“The True worth of a race must be measured by the character of its womanhood.” Mother Mary McCloud Bethune
Before I go any further, I must insert this disclaimer. When I told my girlfriend the title of this post, she said, “You can’t call women nappy headed ho’s,” and she was correct. I would never call Black African American women, or any women for that matter, “nappy headed ho’s,” even though I’ve been hearing Black African American women calling each other this since my childhood.
Writing this post has been the hardest one for me to write, because I know that I am attacking one of the most sacred of cows in our community – Black African American women and their hair, yet, it must be said, because only truth shall set us free.
As a child, I grew up wishing I had hair like my idol, Dick Clark,
(As in all of my posts, underlined words are links.) so I spent much of my hard-earned money buying BRYLCREEM. No matter how much I bought, a little dab was never enough for me to have hair like Dick Clark. In fact, the whole tube was not enough; yet, it was the best I could do because my parents would have knocked my head off if they knew I even thought about getting a “conk.”
During the 1920s, thru 1970s, many Black African American males altered the texture of our hair by using very harsh and caustic chemicals in order to have “good White hair.” We did this for the express purpose of pleasing our Black African American women. Fortunately, for me, the 60s arrived, which ushered in “Black Pride” and the “Afro” hairstyle, which I wore all the way into the 80s. I would still be wearing my “Fro” today, if I had not become bald. My one regret about my hair was that I never made the decision to wear Dreadlocks.
In no way am I diminishing this negative behavior of Black African American men. For this post, my emphasis is on our Black African American females, because only they have the power to elevate our race to our former greatness.
How we Black African Americans style our hair, speaks volumes about how we see ourselves as a race. This is why writing this post is necessary for our cultural and physical survival, because we are the only race in the entire world that spend so much time and money drastically altering our hair in hopes of imitating our oppressors, and deny doing so. One significant indication of mental illness is a morbid dislike of self.
On April 4, 2007, the 39th anniversary of the assassination of Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. (April 4, 1968) radio “shock-jock” Don Imus called the members of Rutgers’ female basketball team, “nappy-headed hoes,” and the nation in general and Black African Americans in particular expressed outrage. In response to this outcry, Imus immediately apologized, even though the pain and emotional damage was done.
His punishment was suspension from the airways for two-weeks, which subsequently led to CBS terminating his contract, because some advertisers began canceling their ads on his show. Interestingly, CBS made an undisclosed settlement with Imus regarding the remaining $40 million dollars in his contract. By December 2007, Don Imus was back on the airwaves with Citadel owned, WABC in New York City, and he had a more lucrative contract. Although Kia Vaughn was the only Rutgers female Basketball player to file a lawsuit against Imus, she subsequently withdrew her suit without receiving one thin dime.
If Imus was sincere with his apology, at the very least, Imus could have demonstrated his sincerity by paying for the remaining education of those young women. Instead, he walks away with a new multimillion-dollar contract. Despite Rev. Jessie Jackson’s initial outrage; he appeared on Imus’ show exactly one year later, on April 4, 2008, discussing Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. So much for Jessie’s initial outrage and demands that Imus be forever banned from the airwaves.
I would be remiss if I did not tell you that D.L. Hugley not only validated Imus’ insult, he took it to another level by saying, “…it was some nappy headed women on that team. Shut up, I’m going to say it and you know it is true. Them was some of the ugliest women I have ever seen in my life.” We never stopped supporting Hugley’s television show, nor his comedy shows, even to this day, so why did we express outrage with Imus and not Hugley? Black African Americans have always maintained a double standard when it comes to racial affronts.
When Niki Minaj referred to women as “banana-eating chimpanzees and nappy-headed ho’s, denigrating our Black African American Queens and Princesses, our community turned her into a multi-millionaire by buying her CDs and standing in long lines, paying top dollar to attend her concerts, and begging her for encores.
Lets fast-forward to 2012 when 16 year old Black African American phenomenal gymnast, Gabby Douglas became the first, I repeat, THE FIRST BLACK AFRICAN AMERICAN WOMAN TO EVER WIN THE “INDIVIDUAL ALL AROUND COMPETITION” IN THE HISTORY OF THE SPORT. In addition, 16-year-old Gabby led her team to their first Gold Medal since the 1996 Summer Olympics.
Sadly, the most significant topic for discussion, in the Black African American community had absolutely nothing to do with Gabby’s athletic prowess. Even though Gabby had not completed all of her routines, it is alleged (I say alleged because you never really know who is posting on social media) that many in our community was having a “hissy-fit” over her “nappy hair,” thereby, creating a significant distraction for 16-year-old Gabby.
Despite 16-year-old Gabby’s attempts to shrug off the hurtful criticisms, she immediately acquiesced and joined the in-crowd by purchasing her “new and improved hair,” so she could look like many other Black African American females. (See my “Processionary Caterpillars post.) How will Gabby be able to maintain her “new hair” and her exercise regimen? Former Surgeon General Regina Benjamin postulated that there is a definite correlation, if not causation between Black African American women’s hair and obesity.
There is nobody in the entire world who has natural hair like Black Africans throughout the Diaspora and our hair is unique because it compliments our uniqueness as a race, which is our gift from the Creator of us all. Yet, far too many Black African females throughout the Diaspora reject our precious gift from our Creator and consider it as “bad nappy hair.”
As a race, our self-hatred for our hair is deeply rooted in the White slave trade. Through the teachings of Willie Lynch, Whites in general and White Americans in particular are taught the lynchpin to White Supremacy and racial domination is the total control of the minds of Black African American females. By controlling their minds, females would then control the minds of Black African American adult males and children.
White enslavers convinced Black African females throughout the Diaspora that everything about them were ugly and unattractive, especially their “bad, nappy hair,” many plantation owners forced their female slaves to keep their “bad nappy hair” covered because it was offensive to them.
The White race brainwashed and/or beat into the minds and hearts of my race that only White people are both beautiful and desirable. We were taught that everything about us is dirty, nasty and undesirable, especially our hair. (Watch the Doll Test) The Whites in power were astutely aware that if they successfully controlled how Black Africans felt about the hair on our heads, they could easily control and manipulate our perception of what was inside of our heads.
Read what Mr. Willie Morrow wrote in his book and portrayed in his film, “400 Years Without A comb.”
When I was growing up, one tradition in most Black African American households were females sitting in the kitchen on Saturdays “doing their hair.” This ritual consisted of having their hair washed in the kitchen sink and once it was dry, a hot straightening comb and hair grease (usually Royal Crown or Dixie Peach) was copiously applied to hair and scalp. After their hair was “straightened,” it was then “curled” with hot curling irons into various styles, depending on the length.
Not only was our kitchens used for cooking food, they were also used for cooking hair. Many of you have heard the expression, “straighten your kitchen,” in reference to the curled hair, at the base of the hairline, which was too short for the straightening comb to catch.
How did we reach this point in our history, where our hair is the most important part of our anatomy? The truth is that Black Africans worldwide take their cue from Black African Americans, because we are the “trend setters” for Black Africans throughout the Diaspora. Wherever you find Black Africans anywhere in the world, you will find a large percentage of Black African females wearing weaves, extensions and perms, regardless of their country’s climate/humidity.
This is because America is the home of both Hollywood and Madison Avenue advertisers/propagandists. Through the medium of television, movies and magazines, America portrays White people in general and White females in particular as the standard of beauty for the entire world, and Black African Americans in general and our females in particular readily embrace everything White, including “White hair.”
All of the media propaganda on this planet has conspired to convince the non-white people of the world that they are the “ugliest” people on this planet. According to the White Supremacist propaganda machine, there are only two things that make non-white people ugly and that is our hair and our skin tone. In the minds of many Black African females throughout the Diaspora, they can compensate for their “ugly” skin tone by wearing “good hair.”
Many Black African American women are very dismissive about the importance “White hair” is to them. Some will quickly say that their hair does not make them who they are, yet many will spend their rent money to get their hair “done.”
Just the other day, I had a conversation with several female family members about their “false hair.” They tried convincing me (unsuccessfully) that they were not trying to look White by wearing false, straight weaves, which was designed to give them hair like White women.
In their own minds, they were emotionally unable to see that the only false hair they have ever worn was identical to White females’ hair. Admitting they were intentionally buying and wearing hair resembling White females, would mean they had to admit to themselves that they “hated” their own Black African hair, which in their eyes is considered “bad nappy hair.”
I volunteered in an after-school program at an inner city (buzzwords for poor Black African American) elementary school in 2013. The grade level was kindergarten through the fifth grade and there was only one White American female child in this entire school; and she was in the fifth grade.
During every after school session I had with this fifth grade class, several Black African American girls would scramble (literally) to sit directly behind this lone White American female student. To my amazement, I immediately noticed the reason why. The victor of this scramble sat behind this White American female stroking her hair. I would discretely watch them with my periphery vision, while they stroked her hair. Observing their persona, there was no doubt these young Black African American girls were hypnotically entranced, while stroking the long, blonde golden locks of their fairy tale princess.
Once I was certain these Black African American children were subconsciously entranced from stroking the hair of this young White American female, I would loudly and abruptly say, “Take your hands out of her hair,” startling them back into reality. This same scenario would occur every time I had this class in my charge.
The tragedy was these Black African American female children had been brainwashed into believing this blonde haired, blue-eyed White American fifth grade female had “good hair” and they all had “bad, nappy hair.” Even though some of these little girls grew up playing with “Black dolls,” every one of their dolls had “fine hair,” which translates into having “White hair.” (Watch the Doll Test)
If we were completely honest with ourselves, we all must admit that we have observed adult Black African American females seemingly entranced while stroking the locks of their long, silky store-bought straight (White-looking) hair.
I saw the strangest sight the other day while driving. I looked in my rear view mirror at the car behind me and saw two Black African American females both slapping their own heads, which caused me to shake my head in disgust because I see many Black African American females repeatedly slapping their heads. Whenever I am close enough to these head -slapping females, I ask them why they are slapping their own heads.
Everyone whom I asked gave the same answer – because it itches. I would then ask, what “it” was that was itching and they would tell me their weaves, tracks, braids, etc. Foolish me would then suggest what I thought was an obvious solution, which was for them to simply, remove the false hair off their heads. The immediate responses from most were, “I spent too much time and money to take it out now.”
Many Black African American women think nothing about sitting from 4-16 hours (even in shifts) while getting false hair either weaved, glued, sewn, and/or braided onto their heads and paying hundreds and even thousands of dollars hiding their “bad nappy hair.” This is why they will spend the next 1-4 months slapping their heads, because they believe their store bought hair should last 1-4 months before they have to spend both time and money doing it all over again.
During my research for this post, I watched Chris Rock’s documentary, “Good Hair.” This documentary removed all doubt (in my mind) that Black African Americans consider “good hair” as “White-looking hair.” In truth, the majority of the people in the world with naturally “straight” hair are brown and black skinned people.
The irony is that India sells most of this “good hair,” which was taken from various shades of brown-skinned people. In black hair books, depicting the latest “Black Hair” styles, most of the hairstyles use store-bought “White looking straight hair.” The fantasy is that if it is straight, it is going to move and flow and I will be able to run my fingers through it – just like White American women.
Truthfully, many Black African American men fantasize about being intimate with White females, so the next best thing is to have Sisters who wear “White hair.” As with White women’s hair, Black African American males can only look at their women’s hair, but they better not touch it.
Chris’ documentary pointed out the fact that although we Black African Americans are only 12% of the population, we are buying 80% of the world’s supply of false hair. Many Black African American females’ perception of looking good is primarily about their hair. As far as they are concerned, no matter what it takes, they are going to get their hair “done” (good White hair) to make them look good. Typically when Black African American females meet, the first thing they compliment is each other’s hair, which is usually “store bought,” or “chemically processed.”
Many in the world consider “nappy hair” as being “bad hair,” and a lot of Black African American women are always trying new things on their hair to make it appear to be “good hair,” or look like White hair. They especially use a huge amount of “relaxers,” which the primary ingredient is sodium hydroxide.
The use of this chemical is designed to break down the protein in the hair, causing it to lose its natural curl. This chemical is extremely toxic to our bodies and a splash of it in the eye can potentially lead to blindness. It is so harsh, that it can literally dissolve an aluminum can in about four hours.
Because these chemicals are so toxic, as well as caustic, it stands to reason that it will be absorbed into your skin, then into your bloodstream, then into your brain, organs, tissues and bones. In addition, the fumes from these chemicals are inhaled into your lungs.
Never before in the history of America have Black African Americans had a higher infant mortality rate than we now have. In addition, Black African American women have the highest rate of fibroid tumors, as well as other cancers, resulting in higher rates of hysterectomies and chemical cancer treatments than any other American women do.
The common denominator for most of the mothers of these infants, as well as women who are diagnosed with fibroid tumors and brain (and other areas) cancers are chemical perms and chemical finger and toenails.
When you go into Nail Salons, all of the Asian workers are wearing masks. Yet, Black African American women will sit there for hours inhaling and absorbing these fumes. By the way, do you know of a Black African American Nail Salon in your city?
Several women in this documentary called this hair relaxer “creamy crack,” because once they used it, they never wanted to stop. In addition, like “crack cocaine” users, they would do anything to get their “hair done.” This same mindset also applies to women wearing weaves and extensions.
Women admitted to paying thousands of dollars to have other people’s hair attached to their heads. They had no shame admitting that they even had to buy hair on the “lay away plan,” and some even bought used weaves. Sixty to seventy percent of the Black African American hair business is in weaves.
Most of the human hair used in these weaves and extensions comes from India and human hair is India’s biggest export. The irony is that the source of India’s hair industry is religion. The Hindu Tonsure ceremony is how most of India’s hair is sold to Black African American women. Over 10 million men, women and children participate in the Tonsure ceremony yearly in hopes of receiving a blessing from their God.
During Chris Rock’s documentary, Rev. Al Sharpton said, “If we can’t control what nobody uses but us, that is real economic retardation. You get up and comb your oppression every morning.” This is a very profound, yet hypocritical statement. On the one hand, it speaks volumes to the economic plight of Black African Americans. At the same time, it points out Sharpton’s hypocrisy because he too engages in buying these chemicals to “process” his own hair and perpetuate his own oppression.
“If your hair is relaxed, white people are relaxed too. If your hair is nappy, white people are “unhappy.” Paul Mooney
Oh, what a blessing it is that my people do not read, think, or use common sense, says the Pastors, Pimps, and Politicians.