“Any hair is good hair as long it covers my head.”
That’s a scene from the cult classic Spike Lee Joint “School Daze” as Lee grapples with the issues of young, at the time Afro-Americans who were in college. The movie was set at the fictional Mission College in some remote Alabama or Georgia town filmed on location at the newly created Atlanta University Center where Clark University got it’s new namesake along with other historically black colleges of Morris Brown, Morehouse and Spelman. And let the record show, the topic of light skinned vs. dark skinned and straight hair vs. nappy hair is age old and of course is still a big topic amongst our people.
Frankly, I blame Madame C.J. Walker.
Yeah, I said it. I blame her!
No, she didn’t “invent the perm” as we know it, nor did she invent the hot comb either, but she most certainly popularized it. She used the straightening comb in conjunction with her hair care products. Some sources say she even faced criticism at the time, and she most certainly does from me today.
Let me say right now, I’m neither for or against natural hair on women or for or against processed hair on women. What I am against is the polarization that occurs as a result of it. Some women truly have forgotten their hair texture and what it really looks like underneath all that weave, sew-ins, wigs and all manner of colors and flips and highlights and plaits and whatever else. While I understand it’s a business in our community and we sorely need every kind we can get our hands on, but isn’t it interesting how much money a woman drops at a beauty salon that could go to something else? I mean, a man is giving away no more than $20 a week on a haircut. A woman has to get her toes, her hands, her hair and not to mention how much some makeup may cost.
To prove to men that they look good?
If nothing else natural hair takes as much time and energy to make it look well, or else you end up looking like Rasputia without her wig on.
I say that to say, I hope Chris Rock’s new mockumentary does the black community well. He’s releasing this movie called “Good Hair” that’s, well, all about black hair and doing some on the street interviews–namely barber and beautyshop banter. And from the trailer below, he’s having some bombshell celebs that are going to be doing some interviews concerning their hair.
Even in the clip, there’s always this need for us to have the “wet out of the pool look.” Our good friend Yung Berg made it quite plain for us last year with the “pool test.” He was under the belief that
…I don’t really like dark butts too much… It’s rare that I do dark butts. Like really rare… It’s like, no darker than me. No darker than me. I love the pool test…. If you can be like ‘Yo, baby. I met you in the club. Let’s go back to my house. Jump in the pool exactly like you are.’–And you don’t come looking better wet than you were before you got in the pool then that’s not a good look.”
And fact of the matter, for the rest of us darker blacks and the ones with the less than straight hair, it’s rather easy to develop a sense of jealousy for the others. It’s a color/hair complex. I went through it myself when I was about in 6th grade through about 9th grade and high school and just grew out of it. But, when you flip on the television and you see the number of darker men and women models, anchoring the news or what not, you kinda put two and two together and figure out what the deal is.
And the same goes for men.
We can get away with it differently, but still, women just fawn over the light-skinned pretty boy with the curly hair or with the green eyes and the rest of us are just like “Damn! What the hell’s wrong with me.” And then I remember my days when I had my long hair (yes, I had corn rows people) that some girls were like “ooooh, you got good hair” and I was saying to myself, “This is what they call good hair?” And I realized that anything that wasn’t tight and nappy was considered “good hair.” Usually when the girls said something I’d respond with the quote from Mama Uppity.
So, when I was randomly perusing Youtube last night and came across the following clip, you have to understand how far my heart sank when I heard a preacher actually say what he said from the pulpit. Fast forward to minute 3:40
Should I excuse him because he’s COGIC?
Whatever the case is, that’s just a hot mess on all levels.
Press out the kinks? Straighten out the kitchen. Chemical press–known as a process. Have a super process for the hair that was real kinky.
And them folks was going in offa that.
I just hope we can get past this. Like, I’m not convinced that this is a hard issue to deal with. I mean tackling parents not raising their kids properly or teenage pregnancy seems a bit tougher for me, but this one, this shoulda been done and over with in the 1960s. But clearly it’s not.
Oh well, see if I care, good and bad hair.
What are your reactions to Chris Rock’s mockumentary? Similarly, what are your reactions to the pastors sermon where he used nappy hair as a negative to illustrate a point?
Keep it uppity and keep it truthfully radical, JLL