a new consciousness, and a new purpose.

My journey is complete, for I have come full circle....

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