Rowing About Picky Head Of Hair
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unhealthy times;”>(From Vanessa Perigord’s Facebook page)
It started off as a post on Facebook. A student at the C R Walker Senior High School was told by her Principal that she would not be allowed back in school if she did not neaten her Afro puffs. The student took umbrage and castigated the teacher on the basis that what she was asking about her hair was racist. This set off a whole discussion on the web about Black people and their hair and why people in the country do not like natural Black hair and prefer to straighten it. There was also another discussion about students and their respect for authority and for rules and why we have become such a lawless society. We have a couple of comments on it that will seem all over the place. It is clear that women have the right to wear their hair as they want to. The proliferation of styles, weaves, wigs and fashion statements is on one level a good expression of freedom and individuality. On the other hand, the obsession which Black women in particular have with weaves and wigs is offensive, negative and denigrating to their own identity and race. In a milieu which has always said that what is Black or Negro is unacceptable, one wonders what is it that Black women do not like about themselves that causes this preoccupation with wigs and weaves, some of them looking so ridiculous on them because they are a complete mismatch. Add to that the diseases which they bring, the patting on the head because the thing itches and causes scalp discomfort: the weaves and wigs and they often smell bad because they simply need washing. What is it? Does any other race have such a preoccupation with changing their hair? In the days when the present leaders were growing up, the Afro was king. People went around repeating what James Brown had said: “ I’m Black and I’m proud”. It would not normally be necessary but everything around them was telling you that if you had Black skin something was wrong with you, your person, your being, your hair, your lips, your nose, everything. Black people going around talking about “ good hair” and “ bad hair”. Good being nearer to what White people have and bad being what Black people have. When the Pindling tour went to Long Island for the independence run around the country in 1973, the Long Islanders, near Whites came up to the window and shouted at the Blacks on the stage: “Picky head! Wow!” Picky head is what people said about Black women’s hair that could not do what white women did. This is really such crap. So the school came back and said no it wasn’t the Afro it was the neatness. Hmmm. A fine line. We thought the debate was great and glad we could air our thoughts on the whole subject without it seeming contrived. Black women look better with their natural hair and they really should stop buying these weaves and wigs.