Tag Archives: hair

Baby Hair: For Gabby, Blue Ivy & Me

All blackgirls have a hairstory. I have always had a love-hate relationship with my hair.  When I was little my mama called me tender headed when I shrieked at the harsh brush bristles pushing my hair and scalp together until it laid all the way down, or enough to keep the inevitable frizz at bay.  I grew used to people making mention and comments about my hair by comparing it to my sister’s.  My sister’s was “good” (I am sure then, you can imagine what was said about mine).  It was hard to love my hair when it was constantly …Read more »

Claressa Explains It All

I’ve always been ambivalent and maybe even a little skittish about sports. They seem violent and remind me of The Hunger Games, particularly with the amount of POC presence and the injuries athletes incur. I wasn’t invested in the Olympics until my tumblr friends started pointing out the racism, sexism and nationalism in NBC’s coverage and Cruntastic’s two pieces about the ill treatment of Gabby Douglas. Now the games are over and Gabby’s on a cereal box, a mural in VA beach and has appearances on fancy shows. I’m super excited for her but as I got caught up in …Read more »

take a load off family: black women, hair and the olympic stage

I am no athlete. I have not won an individual sports competition since maybe the second grade. I recall Usaining all comers in the 40-yard dash but, as Kasi Lemmons learned us, “memory is a selection of images, some elusive, others indelibly imprinted on the brain” and I might have photoshopped that one. My middle school basketball team dominated the Seattle Catholic Youth Organization league but that was due to the AAU players on my team: Megan, petite with Chris Paul’s smarts and speed; and June, a Russell Westbrook-esque scorer. With high school came the freshman basketball team, aka junior …Read more »

Beauty Parlor Politics

The first time I “got my hair done” beyond school nights sitting between my mother’s cocoa butter legs while she combed through my hair with grease soaked fingertips, or  Saturday morning hot comb rituals in front of the stove, was in the house kitchen of a church lady who did hair on the side.  She was not professionally trained or licensed but her clientele graced her threshold every other Saturday and she worked from sun up ‘til sundown, frying, dying, twisting and curling our hair into beautiful masterpieces on our head.  I felt grown up and welcome when I “got …Read more »

‘Dos and Don’ts

The summer of 2000 I went to my hairdresser and said, “I want you to cut all of this off,” pointing emphatically to my badly-damaged permed hair.  She asked me if I was sure and I told her I was–and off went four or five inches of angst onto her linoleum floor. What was left was less than an inch of cottony soft dark brown hair. I was both relieved and scared. I didn’t even remember what my natural hair looked like and I’d never had my hair cut so short. That very day I went to the mall and …Read more »

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