"Pelo malo" translates to "bad hair," but Afro-Latinas across the Americas know very well that the term is more often used to describe "Afro-textured," "coerced" or "kinky" hair than pelo that’s guilty of a crime.
Still, despite its innocence, people with "pelo malo" are told their locks are something that needs to be "fixed," a troubling message that spoken word poet Elizabeth Acevedo wants to put to rest.
"My mother tells me to fix my hair," the Washinton, D.C., dominicana says in a video for her poem "Hair." "And so many words remain unspoken because all I can reply is, 'You can't fix what was never broken.'"
Watch the insightful and inspiring video above, and make sure the next time you stop by your local Dominican hair salon you’re not "swallowing amnesia."