Watch A Dominican Family on the Legacies of Hair | The New Yorker Documentary

[soft jingle music]

[brush scraping]

[bottle spraying]

[solemn piano music]

[water running]

♪ Easy ♪

♪ Easy ♪

♪ With yourself ♪

♪ With yourself ♪

♪ Easy ♪

♪ With yourself ♪

[water trickling]

[Voice Of Yemaya] Shenny,



[speaks Spanish] the moon, mother of seas,

don’t be surprised.

You were the one who conjured me.

I know you’re afraid, baby, but you’re exactly

where you’re meant to be.

You’ve been writing this your whole life,

breathing it your whole life, surviving it your whole life.

It’s time to free it now.

And I know it hurts to let go, but let go.

Release it into me.

Let it drown, my love.

But what loves you back, you keep.

Keep your body, baby.

Keep your voice, honey.

Keep the poetry, my love.

Show us the magic or did you forget?

‘Cuz you were born with all this magic,

gifted to you by me magic.

They tried to take it from you, magic.

Desperate to burn off all this magic,

until you found yourself back to the ocean

and you remembered, didn’t you?

The waves sang back memories as you dipped

your crown into me.

The water will always be your testimony.

[waves crashing]

[Marina speaking in Spanish]

[hair dryer whirring]

[solemn piano music]

[Shenny] People ask me, how do you fill

a whole room with just your voice?

I say with hope that it is loud enough to heal the parts

of my mother she’s never been able to love.

This is for every black girl’s ritual to beauty.

This is for every black girl healing.

This is for every black girl who don’t know she black.

This is for every black girl being killed by our own men.

This is for my grandmother who survived that femicide.

This is for my mother who never got to be brown,

who knows nothing other than fire at her scalp.

[water trickling]

Living life experiencing all the different ways

someone can hurt your body.

I never imagined someone touching me

to be the very thing to heal me from that wound.

But I met a man who tried.

He touched me everywhere, loved me everywhere.

A tender love won’t force you to the lesson,

but I learned it regardless.

No man can love me enough to save me

from the the pain I feel in myself.

[Marina speaking in Spanish]

[solemn ambient music]

[Shenny] Mommy thinks the men we choose

is a generational curse, but for me,

when I get on my knees to pray

I’m begging God to teach the women

after me how to choose themselves.

‘Cuz I wanna know what it is to love myself so good,

that the next time I meet a man who dreams of a life

with me too, it won’t come as a surprise to me.

[Voice Of Yemaya] Shenny, who taught you how to love?

Start at the root.

[Marina speaking in Spanish]

[water trickling]

[Marina laughing]

[ambient chorus music]

[Shenny] The [speaks Spanish] has been in the mix

for at least three generations,

and I can’t help but wonder what happens

to a person when this chemical meets their scalp.

Because I know a lot of people won’t believe me

when I say this, but,

I remember being born angry,

before anyone could hurt me.

I remember being born angry.

If our ritual to beauty is setting our crown on fire,

[hair dryer whirring]

if our ritual to beauty buries our hunger to dream,

if our ritual to beauty denies ourselves

of where we come from,

if beauty really is pain,

if that’s what we tell ourselves,

how do we love without hurting ourselves?

[water pouring]

[Voice Of Yemaya] Shenny,

what did your mother have to forgive in her mother?

Remember the questions of Ebony Noelle Golden.

Is it possible to alchemize pain?

Where does joy live inside your body?

[Shenny] Is it possible to alchemize my pain?

Where does joy live inside my body?

Show me.

[ambient chorus music]

Forgive yourself. Forgive yourself.

Forgive yourself. Forgive yourself.

Forgive yourself. Forgive yourself.

Forgive yourself. Forgive yourself.

Forgive yourself. Forgive yourself.

Forgive yourself. Forgive yourself.

Forgive yourself. Forgive yourself.

[Voice Of Yemaya] Forgive yourself, Shenny.

[Shenny] To my mother and her mother,

thank you for winning your war for me,

for giving me the privilege to choose

what element I want move through me.

Today I choose the sound of Marina, my grandmother’s laugh.

It is a body of water wrapped around my whole heart.

Today I choose Celena, the sound of my mother’s voice.

It is a secret river hidden and nervous,

only made for the two of us to know.

I dive deep into her belly reminding myself

I have been the cause of pain too.

Today, mommy, my joy learns how to swim.

What happens to brown girls who never

learn how to love themselves brown?

[water trickling]

Well, eventually they’ll become mothers

and teach their daughters the same pain.

♪ Don’t tell me how to be ♪

♪ Just let me live in my body ♪

♪ Have you seen the news ♪

♪ They’re all talking about me ♪

♪ Don’t take my heart ♪

♪ To the graveyard ♪

♪ I still got breath in me ♪

♪ I don’t take that lightly ♪

Source link

Add a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *