The Black Hair Thing

Buy this Book at! There are entire Blog sites devoted to Black hair, so writing one entry about this subject in several years should inspire suspicion. But living with unending, insatiable, malignant, suspicion is what it is to be Black—especially Black and male. And what makes me angry is not the white suspicion but the black-on-Black disintegrations, distractions and digressions. We should know who we are but too many of us use televisions, false prophet machines, to keep us company, provide council and make total bullshit real information to base our lives on…

So what got me started into this now second paragraph are two articles from Brown Sugar: “Black Women’s Magazines Giving Bad Diet Advice” and “Our Hair is Killing Us.” Brown Sugar brings a new angle with new research instead of my old, same, “stale” complaints:

About a third of black women cite complications of hair care as the reason they do not exercise or exercise less than they would like, according to Amy J. McMichael, M.D., the lead investigator of a study from Wake Forest University School of Medicine.

I grew up with the old oppressed classic that some women of African descent all conked up would refuse to swim but now it seems all exercise is verboten. And then Brown Sugar sites yet another new study that suggests that Black magazines encourage women of African descent to pray for non-obesity instead of doing something physical and divine about it! This one floored me. Lying here on the floor is an excuse to make random bullet points about this hair thing:

  • Let’s look at the complex psychological structure here. When my woman’s hair is all chemically treated and micro-weaved into submission, I am supposed to tacitly (or explicitly) agree that this expensive work is necessary? This means that I actually agree that something is “wrong” with what is naturally growing out of the top of my woman’s head? So what happens when my woman catches me talking to the sister with the real, natural wavy hair? She just can’t believe I was just ‘talking’ to her. Right? Remember that black-on-Black suspicion shit I talked about earlier?
  • Let’s look at the complex psychological structure here. My woman is “bored” with her hair that does not move or bang. My woman knows that I never get bored with my hair so she is actually depending on my sexism to allow me to dismiss her boredom shit with a quip like, “Well, that’s what women do…” A good “man” with a lot of girl “friends” knows to just shut the f’ up and be non-judgmental-loving in the face of such hypocrisy. Taking drugs and drinking to get a buzz helps to have such great friends… Can’t you tell that I’m just so jealous of what shows up next in a pair of blue jeans?
  • Let’s look at the complex psychological structure here. My woman (like my father) suggests that to be a “good Christian” a woman’s hair has to be long. 1Cr 11:15: “But if a woman have long hair, it is a glory to her: for [her] hair is given her for a covering.” First, the definition of “long” is not specified in this translation—never there is long and straight—never there is long and dangling to her shoulders (search King James’ yourself). Second, there is no passage in the Bible about a woman smitten, cursed, or derided for being bald before the Lord. Third is Isa 30:1: “Woe to the rebellious children, saith the Lord, that take counsel, but not of me; and that cover with a covering, but not of my spirit, that they may add sin to sin…”
  • Let’s look at the complex historical structure here. Back in 1968, psychologists William H. Grier and Price M. Cobbs reported in Black Rage that too many Black girls feel adequate—only adequate—not beautiful—after their hair job… Is my woman “beyond that” now? Does she actually feel beautiful after concealing what actually grows out of her head? Is this conditional feeling of beauty after an American, industrial-cyborg, black-plastic transformation an improvement?
  • Let’s look at the complex historical structure here. My woman knows that ancient African’s used ceremonial wigs back in the days of old. My woman knows that African women of many dominating Pre-Columbian cultures used hair styles to communicate social status. So what ceremony and status is my woman instituting now? What neo-African ceremony of social status includes hair fibers made from plastic (or worse, fibers taken from the heads of poor women from other countries) and toxic chemicals concocted in laboratories not run by African descended people? (And, yes, I do know who the first female millionaire in the United States was—surely this Black woman had some kind of laboratory/factory at her disposal.) Now I know why people must smoke weed—so they don’t have to think about this shit sober…You tired of my “bullshit” theories and “questionable” complexes? Let’s take a comment from Patricia Melton at 1:07PM on Sep 21st 2007 on Hair Apparent. Maybe you care about her more “realistic” problem:


I am newly natural for about 2 months are so, I currently wear my hair in a curly afro and I think I want to let it grow a little longer or not but my thing is I cant seem to find someone that really knows how to do natural hair with out wanting to add, weave or press it out.

What would you suggest? Please help…

Ramona Africa covers the big hair issue in “Ramona Afrika: 1992 e03—Vanessa & Patty” at You can view the full Ramona Africa interview in “Freeman Manifestation: Ramona Africa: 1992 (” here at


JJ, 2008-06-13 18:35:53

LOL. Not only am I natural but I'm B-A-L_D! LOL. Okay so not actually bald but I wear my hair in a Caesar. And you know what - I'm pretty hot! LOL. At least so I've been told.

too many Black girls feel adequate—only adequate—not beautiful—after their hair job

That resonates with me. I never thought about it before but there have been plenty of times that I got my hair "did" and didn't think I was too damn attractive after the process. Okay at best.

But if I were to be honest with myself..I think I'm down right gorgeous now. LOL. Seriously though, this is the best hairdo I've ever had and the best looking on me. The only one that comes close is a similarly low hairstyle but relaxed. It was great BUT the upkeep was INSANE. Forget water. Relaxed hair that short and water, Did. Not. Mix. Nt at all.

It's sad to think that generations of Black women have forgotten how to do their own hair. And also sad that many can't see the beauty in our African "Proof." But I LUUUUUV my hair and will not be going back to chemicals again. I never was a weave girl. Couldn't understand that to save my life! LOL.

rasx(), 2008-06-13 19:53:58

JJ are you looking like my imaginary girlfriend, Rokia Traoré? You are messing with my mind! You make me want to get on a plane in the worst conditions of the history of air travel!

BTW: Liberator Magazine goes beyond the hair thing and shares some incredible videos about Skin Bleaching.

JJ, 2008-06-13 23:17:51

LOL. Yeah, minus the designs:-)

rasx(), 2008-06-18 18:21:30

JJ, you might want to look up "Bryan Wilhite" on or