It was a chilly December afternoon walking in the Cyber City, but I stopped abruptly in my tracks when I noticed someone sitting by a hoverboard stop. It wasn’t his bright pink backpack or his appropriately matching shoes that drew my eye, but rather it was the guy’s puffy hair — and the black object sticking out of it.

Prior to the encounter, I had only seen pictures of the hairstyle before in telebooks when learning about the Black Panther Party (i think that’s what they were called?) from the 1960s, about 150 years ago. The Panthers’ round and big hair, accompanied by the awe-inducing black objects, were showcased in every picture. And now, I had finally seen it in person.

After a quick conversation with the man, my memory had been rekindled. The hair style was an Afro and the object was called a pick. Back in the day, Black people used the pick to form their hair into an Afro, but the style died down in around the 2030s. Suddenly, though, and seemingly out of nowhere, the Afro was the hottest new look in the Black community. And I was determined to be a part of it, too.

Since, it’s safe to say that I’ve become consumed by the nuance and intricacies of Ancient Black hair. I’ve studied the evolution of Black hair and I’ve inspected the role it plays in Black movements for liberation.

Personally, I found strange enjoyment in being able to keep alive the ancient traditions of Black ancestors and hair. I went from being bald to having a 14-inch Afro in a span of 2 months, thanks to remarkable hair growth technology. I was hooked on maintenance and making sure that my hair was absolutely perfect: the Afro was trimmed twice a week, I shaped up my edges every other Friday, and I always had two picks on me at every time. Speaking of the pick: at first, I used iBay to buy an authentic pick from the 2010s, but I soon realized that current technology had been used to create an automatically detangling pick, cutting down my 45 minute hair routine by 2 minutes. I’ve got this down to a science.

All the while, I realized that I had become more invested in myself as a result of my investment in hair. Before I met the guy at the hoverboard stop, I was very self-concious about who I was as a person, how I looked, and what my identity was as an individual. But I soon realized that natural hair was my natural calling, as pieces of my life soon fell into place.

For two years now, I’ve been an international hair model. I also started my own Black hair business, where I bring back ancient hair techniques. Just this week, we rose 52.5% in the Intergalactic Market after I re-introduced the hi-top fade. I’ve also traveled across the world to check out crucial historical sites for of Black hair, taught courses on the power of Black hair, and am the World Record Holder for largest Afro.

A century and a half after the Black Panthers stood strong with their defiant hair, I’m playing my part in keeping their spirit alive and opening my eyes to my true self.

[written september 22, 2016]

– – –

so, currently, i’m a junior in high school. since september, i’ve attended phillips andover academy. yeah, the boarding school.

anyway: in my english class (my favorite class, by the way, hands down), we have been maintaining a blog all year long, responding to weekly creative writing prompts created by our teacher. since the school jut let out for winter break, i decided now would be a good time to highlight some of the blog posts i’ve written.

the (kinda corny) writing above is the first of the 3 pieces i’ll be sharing over the next three days. Enjoy.