Something I Said – Hair
Long as there’s been Black folk in America, there’s been this and that
So-and-so’s is nappy. Â The other one have a process. Â Or
got out the straightening comb (God help those poor, scalded scalps of
the 50s and 60s). Â We’ve pretty much solved the problem of whether one
grade of hair is better than another: black women have got to the
point where they wear a wide range of hair textures. Â So, really, any
hair that covers your head is good hair. Â Perfectly good hair.
The height of absurdity, a hubbub recently took place over President
Barack Obama’s daughter, 11-year old Malia Obama, wearing her hair in
twists when the First Family visited Rome this past summer. Â Believe
or not, those nitwits over at the conservative blog Free Republic
trash-talked this lovely young lady with such tripe as saying was
unfit to represent America for not wearing straight hair.
Those Neanderthals have a hell of a lot of nerve. Â Just who do they
think they are to sit on their delusions of superiority and wax
ignorant? Â The can be just a stuck with their heads up their behinds
as they want to be, but, it’s a damn shame they have to insult Black
females and offend civilized people in general with their backward
mentality. Â It is also sure-fire fighting words to any self-respecting
black man walking around drawing breath. Â And, frankly, I’m surprised
Barack Obama and really disappointed Michelle Obama didn’t blast the
There is a time and place for being correct, wonderfully
accepted by white folk and there’s a time to put jackasses in check.
One of the most wonderful things about our women is that they have
been dealt dirt by this society, told they must aspire to white ideas
of womanhood and, like no other women of color, have turned it on
America and, in turn, the world, with a sweet vengeance. Â There are
those who resemble, say, Vanessa Williams, two shades off a banana,
sliver lipped and narrow nosed. Â There are those who resemble Alfre
Woodard with Negroid facial features and a body like the map of
Africa. Â And she can wear any hairstyle from Afro to flaxen. Â There
are those in between. Â Bottom line, the image of African American
women, today, is a panorama.
Doesn’t make the least bit of sense, at this date in time, to be hung
up about some hair. Â Ingrid Banks, associate professor of Black
Studies at the University of CaliforniaâSanta Barbara, told the New
York Times, “For Black women, you’re damned if you, damned if you
don’t. Â If you’ve got straight hair, you’re pegged as selling out. Â If
you don’t straighten your hair, you’re seen as not practicing
appropriate groom practices.” Â Damned if they do and damned if they
don’t? Â It’s high time that changed to “Anybody don’t like it can kiss
my Black â¦”, well you get the idea.
Chris Rock got a documentary out — Paul Mooney’s in it â called
Good Hair. Â The film copped a jury prize at a Sundance festival.
Haven’t seen it. Â But I trust Chris Rock’s cultural integrity and know
damn good and well Paul Mooney is not going for the dumb stuff. Â It’d
tickle me half to death if Good Hair does anything help bolster the
self-esteem of Black women and girls, whether their hair is nappy as a
rug, curly as some Arby’s French fries, straight as a ruler or they’re
bald as an egg.