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Thursday, October 15, 2009

Little black girls want "good hair"

Originally published on October 13, 2009 on
Removed from site on October 15, 2009. CENSORSHIP

Little black girls want “good hair”

“I want to be a white woman when I grow up ‘cause they’ve got long straight hair…,” from the lips of a 5-year-old African American female.

It begins early, young black girls and boys learn the societal images of beauty. The looser your curl, the more attractive you are. Girls want long, straight flowing hair. If not naturally, then manufactured. Boys wear “do rags” to get those waves coming in nicely.

To get the desired look of the western standards of beauty, black hair is trained by repeated pressing with a hot comb, by use of relaxers, texturizers or some other altering device or chemical. And so the internal battle ensues. Children are struggling with accepting themselves as they are and conforming to what someone else led them to believe is “good”.

As children grow they are still striving for what they have been taught is beautiful and acceptable by other’s standards. “I don’t know what to do with it,” a frustrated 14-year-old girl expresses concerning her defeatist attitude towards her natural.

She doesn’t like double-strand twists, she doesn’t like cornrows, she doesn’t like braided extensions, she doesn’t want locs, she doesn’t like ‘fros, or knots or anything close to those styles. What she wants is long, straight hair flowing down her back. What would make her happiest and more confident is a relaxer and a hair weave combination. Then she will be beautiful.

It’s not true girls and boys. You were beautiful from the moment you were born.

Chris Rock’s documentary “Good Hair” opened in select theaters on October 9, 2009.
Releasing in theaters nationwide next weekend.

Currently playing in the following theaters near Philadelphia:

Regal Cinemas Commerce Center 18 (40.9 mi from Philly)
2399 Us Highway 1
North Brunswick, NJ 08902

AMC Loews New Brunswick Theatre (46.7 mi from Philly)
17 US Highway #1
New Brunswick, NJ 08902

Regal Cinemas Hadley Center 11 (48.8 mi from Philly)
1000 Corporate Ct
South Plainfield, NJ 07080

Read more information on this topic by Daily News Columnist Jenice M. Armstrong and Inquirer Fashion Writer Elizabeth Wellington.

Friday, October 2, 2009

My husband isn't leaving me, I'm pushing him out the door

We’ve known one another since childhood. He says he knew when we were ten that I was the girl for him. I didn’t know it then, and I sometimes struggle with it now. But something keeps us bound. Something beyond the marriage license and the kids because “we” were before “they” grew in number. I believe that “something” is fear.

The most difficult part about marrying your highschool sweetheart is that you grow up together and in growing up together, you sometimes grow apart. The desire for life outside of your long time buddy starts to inundate your world. Wanting to break free may be brushed off as a fleeting thought if fear is what holds you back from moving forward in a different direction.

My husband has a dream, and he wants to follow it. For as far back as I can remember, my spouse has been fascinated with history. Thrilled with all that came before us, he spends hours reading historical novels and viewing special documentaries on the History Channel. At his insistence, we’ve taken family trips to museums. His second passion, very closely matched to the first, is the military.

At the ripe young age of thirty-one, my man wants to become a soldier. Technically, he wants to utilize his expertise as a professional truck driver for military detail; nonetheless, he wants to fulfill his dream. In serving his country, he will serve his life’s purpose. Ultimately, he wants to study constitutional law and feels the government can help him accomplish this goal.

I was lucky enough to realize early on what my purpose is. I am a writer and I share my mind with the masses. He has recently been encouraging me to complete my first novel and to continue to hone my craft through writing informative articles and publishing creative pieces online. Pushing my fear to the side is the only way I can achieve my vision. My fear shouldn’t comprise him from achieving his.

I may not agree with his dream, but it is his dream. I know enough to know I cannot stand in the way of something so important to him. Fear is not a good enough excuse for my opposition, so I'm doing my best to understand and be supportive.

So like I said before, my husband isn’t leaving me, I’m pushing him out the door.

Articles I've written related to this post:

How to support someone when you don't share their vision
How to prepare for the ASVAB (military exam)